I don’t quite know what’s going on with me, but I’ve got feathers on the brain. I see them on the ground, I’ve had more than one dream that I have a feather tattoo, and no lie, but as I was getting ready for work in the bathroom the other morning, a teeny, tiny feather drifted down right in front of my face. Where did THAT come from?! I also was lunching with a friend a couple weeks ago and she gave me a necklace with…wait for it…a feather charm! She had no idea what’s been going on with me, and I must say I got chills when I opened the box.
I’ve researched the meaning of feathers a bit, and there seems to be a common consensus that it is associated with ascending to a higher spiritual plane. Interesting. Of course, I’m not necessarily wedded to the idea of a permanent feather on my body at this point, so my mind has turned to feather jewelry. Here’s a few pieces that have caught my eye.
Feathered Soul diamond feather on leather necklace (Not to be biased, but this one is my favorite on the list.)
Being a self-taught cook, I can wrap my brain around. Perhaps even teaching yourself how to dance. But being a self-taught fine jeweler? That’s on a whole other level! Self-taught Elizabeth Garvin, based in the Village in NYC, has been designing jewelry for over 20 years, and she launched her fine jewelry line a couple years ago. It’s very modern, full of geometric design, and extremely wearable. Her signature is the “Cyclone Ring,” and I’m sure you can see why.
Hand-fabriating each piece with 18K gold, 950 palladium, oxidized silver and diamonds, Elizabeth truly comes up with original pieces, the likes of which I haven’t seen before. It would be worth creating an entire outfit around these earrings.
In the same “gust” series as these earrings, is this complex ring. I can envision the gusts of wind that the shape of the metal represents. (At least that’s how I’m interpreting the design…)
In keeping with sinuous curves, is this “Eye of the Storm” pendant. That’s a storm I’d be willing to brave!
This “Spiral” necklace would add interest when worn with any outfit, even on the most casual of days.
I am seeing this “Twist” ring as the perfect option for a bold middle finger ring.
Elizabeth says, “When a woman designs jewelry for another woman, there’s a sensitivity…carefully honed to suit a woman’s body, to flow with her lifestyle, and to become part of her own personal expression.” Well said. I can certainly see these earrings being part of my personal expression, with their mixed metals and diamond accents. So pretty!
It was wonderful spending time with Elizabeth at the Couture show. Click here for a list of retailers near you.
I don’t know about you, but when most people think about Bottega Veneta, their luxurious woven handbags come to mind, right? What many people may not realize is that they also have a selection of both fashion and fine jewelry. I stopped into the San Francisco store recently to see what they were showing, and I must say that I really enjoyed the diversity in the fashion jewelry cases. Made in Vicenza, Italy, I couldn’t help but be lured by the colors and sparkle of these Pepita (meaning “nugget”) necklaces.
They come in two lengths. The shorter ones (14.5 inches) have a small silver link between each crystal, while the longer ones (18.25 inches) have a longer, more decorative link. I think this pyrite version is quite lovely and versatile. I learned that, “Pyrite is a unique protector, drawing energy from the Earth through the physical body and into the aura creating a defensive shield against negative energies, environmental pollutants, emotional attack and physical harm. It also supports one with a spirit of boldness and assertive action when protecting others, the planet, or in standing up for important issues of community.” Interesting that that’s the stone I was drawn to…
It’s easy to layer these necklaces as well. Currently, this line comes in five colors: ciel (blue), saffron (the saturated yellow), new ascencio (deep green–their newest color), natural (clear) and pyrite.
If you just want a hint of this look, then you may find the rings right up your (style) alley.
I couldn’t help but try on the turquoise pieces as well, as you know my inner bohemian goddess just gravitates towards it! Here’s a bracelet and a couple rings I played with.
And how sweet is this headband? Perfect with a diaphenous dress at an outdoor party on a warm evening, don’t you think?
There were also two major silver necklaces that were quite the center of attention. While they look heavy, they are in fact extremely light-weight. The maltese cross with the druzy in the center is just fabulous. J’adore!
If you’re a big fan of the iconic woven texture of Bottega, then you can rest assured that you’ll find it in silver. Here are a couple pieces with their signature look.
Thanks so much to Karina at the SF store for showing me around the collections!
