Temple St. Clair: Designer

I fell in love with Temple St. Clair‘s rock crystal amulets from the first time I saw one…it was literally beckoning to me from a well-lit glass case. It was at the same time ethereal, bohemian and elegant. It’s a rare piece of jewelry that can capture all that at once. Then and there, it went on my “lust/must” list.

Temple has been celebrating her 25th year in business, and I was thrilled to attend her special trunk show at Wilke’s Bashford a while back.

temple st. clair
Temple and Amy

Since procuring said amulet wasn’t part of my budget at that time, I settled for reading her beautiful coffee table book cover-to-cover. Alchemy, a Passion for Jewels is a gorgeous tome, full of both information and stunning photos. While reading I discovered the designer and I both shared a passion for Italy (where she learned her craft), pieces of the past, and the ocean. Perhaps this is why I am so consistently drawn to her collection, as we appear to be kindred spirits. (In fact that’s what she inscribed in my copy of her book!)

temple st. Clair book
A must-have book for any jewelry lover!

Here’s a sample of her rock crystal amulets that I got to have fun with at the show.

temple st. clair amulets
How to decide which one I love best?!

And it was hard to tear this incredible moonstone cuff from my wrist….

temple st. clair bracelet
Fit for a goddess!

Temple designs with 18K yellow and white gold and gemstones of all colors. She creates a new collection twice a year, for spring and fall. Her line can be found in fine jewelry boutiques and department stores around the globe. If you’re interested in seeing her work in person, I’m sure you can find a nearby retailer!

The Bachelorette, Emily Maynard

Ok…guess it’s time to let the cat out of the bag. I watch some pretty trashy TV. But really, it’s sort of like a train wreck where you can’t look away — really! So, here I am watching the umpteenth season of The Bachelorette. While I think Emily has appeared quite, uh, quite milk-toast these first two episodes (though it looks like she sparks up in future installments), I must applaud her on her earring choice in Monday night’s rose ceremony. I just adored the vibrant green earrings paired with the purple gown. Many would have played it safe with a shade of purple or a metallic, but not Emily. Perhaps this is her letting her “true colors” show.

Emily Maynard jewelry
Unexpected, yet lovely, ensemble

This bold combination was reminiscent of Cameron Diaz’ red carpet look from a few years ago.

cameron diaz jewelry
Rockin' contrasting hues

So next time you’re sitting in front of your jewelry box trying to choose the perfect accessory for your outfit, consider coloring outside the lines. Sometimes a unique color combination is just what the doctor ordered!

Age-Appropriate Jewelry

Trust me, as a 43 year-old woman I’m constantly aware of dressing both myself and my clients in a hip, yet age-appropriate way. Is the skirt too short? Too much cleavage showing? Do any of my friends’ daughters wear this? These are all questions which constantly run through my head when styling. Believe it or not, this also extends to one’s jewelry choices each day.

There are a multitude of fun jewelry trends out there right now, some of which I’ve written about, such as brightly colored jewelry and the art deco craze. I basically feel that the younger you are, the more license you have to experiment with trends — it’s the time where you’re really trying to nail down your sense of personal style.

Here’s the wrist of a 19 year-old I spotted in San Francisco. The neon pink bracelet from Charlotte Russe paired with the silver charm bracelet from Juicy Couture just seemed “right”…remember…she’s 19…

juicy couture jewelry
Perfect for a 19 year-old

And while out and about in Palo Alto I spied this stylish 23 year-old who was rocking both stacking bracelets and the neon trend. Again, I loved it…for her.

age appropriate jewelry
Some summer fun!

But then…there are those times when a poor choice is made. While I know Hello Kitty is more than just a crush for some (I have a dear friend with a tasteful Hello Kitty tattoo), I find it highly inappropriate when an adult adorns herself with said cat in not just glittery earrings, but also with Hello Kitty bedazzled hair clips. Really?! I’m not sure this woman has clearly thought about the image she wants to portray. And really, she was a darling woman.

hello kitty jewelry
My 7 year-old niece would love this

So tomorrow morning when you head for your jewelry box, I urge you to take some time to think about your personal style and what your jewelry will be saying about you before you even open your mouth. Because trust me, jewelry talks!

Bauble Sweetness

Ok…so I admit that I have a soft spot in my heart for my godson. But on a recent visit, he blew me away. His mom (my college roommate) and I were chatting away, and he suddenly disappeared. A while later, he reappeared with his hands behind his back. Now you can never guess what a little boy might be holding…an earthworm? something he accidentally broke? In this case, it was one of the most special pieces of jewelry I’ve ever received. He had created a necklace with fishing wire and a shell he’d found on the beach near his grandfather’s house. It was hard not to cry when I put it on. Thanks, Andrew!!

shell necklace
How did he know I'm such a jewelry-a-holic?!

shell necklace
The proud designer!

Not only did he make me one, but he also created one for his mom from a precious heart-shaped shell he found on that same beach. I think we have a true romantic on our hands!

shell necklaces
Too darling for words...

Seattle’s Treasures!

I recently made my way to Seattle for a fun girl’s weekend. (In fact I think I’m still recovering…) I didn’t have time to do any shopping research before leaving (oh, the horrors!), so I just relied on tips from locals and hitting the pavement to see what I could find. I knew there were some gorgeous items just waiting to be discovered, and I was right!

I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear, but I think I was shopping within about and hour and a half of landing! The first boutique I visited turned out to be one of my favorites of the trip. Alhambra is conveniently located right near Pike’s Place Market, and I was delighted to meet one of the owners, a lovely Turkish woman named Serpil. When you walk into the shop, you feel transported to some exotic location. The merchandise is cleverly displayed in every nook and cranny. She carries some of my favorite jewelry designers, from Erica Molinari to Nava Zahavi. There’s a wide array of price points and styles, so I’m sure that most shoppers can find something they just “must” have.

