I was at the jewelry counter at Neiman’s the other day working on a story, and up walked this lovely woman, clearly on a mission. And given that she was holding a necklace, I knew it was one of my favorite types of missions — finding earrings to coordinate with her necklace. Lucky for me, she was open for my assistance in process. Here’s the necklace she brought, with beautiful beads accented by a large polki diamond bead.
I inquired about the necklace’s designer, and she explained that friends of her daughter, Lauren, had made the necklace. Once I explained that I was an image consultant and jewelry blogger, she quickly picked up the phone to ask Lauren the designer’s name. NO surprise to me, it was made by The Woods, who I l-o-v-e, and who I interviewed a while back. (Click here to read that story.)
Vicki, the woman-on-a-mission, was going to wear this with a natural linen-colored outfit to an event up in Napa.
“So I think that a simple diamond hoop would be great with this, don’t you think?”
“I’ve got those, and they just don’t work…”
“Are they too refined for the style of the necklace?”
“That’s exactly right! Too refined!”
She was going for a coordinating, yet not overly-polished look for the earrings. Some oxidized silver with diamonds hit the perfect note, and we certainly knew the right designer’s case to find them in, that of Irit Design, another over my total faves! (Click here to read my interview with her.) And there they were, just waiting to be tried on.
The mix was perfect. The earrings were a compliment to the necklace, but they didn’t overpower it, so the focus is still on the necklace. Since the hoops were a modified shape, they really add some interest, and it’s not a shape she currently had in her jewelry box. In addition, these will be a great choice for her everyday options, as they’re great on their own when just running around the city. This gives them great cost-per-wear. If they were some big, fancy earring that could only be worn for special occasions, they wouldn’t have been nearly as cost-effective.
So not only did this encounter involve two of my most loved jewelry lines, but it was great to meet Vicki, and I have a feeling that I may be lunching with her and her daughter sometime soon! Hope that she had a great time at her event!
In this second installment of “Into the Jewelry Box” I found myself in a second story flat in the Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. Eclectically decorated with Asian influences and luxe fabrics, this was definitely a stylish home! Debra is a life-long minimalist by choice, and a quick peek into her closet definitely confirmed this! Her entire wardrobe is comprised of white, charcoal and black garments with clean, elegant lines.
Walking into her bedroom, she had all her jewelry laid out for me. That’s when it really struck what a minimalist she really is. If I tried to lay out my jewelry, I’d probably have to use the floor of my whole little apartment! But Debra’s perfectly curated collection was easily displayed on her dresser, in front of her Asian-style jewelry box — love how she has some precious objects on top of her jewelry box as well.
So let’s start with her favorite piece of all time, her stunning engagement ring, which is a 6 carat emerald cut diamond flanked by two 2 carat emerald cuts. I swear that it reflected the sunshine coming into the window all the way across the room! When I asked her if she helped picking it out, she laughed and said, “I ripped a picture of it out of a magazine and taped it to our bedroom door.” Classic.
The next piece that has major significance to her is this ancient Roman coin. She gave it to her husband for their wedding, and after his passing, she had the coin bezel set and made into a necklace. I love that it’s worn close to her heart.
Debra satisfies all her earring needs with 4 pair, two sizes of diamond hoops and two sizes of diamond studs.
The larger of the studs are two carats, and they are a daily staple for her. Her sassy silver haircut is the perfect frame for them.
She has a nice variety of silver bracelets that she stacks in different combinations. Many are by John Hardy, which she has been collecting the past 20 years.
And she mixes and matches them with some fashion jewelry wrap bracelets and some bangles by Alexis Bittar.
Of her 10 necklaces (yes…only 10, but fabulous ones!), I particularly love her strand of black south sea pearls with a black diamond clasp. She picked this up for a real bargain during the recession when a jeweler friend was trying to unload some merchandise. Just the value of the clasp is now worth half of what she paid for the whole necklace at the time. Now that was a good buy!
This necklace is also killer. She had seen it in a magazine and folded down the corner. Her clever husband noticed it, and he had a local jeweler replicate it for her second wedding anniversary present. SO pretty!
Having this Temple St. Clair crystal amulet pendant on a long silver chain adds some great dimension to her collection.
While many people don’t think about having a watch wardrobe, Debra has, and she has 5 watches which fit every occasion that arrises, from the white sporty Michele watch to the diamond Bedat evening watch to her husband’s Cartier.
She wears the same ring stack on her left hand every day, which consists of a couple silver rings paired with her husband’s wedding ring. One thing on her her “jewelry lust list” is a simple, slim diamond eternity band to add to the stack. I have a feeling I can help her find one…
Also on her shopping list is a pair of black diamond hoops. With her wardrobe and silver hair, I know that this will be a perfect addition.
I so appreciate being given the opportunity to see how Debra “keeps it simple.” While she has definitely made some big investments, her cost-per-wear makes them excellent purchases. Mixing these pieces with her fashion jewelry, Debra is always accessorized to the nines. Thank you SO much for letting me into your jewelry box!! xo
When you get all your money stolen while in South America, you’d never think that it would lead to an amazing career in jewelry design, but that’s just what happened to Sara Freedenfeld. Finding herself without funds, she learned to macrame wearable art and sold her goods on the street each day. Clearly…she had talent! Soon thereafter she met a metal artist in Venezuela who taught her the basics in metalwork, and hence her life in jewelry was launched.
With many of her pieces dripping in delicate chain, it’s clear that it’s her signature look. Rings, necklaces and earrings are all hand made in Astoria, New York of solid 18K gold, precious and semi-precious stones. This necklace, made of grey quartz and silver diamonds, woven in 18K gold is so special! It is very feminine, yet sexy at the same time.
Here are a couple pair of earrings that showcase black diamonds woven with the same 18K chain. And you know…you can never have enough hoop earrings!
I think Sara herself sums it up quite nicely in describing her jewelry as, “a line of jewelry that delicately unites the natural simplicity of handcrafted artistry with the sophistication and glamour of high fashion.”