Yes, I must confess that I have a new jewelry crush, and she hails from across the pond. Meet England’s Polly Wales. If you’re not familiar with her line yet, then get prepared, because just 4 years into the fine jewelry business, she’s already making more than a mark for herself! With a background in sculpture and jewelry study at the Royal College of Art, Polly is winning awards and being recognized in both the public eye and among the jewelry industry.
Polly told me her fine jewelry business, which began with a custom wedding ring order, has exploded since she became a mother. In fact, her bridal business has become a much bigger part of things than she ever expected. Well, I could have told her that, after seeing and trying on some of her rings. The first one to catch my eye was this rustic rose-cut diamond band. Never has an eternity band had such presence, with a deeply organic feel. It’s cast-in-place, meaning that the stones go directly into the wax, each one made individually, and then into the metal casting process. This can be very tricky, though, because if the metal doesn’t cast correctly, then the whole thing, including the stones, are lost. Yikes!
And though this ring is technically part of a bridal line, that’s not about to stop me. Look how effortlessly it stacks with other rings. I certainly don’t need to be a bride to sparkle!
This design, with mixed-cut white sapphires, has a distinctly more modern, abstract feel. Though again, that same organic essence ties her whole line together. Polly says her jewelry, “Offers an honest, imperfect beauty that is natural and attainable.” Agreed!
When I inquired as to her current favorite piece, she showed me this thunder beetle diamond ring, which features two large and two smaller rose-cut cloud diamonds. Definitely a unique, whimsical design!
She recently previewed these halo rings at the NY Now show, which are a super-slim version of her beetle rings, along with kite and pyramid-shaped diamonds. The warm color palette in greens and golds is simply sumptuous!
But Polly is not just a ring designer! She has equally amazing options in earrings and necklaces. Here’s a sampling of her disc necklaces, which come in a wide variety of colors and gems.
This rainbow crescent necklace can also be ordered in a single color, or a color combination of your choosing. That’s one of the great things about Polly–she’s a master of custom creation (aka, bespoke). Currently, her pieces are cast in London, but they are moving in-house very shortly. With that move, she’ll now be able to use 100% recycled gold.
This necklace is definitely right up my alley, with its Miner’s cut diamonds and elongated quill design. Oh yes!
What do you think of these multi-colored sapphire earrings? To me they look like a party for your ears, confetti included!
Polly’s effervescent charm is contagious. You can’t help but be happy when in her presence. When I asked her if there was something about her that others didn’t know, she was truly stumped. She finally replied, “I’m just an open book, Amy!” And it’s true. She is the type of person that you instantly feel as if you’ve known for years.
In addition to Polly’s retail site, she also sells in a variety of stores around the globe. (Click here for a full list.) If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, you will enjoy seeing her trunk show at Earthworks in Los Altos this coming Saturday, October 4th, from 10am-5:30pm. And let me warn you…you will be tempted, but in the best possible way!
Last week I hopped in an Uber car and made my way to downtown San Francisco for WJA’s Jewelry Night Out. The Women’s Jewelry Association had a national party, celebrating those in the jewelry business. I loved seeing all the photos on Instagram from chapters across the country! Not only was it a wonderful opportunity to visit designers I knew and meet new friends, but I couldn’t help but drool over the amazing bling in the room. I want to share some of my favorite pieces from the night. (In no particular order.)
Yep, you read that right…track pants. And I’m not referring tothe version we wore in the 80’s, with wide legs in shiny polyester and contrasting stripes down the side. Instead, I’m talking about a much more refined version, which has taken the leap from the gym to the street. With their relaxed shape, often with an elastic or drawstring waist and fitted ankles, they are becoming a definite staple in many people’s closets (including mine!), and I’m here to show you how to make it work for you, whether your style is more casual and urban, or more sophisticated and uptown. There are countless versions of track pants out there, from Trouve to Eileen Fisher. For the sake of this post, I’ve selected a lovely silk charmeuse pair from T by Alexander Wang. (And don’t forget, if something in this article piques your curiosity, all the links are right there for you to click on.)
