Mizuki: Designer

My first introduction to Mizuki jewelry was years ago, when a client of mine was looking for a chic bracelet she could wear to yoga that had a just a hint of bling and was comfortable enough to keep on in class. The answer came in the form of a thin Mizuki leather bracelet with a small diamond charm on it. It fit the bill perfectly! (She was, in fact, one of the first designers to combine leather and diamonds.) Since then, I’ve been a fan of this edgy, yet delicate line, and I was so honored to meet her at the Couture show.

mizuki and amy roseveare
When I asked what her current favorite piece was, she said it’s her “Wings of Desire” ring with black diamonds and a black princess cut diamond in the center. So of course, I had to try it on!

mizuki ring
Feathers are her signature, and in her “Wings of Desire” collection she said it was a challenge to make it light and graceful, yet out of metal. Well I think she nailed it! Here are a few more rings from the collection.

mizuki rings
The feather motif is also shown in this pendant necklace.

mizuki wings of desire diaimond feather pendant necklace
This gorge bracelet stack also features the feather. The mix of leather and diamonds is fab!

mizuki bracelet stack
Based in NYC and founded in 1996, Mizuki really combines her Soho style with her Japanese heritage. Her line has such a strong voice, that you can easily identify it as hers when spotted. For instance, these starburst earrings are quintessential Mikuki.

mizuki shadow silver starburst earrings
She also has some great designs that can easily mix and match with other items in your jewelry box. This gold crescent pendant necklace is ideal for layering!

mizuki yellow gold crescent pendant necklace
And how cool would these “icicles” diamond earrings be for everything from running around town to going out at night? They are a very unique alternative to traditional hoops that I would wear in a heartbeat.

mizuki icicles diamond open hoop earrings
I really am drawn to Mizuki’s line, and I can’t wait to see what she shows this year! Plus, I want to ask her if she’s finally crossed off sky-diving from her bucket list. 😉

Babette in San Francisco!

For both myself and my clients, Babette on Sutter Street near Union Square has been one of my go-to boutiques for years. Their modern, often pleated, clothing line is just fantastic. It never goes out of style, and I’ve yet to have one of their pieces wear out — now that’s saying something! Well imagine my delight when I recently entered the shop to see a jewelry case right in the middle of the store!! Knowing how unique the clothing is, I was sure I’d find some treasures that I’d never seen before, and I was definitely right!

A case just waiting to be explored!
A case just waiting to be explored!

While I like to think that I’m pretty in the know about different designers, I must admit that each and every designer shown was new to me. Wow! Elizabeth Shypertt is the curator of the collection, and has the pieces on consignment at the store. One of the first items that jumped right onto my wrist is this killer silver bracelet by Elisa Bongfeldt.

elisa bongfeldt bracelet

Then there’s a group of jewelry made from smooth river rocks by Terri Logan. Take a look at this stunning necklace and bracelet. Though they are made of stone, they are still light-weight and very comfortable.

terri logan necklace

terri logan bracelet

If you’re into color, then these ball necklaces by Rosario Merola will be right up your alley. The red beads are made of lava rock!

rosario merola necklaces

I know that people who wear a more autumnal color palette and have a creative personal style will want to try on the collection by Brooke Battles.

brooke battles necklace

And how unique are these necklaces by Kristin Lora made with brushes as pendants? These would definitely be a conversation piece!

kristin lora necklaces

There’s much more for you to see, so I encourage you to stop by the store and try things on in person. Have fun!

