Jewelry Box Basics: Brooches

It’s been quite some time since I’ve written a “Jewelry Box Basics” article. In case you weren’t around when I began the series or need a little refresher, here’s what it’s all about. Based upon my 17+ years as an image consultant and wardrobe stylist, I’ve identified six different personal styles: the lady who lunches, the bohemian, the rock star, the minimalist, the romantic, and the trendy gal. Granted, most people don’t fit exactly into any one box, but you can use these styles as a framework for assessing your own style, and what you may want in your jewelry box. (Click on each type to see the original articles with descriptions.)

With brooches being heralded as all the rage for fall/winter 2015, I thought it would be fun to investigate how each style might interpret this trend…because trust me, everyone will select a different permutation! So here are some ideas based on these different styles.

The Lady Who Lunches

She is feminine, loves her diamonds, and she needs a brooch that will go to a daytime charity luncheon or to a cocktail party.

Lanvin textured rose tie pin

lanvin textured rose tie pin
Balenciaga silver tone crystal brooch

balenciaga silver-tone crystal brooch
The Bohemian

Color and texture are the name of the game.

Robin Mollicone safety pin brooch

robin mollicone angelite:smoky crystal stone drop safety pin
Erickson Beamon Stratosphere pin

erickson beamon stratosphere crystal & faux pearl pin
The Rock Star

Black, skulls, chains…it’s all good!

Alexis Bittar pyrite heart pin

alexis bittar pyrite punk pin
Alexander McQueen skull brooch

alexander mcqueen skull brooch
The Minimalist

I struggled with the thought of a minimalist even opting to don a brooch, but then I found a couple that may work.

Erin Considine Kata pin

erin considine kata pin
Marni pin

marni gold-plated and resin brooch
The Romantic

Cameos are a given for this personal style, so here are a couple non-cameo ideas.

Adriana Orsini deco pin

adriana orsini deco pave crystal long pin
Miriam Haskell Vata brooch set

miriam haskell vata brooch set
The Trendy Gal

This one is willing to try the latest trend — she goes for fun and whimsy!

Sonia Rykiel pin

sonia rykiel pin
Saint Laurent set of eight

saint laurent set of eight silver and gold-plated brooches
So what do you think? Can you envision yourself wearing any of these? Do you have something already in your jewelry box that you’re going to put back into the rotation? Do tell!

Shoelace Jewelry

No, I’m not kidding, and I have NEVER heard of this until I randomly came across these unique Mirit Weinstock eyelash shoe pieces on Mr. Larkin!!

mirit weinstock eyelash shoelace piece
mirit weinstock eyelash shoe piece
So cute, right? How is it that I’ve never thought of adding a little bling to my shoes since putting a shiny penny in my Bass loafers, circa 1982?

They are also selling this piece by Vibe Harslof.

vibe harslof shoelace piece
This, of course, sent me on a long, winding path through the Internet to see what else I could find. While I must say these two designers seem to have MUCH more chicness than others I saw, I did come across one other fabulous option. Kansas City Kreations sells a sporty version on her Etsy shop.

kansas city kreations shoelace plate
How perfect are these for your workout shoes? You can get a variety of inspirational words, or create your own saying. With the holidays right around the corner, this could be the perfect stocking stuffer for the athlete in your life.

Am I the last one on the block to know about shoelace jewelry? Do you own any? Have you seen it on the street? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Margery Hirschey: Designer

Here is a quintessential pair of Margery Hirschey earrings, recently posted on her Instagram feed.

margery hirschey tourmaline earrings
Are you drooling yet? Known for her designs with “thoughtful asymmetry,” Margery’s work really makes my heart sing. Her use of color is inspiring. Here’s another of her Instagram shots showing “design day” in her studio. So good, right?! I can’t decide which combination is my favorite.

margery hirschey designs
Margery is an awesome mother of two children, and she took time off to raise them and be very involved in their school while they were growing up. With a degree in fine art (she originally wanted to be a painter), I wasn’t surprised to hear that she enrolled in a jewelry class at a local school in Denver, Colorado. In 2008, a buyer for Bergdorf Goodman spotted her wearing a pair of earrings she designed. In fact, here’s the first pair of earrings she ever made, which she befittingly named “cage earrings.”

margery hirschey's first pair of earrings
This clever buyer wanted to see more, but Margery only had 12 pieces to show. This does not constitute a full line, so off Margery went to her studio, where she produced 50 pieces in 22K gold. Yes…fifty! From there, things have only grown, to put it mildly. When I met her at the Couture show in Las Vegas, I didn’t know which piece to try on first! Here are some examples of her amazing work.


Boulder Opal and Emerald Beryl rings
Boulder Opal and Emerald Beryl rings


How dramatic!!
How dramatic!!


Pale Pink Kunzite and Pearl Necklace
Pale Pink Kunzite and Pearl Necklace


This was definitely one of my favorites!
This was definitely one of my favorites!


So easy to layer!
So easy to layer!



Margery is very inspired by ancient jewelry and artifacts (one of my personal loves), and she regularly posts inspirational images on her Instagram feed. (If you haven’t picked up on it yet — follow her for a true visual delight!) I feel her line captures the essence of these timeless works of art, and she re-interprets them into modern, one-of-a-kind pieces that will stand the test of time. Her work is not trendy, yet it is effortlessly current. One day, I aspire to have her jewelry in my own jewelry box.