I have been looking for a cool graphic t-shirt for at least a couple years. I have so many outfits I want to style it with! But I have such specific parameters in my head, that I haven’t been able to find what I’m looking for…I prefer a v-neck, scoop or tank (none of those tight, high crew-necks), I want it to be in MY size (not that of a pre-teen), I like neutrals, and puh-leese, it’s got to have a message that I support. Given that my pursuit has been fruitless, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Along with my blog-master, Jeff, and the website Teespring.com, we’ve come up with these t-shirts and tank, which in my mind, say it all. I purposely chose the distressed, industrial font in juxtaposition with the message.
Yes, this is currently for sale for the next ten days (Yay!), and there are five different options of brand/colors (all in the white/black/grey family). Check them out! I, personally, am ordering both a tank and a scoop, and I want to share with you how I’m going to style them.
First, let’s go with the weekend casual look, for which I’ll select the tank. For this, I want a pair of lightly distressed boyfriend jeans and a military jacket. I think the ideal jacket is by Current/Elliot. I bought one a while back, and it’s become a true staple in my wardrobe. Clearly, it has staying power, as they offer a similar design each season. This goes to show that it’s more than a trend. I think the shorter sleeves are perfect for changeable weather, which you definitely find in San Francisco.
For the distressed boyfriend jean, I don’t want anything too sloppy, but more of a relaxed, tapered leg. This pair by Kut from the Kloth seems just right, paired with the oversized jacket. You want to balance out an oversized top with a narrower bottom.
Given that this is a casual chic look, sneakers are the preferred shoe. Vince has come up with a new classic with their slip-on perforated style. (Reminiscent of the Van’s I used to wear in college!)
Yes, I must admit that I own these as well. Sometimes I wear them barefoot, but if it’s a little chillier out, then I prefer to wear a ped with them. I particularly like these by Hue. They have a little non-slip thing at the back, and as soon as I wear them for about 10 minutes, and my feet heat up, they stay in place all day.
I definitely want a hands-free bag while I’m out for the day, and this cross-body by Alexander Wang is very hot. The double slinky chain strap and soft, washed leather totally fit the vibe of the outfit.
Keeping with the hassle-free look, I’m opting for a short, mixed metal necklace by Rachel Zoe.
Tai has become a household name with their bohemian bracelets, and this layered look is a perfect example of why.
Stacked with a watch by Shinola (go made in the USA!), I think it’s a great combination.
To top off the look, just a little sparkle (of course!) in the ears with these warm/cool mix earrings by Rebecca Minkoff.
So now on to a more refined look, using either the v-neck, or the scoop, depending on your personal style.
This ensemble will take you out on a date (he should know how you feel about bling!) or meeting your friends for margaritas and guac. To step it up, I’m pairing the tee with this Alice + Oliva blazer, which features a very inspired design in back.
A skinny, darker wash pair of jeans is definitely in order for this look, and I am a huge fan of AG Prima jeans. (Many of my clients who swear they will never wear jeans are addicted to these!) They come in various washes, and are beyond soft.
A heeled bootie elevates everything, and a recent client will testify that these Paul Green booties were super-comfy first wear out, for the whole day. (Thanks to Elizabeth for road-testing them!)
I want a mixed-neutral bag that’s a bit more uptown for this outfit. Diane von Furstenburg has just the right one. It can be worn over the shoulder, or carried as a clutch, with the strap tucked inside.
Statment earrings are a must. Loving these by Dannijo for a Navajo meets fashionista edge.
In lieu of bracelets, I’m going for a multi-ring look. For a bold punch that’s in harmony with the earrings, I like this ring by House of Harlow.
Do you know what granulation is? I had an idea, but I didn’t truly understand what it was until I met Jack and Elizabeth Gualtiere of Zaffiro at the Couture show. Granulation is an ancient goldsmithing technique which is, “…a decorative process that consists of applying minute spheres of gold to a surface of similar gold alloy and then heating the entire piece to a temperature high enough to form a permanent bond between the surface and the spheres.” Impressive, right? Take a look at this pair of earrings. As described by Elizabeth, “These are our one-of-a-kind classic “Fern Curl” earrings that are set with amethyst briolettes and teal diamonds in granulated 22kt yellow gold, with 18kt yellow gold posts.”
Being a fan of all shades of aqua, I was immediately drawn to the hue of this necklace in their case. The pendant is the surface skin of an aquamarine, which is very reminiscent of Roman Glass. It’s basically what the stone looks like when it comes out of the ground. J’Adore.
