My first introduction to Mizuki jewelry was years ago, when a client of mine was looking for a chic bracelet she could wear to yoga that had a just a hint of bling and was comfortable enough to keep on in class. The answer came in the form of a thin Mizuki leather bracelet with a small diamond charm on it. It fit the bill perfectly! (She was, in fact, one of the first designers to combine leather and diamonds.) Since then, I’ve been a fan of this edgy, yet delicate line, and I was so honored to meet her at the Couture show.
When I see a ring like this, my heart starts beating a little faster.
Founded in 2008 by Arpita Navlakha and her husband, Divyanshu, this Houston-based line has gained a huge following around the globe. Sutra, which means “collection of sacred verses” in Sanskrit, is an ornate, colorful line which they describe as “chicly gothic.”
Arpita was born into a family of jewelers, and has truly been surrounded by jewels her whole life. (Lucky girl!) She is completely inspired by the stones themselves. Sure to design pieces that are stunning from every angle, I’ve never seen a collection with so many stones that truly light up from the inside. Don’t you think these earrings just glow?
And I think the richness of this multiple colored diamond ring is fantastic.
Sutra’s line, “…embodies opulent sophistication with the perfect hint of avant-garde modernism.” There’s definitely an element of Art Deco and Edwardian influence, as well as a little rocker chic, as shown in these earrings and ring.
Sutra’s jewels were the perfect companion to Jessica Alba’s fuchsia gown at the 2nd Annual Baby2Baby Gala.
I also think Vanessa Hudgens’ long diamond fish earrings were just the right choice with her bejeweled dress.
You can find Sutra Jewels at retailers around the country, including one of my faves, Fragments in NYC.
You know when you meet someone and they have this sort of ethereal, other-worldly aura about them? Well that’s just how I felt when I met the talented Gintare at the Couture show. Chicago-born, yet with both parents from eastern Europe, Gintare now resides in southern California. She realized what a strong energetic connection she has to Lithuania when she visited her mom’s farm back in 2008. This farm is in fact a sacred place in the country, which explains quite a bit about her. This line is steeped in culture, with a strong spiritual (though not religious) tone.
Gintare is most famous for her Karuna rings (meaning crown in Lithuanian and compassion in Sanskrit). She makes them in green, white and rose gold, embellished with diamonds. They can be stacked in countless ways, and easily combined with baguette bands.
Her “illuminated messenger luminous shield” pendant is also based on the Lithuanian culture — it’s the symbol for independence and freedom. (Love that!) It’s crafted in 18K green gold with blue sapphires.
One of my favorite pair of earrings at her booth was this pair, made from green gold, yellow tanzanite, and hand-cut clear crystal. Simply beautiful!
She loves the color white, and this theme carries on with this beautiful necklace. She got the idea for it when she saw the reflection of diamonds while peering through a piece of quartz. She kept playing around with it until she got it just right. The result is like seeing diamonds underwater, though instead of looking through water, you’re seeing them through quartz phantom crystal. Isn’t that just so cool? This really speaks to my water-loving pisces soul.
She also has this ring, called the “frozen waters ring” for obvious reasons. It evokes the depth of color from some of the amazing photographs I’ve seen of glaciers.
This fluid pair of earrings would be a welcome addition to someone’s jewelry box as well!
I left my interview with Gintare feeling so peaceful and happy. There was such a luminous energy about the whole experience, and I think she really nails this feeling with her line. I can’t wait to see her new creations at the next show.
I must admit that I never did very well in my history classes, but if Coomi Bhasin had been my teacher I would have rocked it, no doubt! During the course of our interview at the Couture show, everything from the Mesopotamian Era to Alexander the Great was thrown into the mix. This beautiful, highly intelligent and evervescent woman really wowed me, as did her jewelry line.
Now let’s take a closer look at some of her work, which she describes as “important, yet wearable.” Here’s her Lucy necklace. Lucy was one of the oldest skeletons every found, and Coomi designed her skeleton in gold, just as it was found, backed by an arrowhead, over 10,000 years old. (See what I’m saying about the history lesson?!) Have you ever seen anything quite like it? I sure haven’t!
This diamond cuff is honestly a work of art. Each diamond takes two hours to set by hand, if you can believe it. That’s one labor-intensive bracelet!
Another necklace she showed me was this one from her Serenity collection. It depicts the desert rose from the Kalahara desert in Africa, which blooms only once every 100 years. The diamonds represent the water droplets that get trapped in the bottom, center of the flower, and the texture of the gold represents the dryness of the desert sand.
