When I returned from Jewelry Week in Las Vegas, I mentioned that one of the high points (aside from seeing all the fantabulous jewelry), was finally meeting people in person whom I had only known online. Judi Powers is one of those lovely people, and meeting her “live” at the JCK show was so much fun! We hugged as if we were longtime friends, which I guess in a way…we were!
One of the first things I had to see at her booth was her Arun Sawad collection. I had been seeing images of these pieces on Instagram, and they did not disappoint in person! On her website she describes the inspiration for this design, “Many years ago while I was traveling in Thailand I fell in love with a riverside temple called Wat Arun, or temple of the dawn. As the sun was rising over this beautiful and sacred place, there was a warm golden glow in the sky. The colors of the diamonds with the gold remind me so much of that special place…”
And take a look at this green tourmaline ring with tsavorite garnets. Gorge, right?
Judi has not always been a jewlery designer. In fact, she spent 22 years in publishing. Jewelry has always been in her blood, though. She told me as a young girl she used to sneak off to spend time at her local jewelry store. Though she has been making jewelry since just after 9/11, her full-time transition to jewelry designer happened with a bang. She applied to FIT and got in just two weeks before classes were to begin. So, she quit her job on a Friday and began classes at FIT on a Monday. No down time there! Just one month after graduation, she entered and won a jewelry competition, which helped set her on her course to success. Her winning design, “A Tree Grows,” was inspired by a spring tree in her own Brooklyn neighborhood.
I’m so proud of the sustainability in Judy’s line as well, from metals to stones. She told me, “The line is completely sustainable, from mine to stone-cutter to studio.” (If you’d like more details about her dedication to sustainable jewlery, click here to read more.) Speaking of stones, I was drawn to this pair of earrings, which feature mis-matched beryl crystals — so harmonious, and perfectly imperfect.
She recently posted this photo on Instagram highlighting rings in an analogous color scheme. I can’t decide which is my favorite. Do you have one?
And are you a fan of flowers? Then you’ll enjoy these bracelets and rings from her Impatiens collection, which come in gold and silver with mocha diamond accents.
Though I could have stayed and chatted (and tried on jewlery) all day, I had to get going. Judi, it was an absolute pleasure meeting you! Thank you for sharing your story and jewelry with me.
I’m trying to get over my images of delicate ankle bracelets from the 1980’s — typically gold and often worn UNDERNEATH panty hose, as if the bracelet was being held hostage behind a nylon prison. It’s a look I really dislike. But now, come summer 2016, I’m seeing a variation which appeals to me. I think Jacquie Aiche is one of the queens of ankle bracelets (among other things), and this image from her Instagram feed captures the feel perfectly.
Granted, most people wouldn’t opt for wearing all of these pieces at once, and most people have to wear shoes, but isn’t it so pretty? Like a bohemian goddess.
Then I noticed this photo on the Gachon Pothier feed out of Paris. This is a look I can definitely see myself wearing, especially since I already own black Birkenstocks. I think the little jewels are very sweet.
Seeing these images from people I follow, I set out on a little Instagram search to see who else was in on this trend. Well, Kim Van de Sande from the Netherlands is, and I like how she makes it sporty with her cool white and gold Adidas.
Laura Sole (Zora by l) out of Brussels, Belgium, is also pairing a delicate anklet with her sneakers.
And aren’t these two by Kebu Jewelry really just little necklaces for your ankles? (I think this designer is out of Istanbul, but I’m not totally sure, as I can’t read the language her site is written in.)
What’s your opinion of the trend? Personally, I’m liking the carefree/sporty vibe. But perhaps it’s really not your cup of tea? Do you think it suits a certain age group or personal style? Please do share your opinions in the comment section below.
I must say I have quite a few Zoe Chicco aficionados among my clientele. They are drawn to her effortlessly chic dainty chains, slim cuffs with diamonds, and earrings (which she brilliantly sells as singles). Whenever we shop, we have to check out the latest offerings here in San Francisco. While at the Couture show I, too, had to visit her booth to catch up with her and see what she’s been up to. Here’s a shot of the ear party she had going on when I stopped by. (Ear cuff envy!)
If you’re not already familiar with her line, let me give you a little background. She had a high school teacher who taught her soldering, and she was hooked from that day forward. She studied metal smithing in college, and began her line in 2000. Based in Los Angeles, each piece is made in house by her and her team. She has come a loooong way since she began her line in the closet in her apartment in San Francisco!
So fast forward to June 2016, and I found myself gazing into this case, which displays her new Paris Collection.
Always curious as to where designers get their inspiration, Zoe explained that the ceiling in her Paris showroom inspired the collection. Here’s a photo of that ceiling and one of the signature necklaces it inspired. What a cool evolution to see!
Here are a few more of the necklaces, showing how Zoe’s creativity can see different permutations of a theme.
I also like the various earrings in the group, ranging from dainty to bolder than I’ve seen her do before. Love the long drop hoops.
