Dragonflies, Bees and Butterflies

Though spring in San Francisco currently seems to be colder than our winter, my eye is still being caught by the ever-popular insect motif in jewelry. As I was walking up Sutter Street the other day, this little Victorian beauty buzzed my name from the front window of Lang Antique & Estate Jewelry.

victorian diamond, tiger's eye, opal and ruby bee pin from lang antique jewelry
While so beautiful, this intricate piece is certainly an investment for most people. It got me thinking about how this pin would be on the catwalk at Fashion Week. But how to translate this to the street? Or as often dubbed, “Runway to Realway.” I took a look around and compiled a collection of ideas. Here they are, in no particular order.

Alexis Bittar Iridescent Bumble Bee Studs

alexis bittar iridescent bumble bee stud earrings
Siena Jewelry Silver Diamond Bee Pendant Necklace

siena jewelry silver diamond bee pendant necklace
Efva Attling Miss Butterfly Headband

efva attling miss butterfly headband
Because even a baby can rock a butterfly, James Banks Butterfly Baby Ring

james banks butterfly gold and silver tiny baby ring

Slane Bee Charm Bracelet

slane bee charm bracelet with bee charm
Jacquie Aiche Butterfly Stud

jacquie aiche butterfly stud
Anna Ruth Henriques Moonstone Dragonfly Pendant

anna ruth henriques dragonfly moonstone pendant
Slane Grace Black Onyx Bee Intaglio Ring

slane grace black onyx an dsterling silver ring with bee intaglio
Efva Attling Miss Butterfly Heaven Collier

efva attling miss butterfly heaven collier
And if you’re looking for a little something special for the graduate in your life, Dogeared Graduation Butterfly Necklace. (which also comes in silver)

dogeared graduation butterfly necklace
Tomorrow, as I head out for the day, I’m going to see how many of these winged creatures I see, both in reality and in the form of jewelry. I hope you have a lovely spring day!

13 Gift Ideas for Under $100

Yep, it’s true, Christmas is less than two weeks away. As you scan through your “to do” list and your stress level starts rising, don’t forget that jewelry can always make for a great gift, be it for a friend, family member, or even yourself. (You know that I’m the queen of self-gifting!!) I’ve done a little cruising through the web, and I’ve come up with 13 ideas that won’t break the bank. I hope you like them, and let me know if you have some great ideas as well!

Tai bracelet — The perfect neutral with a little sparkle that’s lovely on its own or layered.

tai moonstone station macrame bracelet, black
Jane Basch personalized bar necklace — because bar necklaces are tres hot, and who doesn’t love something personalized?

jane basch personalized bar pendant necklace

Labradorite earrings — totally versatile color in a sleek, modern design.

sundance drops of magic earrings
Hammered stack ring by Argento Vivo — get the whole stacked look in a single ring!

argento vivo hammered stack ring
Earrings by Avant Garde Paris — they look like small ear climbers, which are very on-trend, yet they aren’t over-the-top, with their smaller size and antiqued metal.

avant garde paris lidia earrings
Alexis Bittar necklace — a modified, sparkly take on the bar necklace; can be worn casually or for a fancy night out.

alexis bittar gold liquid crystal delicate cluster pendant necklace
Melinda Maria ring — total statement piece!

melinda maria mademoiselle pod ring
Kendra Scott cuff — because I think the color and iridescence of the stones are so pretty.

kendra scott arden station cuff
Jennifer Zeuner initial earrings — choose your own letters, too cute! And they come in three different metal colors.

jennifer zeuner izzy mini cursive initial post earrings
“Amadine” necklace — the mixed metals make this a super versatile piece, and it’d look great with long sweaters and tunics.

anthropologie golden amadine necklace
Gorjana cuff ring — looks like a piece of fine jewelry, right?

gorjana orbit shimmer cuff ring
Roman Coin charm bracelet — makes me want to hang out on the Riviera!

la mer collections roman coins charm bracelet
Jewelry Case — because everyone needs a way to get their gems from point A to point B!

sundance letter perfect jewelry case
I hope this list provides you with a bit of inspiration during this holiday season. Happy shopping!

Fringe-tastic Fall Finds

Fringe was a strong design detail in 2014, from bags to clothing to jewelry. Apparently, this trend is not going away anytime soon, as evidenced by this necklace worn in the MM6 Maison Martin Margiela spring/summer 2015 runway show this past week in NYC.

