Artist? Style Inspiration? I know this title may be a bit confusing, but I think I’ll be able to clarify it for you. Just read on…
It all started at the beginning of the Couture show last year in Las Vegas. I was walking along the hallway between ballrooms, and I saw this woman with an intriguing outfit on — one that really made me think to myself, “Wow — that is something I would love to wear!” Granted, this is an extremely rare thought for me. As a professional wardrobe stylist, I’m constantly surrounded by the latest styles, but very few resonate with me personally. I don’t normally dress like the typical gal out there; I describe my personal style as “urban bohemian,” as I like combining caftans with combat boots, and camouflage with silk and diamonds. When a guy in my town commented, “You don’t dress like people around here,” I took it as a huge compliment.
So here was this woman, looking effortlessly chic in pants, fab jewelry, and a jacket of various shades of white/tan with embellishment that certainly must be haute couture, as I had never seen one like it before. I had to approach her and compliment her look (not knowing that it was Bibi van der Velden). And guess what I found out — she MADE that jacket herself!! Each day I’d see her at the Wynn (where Couture is held), and each day she looked equally unique, wearing some sort of statement jacket. On the last day I was at the show, I finally was able to officially meet her and see her jewelry line (don’t worry — I’ll get to that in a bit).
Do you see what I mean? Her jacket just makes her whole look (along with the necklaces, of course). From what I saw of her during the show, her jackets are integral to her style signature. Bibi has no idea, but taking note of her style has really influenced me. For anyone who knows me, black is my go-to color, along with denim. But suddenly, I started looking for unique, statement jackets to incorporate into my wardrobe. Jackets that suited ME. I didn’t copy her look, but I adapted it to my own aesthetic. And you know what? It’s really been fun! I’ve found quite a few that suit my coloring and personality, and I feel really happy when I wear them. My closet is SO different than it was just a year ago.
So this should explain the “Style Inspo” portion of the title. Now, let’s get to the artist part. Bibi van der Velden is way more than simply a jewelry designer. You already know she can design and sew clothing, but I also learned that her field of training is sculpture. In fact, her mom is the accomplished sculptor Michèle Deiters. They work together creating truly unique works of art. You can learn more about their work on BibiMichel.com. As I looked through the gallery on their site, I could really feel the strong and creative mother-daughter bond. (photo by Rahi Rezvani)
Not only is she a seamstress and a sculptor, but this mother of two is ALSO a jewlery designer. (Does she ever have time to sleep??) And let me tell you, her jewelry is as special as she is. I could have spent hours in her booth, trying on each and every piece. The group that first pulled at my heart is her Galaxy Collection. Having a life-long affinity for celestial themes, I tried on this Galaxy Dome Ring, where the gems are pinned under a hand carved rock crystal and surround by rose gold. I couldn’t stop staring into its sparkling depths.
Take a look at the colors, materials and detail in this big Galaxy Opal Ring. You can see why her line is aptly named “Wearable Works of Art!” This ring is truly sculpture for your hand.
I would wear these Galaxy opal earrings in a heartbeat, with everything from a cotton sundress to a black tie gown.
Bibi’s Scarab Collection was also irresistible. If you can believe it, she uses the actual wings from scarab beetles in these pieces. Now don’t worry, no insects were harmed in the creation of the jewelry. In fact, these scarab wings are considered the “leftovers” after eating a particular Thai delicacy. Bibi prides herself on being eco-conscious, and using these wings is right in tune with her ethos. I tried on a bunch of her scarab rings. The iridescence of the wings is quite spectacular.
This collection is especially popular with jewelry-lovers, and it’s one of her top sellers. I can see why. I adore this scarab and pearl bangle. Don’t you love the adornments on the scarab’s wings?
Also in line with her dedication to the environment is her use of 40,000 year old mammoth tusks in her jewelry. Found under the Siberian permafrost, this material is completely transformed in Bibi’s hands. These earrings are part of her Pop Art collection. I bet that mammoth never anticipated he’d be decorated with various hues of sapphires.
