Katie Decker: Designer

Katie Decker was a young, beautiful designer that I met at the Couture show in Las Vegas. Only a few years into her business (she started as a sophomore in college!), her line is beautifully designed well beyond her years.

Amy and Katie
Amy and Katie

She began doodling jewelry designs in the margins of her textbooks, and the first piece she actually made was a pearl pendant for her mother. Now, her collection includes 18K gold (yellow, white and rose), as well as sterling silver.

Here’s a prime example of her intricate design, in her Lotus Cuff.

Delicately lovely
Delicately lovely

Her designs really have an “open” feel to them. I adore this Monaco Stack Ring, which could be easily worn in combination with other rings, or just on its own.

I would SO wear this!
I would SO wear this!

I do have a personal affection for tassels, and apparently she does as well. Here’s a lovely version of a tassel earring, done with seed pearls.

Ooh la la!
Ooh la la!

Katie also has some great designs for men. I love these sterling Troubadour cufflinks. The mixed metals really add a lot of visual interest.

Fabulous with a crisp white shirt!
Fabulous with a crisp white shirt!

And for those of you ladies who prefer sterling, look at the organic design of this Branch Cuff.

A silver statement!
A silver treat!

I think Katie does an exquisite job of combining delicate, feminine design to create statement pieces. I can’t wait to see what she’s up to next!

Jewelry Box Basics: The Minimalist

Welcome! We’re on article number four of a six-part series highlighting the basics you need in your jewelry box, based on your personal style. So far we’ve covered the lady who lunches, the bohemian, the rock star, and now the minimalist. You still have the romantic and trendy to look forward to. (I know, you are on the edge of your seat waiting for these!) I will re-state that I know most people have a personal style that incorporates aspects from different genres — no need to worry — embrace it! Use these articles as a medium to inspire you and lead you to your local jewelry store with an open, yet focused eye. Don’t let the price tags on the items I write about discourage you. Take the idea and find your own incarnation, with the look and price that you’re comfortable with.

Now let’s focus on the minimalist. I have encountered many of these women during my years as a stylist, and also among my close, personal friends. Being a minimalist doesn’t mean that you don’t have style. (think Audrey Hepburn!) Rather, you have such a carefully curated wardrobe that you know what works, you don’t need a myriad of options, and you don’t want to spend a lot of time each day deciding what to wear. It’s uniform dressing at it’s best. When it comes to the jewelry, it needs to be classic, fuss-free, and lifestyle appropriate.

Watch
Choosing a classic watch in the most flattering metal color for your skin tone is imperative. No need for a big trendy statement. Instead, focus on simple elegance, as shown in the Cartier tank watch.

Works everywhere from the home to the office
Works everywhere from the home to the office

Bracelets
Pairing your versatile watch with a stylish bangle is key. Stay away from bracelets that are too “blingy,” make noise, or compete with your outfit. Choose a comfortable-fitting bracelet that will take you anywhere. Hermes nails this assignment with thier clic-clac bracelet.

A subtle, yet stylish statement
A subtle, yet stylish statement

If you’re up for a cuff, then this slim bamboo cuff by John Hardy is a wonderful choice.

Love it!
Love it!

Rings
Again, the minimalist needs a ring that doesn’t interfere with her life, whether she’s trying to feed her child at the park or signing a major real estate contract. So don’t opt for anything with stones that protrude or pieces of metal that may catch on things. This ring by Anne Sportun has a whole lot of style, along with a bit of sparkle.

Easy enough to wear 24/7
Easy enough to wear 24/7

Another option that works beautifully for the minimalist is a ring with a bit more of a sentimental bent — the monogramed signet ring. Perhaps this has been inherited from a loved family member, or it’s one that you buy yourself, such as this one from Ariel Gordon. It’s streamlined and fabulous at the same time.

Simple yet luxe
Simple yet luxe

Earrings
Studs are the definitely the basic go-to earring for the minimalist. Whether it’s a pearls, in metal, or diamonds, there are bound to be at least one pair of studs in the minimalist’s jewelry box. Being the sparkle-lover, I would opt for either diamonds or CZ for your first pair. I love how Bony Levy offers them in a variety of sizes.

How can you go wrong?
How can you go wrong?

Necklaces
Don’t be surprised to find out you’re not the only one who puts on your necklace and then never takes it off. I’ve seen it many times — it’s on in the shower, in bed, and on the beach. Therefore, it needs to be lightweight, unobtrusive, short enough that it doesn’t tangle, and chic. The easy choice here is Tiffany’s diamonds by the yard necklace. (These come in a variety of metals and price points.) Personally, I like taking off my jewelry at night, but hey, to each his own!