MM6 Maison Martin Margiela s:s15

When my wardrobe clients ask me about fashion trends, I always tell them to take them with a grain of salt. If you think a particular trend completely resonates with your personal style, then by all means jump on in, and don’t hesitate to make a bit of an investment. And if a trend is the farthest thing from your style and comfort zone, then definitely don’t feel pressured to jump on that bandwagon. If you’re somewhere in the middle, then perhaps give it a try, but don’t spend too much money on your “style experiment.” With that in mind, I’ve gathered 10 different pieces of jewelry, at a variety of price points and with different styles, for you to peruse. So here they are, in no particular order.

Rebecca Minkoff spiked enamel fringe necklace

rebecca minkoff spiked enamel fringe necklace

Iosselliani geometric floral cheetah bracelet

iosselliani geometric floral cheetah bracelet

Isharya black hampi fringe earrings (They’ve got a huge array of fringed pieces, by the way!)

isharya black hampi fringe earring

Nordstrom fringed faux pearl necklace

nordstrom fringed faux pearl necklace

Dannijo allegra crystal drop earrings

dannijo allegra crystal drop earrings

BCBG rocker fringe ring

bcbg rocker fringe ring

Auden Lennox fringe necklace

auden lennox fringe necklace

Jules Smith bar fringe earrings

jules smith bar fringe earrings

Alexis Bittar lucite and crystal lace fringe necklace

alexis bittar lucite & crystal lace fringe necklace

Ca & Lou fringe allover cuff

ca & lou fringe allover cuff

So what do you think? Are you a fringe girl?

Accessorize Me: Helmut Lang Black Dress

About ready to begin my 16th year as a full-time image consultant and wardrobe stylist, a big part of my job is accessorizing my clients from head-to-toe. Jewelry, is of course, a HUGE part of creating the whole “look.” I’m starting this new series, Accessorize Me, to demonstrate how to create different looks with the same outfit, just by switching up your accessories. Just as I do with myself and my clients, there’s a total range of price points — I love mixing high and low to create the look I’m going for. I hope you enjoy it, and I look forward to all comments!

First up is this cool crepe jersey dress by Hemut Lang that I recently purchased for a client. She is a hard-working author, mom, and wife, so this dress has got to take her out during the day or to a cocktail party with her husband.

Helmut Lang ruched-side crepe dress

First, let’s take it a little more casual, yet still with an urban edge. For this look, I opted for a long, statement necklace by Alexis Bittar. I just love the organic nature of the pendant with the clear lucite drop. In addition, the asymmetry of the pendant echoes the asymmetry of the dress. This necklace would work with a variety of outfits, for sure!

Alexis Bittar Lucite Jardin Mystere Pendant Necklace

Complementing the look with a cool stack ring, also by Alexis Bittar, and a simple, yet lovely pair of hammered silver hoops by Argento Vivo makes the right statement. The pave crystals in the ring pair well with the pave detail in the necklace, without being to “matchy matchy.”

Argento Vivo earrings and Alexis Bittar ring

To round out the downtown look, I chose a stacked heel by Anyi Lu (totally hot right now, and also referred to as a Cuban heel) and a simple black clutch by Oliveve.

Anyi Lu sandal and Oliveve queenie clutch

Now taking it more uptown, I went with a gold theme. This client is a mix of warm and cool coloring, so she’s lucky to be able to wear both metal colors. (If you’re unsure what metals are best on you, click here for my article on selecting the right tone.)

First off, I went for a much higher and dressier shoe by Manolo Blahnik. While these are a big investment, they will get a lot of play from everything from dresses to jeans, so the cost-per-wear will be pretty good. Then this clutch by Diane von Furstenburg is a great combo with the gold/black theme.

manolo blahnik shoe and diane von furstenburg clutch

And for the icing on the cake, we need some gold bling! I heart this bejeweled cuff by Jenny Packham, and you can’t go wrong with these stellar mesh drop earrings from ABS by Allen Schwartz (at under $100, great bling-for-the-buck!)

jenny packham cuff and abs allen schwartz earrings

While this is only two looks for this dress, I think we’re off to a great start. I’m sure we’ll even bring it down to total casual with flat sandals, a denim jacket, some more bohemian jewelry, and perhaps a simple cross-body bag. This $290 dollar dress is going to become a major work-horse this season!

