I was perusing online for jewelry boxes for a client, and I was quite impressed with the offerings at West Elm. I’ve always liked this Brooklyn-based company for both their reasonable prices and their focus on sustainability. I wanted to share some of the items that I thought had some real style, as well as being user-friendly.
How can it be that we’re only days away from the Academy Awards?! The gowns, the jewels….oh my! Just before the Golden Globes, I wrote about how your evening bag definitely counts as part of the bling for your attire. (Click here if you missed that article.) I’ve waited until the Oscar’s are upon us to comment about the other, yet equally important, non-jewelry item that definitely contributes to your bejeweled look. Yes, I’m talking about your shoes. (Totally get it if you just got a little shiver of delight.)
Neutrals are often the best choice to enhance a look and elongate the leg, and if you’re just starting to build your evening shoe wardrobe, then I would suggest a neutral metallic and a dark neutral (black, navy, or charcoal, depending on your wardrobe). These will surely mix and match with your festive frocks. And don’t forget to think about cost-per-wear. If you’re a total socialite, out and about a few times per month, then it’s worth it to invest in a quality pair of shoes, even though they may seem expensive at the time. You’ll end up spending less than if you bought multiple pairs of less expensive options.
Here are 13 sparklers at a range of price points (some cost more than my rent, while others are equivalent to a dinner out), to tickle your foot fancy. And if you want more info about any of these, just click the link in blue.
“Fortune favors the bold,” Shannon Koszyk told me when I met her at the JCK show, and her jewelry is certainly testament to this mantra! You may remember me writing about her WWI Victory Medal bracelet back in June of 2013. (Click here if you missed that story.)
I first became entranced with the Paraiba tourmaline a couple years ago — its radiant, almost neon, hues of blue, green, and even violet are simply spectacular. But what is this stone, and how is it different that regular tourmalines, which are quite common in the jewelry world?
First of all, I needed to learn how to say it correctly, and let me tell you, I was way off! I thought it was “pa-RAI-ba”, but it’s in fact pronounced “par-a-EE-ba.” (Here’s a link to hear it spoken.) Next, I wanted to know how it gets its extreme color, and it turns out that it’s due to the presence of copper in the gem, which no other tourmalines have.
And where is it from? Well not surprisingly, it’s from the state of Paraiba, although I didn’t know that was in Brazil. It’s a relatively new discovery, found in the 1980’s by Heitor Dimas Barbosa. He dug in an old mine in Paraiba Hill for many, many years, absolutely convinced that there was something special to be found there. He was right, and thanks to his dedication and fortitude we now have this rare stone. And when I say rare, I mean really rare! In fact, it’s one of the most expensive gemstones in the world. The larger the stone, the higher the price, as Paraibas are rarely bigger than one carat. Similar stones have now been found in Africa, though their color is said to be a bit lighter.
Here’s some lovely examples of this electric stone:
Ring from Turgeon Raine (9.04 carats!)
Tamsen Z ring with a very unique cut!
Giovanni Ferraris is one of the first people I interviewed at the Couture show, but I knew I had to wait until now to write about him. Why? Because we’re only two weeks out from the Academy Awards, and this Italian line is beyond red carpet worthy! There were so many devastatingly beautiful pieces, and I couldn’t help but picture different movie stars wearing them. This pair of earrings, in fact, won the Haute Couture award at the show — pretty darn impressive, as it was his first time attending Couture. Bravo!
I know that much of the country is being slammed with snow and ice as of late, and it got me thinking about rock crystal (also known as quartz crystal), as it resembles ice. In fact, its name comes from the Greek word for ice, according to The Book of Stones by Robert Simmons & Naisha Ahsian (A great reference book!). I’ve always been drawn to the stone, from my fascination with crystal balls as a child, to the crystal pendants I wore around my neck throughout college. Even today, I have quite a few rock crystal items I adore. This stone is said to heighten spiritual awareness, generate prosperity, and alleviate stress, among other things. Here’s some of my favorite rock crystal pieces I have collected over the years.
Did you see Jada Pinkett Smith wear this necklace on Gotham? Well I’ve seen it in person, and it is truly a sight to behold!
I look forward to seeing Alp, and his vibrant wife, Asli, at the Couture show again this year. I know that there’s no way I can even imagine what I’ll be seeing from him!