Petra Class: Designer

The first time I met Petra Class and saw her beautiful line was at the American Craft Council show in San Francisco. (She’ll be showing there again this coming weekend, August 3-5!) Her line had a very modern aesthetic, with clean lines and delicious gems. I was delighted to once again see her at the Couture show, and I had a chance to chat more with her (loved finding out that she’s a 2nd degree black belt in Aikido!) and really explore the line.

petra class jewelry
Two curly girls!

Petra was born and raised in Germany and started designing right out of high school. She adores sitting at the work bench working on her designs. All her pieces are made right here in San Francisco, and she only uses recycled gold.

petra class jewelry
Hard at work on something (undoubtedly) gorgeous

Here is a stunning ring. The blue-green hues elicit the feeling of the Mediterranean. I can almost feel the sun shining down on me…

petra class ring

This bracelet really showcases Petra’s perspective. As she told me,”I like crazy in a structured way.” Well, I certainly believe she achieved it with this creation!

petra class bracelet
A rainbow for your wrist

I thought this pair of pearl, gold and diamond earrings had a particularly feminine feel, though combined with a modern edge. Nice juxtaposition!

petra class earrings
Organically beautiful design

Aside from at various shows, you can also find some of her line at Gumps in San Francisco. Personally, I really hope to make it to the ACC show at Fort Mason this weekend and see her latest work. If you’re in the SF Bay Area, hope you can make it as well!

Key Necklace: Jewelry Judge

I love nostalgia and items from the past. I have the grocery ledger belonging to my Swedish great-grandmother, I treasure the engagement necklace that belonged to my Italian grandmother, and the photo of my Italian grandfather on the boat coming into the harbor in NYC is priceless.

When my latest “victim” appeared at a local park, it was her necklace that caught my eye. In chatting with her, I discovered that she found these two keys amidst her grandparent’s possessions. No idea what they’re for. No idea where they came from. But paired together on the silver ball chain, the result is fab. It’s definitely a bit edgy, especially combined with the pink streak in her hair and the silver studded Hello Kitty t-shirt. I love it. And I have no doubt that this gal was sporting the now-popular “key trend” long before Tiffany & Co. ever thought of it.

key necklace
Subtle and edgy all at the same time!

Fragments “New” Website Launch!

I remember the first time I visited Fragments in SoHo in NYC. It was like stepping into this amazingly huge jewelry box with such exquisitely curated collections, that I didn’t know where to start looking (and trying on) first! Well unfortunately it’s been quite some time since I’ve been back in the Big Apple, but I’m thrilled with the new and improved website that Fragments just launched this past week.

fragments jewelry store
The storefront on Prince Street

While I’ve certainly spent countless hours on jewelry websites, I have to say that this site is oh, so, much more than your average bear! As Danielle Gadi, their PR gal told me, “It’s a jewelry journey.” Well said. It’s shopping, it’s educational, and it’s very on-trend.

As I explored the site, I first went through the different designers. Instead of just showing the lines (and they do carry both fashion and fine jewelry), they had pictures of the designers, information about them, and short interviews that really give you an insight into the creative forces behind the jewelry you’re looking at. I always think that getting to know a designer really makes their jewelry more personal. I love knowing random facts like what their guilty pleasure is, and what piece of jewelry they never take off!

The next section that really grabbed me was Janet’s Jewelry Box. Janet, the founder and CEO of the company, uses this forum to show her top picks each season, based on different themes and trends. In this first edition, she starts where she should — with the basics that you should have in your jewelry box. I can’t wait to see what her next batch of picks are!

fragments janet's pick
Jewelry basics by Janet

Two pages on the site that I will be sure to keep up with are Trend Watch and Style Spotlight. Currently, they’re featuring Maria Duenas Jacobs, who’s the senior accessories editor at Glamour magazine. I love finding out some quirky things about her, as well as see what jewelry she’s currently obsessing over. (because I am NOT the only jewelry-obsessed girl in the world…)

fragments style spotlight
Chic layout!