First lets take this look a bit edgy. First, paring the pants with a fun, graphic sweater by Joie sets the tone that this person likes to have fun and be a little bit quirky.
This look definitely calls for a sneaker, and I think this interpretation of the slip-on variety by DV by Dolce Vita is perfect.
Now, for the bling. Let’s start with the ears. I’m loving the ear climber trend (Click here if you missed my article about this.) and think this mis-matched pair by Luv AJ is awesome.
I’d forego a necklace with this ensemble, since the graphic design in the sweater is statement enough. I would add at least a couple bracelets, though. These two would be a nice stack, and then you can even add more from your own jewelry box. The first is by Vita Fede, and the chunky chain is from Marc by Marc Jacobs.
Sticking with the black, grey and silver theme, I think this ring by Lauren Wolf is a great choice. Don’t you love the pattern in the rutialted quartz?
But of course, we don’t want to be completely in neutrals, right? So throw on a chic cross body in your color of choice! Here’s an example by Rag & Bone that would definitely add some umph to the ensemble.
I think you’ve now gotten the gist of this look. And remember, if you are drawn to this look, but you don’t think it’s quite your personal style, it’s easy to adapt it for your own personality. Not a fan of the graphic sweater? Then opt for a solid one. Really not into asymmetry on your earlobes? Then wear a pair of earrings that you like. Make sense?
Ok, so now for a more polished look, using the same pair of pants. For this version, I started with a sleeveless silk blouse by Theory. I like that it’s a bit fitted around the waist, which will give a nice shape when paired with the pants.
Most of my clients have found a fabulous leather jacket to incorporate into their wardrobe. If you think all leather jackets are “biker” with lots of hardware, then you need to hit the stores and see the wide range of options there are out there (including many faux-leather jackets). Vince makes some of my favorite styles, always with butter-soft leather and sleek styling. (And they just added sizes XXS and XL to their size run–yea!) True, they are an investment, but remember my whole cost-per-wear philosophy. If you pay a lot of money for something that you use ALL the time, then the cost-per-wear is much smaller than if you invest a lot in an item that you only wear once or twice. (Remember that black-tie dress hanging in the back of your closet from 10 years ago that you’ve only worn once?! And how much did it cost? Just sayin’…)
Selecting a higher heel shoe elevates this whole look (no pun intended), and I like this open-toe sling bootie by Vince Camuto. It’s quite lovely, and the cut would elongate the leg. Yes, choosing an open shoe for fall definitely shows that I live in California! If you live in a region that actually has weather (Rain? I forgot what that is!), then a closed toe bootie or pump would be just fine as well.
For jewelry, I started with finding the perfect necklace, and I found it in this crystal montage by Lulu Frost. It’s a little bit vintage, a little bit rocker, has some color and sparkle, and I think it would fill in the neckline of the blouse quite fabulously!
Keeping with the angular lines in the necklace, I chose this pair of earrings by Campbell for a complimentary look.
Here’s how they look on the ear.
Next, it was a toss-up for bracelets and/or rings. I’m thinking that I’d do one or the other, but if your style is “more is more,” then you may just opt for both. They carry the same angular design motif, creating harmony in line and design. The bracelet is from Pamela Love, and Michael Kors designed the ring.
I like the idea of adding a bag that picks up the color in the necklace, and this one by Time’s Arrow is very chic.
So there you have it…track pants dressed up and down, yet both most definitely stylish. So tell me, can you see yourself trying out this silhouette? I’d love to hear from you.
As an image consultant and personal shopper, I think of Union Square in San Francisco as my “office.” While walking around pre-shopping for a client the other day, I was amazed at how many statement necklaces I spotted just within three hours. Of course, I wasn’t able to get a photo of all of them (I probably saw about 15-20), but here’s a sampling of what was sparkling at the square on this lovely September afternoon.
This visitor from South Africa was showing some major flower power, between her necklace and her embroidered jacket.
The juxtaposition of the bright turquoise with the black blouse caught my attention on this woman.
This gal told me that her Nordstrom purchase has become one of her go-to pieces.