Into the Jewelry Box: Debra

In this second installment of “Into the Jewelry Box” I found myself in a second story flat in the Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. Eclectically decorated with Asian influences and luxe fabrics, this was definitely a stylish home! Debra is a life-long minimalist by choice, and a quick peek into her closet definitely confirmed this! Her entire wardrobe is comprised of white, charcoal and black garments with clean, elegant lines.

debra's closet
Walking into her bedroom, she had all her jewelry laid out for me. That’s when it really struck what a minimalist she really is. If I tried to lay out my jewelry, I’d probably have to use the floor of my whole little apartment! But Debra’s perfectly curated collection was easily displayed on her dresser, in front of her Asian-style jewelry box — love how she has some precious objects on top of her jewelry box as well.

asian jewelry box
So let’s start with her favorite piece of all time, her stunning engagement ring, which is a 6 carat emerald cut diamond flanked by two 2 carat emerald cuts. I swear that it reflected the sunshine coming into the window all the way across the room! When I asked her if she helped picking it out, she laughed and said, “I ripped a picture of it out of a magazine and taped it to our bedroom door.” Classic.

emerald cut engagement ring
The next piece that has major significance to her is this ancient Roman coin. She gave it to her husband for their wedding, and after his passing, she had the coin bezel set and made into a necklace. I love that it’s worn close to her heart.

roman coin necklace
Debra satisfies all her earring needs with 4 pair, two sizes of diamond hoops and two sizes of diamond studs.

diamond hoops
diamond studs
The larger of the studs are two carats, and they are a daily staple for her. Her sassy silver haircut is the perfect frame for them.

diamond studs
She has a nice variety of silver bracelets that she stacks in different combinations. Many are by John Hardy, which she has been collecting the past 20 years.

silver bracelets
And she mixes and matches them with some fashion jewelry wrap bracelets and some bangles by Alexis Bittar.

wrap bracelets
alexis bittar bangles
Of her 10 necklaces (yes…only 10, but fabulous ones!), I particularly love her strand of black south sea pearls with a black diamond clasp. She picked this up for a real bargain during the recession when a jeweler friend was trying to unload some merchandise. Just the value of the clasp is now worth half of what she paid for the whole necklace at the time. Now that was a good buy!

black pearl necklace
This necklace is also killer. She had seen it in a magazine and folded down the corner. Her clever husband noticed it, and he had a local jeweler replicate it for her second wedding anniversary present. SO pretty!

pearl necklace
Having this Temple St. Clair crystal amulet pendant on a long silver chain adds some great dimension to her collection.

temple st. clair
While many people don’t think about having a watch wardrobe, Debra has, and she has 5 watches which fit every occasion that arrises, from the white sporty Michele watch to the diamond Bedat evening watch to her husband’s Cartier.

watch collection
She wears the same ring stack on her left hand every day, which consists of a couple silver rings paired with her husband’s wedding ring. One thing on her her “jewelry lust list” is a simple, slim diamond eternity band to add to the stack. I have a feeling I can help her find one…

ring stack
Also on her shopping list is a pair of black diamond hoops. With her wardrobe and silver hair, I know that this will be a perfect addition.

I so appreciate being given the opportunity to see how Debra “keeps it simple.” While she has definitely made some big investments, her cost-per-wear makes them excellent purchases. Mixing these pieces with her fashion jewelry, Debra is always accessorized to the nines. Thank you SO much for letting me into your jewelry box!! xo

Dior Earrings: Just a Trend? Or a New Classic?

Back during Dior’s pre-fall 2013 runway show, we first caught glimpse of the “mise en Dior” tribal earring.

dior mise en dior tribal earring

This double pearl confection is designed to be worn with the smaller pearl in the front, and the larger pearl in the back.

dior pearl earrings

They are not necessarily meant to be worn in pairs, so just wearing one is something Dior likes, as apparently does Emma Watson.

emma watston in dior earring

They don’t just come in pearls, either — there are many varieties. The version in gold and palladium plate are called “tee shirt earrings,” and they have a more edgy vibe than the pearls.

dior tee shirt earrings in gold and palladium plate

Then with their cruise 2014 line, they expanded on the design by making the “gum tee shirt earring” that has a matte rubber lacquer finish.

dior gum tee shirt earrings

Jennifer Lawrence was all over these, and opted for red for herself.

jennifer lawrence in dior earrings

When something really starts catching on, then there’s bound to be knock-offs. Amazon has a really good replica for only $11. (Click here for the link.) Can you tell the difference?

amazon pearl dior-style earring

So the question is…what do you think of this style? Is it just a flash-in-the-pan trend, or do you think it’s a classic in the making? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter!