Alhambra Seattle
Serpil and Amy

alhambra seattle
A glimpse of the exotic decor

(Side bar: If you’re into vintage jewelry, check out Isadora’s Antique jewelry just across First Street. I spotted some cool Native American pieces and some lovely 1890’s Persian turquoise.)

If you wander a few blocks further down First, you can’t miss Watson Kennedy, which is a virtual cabinet of curiosities come to life! It’s a huge store, and there is jewelry tucked in quite a few places, so you really have to spend some time looking. (like that’s a chore, right?!) I thought these earrings (made by a friend of the owner) were quite intriguing, as I do have sort of a “thing” for religious artifacts. They’re made from vintage French medallions.

watston kenney seattle jewelry
Charming earrings

Watson Kennedy doesn’t sell any fine jewelry, so you can be sure that they have lots of baubles at accessible price points. It’s a truly eclectic mix of goodies!

watson kennedy jewelry
Colorful delights at every turn!

In talking with locals (and the ever-so-helpful concierge), I next found myself heading about 20 minutes from downtown to the Ballard neighborhood. This is purported to be an “artsy” area of town, which in my mind translates to unique jewelry! I was about done exploring and hadn’t come across anything that turned my head…and then I discovered Curtis Steiner. This triangular, well-lit shop is just amazing! Everything in this delightful boutique is either antique or hand-made by (predominantly) Washington artists. The owner designs exquisitely feminine necklaces, many of which can transform into short or long lengths.

curtis steiner necklaces
A tri-level display of Curtis' designs

The displays of antique jewelry abound!

curtis steiner jewelry
A parade of bangles

curtis steiner jewelry
Gorgeous antique pieces

The walls of the store are covered in floor-to-ceiling displays of hand-made greeting cards, also a creation of Curtis.

curtis steiner seattle
Hangin' with Curtis

Of course, all this shopping makes a girl hungry. In Ballard, stop by La Carta de Oaxaca for some amazing Mexican food. Yum! Or if downtown, make your way to the Purple Cafe & Wine Bar for drinks and dinner. Gotta keep a shopping girl well-fueled!

Too Many Layers: Jewelry Judge

So you know that I’m all about layering necklaces and stacking bracelets. But when you decide to wear all your gold at once, you resemble an extra from “Pirates of the Caribbean” more than a chic woman about town. Case in point with this gal. While I really loved her diamond encrusted sea star pendant, it was completely overwhelmed by the heavy chain/gold coin and the thick omega with diamond enhancer. And let’s not even mention the seahorse pin with the heavily patterned vest. I think this is the perfect opportunity to edit, edit, edit….

too many necklaces
Three times is not a charm....

Miriam Salat: Designer

Gypset…it’s a term some of you may not have heard about before. This is a term used to describe the gypsy, jet-setter lifestyle. (There’s a actually a beautiful book that delves into this theme.) This embodies a life full of adventure, color, luxe travel and joy. Miriam Salat’s line is designed with this woman in mind. When the gypset woman is out embracing life, she clearly needs to be adorned in beautiful jewelry.

Officially founded in 2010, this line is primarily composed of resin, sterling silver, and 18 K gold vermeil. Though her pieces are extremely on trend with the whole color story, that’s not what intrigues me. More it’s the feeling that I need to be shopping at the bazaar in Istanbul when I wear her pieces.

Here’s a beautiful set of her bangles. Worn together or intermixed with bracelets you already own, I’m just loving these!

miriam salat bangles
Sweet stack of bangles

This gorgeous pair of earrings would pair perfectly with a breezy white linen sundress.

miriam salat earrings
Blue beauties!

And this ring gives you the look of stacked rings all in one. I actually own this ring in camel, and it’s really become a go-to ring for me.

miriam salat ring
There's another silver layer on the other side

With Mother’s Day approaching, Miriam Salat (in cooperation with Fever Tree, DRY Soda and Vosges Haute-Chocolat) is donating 15% of sales to Water For People, which is an international non-profit organization that aims to bring access to safe water and sanitation to those in need. This event runs May 8-13th, so be sure to take advantage of this! It applies both online and in her store, located in Columbus Circle in New York City.

You gotta love jewelry that gives back….

Stacking Rings

I’ve written about layering necklaces and bracelets, but I’ve yet to talk about stacking rings. I think this goes beyond being a trend — it’s more of a personal style. Mixing metals, styles and scale, one can really let your personality shine through with this technique. And the bonus is that there are no set rules…you just need to experiment until you get the vibe you’re going for.

On a recent shopping trip with a client, she was excited to show me her new (beautiful) David Yurman ring which she had purchased on a girl’s weekend in Las Vegas. She and her long-time friend bought matching rings to commemorate the trip. She smartly paired this with a diamond band she already owned. On our shopping expedition, she found the perfect thin black diamond eternity band at Gallery of Jewels to complete the trifecta. Loving it!

diamond and black diamond stacking rings
Great combination!

Here’s another stack that was created over a few years’ time. The bottom ring is by Armenta, the middle ring was purchased at an estate sale, and the top ring is a beauty by Nina Bashrova from Manika Jewelry. Though they are all different, they still appeal to the same sensibility with the delicate gold/diamond story. In addition, the scale of each ring works harmoniously together.

diamond stacking rings
A coherent gold & diamond stack

Let your creativity run wild when experimenting with combinations. This group by Sylva & Cie rocks!

Sylva & Cie rings
Creative combination!

I’d love to see what stacks you come up with. Feel free to send me photos!