I don’t know about you, but right now I can use a bit of a pick-me-up. Between the weather and the general unease seemingly omni-present in our country, I just want to smile and be happy. Jane Taylor Fine Jewelry is exactly what the doctor ordered! Not only does a smile come to my face when I think of Jane and her daughter, Cleo, the dynamic duo behind the brand, but the color in their jewelry is just fantastic. Trust me — about 500 words from now you will be feeling much more positive.
First, let me introduce you to Jane and Cleo. Jane has been obsessed with jewelry since childhood. Her dad brought her to antique shows while growing up, giving her an introduction into the world of jewelry. Her passion was so great, that she left art school when she was 19 and began her career, working in the diamond district in NYC. When her daughter, Cleo, came along, she began making baby jewelry for her. Jumping ahead to 1994, Jane officially launched her own line. Cleo joined Jane in the business full time after college in 2010. They truly make a great team; Jane focuses on the design and manufacturing, while Cleo is the mistress of PR, marketing and public relations. And did I mention they’re totally fun to boot? (I bet you can clue on that from their smiles in the photo below.)
I just may have visited their booth more than once during the Couture show, and each time I tried on something different. There’s a reason they call their jewlery “totally everyday.” (I apparently took this literally.) First up was this show-stopper of a cuff, with a multitude of different gems set in ruthenium plated sterling. I was definitely having a Wonder Woman moment with this thing on my wrist!
On another visit I was more into the stacking bracelets, which come in all colors of the rainbow. These are from their Cirque Collection.
One reason I made sure to see this line at the show was that I had seen these darling little opal studs on their Instagram feed. And yes, they just might now be living in my own jewelry box…maybe.
Showing the great range in their collection, here are some dazzling earrings that are pretty much a party for your ears!
I was just e-mailing with Cleo, and she shared this image of a new pair of earrings. The peridot cushions (the “greenery” color of the year) are really set off next to the pink sapphires, don’t you think? Very cool color juxtaposition.
I also enjoyed playing with their trays of rings. I stacked up a bunch, then just tried on a single — both equally inviting.
If you’re into bolder looks, then perhaps you’d select one of these two rings? The first is composed of quartz, amethyst and topaz, while the second features citrine, beryl and zircon.
If you’ve been enjoying the bar necklace trend, but want to branch out into a new version, then you’ll enjoy these two necklaces. Which one could you see yourself wearing?
Now I have to ask — are you smiling yet? Did I hear you mutter “wow” or perhaps “that’s gorge!” I thought so. Wishing you a VERY happy day.
As I explored the floor of the JCK show in Las Vegas, there was quite a buzz about Little H jewelry. “Amy, you just MUST stop by her booth! You’ve really never seen anything like it,” exclaimed more than one friend of mine. My curiosity was most certainly piqued, as I couldn’t imagine what could be done with pearls that was so revolutionary.
Ok — everyone was correct — my eyes opened wide in amazement when I saw what Hisano Shepherd was doing with pearls. She has created pearl geodes!! Look at these rings I tried on! They are filled with black and white diamonds.
How did she come up with this idea? Well last year she was at the Tucson Gem Show and was quite taken by all the geodes, such as these amethyst ones.
Having a history in the pearl business, she came up with the idea of cutting a pearl in half, polishing the inside, and then lining them with gems and seed pearls. How cool is that?! Here’s some of the pearls, both whole and cut open, to show you what they look like.
Hisano uses mainly three types of pearls in these collections: Tahitian, South Sea, and Souffle (which I had never heard of before.). Souffle pearls are grown in such a manner that they are hollow inside. She goes to Hong Kong three times a year to source all the pearls and gems. She cuts each pearl herself, and each stone is handset in her Los Angeles studio, with the assistance of her one assistant. Very labor intensive, to be sure.
I couldn’t help but admire the ombre effect she created in this pendant.
Hisano doesn’t want pearls to be thought of as dowdy, and she has really come up with a way to make them relevant for today’s woman. Here are a couple more pieces from her Pearl Geode Collection, including a bracelet and earrings with jackets.