Accessorize Me: Helmut Lang Black Dress

About ready to begin my 16th year as a full-time image consultant and wardrobe stylist, a big part of my job is accessorizing my clients from head-to-toe. Jewelry, is of course, a HUGE part of creating the whole “look.” I’m starting this new series, Accessorize Me, to demonstrate how to create different looks with the same outfit, just by switching up your accessories. Just as I do with myself and my clients, there’s a total range of price points — I love mixing high and low to create the look I’m going for. I hope you enjoy it, and I look forward to all comments!

First up is this cool crepe jersey dress by Hemut Lang that I recently purchased for a client. She is a hard-working author, mom, and wife, so this dress has got to take her out during the day or to a cocktail party with her husband.

Helmut Lang ruched-side crepe dress

First, let’s take it a little more casual, yet still with an urban edge. For this look, I opted for a long, statement necklace by Alexis Bittar. I just love the organic nature of the pendant with the clear lucite drop. In addition, the asymmetry of the pendant echoes the asymmetry of the dress. This necklace would work with a variety of outfits, for sure!

Alexis Bittar Lucite Jardin Mystere Pendant Necklace

Complementing the look with a cool stack ring, also by Alexis Bittar, and a simple, yet lovely pair of hammered silver hoops by Argento Vivo makes the right statement. The pave crystals in the ring pair well with the pave detail in the necklace, without being to “matchy matchy.”

Argento Vivo earrings and Alexis Bittar ring

To round out the downtown look, I chose a stacked heel by Anyi Lu (totally hot right now, and also referred to as a Cuban heel) and a simple black clutch by Oliveve.

Anyi Lu sandal and Oliveve queenie clutch

Now taking it more uptown, I went with a gold theme. This client is a mix of warm and cool coloring, so she’s lucky to be able to wear both metal colors. (If you’re unsure what metals are best on you, click here for my article on selecting the right tone.)

First off, I went for a much higher and dressier shoe by Manolo Blahnik. While these are a big investment, they will get a lot of play from everything from dresses to jeans, so the cost-per-wear will be pretty good. Then this clutch by Diane von Furstenburg is a great combo with the gold/black theme.

manolo blahnik shoe and diane von furstenburg clutch

And for the icing on the cake, we need some gold bling! I heart this bejeweled cuff by Jenny Packham, and you can’t go wrong with these stellar mesh drop earrings from ABS by Allen Schwartz (at under $100, great bling-for-the-buck!)

jenny packham cuff and abs allen schwartz earrings

While this is only two looks for this dress, I think we’re off to a great start. I’m sure we’ll even bring it down to total casual with flat sandals, a denim jacket, some more bohemian jewelry, and perhaps a simple cross-body bag. This $290 dollar dress is going to become a major work-horse this season!

Alternative Piercings

While tattoos and piercings used to be just for the “renegade,” it’s certainly now part of main-stream society. And as time goes by, it seems the piercings I’m seeing get even more creative. (One can only guess the piercings that are not visible in regular clothes!) Here’s someone who recently rang me up at Home Goods in Cupertino.

alternative piercing

And I shared an elevator with this darling gal the other day at the Westfield Mall in San Francisco. I had never seen this area pierced before — sort of the skin between your upper lip and your top teeth. (She claimed that her ring didn’t interfere with eating, brushing, etc.)

alternative piercing

Here’s another unique look on a handsome gentleman.

unique piercings

And surely you’ve seen people with these ear bars, right?