Classic glamour
Classic glamour

So are you a minimalist at heart? I clearly am not. (You only need to look at the size of my jewelry armoire to know that!) Though I really do admire this personal style and believe it or not, I do strive to be a bit more minimal when I travel. I’d love to know what minimalist pieces you love to wear!

Stainless Steel Wedding Rings: Jewelry Judge

I recently had my first taste of Peruvian food at La Mar on one of those ideal, sunny San Francisco days. My friend Patti and I were chatting away, when I was distracted by the modern wedding bands on the couple next to us.

Modern, simple beauty
Modern, simple beauty

While these newlyweds (just two years in!) reside in Minnesota, they bring two different cultures to their marriage — she’s from Canada and he’s from Peru. Combined with their extensive travels, it’s no surprise that they opted for these unique stainless steel and concrete bands designed by Karen Konzuk. It was the first time I’ve ever seen concrete in wedding jewelry! I thought they really meshed with their personalities and personal style. Inspired choice!

Jewelry Box Basics: The Rock Star

Get excited — it’s time for the third article in my series “Jewelry Box Basics!” To catch you up, this is a six-part series outlining the basic pieces you should have in your jewelry box based on your personal style: the lady who lunches, bohemian, rock star, romantic, minimalist and trendy. True, everyone is a unique individual and may adopt aspects of various styles, so just use this as a framework. Use the images as a jumping off point to inspire you and send you in the right direction. Don’t let the price tags affect your vision. Instead, shop at the price points that you’re comfortable with and have fun!

So let’s get back to the style du jour. Now granted, not everyone can be a successful rock star, belting out songs on stage, yet I know that there are many people who have an inner rock star living inside them. (regardless of their musical talent) If this sounds like you, then you should let this aspect of your personality shine through in your wardrobe and jewelry!

The jewelry for the rock star conjures up images of metals in oxidized silver and gunmetal…motifs such as skulls, spikes, angel wings…leather cuffs…and black diamonds. But you have to select pieces carefully, as you don’t want to appear like a parody of an actual rock star. Here are some examples of jewelry that would strike the right note.

Watch
Oversized and in black, there are many options for a rock’n roll watch out there. Karl Lagerfeld’s new collection is right on the money with this vibe.

Edgy and chic at the same time
Edgy and chic at the same time

Bracelets
The rock chic needs a chunky link bracelet to complement her style. This one by Moritz Glik is tremendous.

The diamonds really shimmer!
The diamonds really shimmer!

But there also has to be a leather bracelet in your jewelry box. I think this wide leather cuff by Erika Honig with woven pewter and silver would look fantastic worn on the opposite wrist as your watch.

Would you rock this?
Would you rock this?

Rings
I’m thinking of one particular friend in Austin, and she is definitely the rocker. Her husband really chose the ideal wedding ring for her — a large, black diamond. For the right hand, I think an edgy ring like this one by Stephen Webster would be just fantastic on her.

The "rapture thorn" ring
The “rapture thorn” ring

Earrings
You might be in shock that the pair I’m recommending for a basic for this personal style is actually not a hoop! I could, of course, but I’m going a step further with these dangling chain earrings by Alberian and Aulde. I love the movement of the chains accented by diamonds.

Feminine, yet with a bit of a dark side
Feminine, yet with a bit of a dark side

Necklaces
Layering necklaces is intrinsically part of the rocker style, just as it was with the bohemian. Therefore, a minimum of two necklaces are going to be basic, one more delicate, and the other more of a statement. For the smaller piece, I like this embellished feather by Jamie Joseph. The mixed metals (notice the gold-toned ring that holds on the pendant) make it even more versatile.

Oxidized silver and diamonds
Oxidized silver and diamonds

Either worn solo, or in combination with this necklace by Virgins, Saints & Angels, it’s rockin’ without being a costume.

A necklace with some attitude
A necklace with some attitude

So how do these pieces sit with you? Can you picture yourself wearing them? Or is it too much of a departure from your personal style? With the three styles I’ve now covered, you can see what a range there is out there in the world of jewelry. And just think, we’re only half way through! šŸ˜‰

Voodoo Jewelry: Jewelry Judge

While I have heard of Voodoo dolls in my life, I actually never knew that it was a religion until I started chatting with a waiter at Monkeypod in Ko Olina on Oahu. (sidebar: best, darn fish tacos I’ve ever had in my life!)

