Bejeweled Sandals for Summer 2017

This time of year, as my shopping season slows down (I can’t believe it’s already time for pre-fall in the stores!), I find myself helping many of my clients get ready for vacation. I just love this aspect of my job. I pour over my clients’ itineraries and plan the ideal outfits for their adventures. Not only is it fun for me, but I know it really reduces my clients’ stress levels, allowing them to enjoy the time before they depart as well as when they finally arrive at their destination.

One particular client is planning a month-long sojourn to a couple countries in Europe, ending with some time in the Bahamas. I’ve pretty much got her wardrobe set, but I’m still working on the shoes. Since she won’t be traveling with most of her good jewelry (wise woman), I thought it’d be fun to add a little bling by way of her sandals — she does like the sparkle!! Also, she requires flats for her trip due to a recent medical issue. I figured that if she brings one in black and one in a neutral or metallic, she’ll be pretty much covered for what she has planned. (this is in addition to her “walking” shoes and a pair of sneakers)

Granted, this is a high-end client, so she prefers luxury brands. Also, I know her personal style is quite sophisticated, so I tried to find styles that weren’t too over-the-stop with regard to the bling. I thought it would be fun to share the options I’m presenting her. Just like seeing runway looks in a fashion magazine, you can use these styles as inspiration to find something that may suit your own style and budget. Or, perhaps you may want to invest in one of these options yourself. As I tell my clients, I’d rather have them buy one thing they l.o.v.e at a higher price point, than three less expensive iterations that won’t make them as happy. Quality over quantity, in my book.

Balenciaga studded slide sandal

balenciaga studded slide sandal
Alexander Wang Leidy slide sandal

alexander wang leidy slide sandal
Pedro Garcia Judith sandal

pedro garcia judith sandal
Mystique jewel slides

mystique jewel slides
Giuseppe Zanotti metallic crystal toe-ring sandal

giuseppe zanotti metallic crystal toe-ring flat sandal
Giuseppe Zanotti crystal sandal

giuseppe zanotti crystal sandal
Pedro Garcia Arabela crystal slide sandal

pedro garcia arabela crystal slide sandal
Valentino rockstud leather flat sandal

valentino rockstud leather flat sandal
Personally, I’d love to have any of these in my closet! How about you? Do bejeweled sandals or shoes fit into your personal style? Can’t wait to hear what my client selects!

Audrius Krulis: Designer

When you visit the website of jewelry designer Audrius Krulis, you’re greeted with the words, “playful forms evoked by nature; a glimpse into imagination narrated through sculpture.” This sentiment perfectly embodies this line, where precious materials and sculpture intersect.

adrius krulis rings
Audrius, originally from Lithuania, has been working in the jewelry business for over 20 years. He launched his own line about 4 years ago, and I must say that I adore it. I can see how his degrees in sculpture and architecture have translated into gold and gemstones. His rings were the first pieces I ever saw of his work, and it was wonderful seeing a range designs at the JCK show. His work with boulder opals is quite fantastic. The large orange-hued one I tried on is an Ethiopian opal. He told me that the stone dictates the design. And his mind is so active that, “By the time I finish one, I have 5 more ideas!”

adrius krulis boulder opal rings
adruis krulis opal rings
At the show, I was excited to see the breadth of his collection. I’d never seen his bangles, these below adorned with ombre sapphires and diamonds.

adrius krulis bangles
These hoop drop earrings are convertible to just huggies if you want a more subtle look.

adrius krulis earrings
I was happy to check out one of Audrius’ favorite pieces, a blue sapphire and gold bracelet. The mechanics in the construction are just superb, and it felt effortless on my wrist.

adrius krulis sapphire bracelet
Perhaps you’re looking for a diamond necklace you can wear every day? But one that’s more contemporary and not so traditional? He’s got it!

adrius krulis diamond necklace
Audrius is basically a one-man shop, with the exception of photography and advertising. I have a feeling his son, Karolis, is instrumental in that department.


Adrius and Karolis Krulis
Audrius and Karolis Krulis

I can picture some of the people in my livfe just loving these pendants, with their luxe organic feel and autumn-y color palette.

adrius krulis pendants
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I’m always on the lookout for unique stud earrings. I can tell you, I’ve never seen any like these, have you?

adruis krulis stud earrings
If you’d like an up-close look at some of his work, click here for a list of retailers.

Cindy Edelstein Memorial Charity Auction

Cindy Edelstein was a powerful woman in the world of jewelry. I met her a few times over the years, and I was so impressed with her devotion to both jewelry designers and the industry as a whole. When she tragically passed last year, it left a deep hole in the heart of the jewelry world. The Contemporary Jewelry Design Group (CJDG), in association with Couture, is honoring her legacy with an online jewelry auction, and bidding will be opening tomorrow, May 15, 2017.

There are over 30 unique pieces on the auction block, each generously donated by CJDG members. Proceeds from the auction will benefit Jewelers for Children and the Women’s Jewelry Association Scholarship Fund. Here’s a little more about these recipients:

“Jewelers for Children is a non-profit founded in 1999 by the U.S. jewelry industry with the mission of helping children in need. Since its inception, JFC has donated more than $51 million to programs serving children whose lives have been affected by illness, abuse, or neglect.