And while walking back to the parking garage, this woman rocked her $9.99 necklace (no joke!) from Forever 21.
So what about you? Do you incorporate statement necklaces in your wardrobe? Or is this a style that you’d prefer to admire on others, while you enjoy a more minimalist personal style? OR….do you think this trend is passé? I definitely want to hear your opinions!
It’s pretty amazing how many times I’ve crossed paths with Vicente Agor the past 10 years, and I don’t think it’s an accident. It all started when I purchased these gold Moroccan window earrings from Manika Jewelry in celebration of my high school reunion about seven or eight years ago. (If you don’t know it yet, I’m ALL in favor of self-gifting for anything from one’s birthday to it simply being a gorgeous Saturday afternoon!) They felt exotic to me, and I imagined peering out a window of that shape to a glorious sea-filled vista.
Since then, I’ve seen him at various trunk shows in San Francisco, and it truly amazes me how he always remembers me and those earrings I purchased so many years ago. Much to my delight, I finally was able to spend some quality time with Vicente, and his “silent-ish” partner, Michael Pfeffer, at the Couture show in Las Vegas. (Oh, and let’s not forget the “interesting” dinner at Tacos el Gordo!! That menu is etched in my mind.)
Not only is this San Francisco-based duo supremely creative, but they had me laughing so hard a few times, that it was hard to take a steady photo of the jewelry! Now in business for ten years, the line has just exploded, and the pieces I saw and tried on really just blew my socks off. Here’s my colleague, Jen, trying on a large labradorite and diamond ring, which was inspired by Film Noir and the foggy waters off San Francisco.
Vicente survived a kidney and pancreas transplant, and since then it’s changed how he looks at life. Vicente and Michael are both adventurers, and they have vowed to each other to visit at least one new place each year, be it Thailand, Arkansas, or wherever. They translate their travels and personal experiences into each piece, exposing their clients to something new with each creation.
The first ring I tried on is this rock crystal stunner from the Antarctica collection. The enormous rock crystal within a rock crystal does in fact resemble an iceberg, doesn’t it? Vicente saw a photo of his father, who was one of the first Filipino officers in the US Coast Guard (how cool is that?!), and this inspired his design. In fact, his father helped select the colors of the stones in this ring. Vicente chuckled as he told me that of course his dad chose Paraiba tourmalines, which only are found in one mine in Brazil that is now closed. Why am I not surprised that exquisite taste runs in the family?!
This Ice Crystal Bracelet is also part of the Antarctica collection, and its hand-set diamonds certainly make it sparkle!
This next ring is from the Volcanico collection, inspired by his time living in Hawaii. The center stone, a fantabulous (yes, that’s a word in the “Amy” dictionary) fire opal, is the molten lava, and you can see the waves on the side. The diamonds between the two represent the new land that is created when the lava hits the sea. It’s a visual delight!
I couldn’t help but notice these necklaces as well, with their mesmerizing diamonds, aquamarines, and chrysophrase. The fluidity of the design can be described as “sensual, not sexy.” I love that!
I have to say that there is an astonishing attention to detail in this line as well. One of the most clever things I noticed was how the hook is designed on some of their earrings. It’s created in such a way that if your piercing has stretched out a bit over the years, their earrings will totally camouflage this. The front of the earring extends a bit above the hook, thereby hiding the hole. Genius! Here’s an example in a pair of labradorite earrings from their Swell collection.
Vicente Agor jewelry is available at stores across the United States (click here for a list), as well as online at Accessory Artists. What a treat it was to spend time with Vicente, Michael, and their stupendous line. I can’t wait to see what comes off the bench next.
Fringe was a strong design detail in 2014, from bags to clothing to jewelry. Apparently, this trend is not going away anytime soon, as evidenced by this necklace worn in the MM6 Maison Martin Margiela spring/summer 2015 runway show this past week in NYC.