Cuff Me!

No, I’m not making reference to Christian Grey, but rather to one of my latest obsessions — the cuff bracelet. I have written about beautiful cuffs by many designers the past couple years, but for some reason my interest in this particular style has really been piqued lately. I almost feel stronger in some way when I wear one. Perhaps I’m channeling my own inner Wonder Woman?!

She rocked one on each wrist!
She rocked one on each wrist!

Well wearing a cuff on each wrist is becoming more and more popular, and it really can be a chic look. I’m gravitating towards the sleek, modern look of these.

Cuffs by Celine
Cuffs by Celine

While shopping with a client in San Francisco last week, I discovered that Reed Krakoff, whom I normally associate with gorgeous handbags, also has some amazing pieces of jewelry! My client and I both fell love with this gunmetal t bar oval cuff. It sits very comfortably on the wrist, has an easy-to-use and secure closure, and just screams style!

My client modeling her new purchase
My client modeling her new purchase

Upon looking through Reed Krakoff’s website, I’m also totally taken by this one, which is a combination of metal and resin.

Transformer Cuff
Transformer Cuff

Elsa Peretti, who designs for Tiffany and Co. has created an amazing “bone” cuff. The design is different for each wrist, so that it molds naturally to the shape of your wrist. I’m SO going to try these on next time I’m at the store!

Sculptural perfection
Sculptural perfection

Lanvin has a very geometric version of the cuff. The design is slightly reminiscent of 60’s architecture to me. Do you see it too?

Oracle Cuff
Oracle Cuff

There are many options out there in rose gold as well. Personally, this layered-look cuff by Alexis Bittar just makes me smile.


Speaking of the layered look, I also like the idea of layering a bold, wide cuff with a narrower one. I bet this smaller one by Saint Laurent would work for that.

saint laurent morphing cuff

One really important thing I’ve learned about cuffs is that you HAVE to try them on. Some feel way too heavy. Some are soooo tiny that I can’t even get my wrist into it! And yet others are too big, and they fall down too far, making it difficult to bend your wrist. I mean heck, I’m willing to suffer a little for fashion, but not that much! So just like Goldilocks, you’ve got to test them out until you find one that’s just right for you!

Alexis Bittar: Designer

Hot guys and jewelry…put them together and how can you go wrong?!? It’s even better when that guy designs some of the most amazing and increasingly popular jewelry around. When I first stumbled into Alexis Bittar’s Soho store in NYC years ago (I think circa 2005), I knew he was on to something big. Press fast forward and he’s become one of the most well-known jewelry designers I’m aware of.

Alexis Bittar
Meeting Alexis for the first time

Alexis’ line is probably most famous for his lucite pieces. In fact, my friend Jen seriously needs to enroll in a 12-step program to deal with purchasing said pieces. Here’s a peek into her collection:

alexis bittar jewelry
Can we say Jen is a collector?!

His collection has three different branches. I think the one he’s most well-known for is his Lucite collection, which includes amazing hand-carved, often embellished works of art. Then he’s got his Miss Havisham collection, which is a bit more hard-core — encrusted with crystals and the occasional feather detail. Finally, there’s the Elements line, which truly has an organic esthetic.

While his line can be found in major retailers throughout the nation (Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Sak’s to name a few), I feel it’s his singular boutiques which really get his vibe across. San Francisco (my stomping ground) had the privilege of his store opening this past year on Fillmore Street. I stopped by for a visit recently. Upon entering the boutique, I felt like I had walked into a large jewelry box, complete with bleached grey cabinetry filled with his vision, a light grey marble floor and papered walls adorned with painted cherry blossom branches. This case highlighted his tribute to Grey Gardens, with feminine tones of pinks and greys.

alexis bitter grey gardens jewelry
Tribute to Grey Gardens

One of the coolest aspects of his boutiques are the collection of vintage pieces he has curated. He has a been a collector for most of his life, and he’s accumulated a wide array of delights which he now sells solely at his retail boutiques. Here’s just a few of the items available on the day I visited.

alexi bittar vintage jewelry
Clearly, jewelry from a good "vintage"

So between his own designs and the amazing treasures he’s picked up from his lifetime of travels, I think I have a crush on him. If he’s not yet on your radar, then get up to speed. You may find yourself in need of an Alexis Bittar 12-step program yourself.