Kelley Hollis: Designer

Originally I started out this article as one of my “Jewelry Judge” posts, but it has become a bit bigger than that, as I learned more about the necklace I saw. Last Sunday I took myself out for a well-deserved brunch at my local fave, Alana’s, for a Mediterranean scramble and some home-style potatoes. Packed as usual, I took the last seat at the counter next to a lovely, petite woman who was clearly also a local. It didn’t take long before we were engaged in a meal-long conversation. Of course, I had to ask her about her unique necklace.

kelley hollis necklace

I wasn’t quite sure if it was vintage or not, as the main bar and pendant looked antique, but the chains looked much more modern. Apparently my deductions were correct, as this necklace by Kelley Hollis is crafted from both vintage and modern parts. This Berkeley designer has been at it for about three and a half years. She takes vintage jewelry from the 1920’s-1960’s, restores and then upcycles them into these unique, one-of-a-kind creations. She also uses fabric pieces from restored fabric appliqués from India, circa the 1940s.

kelley hollis jewelry

kelley hollis necklace

Colleen, my surprise brunch companion, purchased her necklace at the de Young Museum in San Francisco during their prestigious 30th annual Bouquets to Art exhibit. They invited a select group of artisan jewelers to show each of the 6 days at the exhibit. What an honor!

If your personal style veers toward the Romantic, vintage-inspired side, then Kelley Hollis’ line is right up your alley!

Silver Combination: Jewelry Judge

Hitting all the stores we could find, my cousins and I found ourselves in the Eileen Fisher store in downtown Seattle during our girl’s weekend. Though the clothes were lovely, I was more interested in the cool silver combination that one of the sales women was wearing.

silver layered necklaces

silver jewelry

I love how she paired such a delicate necklace with a more substantial piece. And the main pendant is in perfect harmony with the print of her shirt. Then with the addition of the extra-long chain earrings, the edgy glasses and the mussed-just-so pixie cut, I thought she just looked fabulous. What do you think? Thumbs up?

AICI Conference in San Francisco: Jewelry Judge

As a certified image consultant and wardrobe stylist, I need to earn a certain number of CEUs (continuing education units) each year to maintain my certification. I love attending conferences where I stay current with the latest teachings in the world of fashion and image. I spent last weekend attending the AICI (Association of Image Consultants, International) conference here in San Francisco. While I was of course taking copious notes, I was also snapping pics of jewelry that caught my eye on fellow attendees.

I noticed a few trends going on. First was layered necklaces. Here are various layers I spied….

Diamond leaf layered with raw diamonds
Diamond leaf layered with raw diamonds

Rock 'n roll with camo
Rock ‘n roll with camo

Here’s a close-up of the key pendant, by Jennifer Montana’s jewelry line which donates 80% of its proceeds to charity.

jennifer montana key necklace

Each of her pendants had sentimental meaning
Each of her pendants had sentimental meaning

Stunning tassel and rose gold accents
Stunning tassel and rose gold accents

Stacked bracelets was another trend that was definitely going strong.

Eclectic stack
Eclectic stack

And here’s a bold mix from Marilyn Weller.

Ethnic and refined at the same time
Ethnic and refined at the same time

And I want it to be noted that there was no shortage of bold rings as well.

Amazing grey pearl ring with a silver cuff
Amazing grey pearl ring with a silver cuff

Love the organic design!
Love the organic design!

Can’t wait to see what you all come up with next!

Eyeball Jewelry: Jewelry Judge

No, you didn’t read the title wrong. It’s amazing what you can find while you are surfing around the internet, and I must say that I gasped when I stumbled across this image.

Diamond Contact Lens by Shekhar Eye Reasearch

What’s up with her eyes?! It turns out that she’s wearing $15,000 diamond contact lenses created by Chandrashekhar Chawan. Eeew!!! I mean, I’m all for bling, but in your eye? Searching a bit more, I came across these photos.

diamond contact lens


What really pushed me over the edge was this image — a contact lens with jeweled “tears” dangling from it. All I could picture was some little kid grabbing an pulling it. Ouch!

contacts with tears

I can say, with complete certainty, that I’m NOT a fan of eyeball jewelry, and I truly hope that this does not become a strong trend. What’s your opinion?