When my wardrobe clients ask me about fashion trends, I always tell them to take them with a grain of salt. If you think a particular trend completely resonates with your personal style, then by all means jump on in, and don’t hesitate to make a bit of an investment. And if a trend is the farthest thing from your style and comfort zone, then definitely don’t feel pressured to jump on that bandwagon. If you’re somewhere in the middle, then perhaps give it a try, but don’t spend too much money on your “style experiment.” With that in mind, I’ve gathered 10 different pieces of jewelry, at a variety of price points and with different styles, for you to peruse. So here they are, in no particular order.
I know many of you can likely tell me when and where you were when you either purchased or received your first piece of jewelry in the infamous Tiffany blue box. Perhaps a bean necklace by Elsa Peretti? An engagement ring? (Yes, that’s you, Brooke!) Or in my case, a pair of silver mesh dangling diamond-shaped earrings. Tiffany T is a new line that just launched, and I have a feeling it’s going to become a classic for this storied jewelry house.
You have been seeing ads for this line across media platforms for the past couple months, but you can now go see, try it on, and buy it at your local Tiffany & Co. store. The photo above shows three of their bracelets: the medium wire bracelet in 18K rose gold, the square bracelet in sterling, and the wired bracelet with diamonds in 18K yellow gold.
Designed by Tiffany’s Design Director, Francesca Amfitheatrof, this line “is simple, but not simplistic.” I agree. Here’s a shot (photo credit: Martin Cook) of the sterling and black ceramic ring stacked with an 18K white gold diamond ring.
Francesca joined Tiffany in 2013, and she has an impressive background, having worked with big labels from Fendi to Chanel to Marni. As a trained jeweler and silversmith, she said the T collection’s, “…message is bold, unapologetically modern and fueled by an American ethos of design so considered and refined it appears effortless.”
I particularly look forward to seeing these sterling silver cuffs. I can see the thinner one being lovely mixed into a bracelet stack, can’t you?
I really don’t know where the time goes, and I can’t believe it’s been almost three years since I interviewed Sara Freedefeld about her fabulous line, Amali. (Click here to read that article.) I was so excited to see some of her new creations at the Couture show. Three pieces really stood out and just begged to be tried on.
First is this marquis-shaped tanzanite necklace, with 18K gold and diamond accents. My colleague, Jen, is modeling it here, and I’m pretty certain she wanted to wear it home!
Next are a pair of lapis earrings with truly unique coloring. The gold chain woven with diamonds creates even more of an exotic look.
And finally…the necklace that had my jaw drop…a faceted natural, untreated tanzanite necklace with 18K gold and diamonds. To me, I see the depth of colors of the ocean, from the yellow-greens to the deep blues. It’s fit for a goddess!
SO happy to see Sara, and I thank her for the bejeweled tour!
You may have heard them called ear climbers, ear crawlers, and even ear cuffs. But the common denominator is that these earrings are not your typical pair. They are often singular or mis-matched, and they quite honestly, crawl up your ear a bit. Over a year ago I wrote an article about this trend (click here to read it), and it appears to be one that’s not just a flash-in-the-pan. Not only are the celebrities wearing them, but it’s hitting the streets all over.
I have to admit, I’m intrigued. As I always tell my clients, there are going to be lots of trends out there each season, but that doesn’t mean you need to adopt them. Just stay true to your personal style, and try the ones that really resonate with you. Well, my personal style, which I define as “urban bohemian,” was all over trying this out, but in a more understated way. So off I went on an internet shopping spree, and the next thing I knew, my UPS guy was knocking at my door. I chose this topaz and ruthenium pair by Elizabeth and James (gotta love the Olson twins!) for my first attempt. Can I say love at first wear?!
Yes, this is a matching pair, but I thought it was a nice, not-too-extrme way to try it all out. And I must say that on my first three days wearing them, I’ve been stopped numerous times with inquiries. It did take a little maneuvering to get them to stay in the right place. I’ve squeezed the cuff part to really grab my earlobe so that they don’t droop down during the day.
Now, I want to explore the next step, where I have a crawler in one ear, and just a stud or hoop in the other. Here are some of the options I’m exploring. First is this gorgeous bezel-set earring by Jacquie Aiche.