Brumani is a Brazilian-based jewelry line that I’ve been seeing more and more of on the Red Carpet and adorning celebrities about town, from Jennifer Lawrence to Penelope Cruz. Here’s Jennifer Lopez wearing earrings and multiple rings from their “Looping Shine” collection in NYC recently.
I was thrilled to check out the collection live while at the Couture jewelry show. The array of dazzling colors and gem-laden pieces was enough to get my inner princess drooling!! And visiting their booth was like having a little vacation, including perfumes of the most popular scents of the country.
Though this is relatively young brand, founded in 2005 by three brothers (Eduardo, Emerson and Rodrigo Bruner), they have a 50+ year family history in jewelry making. The essence of the line is all about Brazil, “…inspired by Brazilian music, by the magic and colors of the Carnival, the feminine universe, the arts, the nature of Brazil and by the connection of different cultures brought together by a shared history.”
Their “Looping Shine” collection strives to “connect the many bonds people have in life: friends, relationships, experiences…It’s a tribute to love, to affection, to companionship, to friendship and to fellowship.” The pieces are made from rose gold with diamonds and double faceted translucent quartz, which has been polished with a diamond powder. I would SO wear one of those big rings!!
They also have a collection based on the very exotic Baobab tree. Here are some rings from this group that sparkle like crazy!
This following image showcases pieces from the “Baobab Grass” collection. I was so taken by the frosted, matte look of the lemon quartz. (It reminded me of sea glass, which you know I love.) In combination with brown diamonds, chrysoberyl, and Mandarin garnet, these truly are jewels fit for royalty.
The “Baobab Parahyba” collection features white gold and diamonds with hues of blue, including aquamarines and the rare Parahyba tourmaline.
I also thought their “Nude” collection was very cool. Perhaps a bit more casual, these pieces make a statement about the range in human skin color, “..a way to show appreciation for the ethnic diversity in colors that range from white to beige; from champagne to pink; from brown to black.” Love that inspiration! Here’s a lovely pair of earrings with stunning faceted smoky quartz drops.
This line just really makes my jewelry soul smile. Their goal is to “design jewelry that represents the joy of living from the Brazilian soul” and I think they’ve done just that!
The group that immediately grabbed my attention is the “Isle of Capri.” Perhaps it’s because Capri is one of my favorite places on the planet and that aqua is my favorite color — the jewelry just spoke to me. Take a look at these “Grace Kelly Cuffs.”
Working with 18K gold and ethically sourced stones, such as naturally harvested coral and non heat-treated stones, Parul strives to create beauty without harming the environment. All her jewelry is made in house, in New York City. I love these diamond and aquamarine earrings. You can wear the drop flipped to either side, or just wear them as studs. Getting three looks from one pair of earrings is fabulous!
The allure of this ring really does take my mind to my last visit to Capri, where I saw every shade of blue…from the turquoise waters in the Blue Grotto to the azure sky above.
Finally, this pair of earrings, with a rose gold stud, oxidized silver and diamonds comes from her Briar Rose collection, which is inspired by Sleeping Beauty and the thorns and briars around her castle. I think they are exquisite.
Chatting with Kuki about her line, she just exuded excitement and passion. It’s clear that she’s doing what she loves, which is a rare gift indeed.
There are a few non-jewelry blogs I follow, and one is “French Kiss Life” by Tonya Leigh. She has this amazing view of life full of joie de vivre, and I always find inspiration from her blog posts. Her latest one is entitled 80 Mantras for the Elegant Lady. While I’m not necessarily into saying mantras on a daily basis, I still read through her list. One popped out BIG time for me…”I don’t have to be a good girl.” Really? Who says? This is my decision? Me, the girl who had “Goody Two Shoes” by Adam Ant dedicated to me countless times in middle school? Me, who always does the “right” thing, even if it isn’t the best decision for me? Hmmm…very interesting. Revolutionary, really.
Perhaps this thought has been percolating in my subconscious for a while, because when I saw Efva Attling’s Passion Cuff rings at the Couture show, I made the sales rep take them off her own hand so I could try them on!
I don’t think the casual observer would notice that they are handcuffs, but as the wearer, you do! With a subtle reference to being naughty, it brought a devilish glint to my eye. In addition, I think these sort of multi-finger rings are just hot-hot-hot! She also makes the design in a bracelet.