There’s also more than just jewelry on this site. There’s a section on events going on around the city, and a whole section dedicated to art. How cool is that? On my next visit, I can literally use the site as a mini travel guide! And finally, I have to mention the kick-ass glossary they include. You can get definitions of everything from jasper to toggle clasps. I know that I learned a few things from perusing it!

Thanks for letting me wax poetic about this updated website. I’m just so happy that I can really get my “Fragments Fix” even though I’m on the opposite coast. Hope you enjoy it as well!

Never Too Old For Pierced Ears!

So nearly 50 years ago when my parents got married, they had a serious conversation…namely, what their “non-negotiables” were for their marriage. Who knows the rationale behind his requests, but my dad didn’t want my mom to ever wear colored nail polish or get her ears pierced. (Did he think she’s look like a harlot, or what?!)

Well life now has afforded my mom the opportunity to do whatever she wants, and with her turning 70, this was the perfect time to just go for it! Of course being that I, her daughter, is clearly jewelry-obessed, I could hardly wait for two new earlobes to adorn!

So we hopped in her minivan and off to the mall we went. Oh, the joy! After signing away her life with the release forms at Claire’s, the big moment came.

ear piercing
First one ear…

ear piercing
Then the other…

And voila! She’s even more beautiful than she was before! And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that she can finally wear non-post earrings on December 24th. Holiday shopping will have never been easier!

amy roseveare and mom
I can only hope I look so gorgeous at her age!

Mom…wishing you an amazing 70th birthday. I hope all your wishes come true, as well as some that exceed your wildest dreams. You deserve every happiness!! I love you the most-est.

Erica Molinari: Designer

I first stumbled across Erica Molinari’s jewelry line on a visit to Head Over Heels in Menlo Park, CA. While not always drawn to tiny, petite jewels, something about the little pearl pendants with inlaid diamonds really caught my eye. Combined with one of my horn pendants, and her small four-diamond enhancer, it really came to life. In addition, I purchased the oxidized silver chain, which I had been searching for in vain for quite some time. Score!

erica molinari pendants
The three together are quite charming

Erica draws her inspiration from the days of yesteryear…ancient Greek coins, the Italian Renaissance, and old Latin words. While at the Couture show, I was happy to run into Erica’s fabulous rep, Felicia, who showed me a new collection of teardrops pendants. They’re available in a brushed finish in sterling, oxidized silver and 18K gold. The icons range from four-point stars to dragonflies to snakes and evil eyes, just to mention a few. So much to choose from!

erica molinari jewelry
Some of the teardrop pendants

One of the things I love about this line is that you can really mix and match the pendants, creating your own look. I think it’s a great way to play with a mixture of metals on one necklace, as well. And for travel, it’s perfect because you can switch things up and wear different combinations, so you don’t look the same in every picture.

I have yet to meet Erica in person, nor have I seen her whole line. Though I just encountered this photo of her rings and I have a new mission. I’ve got to see these in person! Guess it’s just one more item to add to my jewelry bucket list. 😉

erica molinari rings
The organic, luxe feel of these rings is amazing!

Anzie: Designer

I was not completely unfamiliar with Anzie, when I came across her booth at the Couture show. In my mind’s eye, the jewelry line was full of candy-colored gems. But come to find out, there’s a lot more than just color in this line.

So back in 1996, Anzie’s husband was diagnosed with cancer. Spending countless hours traveling from their home in Canada to treatments in New York and Los Angeles, Anzie had plenty of opportunity to browse the local shops. While doing so, she came up with the idea of creating jewelry to raise money and awareness for colorectal cancer. This was where the Lifesaver bracelet came to fruition, created from lovely, brightly-colored gemstones.

anzie lifesaver bracelets
Philanthropic jewelry!

Fortunately, Anzie’s husband beat his cancer! And in 1999, along with her daughters, Jaclyn and Joanna, the company was officially founded.

joanna from anzie
Hangin’ with Joanna

As I thought, this line has TONS of color in it, and I found out that the colors are often inspired by her mom’s garden. With brightly-colored jewelry being one of the top trends of the season, I can imagine that their pieces are flying off the shelves.

anzie earrings
Which color would you choose?

