Victor Velyan: Designer

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.

Victor and Amy
Victor and Amy

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!

victor velyan earrings

I also think these tourmaline and sapphire earrings are quite spectacular, with the color harmony of the stones — fab combo!

victor velyan earrings

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.

victor velyan necklace

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!

Mary Esses: My Favorite New Piece

One of the coolest things about attending Couture for the second time was running into some of the designers that I met and loved last year. Mary Esses is one such lady, and when I approached her booth this year, her smile just warmed my heart. (and that was before I even checked out her jewelry!)

So excited to see Mary!
So excited to see Mary!

Nominated for a coveted Couture Design Award this year (brava!), she really has some amazing new pieces. This bracelet, from her new feather collection, just yelled, “Amy…try me on!!” The spectacular creation of countless brass chains with a centerpiece of silver and grey diamonds felt like silk on my wrist.

mary esses feather bracelet

mary esses feather bracelet

I instantly fell in jewelry love. Can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!

Katherine Jetter: Designer

It must have been back when I was about 8 years old or so…my grandmother went on a cruise to Austraila, and she brought me back (what I thought was) THE most amazing necklace. It’s pendant was a kangaroo with some opal chips in it. I had never seen an opal before, and I thought I’d died and gone to heaven! Well let me tell you, Australian-born jewelry designer Katherine Jetter takes opals and other Australian themes to a whole new level!

I was drawn to Katherine’s booth at the Couture show because I had seen one of her rings in a glossy publication in my hotel room. It’s called the Madame Butterfly ring, and it’s made of hand-carved white opals, accented with diamonds and a Mandarin garnet in the center. Mesmerizing, right?!

katherine jetter madam butterfly ring
Now THIS is a floral ring!

Katherine is just as lovely as her jewelry, and she generously spent her time showing me her line and educating me about it.

katherine jetter and amy roseveare
Wearing one of her amazing bracelets

Here’s a close-up of the stunning cuff I was wearing. It’s made of 18K yellow gold with diamonds. The detail is amazing! Look at the turtle and the coral — it’s just like you were under the sea! Speaking of turtles, this is Katherine’s signature on all her pieces. Whether it’s prominent, as in this cuff, or hidden in the back of a smaller earring, there is a turtle on each and every piece of her jewelry. According to Egyptian mythology, the turtle symbolizes good luck and protection. I love this sentiment and detail in her collection.

katherine jetter cuff
Great Barrier Reef cuff

The main inspirations for her line come from her home country — the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. Though she spent time in the corporate world, she was drawn to jewelry design over 6 years ago. I’m so glad she followed her heart, as her designs are truly unique! (And trust me, I’ve seen a lot of jewelry lines!)

Much of her collection features opals, sourced from Austaila, Peru, and Mexico. I’m not quite sure how she comes up with her exquisite designs, but here’s a prime example. This is the Whitsunday Island pendant, which showcases a lightening ridge black opal that’s over 34 carats! Combined with 18K white gold, diamonds and a moonstone chain, the result is fantastic!

katherine jetter necklace
Whitsunday Island Pendant

Here is how she used white opal splinters entwined in sterling silver with pink mist tourmaline, to create a pair of earrings unlike any I’ve ever seen.

katherine jetter earrings
Hanging vine earrings

I’m clearly not the only one intrigued by her designs. She’s definitely getting a celebrity following. Both Renee Bargh and Naomi Watts will be adorned in her jewels while walking the red carpet at the Australian Film Insitute Awards this Wednesday, June 27th. I think I’ll have to tune in and check it out!