Her Jellyfish Collection was inspired by a white jellyfish she saw while traveling. She perfectly captures the essence of this creature in solar quartz and sterling silver.
Finally…and I can’t believe I’m including this, as I’m DEATHLY afraid of spiders…but here are two spider/spiderweb pieces. Though spiders really do freak me out, I couldn’t help but admire the craftsmanship in this necklace and ring.
Finally, I also have to mention Auverture, which is a one-of-a-kind online jewelry store, the likes of which I haven’t seen before. It features the work of 14 ultra-talented designers — things you likely won’t be able to find where you live. It delves into the story behind each piece. Bibi is one of the co-founders of the site. (Seriously, does she have ANY free time?) For a little more about its story, click here.
I hope I have now clarified the title of this article, over 1000 words later. Have you enjoyed this glimpse into the work of Bibi van der Velden? I can’t wait to see what she’s showing at Couture this year!
I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come up with an accurate description of Anthony Lent’s jewelry line — it’s insanely detailed, often outside the box, and unlike anything I’ve seen before. Here’s an excerpt from his website, “He has dedicated his life to the painstaking transformation of visionary images into intricate pieces of wearable art that are among the most detailed and conceptually profound works of jewelry being made today.” Word!
Having studied in both Philadelphia and Germany, Anthony has been designing jewelry for almost 50 years. His sons, David and Max, have joined the entourage and together they’ve been working on the brand since 2013. I feel privileged to have met the family and seen their work at the Couture show.
Let’s dive into some of the pieces I admired. First up is this “adorned hands” ring with a blue moonstone at its heart. The way the bejeweled hands lovingly hold up the center is simply exquisite.
Or what about this darling gold frog on a leafy, diamond-enhanced ring with a huge fire opal?
I have an increasing affinity for skull jewelry, and I didn’t want to take this skull ring off. I kept playing with how the light reflected through it.
Anthony is very well known for his work with Damascus Steel. It’s a layered steel that you may have seen before in quality knives. Each piece is like a slice of wood and will look different from any other slice.
Faces are a popular motif in the line. Here’s three different (aptly named) “brickface” rings.
How about a couple faces dangling from your earlobes?
Focusing on a single part of the face is also one of Anthony’s fortes. Love these “wandering eye” rings — and, yes, I turned the little one upside down so it could “wander” in the other direction. 😉
I also want to share the “emotions” ring with you. Since there’s no way I can top the description from their website, I’ll share that with you, “The faces in the Anthony Lent Emotions Ring represent the confrontation of “the common eye” with “the uncommon eye,” or with the multiple ways of perceiving and feeling differently about the same thing. The faces evoke a dream state in which ones identity dissolves as well as the open possibilities of psychedelia. They are, perhaps, an expression of what it feels like to experiment with new ideas, strange ideas, and possibly uncomfortable ideas. Some people are afraid of their emotions, after all, and afraid to look into the darker corners of the human psyche. This design is a confrontation with our emotional comfort zone and a celebration of the new dimensions of experience that stepping outside of it enables us to visit.” Did you know that a single piece of jewelry could say so much? Now you know why I love it.
If you’d like to keep up with the latest from Anthony Lent jewlery, I suggest following his Instagram page. What you’ve seen in this article is just the tip of the Anthony Lent iceberg.
The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920’s just opened at the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York City, and it will run until August 20th. What comes to your mind when you think of this time in history? For me, I think about the new freedom for women, from the right to vote to rising hemlines. I picture speakeasies where people were dancing the Charleston and drinking cocktails, despite prohibition. If you’d like to explore this era, you’ll surely enjoy this new multi-media exhibit which features a wide array, from fashion to architecture, to music and film, and more.