“The Entertainer”: Jewelry Judge

While shopping with a client at the Westfield Mall on Market Street in San Francisco, my attention (momentarily) strayed from my client when I spotted this man. With a heavyweight boxing belt, massive faux gold chains, and an oversized wall clock hung around his neck, how could I NOT notice?!

the entertainer 1

the entertainer 2

Throw in the bedazzled top hat, the huge gold-tone watch and the weighty ring, this guy was truly a jewelry conundrum! During our brief chat, I don’t know if he was all-together “there,” yet he was cheerful as can be and kept reiterating that he was The Entertainer! Though I have no idea what his act actually is, he certainly entertained me. While I would not recommend his taste in accessories, I think it’s great that it clearly makes him happy. He could not stop smiling. That’s what life is all about, isn’t it?

Downton Abbey Jewelry: Jewelry Judge

I, like many of you reading this post, am a HUGE fan of the British series, Downton Abbey. In fact, I’ve got Jan 5, 2014 on my calendar for the premiere of season 4 here in the States! The series starts towards the end of Edwardian England in 1912, and the third season ended around 1920. Aside from the perfectly cast actors and the compelling story lines, I eagerly await each episode to see what the characters are wearing. (Kudos to the costume designer!)

The period costumes are truly beautiful!
The period costumes are truly beautiful!

Imagine my surprise when I spotted this display while shopping in Macy’s over the weekend.

downton abbey jewelry at Macy's

I took a closer look at many of the pieces.

downton abbey jewelry

downton abbey earrings

downtown abbey hair pins

While the line definitely evokes the feel of the era, I really don’t see how this collection is going to take off. Granted, if you were dressing as one of the characters for Halloween, then this is ideal. But are people really going to go for it in real life? I’m dubious. Perhaps someone with a romantic personal style may opt for a piece here and there, but I don’t see myself or most people I know running out to Macy’s to purchase. What’s your opinion? Would love to hear from you!

Statement Hoops: Jewelry Judge

So the “statement necklace” has been a big trend (no pun intended) for quite some time. But as I was paying for a garment at Bloomingdale’s at Stanford this week, I was struck by the earrings the darling gal ringing me up was wearing. Now mind you, it’s the “uniform” at Bloomies that they have to wear black, and so many of the employees lack a personal touch with their outfits. I love how this woman made a major fashion statement with some very large scale hoops.

hoop earrings 1

hoop earrings 2

Now you have to know, that this is a very petite gal, and the inherent scale of earrings for her would normally be much smaller. (Read about choosing the scale of your jewelry here.) But by choosing these large hoops, she was deliberately making a dramatic fashion choice. I also think her big smile really helped balance them out. In addition, her slightly upturned eyes gives her an exotic look, which is complemented by the bold earrings. It’s not necessarily the earrings I would have first though to pick out for her, but as Tim Gunn would say, she made it work!

Vintage Layers: Jewelry Judge

I’m working in NYC this week, and it’s truly shopping heaven for me. Hopping from Bergdorf’s (Kardashian sighting) to the Meatpacking (Paris Hilton sighting) to Soho is just so fun. And people watching is right up there with cool things to do in the city, in my book. I ran across 5th Ave. and practically knocked this gal over.

vintage necklaces

I only had about 30 seconds to talk to her and snap her photo, but I really thought her two vintage necklaces were quite eye-catching. Granted, her sweater is pilling and her shoes were in need of repair, but all I could focus on was her jewelry. She was really showing her personality and sense of creativity. What do you think? And be honest, I want to know your opinion!

Substantial Layers: Jewelry Judge

I was wandering around the Los Altos Rotary Art fair on Sunday with my mom. We always enjoy this fair, and I think I like the people watching just as much as the art on display. Well this woman had it going on! She is another example of how age doesn’t have anything to do with style.

heavy layers

Her simple, black outfit was the perfect backdrop for her somewhat weighty, yet harmonious layers. She didn’t even have to utter a word, and I already felt like I knew so much about her. I imagine that she would have traveled the world, I’m sure she’s a good story-teller, and I have a strong suspicion that she has an optimistic outlook on life. I could, of course, be wrong, but this is really an example of how your personal image talks without you opening your mouth.

I urge you to really think about your personal style and what your outfit and accessories are saying about you. You never know when I might snap a photo of you!!

Spectacular Stack: Jewelry Judge

I always love to see what eclectic mixes people can come up with in their bracelet stacks. This gal did not disappoint, and I think we spent at least 10 minutes talking about where all her various bracelets came from.

What a combo!
What a combo!

From the pearls by Erica Molinari, to the large bracelet by Diane Cotton, it was a cool mix. The antler cuff is from Grange Hall in Texas — apparently a store that I must add to my “must see” list!

This inspires me. Tomorrow I will be heading to my jewelry box and creating a brand new stack for the day!!