Margery, thank you so much for spending time with me and allowing me to play with your exquisite jewels. (And being patient while I ran back upstairs to change my shirt when I realized it didn’t photograph well!!)  It was a pleasure to meet you and your daughter, Rachel!


Margery and Amy
Margery and Amy

Oh, and p.s. I will most definitely try out Pizzeria Locale when I find myself in Boulder! I’ll treat you to your favorite pie!

Mom’s Diamond Gets a New Life!

My mom was married back in 1963. She and my dad spent countless weekends camping, but that didn’t bode so well for her wedding ring. Within the first year of marriage, her ring somehow was lost at a campsite. (I completely think some squirrel picked up the sparkler and hauled it back to his home in a hollow tree where it still lives today, but that’s just my theory.) At any rate, mom lived the next 25 years with just her wedding band…no diamond.

Then one night in Carmel, dad surprised her with a new diamond ring for their 25th wedding anniversary. He had spent SO much time and effort researching just the right stone for the ring. To say she was surprised was an understatement. I remember her calling me on the phone, and she was so in shock she could barely speak!! Originally it was set in a traditional prong setting, but years later, she had it reset into this platinum design.

mom's diamond ring
mom's ring
Mom hasn’t worn her ring for a few years now, and it was just collecting dust in her safety deposit box. Then something wonderful happened. My brother met the woman of his dreams, his true partner and soulmate, and found himself in need of an engagement ring. Well hello, diamond! What can we do with you?!

You may remember reading about Atelier Gigi a while back, and I knew she was the woman for the job. The first step was sending the diamond down to the GIA to have it appraised. Gigi then gathered photos of various ring designs. She wanted to find out what attributes my brother liked, and what he didn’t like. Using this information, she started sketching. She came up with a few options, but my brother and I both fell in love with this one.

ring sketch by atelier gigi
With the clean, modern setting and the two half-moon diamonds on either side, it was just perfect. I knew my sister-in-law to be would swoon! Gigi brought in some choices for the side diamonds, and I was able to help select the ideal set, as my brother doesn’t live locally. I’m impressed how we were all on the exact same page throughout this process.

A few weeks later, the ring was ready. Mom and I went up to the city to pick it up. It turned out even better than I could have imagined! Here are a couple photos Gigi took with her iPhone….

diamond ring by atelier gigi
diamond ring by atelier gigi
diamond ring by atelier gigi
Has your jaw hit the floor yet?!

Mom transported the ring up to my brother’s house, and he had to hide it for a whole week. I can envision him opening the box that week and peering into its depths; I know he could barely wait for the proposal to take place.

Fast forward a week, and my brother and his soon-to-be bride were off to Tahoe for a surprise over-nighter. I must say, she was NOT expecting to be proposed to on the gondola in Heavenly…but she said, “YES!!”


Scott + Tricia!!!
Scott + Tricia!!!

Just writing this story brings tears to my eyes. My family is extremely blessed to have Tricia and her son in our lives. I wish her, my brother and their three children a lifetime filled with love, happiness and adventure. Can’t wait for the wedding!! xoxo

September Birthstone: Sapphire

A new month is upon us, and with it brings a new birthstone to explore. (Click here if you missed my article about peridot last month.) Though traditionally people think of sapphires being blue, the fact is that they come in every color but red. Why not red? I learned that a ruby is technically a blue sapphire. What?! They are both made of the corundum mineral, but when it’s true red, it’s a ruby. There seems to be a blurry line between sapphires that are pinkish-red or reddish-orange and a ruby, so be aware. I’m going to have to investigate this more.

But on to the meaning of sapphires. Known as a symbol of faith, goodness, wisdom and purity, sapphires also provide protection of loved ones and from evil. Here are some of the other qualities associated with sapphires:

-mental clarity
-fulfillment of dreams
-aid in meditation

Given that sapphires come in so many colors, I’m including some non-blue pieces that really pique my interest.

Jemma Wynne bangle with geometric purple sapphires

jemma wynne closed bangle with geometric purple sapphires
Clare Ullman lariat from Manika Jewelry

Clare Ullman Lariat
Finn blue sapphire thread earrings

finn blue sapphire thread earrings
Ileana Makri “wisdom eye” ring

ileana makri diamond, sapphire & white gold wisdom eye ring
Rina Limor wavy sapphire drop earrings

rina limor wavy sapphire drop earrings
Armenta sapphire and diamond open cluster ring

armenta old world open clster diamond & sapphire ring
Ela Rae Noa necklace

ela rae noa necklace
Deanna Hamro sapphire, boulder opal and diamond cuff

deanna hamro sapphire slice and boulder opal cuff with diamonds
Ileana Makri sapphire deco column ring

ileana makri deco coumn ring
And not to ignore the birthday boys out there….

Todd Reed sterling belt buckle with sapphire cabochons

todd reed sterling belt buckle with sapphire cabochons
Stephen Webster sterling silver and sapphire cufflinks

stephen webster sterling silver blue sapphire cuff links
So how many of you reading this have September birthdays? I hope you have a wonderful celebration and treat yourself to a new sapphire piece of jewelry!