Jack and Elizabeth originally discovered Etruscan granulation while on a study abroad program during college. They began working together 22+ years ago, and they were friends before the whole dating/marriage thing. (Love that!) They live and work in Portland, Oregon, where each piece is completely hand-crafted. I thought it was so interesting that they consult on each others’ designs, yet each one makes their own pieces from start to finish. Apparently Jack is more drawn to architectural, geometric designs, while Elizabeth gravitates towards curves. Though through it all, granulation is the core, common thread.
These two pendants begged to be tried on, and who am I to ignore jewelry saying, “Hello, Amy!” These are Anglo Saxon bronzes from the 6th Century, which were dug up in London. They truly take “one-of-a-kind” jewelry to the next level!
While 22K gold is their main medium, they have also added oxidized silver to their repertoire. Their Etrusco group showcases their metal work, alongside colorful gems.
The cuffs in this series blew me away, Here’s one I tried on at the show.
And here’s another design from the same collection they recently posted on social media. The main stone is Australian boulder opal, accented with teal and white diamonds.
These “nebula” cuffs, part of the Etrusco series, are, “..inspired by the imagery of distant constellations, points of light against a dark universe, and the harmony of seemingly randomly arranged objects..” I completely see it, don’t you?
While speaking with Jack and Elizabeth, I couldn’t help but notice the color of this bracelet, as it wasn’t rose gold, yet I couldn’t quite nail down what I was looking at. It is apparently a new patina they’ve been working on called the “orchid patina.” It’s still in the experimental stages, and they have yet to achieve the color on gold. I would not be surprised if this has now been accomplished.
I was e-mailing with Elizabeth this week, and she shared this image of a new necklace, most definitely fit for a princess! It is a one-of-a-kind Etrusco pendant, set with a tanzanite cabochon, purple sapphires, teal diamonds and a mint green tourmaline in 22kt yellow gold, with forged and oxidized sterling silver. They truly have a gift with color.
If you’d like to take a closer look into the intensely complex process of making a custom piece, then you’ll most certainly enjoy this 4 minute video. I know I did!
I likely took up a bit too much time asking a million questions of this dynamic design duo, but I truly appreciated every moment of it. I am very excited to see their most current designs at Couture again this year!
I always make it a point to visit the Brentwood Country Mart in southern California when I’m down there — love the cozy layout and the variety of stores, including jewelry gems Broken English and Pippa Small. When the Marin Country Mart opened in Larkpsur, I certainly made it a point to visit. Though I must say, in it’s infancy, there were still many open storefronts and NO jewelry to mention. Girl, this has all changed with the opening of Hutchinson Fine Jewelry at the end of 2014. This now makes stopping at the Mart a must when I’m up in Marin.
As I entered this jewel box of a store, I was stuck by the stunning display, with three walls of glass-fronted vignettes, representing over 20 different fine jewelry designers. (Note to self: when assisting clients design their new closets, keep this idea in mind!)
Manager Kellie Phinney was very generous in showing me around and letting me play with all the jewels. She told me that the owners, Kary Chendo and Miranda Abrams, choose lines that are utterly unique in their own way. “They want the jewelry to be loved and worn every day, and then passed down.” My philosophy exactly!
I was amped to see they carry The Woods, who I’ve desperately missed seeing ever since Carrots closed in San Francisco. There was a magnetic pull to this mother-of-pearl necklace on a silver and pave diamond chain.
Hutchinson is also one of the few places to represent Carolina Bucci. She weaves magic with gold and silk on a loom from the 1800’s. Take a gander at these necklaces — the detail is amazing.
I tried on this wide bracelet, and it felt like buttah on my wrist, without the calories!
Monique Pean is always one of my faves, both for her designs and her environmental consciousness. How can you go wrong with fossilzed wooly mammoth scrimshaw and diamonds? (Once again, if I had a bottomless wallet…this would be mine.)
Pippa Small is right up there at the top of ethical designers as well. She hand selects each stone she uses, designs around their natural beauty, and uses clean gold, which is, “Gold mined without impacting the environment, respecting labor rights and often produced by community cooperatives.” Brava.
I was also very excited to see Bay Area local, Susie Fox, glittering in the cases. This double drop ball pendant necklace with cognac diamonds is what I would describe as subtle luxury.
