Alternative Bridal

Seeing that I’m a (single) wardrobe stylist and a jewelry blogger, people always assume that I know exactly what I want when it comes to the day that I get engaged. Shockingly, I still have no clue! So I’m always on the lookout for amazing rings, looking for inspiration. (Yes, I know that this is a “cart-before-the-horse scenario,” but a girl can dream, right?!)

Last Friday I was doing some Christmas shopping in Union Square and along Fillmore Street, and I came across two very stunning and non-traditional sets. First was on the finger of Sarah.

Armenta rings

The trio of rings is by Armenta (whom I adore, both as a designer and as a person), with an ornate wide band and diamond eternity bands on either side. She said she also has a wide platinum band that she can substitute for the middle one if she’s having more of a “silver” day. Gotta love options! (Side note: love the edginess of the chevron knuckle ring and sparkly manicure on this young wife)

Not long thereafter, I came across this gal, who has a main band of diamond slices surrounded by smaller diamonds, and again, framed with two diamond eternity bands. Yes, I was drooling!

diamond slice ring

I think the originality and versatility of both these stacks are uber cool. Plus, they really give the wearer a chance to express their personal style. I’ll definitely be adding these ideas to my mental “wedding ring” idea list. Sorry, honey — I don’t know who you are yet, but you’re already in trouble. šŸ˜‰

Emily Armenta: Designer

As a long-time fan (and collector) of the Armenta line, I was just thrilled to spend some time with Emily at the Couture show. She was everything I thought she’d be and more! With her long, dark hair and fair complexion, she was just what I’d envisioned as the creator of such beauty. Both her and her line have an almost other-worldly quality to them, with nods to earlier times in history.

Emily Armenta and Amy Roseveare
Emily is truly a visionary in jewelry!

Born into an extremely artistic family (mom paints and sculpts, dad is a writer and sister is a poet!), Emily told me she began to sketch jewelry as soon as she could hold a pencil. Though she did go the route of working as a trader for Morgan Stanley, she knew it just wasn’t the right fit for her. While in business school she created the plan for her jewelry business, and she launched in 2002. From the sounds of it, she did everything in her power to make it work! One of her money-making ventures was buying cars at auctions and then re-selling them. She dumped every cent of profit into building her business, and I’m so glad she did! Not only that, but her whole line is hand-crafted right here in the USA. Brava!

Inspired by the Spanish poet Fedrico Garcia Lorca, Emily learned of duende, which is “…a spirit of unpredictable passions that surges within us, and how it manifests itself as a creative force.” Black and gold are a big part of her signature, and here’s a perfect example of how she expresses herself in large, statement rings.

armenta rings
Quintessential Armenta rings

Personally, I also just adore her bangles. I long to have a collection of them, stacking them with other bracelets I already own. The creative combinations would be endless with each bangle added to the group.

armenta bangles
Opal bangles — delicious!

Working with 18K yellow and rose gold, oxidized silver, and incredible stones, she also launched a “New World” collection in 2011. This group is made of sterling silver with a platinum wash. I asked her about how she finds stones with such amazing colorations. Turns out that she often fuses two stones together, which are called doublets. For example, she’ll fuse boulder opal to sandstone. Not only does this create fascinating hues, yet it also creates a stronger stone. Who knew?! Here are some rings from her New World collection.

armenta new world collection
Just lovely!

If you read fashion magazines, you may well recognize this following photo from her current ad campaign. In addition to her jewelry, she also has started a handbag line! Made of exotic materials such as crocodile and python, many of the evening bags have removable straps. Her wrap leather cuffs actually clip on to the evening bags for an ultra-chic wristlet look. How creative!

emily armenta jewelry
A modern take on historical themes

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and you are intrigued by this line, then it’s your lucky day! This Saturday, September 8th, Emily will be making a personal appearance at her trunk show at Neiman Marcus in Union Square from 10-5. This is a rare opportunity to meet her in person, so don’t miss out!

Stacking Rings

I’ve written about layering necklaces and bracelets, but I’ve yet to talk about stacking rings. I think this goes beyond being a trend — it’s more of a personal style. Mixing metals, styles and scale, one can really let your personality shine through with this technique. And the bonus is that there are no set rules…you just need to experiment until you get the vibe you’re going for.

On a recent shopping trip with a client, she was excited to show me her new (beautiful) David Yurman ring which she had purchased on a girl’s weekend in Las Vegas. She and her long-time friend bought matching rings to commemorate the trip. She smartly paired this with a diamond band she already owned. On our shopping expedition, she found the perfect thin black diamond eternity band at Gallery of Jewels to complete the trifecta. Loving it!

diamond and black diamond stacking rings
Great combination!

Here’s another stack that was created over a few years’ time. The bottom ring is by Armenta, the middle ring was purchased at an estate sale, and the top ring is a beauty by Nina Bashrova from Manika Jewelry. Though they are all different, they still appeal to the same sensibility with the delicate gold/diamond story. In addition, the scale of each ring works harmoniously together.

diamond stacking rings
A coherent gold & diamond stack

Let your creativity run wild when experimenting with combinations. This group by Sylva & Cie rocks!

Sylva & Cie rings
Creative combination!

I’d love to see what stacks you come up with. Feel free to send me photos!

Valentine’s Day Bling to Buy for Yourself!

The way I look at Valentine’s Day, or basically any other holiday, is that it’s the perfect opportunity to buy yourself a lovely gift! Pricey, inexpensive, it doesn’t really matter — just do it! (You know I’m a strong proponent of self-gifting!)

As I’m strolling around the internet this morning, I’m coming across quite a few lovelies that would be the perfect gift. I thought I’d share some of my finds and hopefully inspire you to go look for yourself.

1. Check out this stunning labradorite ring by Armenta. It’s an investment, but it would look to-die-for with a necklace I already own.

Armenta labradorite ring

2. Since I’m always in search of gorgeous stud earrings, these rose gold druzy studs by Dara Ettinger might be just the ticket. (Love that they’re under $100 too!)

dara ettinger druzy studs

3. I can always find some fabulous, ethnic jewelry at Maison K in Montecito, CA. This rhinestone and turquoise necklace from Istanbul would be amazing with an all-white linen outfit and gold sandals…with a drink in my hand…

maison k turquoise and rhinestone necklace

4. I own these Jennifer Meyer hoops in yellow gold, and I’m surprised I haven’t worn them out yet. Perhaps I need a pair in white gold as well? Decisions, decisions….

jennifer meyer white gold and diamond hoops

5. A statement necklace makes the simplest of tops look like you came right from Fifth Avenue. This neutral druzy necklace by Isharya would pair beautifully with jeans, a white tee and a camel cardigan. Yum!

Isharya lunar druzy white necklace

6. I’ve tried this bracelet on twice at J.Crew recently. My wrists are tiny, and it actually fits perfectly. Layered with some of my bangles, I think it could be a very inspired combination.

J.crew rhinestone bracelet

Oh, the choices I have… And who’s to say I won’t come across something else while I’m out shopping today? And the bonus, is that this treat is calorie free, unlike those giant chocolate-filled heart boxes. So go treat yourself and enjoy Valentine’s Day! Feel free to share any of your great finds — I’d love to see them.