Dominique Cohen: Designer

I have been a huge Dominique Cohen fan for years, so I was especially excited to meet her in person at a recent trunk show in San Francisco.

Hanging out with Dominique Cohen
Hanging out with Dominique Cohen

I’ve always considered Dominique’s jewelry as perfect layering pieces. Although she makes all different types of jewelry, I associate her most with her necklaces. She has core collection chains in rose and yellow gold. To these you can add a variety of pendants.

She features semi-precious and precious stones, as well as stunning pearls to her jewelry. By adding different layers and stones, you get completely different effects. It’s wonderful (and cost-effective) how you can keep adding different necklaces to your collection over the years, yet they all mix and match perfectly, both with themselves and with other necklaces you already own.

I also love the fact that her jewelry is made right here in the USA. It is hand made, and she casts each gold piece in her Los Angeles facility.

Here are a necklace and some earrings from her spring 2011 line:

beautiful Dominique Cohen necklace

beautiful Dominique Cohen earrings

You can find her jewelry at Neiman Marcus, Sak’s Fifth Avenue and various smaller boutiques. Read more about her and her line at Dominique Cohen.

Necklace Length: Where Should it Hit?

How many times have you found yourself at the jewelry counter trying on a necklace and wondering if it looks just right? Is it too long? Too short? Why is it just not quite right but I don’t know why?

Well I’m happy to say that the concept of balance points will help you determine the most flattering necklace lengths for you. And the bonus is that it’s simple–no rocket science involved.

To find your first balance point, measure (with string, a ruler, or whatever) the distance from your hairline down to your chin. (If you have thick bangs, then measure from the bottom of your bangs to your chin.) Then, drop this same distance down from your chin. Voila–that’s a balance point and a great place for necklaces to hit. Often, if you’re wearing a top with a neckline that feels to “high” and you add a necklace that hits at this balance point, then it suddenly works much better.

example of necklace balance point measurement

short necklace balance point

For the second balance point, just double this length. In other words, take that first measurement from your hairline to your chin, double it, and then drop it down from your chin to find a perfect spot for your long necklaces to hit.

long necklace balance point

With this handy guideline, I encourage you to visit your jewelry box. If you encounter some neglected necklaces, perhaps its just the length that needs a little adjusting.

What’s Your Jewelry Signature?

When people think about you and your jewelry, do you have a signature? Perhaps it’s the big, chunky men’s watch that you wear every day. Or are you usually wearing the topaz cocktail ring your grandmother handed down to you?  If you’re me, then you are inexplicably drawn to necklaces with horn pendants. Whenever my friends and clients see a horn necklace, they inevitably think of Amy.

horn jewelry collection
A selection of my horn pendant necklaces

Developing your jewelry signature goes hand-in-hand with your personal style. It speaks to who you are and what you love. Having your personal style clearly defined is the first building block of developing your jewelry collection. Without a solid sense of your personal style, then you are left adrift in the sea of fashion, and you’ll undoubtedly make some purchases you will later regret.

Think about what makes your heart sing. If you are drawn to more classic styles, then your signatures may include pearls, a gold link bracelet with a monogrammed charm, or a Cartier tank watch. The romantic will likely have layers of pearls or dreamy chandelier earrings. Baubles in turquoise, red coral, and armfuls of bangles will undoubtedly be part of a bohemian style.

Having a jewelry signature really puts the “you” in your ensemble. It could be just one specific piece (like a bangle with a horseshoe on it) or it could include a general theme (such as jeweled stacking rings or pieces with your initial on it). The goal is to not walk around looking like a cookie-cutter image from the latest catalogue or magazine. Instead, let your individuality shine through. So what is your jewelry signature?

Bracelets: Charmed, I’m sure…

About 10 years ago, my mom made the comment to me that all the rich girls she knew growing up had charm bracelets. She, on the other hand, was the daughter of two loving, but poor Italian immigrants. Of course, I decided then and there that my mom had to have one too. Heck, waiting 60 years was long enough, right?!

The more I thought about it, the more I realized what a special thing charm bracelets are–they literally are a history of your interests, your family, and your life. They speak volumes about you, yet in such a subtle way. She just had to have little birthstone booties to represent each of her grandchildren, a starfish to remember our annual trips to the beach, and a cruise ship to commemorate our first voyage last summer. Each holiday, she can count on one more memory to add to her bracelet. It’s almost like scrapbook for your wrist.

mom's charm bracelet

I do like charm bracelets better than those charm-keeper necklaces that were popular back in the 1980’s. With those, the charms were always so squished together that you couldn’t see each one. With charm bracelets, they are nicely spaced out so you can appreciate each one. And just the subtle jingle of the charms make you smile.

If you’ve got your own, or one passed down to you from a family member, take a close look at it. If jewelry could only talk…

Trunk Shows

I think jewelry trunk shows are one of the most under-utilized events for jewelry lovers. When a jewelry line is brought to a department store or boutique, by either the designer themselves or a rep, that is considered a trunk show. Usually a store only shows a small portion of a designer’s line, so when a trunk show is scheduled, they bring all sorts of beautiful baubles that you normally wouldn’t get the opportunity to see or try on.

Whenever I attend one of these shows, I feel like I’m playing in the big jewelry box of the designer. You can try on whatever your heart desires with no obligation to buy. It’s also educational to try jewelry on with the expert from the company there, as they can often tell you things such as the inspiration for the piece, show you other ways to combine their jewelry, etc.

Shows are normally scheduled for a few hours, and typically no appointments are needed. I’ve noticed that on occasion, in the smaller boutiques, a discount is offered on the pieces during a trunk show. If this sounds like something up your alley, be sure to get on the mailing lists of your favorite local stores so you won’t miss out on any jewelry opportunities!