I think when I work in NYC later this month, I’m definitely going to make a point of visiting her store in the Meat Packing district and try those rings on again. I don’t need to be a good girl, and I think that this piece might be just the mantra I need, yet in the form of jewelry! 😉
Boaz Kashi is a famous household name in Israel, and I had the pleasure of meeting him stateside at the Couture jewlery show. This charming designer has an extremely unique line — it’s raw, edgy and sculptural all at the same time.
I tried on this ring, with wrapped metal and stunning diamonds.
Here’s another ring, which truly shows his unique aesthetic.
Founded in 1889 by his grandfather, Boaz is a 3rd generation jeweler. He has been designing for about 15 years now, and he’s really taking the line in a powerful direction. Here is a bracelet made from wire-wrapped lava stones, highlighted with a spattering of colored gemstones.
This bracelet is substantial, to say the least. It’s crafted from 18K blackened solid gold with diamonds and a huge Tourmaline.
Finally, this cuff is just amazing, rough and elegant at the same time. It is made from 18K oxidized white gold, set with diamonds in 24K gold frames. I think it’s a work of art!
I can see this line worn by a variety of personal styles, from the rocker to the bohemian and beyond. He says his jewelry is, “…pieces to fall in love with, a reflection of self, a mirror to the owner’s personality and life style.” Would you like to have a piece of Boaz’s work in your jewelry box? I certainly would!
When I met Victor Velyan at the Couture show, I knew that I was meeting one interesting and talented guy. Full of stories of his “second” home in Africa, I know he could keep anyone entertained for hours! (In fact during the show, I heard a couple designers affectionately refer to him as “African Vic.”) But sooner or later, I had to get to exploring his incredible line, the likes of which I haven’t seen before.
Based in Los Angeles, Victor has been in the jewelry business for 30 years. But about 5 years ago, he really got the urge to create something extremely new and edgy that no one had seen before, so this particular line was born. It’s all completely hand made with NO electric tools! He only uses old-school tools such as chisels and hammers. The first thing that really struck me about his line was the amazing patina on some of his pieces, which he described to me as, “copper trying to come back to life.” Take a look at this exquisite cuff, and the detail of the carefully carved crocodile pattern. The patina process took him 5 years to develop, but I think the hard work was worth it!
He also has a white patina on some pieces, which are made using a pure acid bath. The result is extremely unique! This white patina is beautiful on these drop earrings, accented with pink sapphires and sea blue onyx. And a fabulous feature about these earrings is that you can take off the drops, and add others. Great versatility!
I also think these tourmaline and sapphire earrings are quite spectacular, with the color harmony of the stones — fab combo!
Victor also loves pearls. This necklace of pink tourmaline, diamonds and South Sea white pearls is worthy of a princess! And the back of the pendant is just as beautiful as the front.
While I was admiring his collection, I happened to meet Soraya Cayen, who has a fine jewelry store, Cayen Collection, in Carmel, CA. Small world! She carries his line, and is a collector of his work herself. Since Carmel is definitely one of my favorite places to visit, I’ll be sure to stop by next time I’m in town!
You may remember the article I wrote about Katherine Jetter last year. (If not, you’re missing out — click the blue link to read it!) The night before Couture was beginning, I was so happy to run into her at a restaurant at the hotel! While chatting, she told me that she had brought THE most amazing opal to the show, and when she showed me a photo of it on her phone (it basically filled her whole hand), I could hardly believe it! I had to go see it in person!
Here’s a closer look.
So here’s how the story goes…a 68 year-old miner (Bobby) from Lightening Ridge, Australia found this gem covered in muck 14 years ago at the bottom of a bucket of rough, uncut opals. He couldn’t believe his eyes when he cleaned it up and really discovered what he had found!! Fearing it would be stolen, he slept with “The Royal One” under his bed and carried it in a pouch around his neck during the day. Last year he brought the opal to NYC to have it appraised by the Gemological Institute of America. Needless to say, this 306 carat black opal blew everyone’s socks off!
This is where Katherine Jetter enters the picture. She has a solid relationship with other opal miners from that region, so Bobby trusted her to take it to Couture to sell. (Clearly, he’s a great judge of character!) Katherine was thrilled to be showing this “important part of Australian history.” Here’s a CNN clip that will give you some more scoop on this incredible story. (click the blue word “clip” to take you to the video.
I wonder who will buy it…