So Oi O’Brian (Hawaiian heritage, yet adopted by an Irish family) first caught my attention because of his abundant tattoos and big smile. (another sidebar: Tattoos are probably one of the most popular accessories I saw while on Oahu.) When I noticed that he was wearing an intriguing necklace, I clearly had to go introduce myself.

Can you see the details of the skulls?
Can you see the details of the skulls?

Oi follows Haitian Voodoo, and part of his religion says that all things must be in odd numbers. Therefore, there are 5 skulls on his necklace, which he carved himself out of yak bone. He has paired this with a red and black (significant colors in his religion) titanium wrap necklace, which he claims has health benefits. He wears both necklaces 24/7 — they are just part of him.

I know that with my jewelry judge series, I usually have a specific opinion about what I’m writing about. But this time, I don’t. I just find the whole thing so interesting, and I’m just nodding my head and thinking, “hmmm.” Perhaps you have an opinion??

Spring 2013 Trend: Snakes

Perhaps it’s because I live in San Francisco, which hosts one of the biggest Chinese New Year’s parades outside of China (no joke!), but the Year of the Snake (according to the lunar astrological calendar) is getting lots of press! This is translating right down to a resurgence of snake jewelry. Now this is certainly not a new theme. Everyone from Cleopatra in ancient Egypt to women of the Victorian era have donned this slithery creature in many forms. Purported to have powers of healing and protection, I’ve seen snake jewelry everywhere from the red carpet to the wrist of a teenage girl in my building.

Here’s Lorraine Schwartz’s fine adaptation as seen on Kim Kardashian.

Kim rockin' the snake!
Kim rockin’ the snake!

And the Philipp Plein runway wouldn’t have been complete without these snake cuffs.

These are pretty chic!
These are pretty chic!

Here are a few more user-friendly options. The first is a stretch bracelet by Cara, that would be a great spring addition to your bracelet stack.

Nice pop of color
Nice pop of color

If you’d rather go for a neutral metal, then you might like this brass cuff by Jennifer Fisher.

Low-key snake
Low-key snake

Here’s a nice combination of gold and emerald (one of the hot colors of the season) by Isharya.

Two trends in one!
Two trends in one!

Keeping with the green theme, these drop earrings by Sara Weinstock are pretty amazing!

Stunning snakes!
Stunning snakes!

You can also take a more minimal stand with these studs by Elizabeth and James.

Love their eyes...
Love their eyes…

There are also many incredible snake rings. Some of the designs are so creative, that you have to really look at them to tell what you’re looking at. Take this two-fingered ring by Ileana Makri.

Very sleek and modern
Very sleek and modern

Finally, for a more cost-effective way to wear the trend, this ring by Julie Vos will do the trick.

Lovely design
Lovely design

While I’m not sure that I will be adding any snake jewelry to my collection (truth be told, I still think snakes are a bit creepy), I am very impressed with all the beautiful and creative pieces out there. If snakes are your thing, then enjoy all the possibilities!

Jewelry Box Basics: The Bohemian

Welcome to the second installment of “Jewelry Box Basics.” In case you’re just joining us, this is a 6-part series about what basics I recommend that you have stocked in your jewelry box, based on your personal style. I’ve come up with six different personal styles: the lady who lunches (who was featured last week), bohemian, rock star, minimalist, trendy and romantic. Again, I know that virtually no one fits into just one style box, so read this with an open mind, seeing what appeals to you. Also, don’t let the price point bother you — just take each piece as an example of a look, and then shop at the price point where you’re comfortable.

I’m pretty psyched to write this article, as it’s definitely where my heart lives. From the Navajo necklace my father bought me when I was 6 years old (yes, I still have it!), to the orange tie-dye dress that I lived in (against my mother’s wishes…orange really wasn’t my color), I’ve always had some version of the boho tune singing in my head. The interesting thing about this personal style is that it has a real range! It varies all the way from Haight-Ashbury hippies to what I call “luxe boho.” The examples I’ll showcase in this post definitely veer more towards the later look.

Watch
The chic bohemian still loves her bling, yet is a bit more casual than the lady who lunches. This watch by Brera really hits that note. The leather strap and visible screws have a great juxtaposition with the diamond-encased watch face. And the strap is interchangeable with other colors, so the boho girl can really mix it up with her bracelets.