But there are also some spectacular creations in neutrals as well. I think these, in black and white, are quite stunning.

anzie onyx jewelry
Would love these with jeans, a tee and leather jacket

Anzie’s line has a wide range of price points, from about $150 to over $10K. I’ve been seeing her jewelry on more and more celebrities as well. (because you know I’m addicted to the entertainment news and all the mags!) Here’s Katy Perry in a smashing bracelet of different hues of blue.

katy perry in anzie jewelry
Look at that fab bracelet!

And one of my favorite celebs, Giulianna Rancic.

anzie jewelry, juliana rancic
The green tones are a fun choice for her!

If you’re unfamiliar with this line, and it appeals to you, definitely check it out! They’re sold at a variety of retailers in the US and Canada, as well as on their online boutique. Happy shopping!

Giveaway: Dona Taylor Earrings

I have two beautiful pair of Dona Taylor earrings from Gallery of Jewels in San Francisco to give away. Enter the contest below and you may be one of the two lucky people who win a pair! No worries…you don’t have to spend any money, just follow the link below and it’ll let you know how to enter. This contest is open through July 27th.

Dona Taylor earrings
Wouldn’t you love to win one of these??

dona taylor earrings
I love the sparkly pumpkin color!

dona taylor earrings
And these are a deep amber-brown…gorge!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Repurposing a Brooch: Jewelry Judge

While browsing the boutiques in Carmel one recent sunny afternoon, I spent more time chatting to a gal in the shop about her eye-catching necklace than I did trying on the merchandise! Turns out that her necklace is made from a vintage diamond and emerald brooch. (Way to work the Art Deco trend!) Her now-husband bought it for her as a wedding gift, and she wore it in her hair for the ceremony. Now, it happily resides around her neck, really showcasing her personal style and adding some bling to any outfit she decides to wear. Love it!

vintage broach
A necklace with a romantic story

Mary Esses: Designer

Brazil was well-represented at the Couture jewelry show, and I think that Mary Esses was one of its stars! As a child, Mary dreamed of being a decorator, special agent, chef, forensic lawyer and jewelry designer. Happily, she already has achieved one of her childhood dreams. Mary is just as sparkling as her line, and she just exudes joy and femininity. These qualities are definitely apparent in her pieces.

mary esses and amy roseveare
Mary and Amy

Moving from Brazil to New York City, Mary was amazed at the juxtaposition of the fabrics and textures that surrounded her. Taking this theme, and striving to bring “fabric” to jewelry, she came up with the concept for her lace collection. Given that lace is one of the hottest trends in fashion, Mary is right on the money with this group. The 18K gold is manipulated in such a way that I honestly had to ask if the jewelry was made of metal or actual lace! Her assistant gave me a sly grin and said, “Well we don’t give away our secrets!”

mary esses lace collection
Is it metal or fabric??

The lace group is only one part of her line, though. She also embraces lots of color in her other collections. I’m in lust with the graduated oranges and tangerines of carnelian in the multi-strand beaded bracelet! The ring is made of Madera citrine, smoky quartz and diamonds. And don’t get me started on the rutilated quartz earrings.

mary esses cornelian jewelry
Just as pretty as a tropical sunset!

I must say I adore the geometry and bold color choice in these chrisophrase and smoky topaz earrings. I think I would wear them with a white maxi-dress and gold sandals on the Riviera! (with a cocktail in hand, of course!)

mary esses earrings
Just gorge!

All her jewelry is hand-crafted. When I asked Mary what the best part of being a jewelry designer was, here was her reply, “The best part…is when I sit on the bench and start working on a piece, and I get to a stage of clear and peaceful mind. When, like a child, I disconnect from everything and I just play. And even if the outcome is not perfect, it doesn’t matter. Because I rest my mind and I free my soul while doing it. There will always be “a next day” to make that piece better.” I can’t tell you how this resonates with my soul. Getting totally immersed in something that brings you joy, and letting go of the perfectionism that our society prides itself on is a gift. Mary, you are a gift to jewelry!