I think her Finestrino Collection (meaning little window in Italian) is so special. You can see how she has created windows into the pearls, and then filled them with gems.
There’s alto the Grotto Collection, where you can see through the whole pearl on the earrings and pendants, and the opening is then gem-encrusted.
I must say, I had such fun trying on all her designs!
And she has not forgotten about the men out there. How about these Tahitian pearl and black diamond cufflinks?
Although I think if my significant other owned these, I’d be “borrowing” them and pairing them with an untucked white tuxedo shirt and frayed-hem jeans. Luxe casual!
If you’d like to see more of Hisano and hear about her process, you’ll enjoy this video.
The first time Syna appeared on my radar was when I saw Monica of iDazzle wearing one of their Mogul drop necklaces. I couldn’t help but want to reach out and touch this glorious moonstone pendant with yellow gold and black diamonds on the cap; with its clean lines and elegance I was just mesmerized. Lucky me, as I got to see the line in person at the Couture show and spend some time with Dharmesh and Namrata Kothari, the husband-wife team behind the brand.
Syna, which means “together,” is clearly a life’s passion for this creative duo. They took an enormous leap of faith when they began their line and moved to the United Stated about thirteen years ago. Believing that “the possibilities of design, and life, are limitless when people work together,” they have come to create a truly beautiful and meaningful collection.
After drooling over the Mogul drops (Which stone would I want for myself??) I moved on to this outstanding peacock pendant surrounded by blue diamonds and tsavorites. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It’s so serene, yet powerful, at the same time.
There was also a bevy of bracelets from their Baubles Collection waiting to be tried on. Well OK, I don’t mind if I do!
I enjoyed mixing and matching until I came up with this combination in garnet, diamonds, opal and peach moonstone. Pretty dreamy, right? And so comfortable on the wrist!
Definitely known for their use of color, I was blown away by this pendant of hand-carved and hand-painted bone. Wow!
Incorporating aspects from their rich heritage are extremely important to Dharmesh and Namrata. They aim to take such ideas, and show them in the most simple and refined way. When I saw various horses in the line, they explained to me that horses stand for bravery and royalty in their culture. In fact they told me at weddings the groom comes in on a horse! I tried on a horse head ring and admired a pair of cufflinks in 18k yellow gold with hand-carved blue sapphires with black diamonds.
I could have stayed and chatted with them all afternoon. Their warmth and knowledge was so inviting. And I don’t know about you, but when I find a connection with designers, it makes me love their work even more. Thank you, Dharmesh and Namrata for your time and kindness. I hope to see you soon!
My obsession with east-west set diamond rings began in August, when I tried on this one-of-a-king diamond ring by Lauren Wolf at the NY Now show. Granted, I’ve never really been fond of the marquis cut for myself, but turned on its side — I was hooked!
This really got me to thinking about how turning a stone on its side, be it oval, emerald, pear, or whatever, really gives the stone a whole new look! Plus, there are quite a few advantages I can see to this style:
easier to stack other rings with it
makes some cuts look “larger” as it takes up more horizontal real estate on your finger
would be ideal for shorter fingers, which may find certain stone cuts set in the traditional way too “tall”
if you wanted to re-design a current ring, it could be a great option instead of getting a whole new stone
unique and outside the box, which is always a plus in my book
With east-west set stones on my mind, I started searching for other examples. Jillian Abboud posted this photo of three antique diamonds, resting horizontally, on her Instagram feed and I started picturing different designs in my mind’s eye. (Which one would you choose?)
And then my dear friend Laura, who recently got engaged, had Polly Wales make her this fantabulous ring!
All of this spurred me onto an afternoon-long search online to see what other intriguing designs I could uncover. I did find quite a few to share with you, although I think this design is still up-and-coming, as there weren’t as many as I anticipated. In no particular order, here’s some variations on the east-west theme:
What do you think of this east-west idea? Is it something you could see yourself wearing? Or perhaps you do already? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below — I’ve love to hear from you!