Neil Lane, jeweler to the stars, is showing many pieces from his personal collection from the 20’s and 30’s. While you may know Neil as a jewelry designer, he is in fact a major collector as well. While growing up in Brooklyn, he began earning money from selling glass and other decorative objects. By the time he finished college, he had enough money to book a ticket to Paris. This is where he really had the opportunity to train his eye and learned to be a well-curated collector.
I’d like to share some of the pieces showing at this exhibit. You may recognize this first necklace, as it was worn by Jennifer Lawerence at the 2014 Oscar’s. (cool how she draped it down her back) This sautoir is composed of diamonds, platinum and carved rock crystal. It’s signed Chalet et cie, Paris, France. It’s from the royal family Montino Bourbon Del Monte Di San Faustian.
I love this stack of platinum, diamond, ruby and sapphire bracelets from Boucheron. So chic!
The whimsy in these Cartier platinum and diamond airplane brooches makes me smile.
Never in my life have I seen a bracelet quite like this; a whole orchestra is shown in platinum, diamonds, sapphires and carved onyx. I can certainly understand why Neil added this to his collection!
This French platinum, yellow and white diamond, and cabochon emerald brooch is quintessentially of the time. It’s maker’s hallmark is Rubel Frères.
Personally, I’d love to wear this French platinum and diamond sphere necklace, signed Mauboussin, circa 1929. It was worn by Madonna at the 2003 MTV VMA’s.
Finally, how about this platinum and diamond bracelet, once owned by Mae West?!
This is just the tip of the iceberg, my friends. Living on the west coast, I’m sad to be missing this exhibit. But if you find yourself in NYC, add this to your itinerary and enjoy! Please let me know what you think of the show.
-Clean my apartment
-Write a blog post; make it an extra-special one, as JewelryFashionTips.com turns SIX this week! (How did time fly so quickly?!)
-Work out/go to my barre class
-Eat a healthy dinner
This is how the day actually went down:
-Sleep in till a little after 9
-Have a leisurely morning in my pj’s
-Go to lunch with my mom at the Pancake House (translation: not the healthiest of choices, but yummy)
-Hang out with mom, just chatting in her family room
-Take a long, hot shower when I get home (2nd one of the day — it is allergy season, after all)
-Put my pjs back on, even though it’s only about 4:00
-Read magazines for a couple hours on my couch (technically, this counts as work-related)
-Watch TV (Did anyone else see the finale of Big Little Lies?! OMG!!)
-Get in bed at 8:30 and read Outlander (finally on book 8) for three hours
As you can see, I didn’t accomplish a single thing on my to do list, but you know what? It’s OK. The world kept spinning, and when I got up the next day, no calamity had ensued. And on the bright side, I had a joyful, relaxing day. I DID accomplish things, just not the things I had necessarily thought I would.
I think having down time is severely underrated in our society, especially for women. It’s always rush, rush, rush — with everyone complaining about how busy they are. It’s almost a badge of honor to be worn out. How did this EVER become OK?? I am very NOT OK with it, and I’m making a concerted effort to take plenty of me time, say “no” when I want to, and make decisions in my best interest, even if they turn out disappointing some people. This is especially tough for me, as I tend to be a people-pleaser. I’m sure I’m not the only one out there, right?
Writing a blog is such an interesting endeavor. I take joy in sharing amazing jewlery with my readers and telling stories that may never otherwise be told. I truly do it as a labor of love, as I don’t necessarily earn money from it. But I have also noticed a big change in the world of blogging. “Traditional” blogs like mine, with long-ish written articles are losing some steam. More visual, quick bites are what’s getting the traffic. That’s why I’ve increased my presence on Instagram and continued with my daily images on Facebook. It’s also why I’ve reduced my twice-weekly article schedule to once a week, at most. I’m not planning on going anywhere, just switching it up a bit in how I share the sparkle. In addition, this new arrangement is allowing me a little extra time for myself each week.
I hope that you can take a look at your schedule and see if you’re getting enough YOU time. And if you’re not, I’m confident you can find a way to make it happen. You deserve it. Sending you love from my dusty apartment!