Casual, understated bling
Casual, understated bling

Bracelets
Speaking of bracelets, the bohemian woman is the queen of stacking bracelets and bangles. There’s no doubt that “basics” in this category range from beaded, elastic bracelets to jewel-encrusted bangles. This polki diamond bangle from Ross-Simons is a fabulous basic. The raw, organic feel of this type of diamond is the perfect representation for this style. And don’t worry if your metals don’t match. With the eclectic combinations created, it all comes together harmoniously.

Luxe and organic at the same time
Luxe and organic at the same time

Here’s a great example of the elastic-beaded bracelets that I referred to for stacking. This stunning bracelet is by Rona Pfieffer, one of my fave designers.

Natural neutral
Natural neutral

Rings
There is no room for a minimal ring for the Boho girl, unless it’s part of a big stack of slim rings. Rather, a large statement ring is her basic. I’m loving this teardrop quartz ring by Peppina. It’s the perfect neutral to blend with any outfit, and it really resonates with the natural feel of this personal style.

Absolutely lovely design!
Absolutely lovely design!

Earrings
Once again, hoops are the basic go-to earring of choice. In comparison to the lady who lunches, the bohemian’s hoops are likely to be even larger in scale. A varied array of metals and embellishments are sure to be found in her jewelry box. These slim, yet large hoops by Jennifer Meyer (love the singular diamond station!) are fabulous.

These would blend easily with any outfit
These would blend easily with any outfit

Necklaces
This is where things get a little complicated, as the bohemian style really doesn’t lend itself to just one necklace. Layering necklaces is really intrinsic to this style, so her basics will likely include at least two necklaces. One should be a bolder, long piece, and the other a daintier necklace that can be worn harmoniously with the other one. This shark tooth necklace by Givenchy (yes, it’s on my jewelry lust list) would be a very versatile choice.

A chic statement
A chic statement

If you pair this with a shorter necklace, like this pyrite and natural diamond one by Jemma Sands, then you’ve really created quite a look. And of course, either necklace can certainly be worn separately.

Perfect layering necklace
Perfect layering necklace

But I have to go just one step further with what a boho woman would consider basic. One of this woman’s favorite things to do is travel, and she undoubtedly picks up singular pieces along her adventures. It could be a scarab ring from Egypt, a buddah charm on a bangle from Bali, or a piece of history from the southwest, as in this amazing Native American squash blossom necklace.

This CAN be a basic for the bohemian style!
This can be a basic for the bohemian style!

Whether this jewelry collection made you say, “Yes!!! That’s SO me!!” or, “There’s no way I’d ever even look twice at these pieces!” it’s all good. This is what makes the world go round. The key is to learn what speaks to you and develop that jewelry signature. When you have a solid sense of your style, things just fall into place and shopping gets a lot easier!

Spring 2013 Trend: Floral Motifs

I know that when you see images from a runway show or a photo shoot in the latest issue of Vogue, you may say to yourself, “Who would ever wear that in real life? I know I certainly wouldn’t!” Well that’s true. These looks are not meant for the average person to walk down Main Street in. The way these images are very useful, though, is to extrapolate what trends and themes will actually appear in your local stores.

Take for instance, this over-the-top floral necklace that was seen on the runway at the Giambattista Valli show.

Gorgeous, but not practical, right?
Gorgeous, but not practical, right?

Well he wasn’t the only designer showing floral jewelry, so I am not surprised that we’re starting to see it coming up roses everywhere from Bergdorf Goodman to Kohl’s.

Here’s a more toned down version by Martine Ali that has a similar effect, yet is more user friendly.

Rose Neck Collar
Rose Neck Collar

And here’s J.Crew’s take on the floral trend. I think J. Crew really does a great job at offering beautiful jewelry at a more accessible price point.

J.Crew Flower Lattice Necklace
J.Crew Flower Lattice Necklace

Alexis Bittar expertly combines color with this floral brooch. This pansy comes in three colors, too!

Ophelia Pansy pin
Ophelia Pansy pin

Forever 21 is always on-trend, and their jewelry is extremely affordable. Here’s a cool filagree bracelet that looks much more expensive than it is.

Delicate, yet bold at the same time
Delicate, yet bold at the same time

This Kevia ring (sold at Fragments in NYC) has a little bit of rocker edge to it, don’t you think? The smoky quartz and cubic zirconia create an edgy flower.

Unique take on wisteria
Unique take on wisteria

Here are a pair of clean, modern floral dangling earrings designed by Patrick Irla. I think these would look great as an everyday look or for a special evening out on the town.

Hydrangea earrings
Hydrangea earrings

If flowers are your thing, you can see that there’s a veritable bouquet just waiting for you out there in the stores. Happy shopping!