Zoe kindly modeled one of the earrings for me — clever how the large hoop ear jacket can be taken off, leaving you with two totally different looks.
Oh, and I also have to mention Zoe has now added some black pearls to her line. Though not part of the Paris Collection, I had to share them with you. Pretty, right?
You June babies are lucky ducks, as you have three birthstones. One is Alexandrite. While it truly is a gorgeous stone, it’s extremely rare, so it’d be tough to find many options for you to buy. Then there’s the pearl, which many associate as the “main” birthstone for the month. Personally, I’m partial to the third option, moonstone. You may remember back in January I wrote an article about how my body physically craves certain gems, and moonstone is most definitely one of them. In fact, here’s my Steven Battelle rainbow moonstone ring I wrote about; I could not leave the store without buying it — it was truly a visceral reaction when I spotted it in the case. Has this ever happened to you?
Moonstones have been used in jewlery for over 2000 years. They are considered a sacred stone in India, and the most prized specimens come from Sri Lanka. The glow that emanates from within is reminiscent of the moon’s glow, hence the name. It comes in a variety of colors, from blue to peach to grey and more. Moonstone is the stone of emotional balance and is associated with goddess energy. It is a stone of protection (especially to travelers), love, passion, and it promotes psychic abilities and intuition. I think it’s a downright breathtaking gem.
I may have gone a little overboard with my virtual shopping spree today, but I just couldn’t help myself. Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order…
So now do you see how I’m so completely drawn to this iridescent stone? Oy…where is my bottomless wallet when I need it?! And if you are celebrating a birthday this month, wishing you all the best! (And be sure go to buy yourself a sparkly treat.)
If you’re looking for red-carpet worthy pearl jewelry, then look no further. Yoko London is the answer! In fact, you may remember back in January I included Zendaya, wearing Yoko London earrings and ring, in my jewelry report from the Golden Globes.
Thanks to D’Orazio and Associates, I was able to spend some quality time with Mandy Namdar at the Yoko London booth at the Couture show. Mandy, along with her two siblings are the second generation in a now three-generation jewlery business, started back in 1973 by her father. (The line is still made in London.) Within moments of our introduction, I found myself wearing this bold pearl and diamond lattice cuff from their Classic Collection. I’ve never tried on anything like it.
Perhaps your personal style veers towards a more minimal look, yet still with the wow factor? Then this bracelet might be calling your name.
Yoko London is known for the ombre effect they create with pearls, as shown in this three-strand necklace.
This year at Couture they were debuting their tassel collection, which this necklace and earrings are a part of.
Showing the range in their collection, compare the exquisite detail of the earrings above with the cleaner lines of these two pair.
Then, they go very fashion-forward and edgy, yet still elegant, with ear cuffs such as this one.
The same goes for their rings. From a major pearl statement ring to a unique multi-finger option. I could picture myself wearing either of them, depending on what I was doing that day!
I think one reason they have such a diverse line is that they let the pearls dictate the designs. Mandy told me that sometimes they may wait a year for just the right pearl to come along to complete the vision for a piece. That is supreme patience and dedication. I can’t imagine how long it took to select just the right pearls for this necklace.
And should I ever find myself attending a function with the Royal Family of ANY country, this would be the necklace I would want to wear. Wow!! I can envision it with a dreamy multi-layered chiffon dress in hues of the sea, with a plunging neckline to showcase the necklace…
Mandy, thank you SO much for sharing your time and expertise with me. Your passion for jewlery and connecting with your customers is truly contagious. I left smiling and with a new appreciation of pearl jewlery.
How can it be that six days in Las Vegas for Jewelry Week flew by so quickly?!? Here I sit, back in my apartment, when just a 6 hours ago I was having lunch at the Wynn with some amazing jewelry industry peeps. I will admit I got a bit teary upon take-off, seeing the Wynn and Mandalay Bay shimmering in the distance, knowing I was leaving without doing and seeing all I wanted to, which is always the case when I attend the Couture Show and JCK. It will be strange not putting one of these badges around my neck tomorrow morning.
But on the upside, I have to say it was probably my most memorable trip to the shows ever. Part of this is that since it was my 5th year attending, I know an increasing number of designers, press, and show staff, so it’s just wonderful to see all of them. I also noticed what a difference social media made in my experience this year. I’ve become online friends with so many jewelry industry people, and I feel as if I’ve gotten to know them on a very personal level, from their grandkids to their vacations to special moments in their lives. More than once, when I saw one of these “virtual friends” in the flesh, we embraced with the biggest of hugs, bringing the online friendship live. It was truly awesome!
And then there’s the jewelry … and this year just blew me away. I cannot WAIT to share all the fresh content with you. I think you’ll be dazzled by what I saw and tried on. Big, bold and colorful to dainty, neutral and sparkly, I saw a l.o.t! So stay tuned for next week, when I’ll begin sharing all my bling-tactic discoveries. Is your interest piqued? I hope so! And if you want a little taste of what I saw, check out my Instagram feed for some teasers.