And even those who have removed the gauges in their ears…

ear gauges

While I know that jewelry is one of the most amazing outlets for personal expression, I also know that sometimes ones personal style is not quite right for ones workplace. Should your profession dictate how your express yourself? Is it more important to suppress your true self for the situation you’re in? Or should you go balls out for what you think is awesome? What’s your opinion? Dying to know your thoughts on the subject — please share!

Happy 3rd Birthday!!

happy birthday

How can it be that 3 years have already passed? I guess when I’m interviewing talented designers, writing about jewelry trends, and giving my perspective on what I see out on the street, then the time just flies. Thank you SO much for being a loyal reader! It’s for you that I write, and I look forward to all your comments, be it positive or negative, so talk to me! And if you’re missing out on my daily dish of sparkle, then don’t forget to “like” my Jewelry Fashion Tips page on Facebook! (Click here to check it out.)

I hope each and every one of you have a day that truly sparkles. xo

Sutra Jewels

When I see a ring like this, my heart starts beating a little faster.

sutra ring

So imagine how I felt when I went to the Sutra booth at the Couture show — drooling!!

amy roseveare, arpita navlakha, divyanshu

Founded in 2008 by Arpita Navlakha and her husband, Divyanshu, this Houston-based line has gained a huge following around the globe. Sutra, which means “collection of sacred verses” in Sanskrit, is an ornate, colorful line which they describe as “chicly gothic.”

Black opal, sapphires and diamonds
Black opal, sapphires and diamonds

Arpita was born into a family of jewelers, and has truly been surrounded by jewels her whole life. (Lucky girl!) She is completely inspired by the stones themselves. Sure to design pieces that are stunning from every angle, I’ve never seen a collection with so many stones that truly light up from the inside. Don’t you think these earrings just glow?

Laguna agate and diamonds
Laguna agate and diamonds

And I think the richness of this multiple colored diamond ring is fantastic.

Various hues of diamonds
Various hues of diamonds

Sutra’s line, “…embodies opulent sophistication with the perfect hint of avant-garde modernism.” There’s definitely an element of Art Deco and Edwardian influence, as well as a little rocker chic, as shown in these earrings and ring.

Sutra earrings

Tanzanite slice ring
Tanzanite slice ring

Sutra’s jewels were the perfect companion to Jessica Alba’s fuchsia gown at the 2nd Annual Baby2Baby Gala.

Jessica Alba in Sutra Jewels

I also think Vanessa Hudgens’ long diamond fish earrings were just the right choice with her bejeweled dress.

Vanessa Hudgens in Sutra Jewels

You can find Sutra Jewels at retailers around the country, including one of my faves, Fragments in NYC.

Kelley Hollis: Designer

Originally I started out this article as one of my “Jewelry Judge” posts, but it has become a bit bigger than that, as I learned more about the necklace I saw. Last Sunday I took myself out for a well-deserved brunch at my local fave, Alana’s, for a Mediterranean scramble and some home-style potatoes. Packed as usual, I took the last seat at the counter next to a lovely, petite woman who was clearly also a local. It didn’t take long before we were engaged in a meal-long conversation. Of course, I had to ask her about her unique necklace.

kelley hollis necklace

I wasn’t quite sure if it was vintage or not, as the main bar and pendant looked antique, but the chains looked much more modern. Apparently my deductions were correct, as this necklace by Kelley Hollis is crafted from both vintage and modern parts. This Berkeley designer has been at it for about three and a half years. She takes vintage jewelry from the 1920’s-1960’s, restores and then upcycles them into these unique, one-of-a-kind creations. She also uses fabric pieces from restored fabric appliqués from India, circa the 1940s.

kelley hollis jewelry

kelley hollis necklace

Colleen, my surprise brunch companion, purchased her necklace at the de Young Museum in San Francisco during their prestigious 30th annual Bouquets to Art exhibit. They invited a select group of artisan jewelers to show each of the 6 days at the exhibit. What an honor!

If your personal style veers toward the Romantic, vintage-inspired side, then Kelley Hollis’ line is right up your alley!