The Women’s Jewelry Association established the “Cindy Edelstein Jewelry Design Scholarship” in 2016 to honor Cindy’s unwavering commitment to the WJA and the careers of women. This scholarship, in the amount of $5,000, is awarded annually.”

Bidding runs May 15- June 3 at 4pm. The winners will be announced at the Couture cocktail party following the close of the show at 6:00 pm on June 3, 2017. And don’t worry — you don’t have to be present to win. This auction is open to the public, and the jewelry will be sent to the winning bidders.

Just to tempt you, here are a few of the gorgeous pieces that could be yours….

Skye pendant from Julez Bryant

julez bryant skye pendant
Knife Edge hoop earrings from Suzy Landa

suzy landa signature knife edge hoop earrings
Pamela Froman yellow and pink gold Scrolls bar necklace with diamonds

pamela froman pink and yellow gold scrolls bar necklace with diamonds
Inverted diamond and oxidized silver earrings from TAP by Todd Pownell

tap by todd pownell diamond earrings
Dana Bronfman’s Trina ring in yellow gold with diamonds

dana bronfman trina ring in yellow gold with diamonds
Antique Greek coin necklace from Jane Bohan

jane bohan antique greek coin necklace
Raw diamond disc earrings from Todd Reed

todd reed raw diamond disc earrings
So have I got your attention now? I thought so. Head on over to the auction site and bid for both beauty and a great cause.

(Original photo of Cindy by Dario Calmese/ Artwork by Mike Pfeffer)

TAP by Todd Pownell

I became a BIG fan of TAP by Todd Powell after seeing his line at the Union Square location of Gallery of Jewels in San Francisco. My clients were equally adoring, and quite a few of them now proudly have his pieces in their own jewelry box. What really set this line apart for me was how the diamonds are often set upside down. Such a chic way to deconstruct the typical piece of diamond jewelry.

diamond jewelry from tap by todd pownell
Launched in 2008, this husband/wife team created their line in their live/work space in Cleveland, Ohio. Here’s a shot of their space and team from their website. Looks like a creative wonderland!

tap by todd pownell team
When I spoke with them at the Couture show, I asked them who their customer is. Todd responded, “Someone who appreciates something unexpected — a mix of chaos and order. Often it’s a particular diamond that mysteriously draws a person in; the winking and twilight effect in how the diamonds flash.” I totally get that, as I have experienced how certainly pieces seem to magnetically attract me.

You are really the master of setting diamonds “upside down.” How did this become part of your intrinsic style? It’s so cool!

I first started setting smaller single cut diamonds upside down into pieces for a wanted “twinkling” diamond effect in pieces in which I wanted a “night sky” motif or look. As a gemologist, I understood that the pavillion would function as a deep or high-angled rose cut, and the table would then became the “bottom” of the stone in which the light would internally reflect off of in more of a broad flash or winking effect, instead of the usual bling look. The cool factor, as you say, was achieved simply by doing the unexpected, but it was a fully conscious understood decision on my part.

Here’s an out-of-this-world pair of earrings I admired at the Couture show. They feature 8.31 carats of diamonds, ranging from white to grey to subtly colored. It’s a mix of inverted and pin-set stones on a sheet of white gold, backed in yellow gold.

tap by todd pownell diamond earrings
How do you and Debra compliment each other in the jewelry design and making process?

I had a strictly technical goldsmith & stone setting training, and I followed that up with a full graduate gemologist education. Debra is the studio artist and was educated in art history & jewelry studio practices.  She spent 7 years in Germany working and maintaining a studio and participating in the gallery scene. The difference and combination of our backgrounds and exposure was especially complimentary in developing our studio practice today. I do most of the initial designing of our current line and Debra fine-tunes our final decisions and does all of our custom wax modeling in studio. She also handles our studio’s internal pubic relations. Our small TAP team and myself do all the fabricating and I final finish each piece. We also both compliment each other in creating a positive working studio environment, which is very enriching for us.


Todd and Debra
Todd and Debra

I have to share this necklace I was ogling out at the Couture show, made of yellow diamond “slabs” in a mosaic pattern with marquis diamonds in the “cracks.” Can you believe this one-of-a-kind piece?

tap by todd pownell yellow diamond necklace
Do you have any current favorites you’ve been working on?

This wide 18K cuff is brand new and something a little different for us. It is 25mm wide at the top and tapers to 2mm wide. It has a hinge and spring mechanism that opens and closes to wear. The diamonds (3.35cts TW) are bead set into darkened palladium. I like the structure and tension within the design and the bold look of the piece. This is a fresh piece made for the upcoming Couture show.

tap by todd pownell cuff

This line is also a strong force in the world of alternative bridal rings. I tried on this prong set pear-shaped ring, and I could easily envision a bride wearing it. OR…I’d wear it as a right hand ring; you know I’m a big believer in women buying themselves jewelry!

tap by todd pownell diamond ring
There was such a wide array of styles at the show, it was honestly a bit overwhelming. With the mix of metals, textures and designs, I was in diamond heaven!!

tap by todd pownell diamond rings
Although I didn’t see this ring in person, I can’t help but falling in love with it. It’s a golden dish full of sparkling treasures.

tap by todd pownell ring with diamonds
I hope this look into the world of TAP by Todd Pownell has brightened your day. If you’d like to see some of their work in person, click here for a list of retailers.