I know the collection at Hutchinson is only going to grow, so I will make it a point to stop in more often. Have you visited yet? Do tell!
It’s always fun to come across a line that I’ve never seen before, and it’s even better when the pieces are selling at accessible price points. This was the case when I visited Red Bird recently over in Berkeley. I saw this 52-inch long necklace of chains tied on a thin leather cord from Buju Jewelry. Hmmm…what could I do with that? I was intrigued. It seemed like a perfect layering necklace.
Well, I thought it might be fab with the Arielle de Pinto necklace from Metier, right?! They seemed to speak the same language, with their chains and coloration.
Loved the combo, and I’ve already worn it a few times in the past week. (Just fyi…I prioritize jewelry purchases over buying groceries. And I know I’m not the only one out there!)
Checking out their website, I learned that the co-desigers are two gals from “Bu” (aka Malibu) who were looking to create a line that’s ethnic and organic, yet still completely current. I think they’ve really struck this chord with their designs. Here’s a selection of bracelets and necklaces from their website.
I think it’s fresh and fun, and it fits in perfectly with my “urban bohemian” personal style. What do you think? Could you see yourself donning this line?
I’m so glad I had time to pop into the Rock Vault at Couture before I had to jump on my flight home, as I was blown away by the architectural designs of Jo Hayes Ward. The Rock Vault, run by the British Fashion Council, is a talented group of British fine jewelry designers exceptionally curated by Stephen Webster. I can certainly see why Jo’s line is part of this impressive line-up!
This set of six hexagon stacking rings is made of “little bits,” as Jo described to me. I adore the different shades of gold (particularly the intriguing shade of warm white gold) mixed with diamonds. Jo dreams up these incredible designs, and is then able to use CAD to assist in making 3D models, which she then prints in wax and casts. It’s a perfect intersection of technology and jewelry, don’t you think?
This sphere ring really give you an idea of the dimension to her designs.
Growing up in London, the spaces and architecture in her urban environment clearly were a huge inspiration. She was a classmate with (the fantastic) Polly Wales at the Royal College of Arts, where she received her masters in goldsmithing, silversmithing, metalwork and jewelry in 2006. Upon graduation, she launched her line from a little workbench right in her own bedroom.
I recently received some images from Jo of her latest and greatest, so I want to share those with you. First up is this shimmering pair of earrings.
To demonstrate how her earrings catch, reflect and refract the light when they move, take a look at this video.
She has also started incorporating colored gemstones in her designs, as seen in these rings, which include aquamarine, sapphire and tourmaline. You can see how they easily stack, or can be worn individually.
Of course, one can never have enough diamonds, right? So the multi-sided stratus rings edged in diamonds are clearly a girl’s best friend. Again, I’m swooning with the unique color this warm white gold, as seen on the ring on the right.
Just in this past (almost) year, since I originally met her, I’m in awe of how her designs have evolved and her line has grown. I hope to see her soon, so I can try on some of these beauties in person!
I first met Rachel Clinnick, the amazing designer behind San Francisco-based Thalia Jewelry, last fall. I was already a fan long before meeting her, as I had admired some of her work in various stores. I was so honored to have lunch with her this week, where I got to know more about both her and her passion. I asked if she’d be willing to share some of her favorite pieces, and she was happy to oblige. (Grazie!) So here is what she had to share, along with her own descriptions of the work. Enjoy the visual delight!
“The spider brooch was a custom piece made for our client from her grandmother’s rings. I sketched the design and we created it in hand-carved wax first, then hand-set, hand-filed and shaped the rest of the piece. It is just stunning in person.”
“This gold Spanish shipwreck coin from the 1700’s is a special piece. Worn on our handmade 22k chain, it really brings out the old world feel.”
“A collection of my most cherished stackable rings in diamonds and opals offer organic opulence with a classic touch — easy to start with one and stack over time!”
“This was a piece I finished and sold the very next day. It’s topaz and opal in 18k, all hand-carved as well as hand-fabricated; it sold as a gift for one of my favorite clients and I’m so happy she has it!”
“Our Zodiac Collection rings are just so fun and sentimental. You can choose one-sided or double-sided. I wear my own with my sign on one side and my husband’s on the other!”
I have a feeling you may now be as mesmerized by her collection as I am! I thank Rachel for being my “guest contributor” today! If you’d like to explore the line some more, you can see her work at various boutiques, and she also takes special appointments. Click here for that info.