I always love meeting jewelry designers for the first time, and meeting Annie Fensterstock at the Couture show was no exception. This bubbly and clearly talented designer had a bevy of beauties in her case!
In business for about twenty years now, Annie still uses the jewelry making techniques of times gone by — everything is hand made in New York City — no casting or molds in her studio. Working with 18 and 22K gold and platinum, her designs are for the “confident, artistic woman.” She truly strives to capture the spirit of the modern woman using ancient gold-smithing practices.
Annie’s collection ranges from a clean look to the more ornate, as shown in these two cuffs.
This mother of three alloys all the gold herself. I can just picture her hard at work at the bench creating such rings as this one, bedazzled with natural colored diamonds. In fact, many of her rings would make fabulous wedding rings, so if you’re in the market for something non-traditional then you’re in luck!
She also showcases this type of diamond in these amazing dangling earrings. I would SO rock these day and night!
Once again showing the range in her design, these earrings have more detail in their angular silhouette.
Currently, Annie is in Jaipur, India. She won the opportunity (via Fragments) to teach Afghan women to make jewelry. The collection they design together will be represented by Fragments when it’s complete. I cannot WAIT to see it! If you’re in NYC, then you are a lucky duck, as you can check out her line in person at Fragments in Soho.
Welcome! We’re on article number four of a six-part series highlighting the basics you need in your jewelry box, based on your personal style. So far we’ve covered the lady who lunches, the bohemian, the rock star, and now the minimalist. You still have the romantic and trendy to look forward to. (I know, you are on the edge of your seat waiting for these!) I will re-state that I know most people have a personal style that incorporates aspects from different genres — no need to worry — embrace it! Use these articles as a medium to inspire you and lead you to your local jewelry store with an open, yet focused eye. Don’t let the price tags on the items I write about discourage you. Take the idea and find your own incarnation, with the look and price that you’re comfortable with.
Now let’s focus on the minimalist. I have encountered many of these women during my years as a stylist, and also among my close, personal friends. Being a minimalist doesn’t mean that you don’t have style. (think Audrey Hepburn!) Rather, you have such a carefully curated wardrobe that you know what works, you don’t need a myriad of options, and you don’t want to spend a lot of time each day deciding what to wear. It’s uniform dressing at it’s best. When it comes to the jewelry, it needs to be classic, fuss-free, and lifestyle appropriate.
Choosing a classic watch in the most flattering metal color for your skin tone is imperative. No need for a big trendy statement. Instead, focus on simple elegance, as shown in the Cartier tank watch.
Pairing your versatile watch with a stylish bangle is key. Stay away from bracelets that are too “blingy,” make noise, or compete with your outfit. Choose a comfortable-fitting bracelet that will take you anywhere. Hermes nails this assignment with thier clic-clac bracelet.
If you’re up for a cuff, then this slim bamboo cuff by John Hardy is a wonderful choice.
Again, the minimalist needs a ring that doesn’t interfere with her life, whether she’s trying to feed her child at the park or signing a major real estate contract. So don’t opt for anything with stones that protrude or pieces of metal that may catch on things. This ring by Anne Sportun has a whole lot of style, along with a bit of sparkle.
Another option that works beautifully for the minimalist is a ring with a bit more of a sentimental bent — the monogramed signet ring. Perhaps this has been inherited from a loved family member, or it’s one that you buy yourself, such as this one from Ariel Gordon. It’s streamlined and fabulous at the same time.
Studs are the definitely the basic go-to earring for the minimalist. Whether it’s a pearls, in metal, or diamonds, there are bound to be at least one pair of studs in the minimalist’s jewelry box. Being the sparkle-lover, I would opt for either diamonds or CZ for your first pair. I love how Bony Levy offers them in a variety of sizes.
Don’t be surprised to find out you’re not the only one who puts on your necklace and then never takes it off. I’ve seen it many times — it’s on in the shower, in bed, and on the beach. Therefore, it needs to be lightweight, unobtrusive, short enough that it doesn’t tangle, and chic. The easy choice here is Tiffany’s diamonds by the yard necklace. (These come in a variety of metals and price points.) Personally, I like taking off my jewelry at night, but hey, to each his own!
So are you a minimalist at heart? I clearly am not. (You only need to look at the size of my jewelry armoire to know that!) Though I really do admire this personal style and believe it or not, I do strive to be a bit more minimal when I travel. I’d love to know what minimalist pieces you love to wear!
The first time I met Petra Class and saw her beautiful line was at the American Craft Council show in San Francisco. (She’ll be showing there again this coming weekend, August 3-5!) Her line had a very modern aesthetic, with clean lines and delicious gems. I was delighted to once again see her at the Couture show, and I had a chance to chat more with her (loved finding out that she’s a 2nd degree black belt in Aikido!) and really explore the line.
Petra was born and raised in Germany and started designing right out of high school. She adores sitting at the work bench working on her designs. All her pieces are made right here in San Francisco, and she only uses recycled gold.
Here is a stunning ring. The blue-green hues elicit the feeling of the Mediterranean. I can almost feel the sun shining down on me…
This bracelet really showcases Petra’s perspective. As she told me,”I like crazy in a structured way.” Well, I certainly believe she achieved it with this creation!
I thought this pair of pearl, gold and diamond earrings had a particularly feminine feel, though combined with a modern edge. Nice juxtaposition!
Aside from at various shows, you can also find some of her line at Gumps in San Francisco. Personally, I really hope to make it to the ACC show at Fort Mason this weekend and see her latest work. If you’re in the SF Bay Area, hope you can make it as well!
So I found myself lunching at Stanford Mall yesterday. Half way through the meal, a couple of beautiful women sat down just two tables away. Long hair, perfect skin, designer bags…but what was on that one woman’s ears?! Was is a teenager’s bracelet? Oy! She would have looked amazing had she opted for a simpler earring, better in scale with both her own personal features and the necklace she was wearing. I know that color is THE thing for spring, but really, these earrings just need to go!
I’m like a kid in a candy store when I attend jewelry trunk shows. When I have the opportunity to see a designer’s line that I never have seen before AND it’s tremendous, it’s like Christmas morning. That’s exactly how I felt last week when I went to see the Meredith Marks show at Angela in Menlo Park. WOW!
The first thing that struck me about her line was it’s diversity. Some pieces had a more exotic flair, while others were polished to the nines. I also appreciate how she uses gold (in various colors), silver, and both precious and semi-precious stones, which gives her collection a wide range in price points. It is accessible jewelry to be loved and worn.
Another wonderful feature is the multi-functionality of many of her pieces. For example, she showed me a pair of larger earrings (the elongated pointed ovals on the left side of the picture below) where the dangling part comes off and can be used as a pendant on a necklace. Another necklace she showed me is the perfect length to be used as a wrap bracelet as well. With jewelry that can be used in a variety of ways, it really makes your jewelry dollar go farther.
Meredith started her line a couple years ago, and her passion for it is palpable as she talks with you and shows you various pieces. You can’t currently find her jewelry in any US department stores–just specialty boutiques. In my mind, this makes her line all the more coveted, as it’s truly unique. If you’re interested in seeing her jewelry, you can contact her to find where it’s sold near you.
You may have noticed that over the years, the scale or size of jewelry goes up and down. I remember the huge plastic jewelry of the 1980’s and the petite chain and crystal necklaces from the 1990’s. (Think Monica and Rachel a la Friends) Currently, jewelry seems to be fairly large scale, though there are many choices when you go shopping. So how do you choose what to buy?
First of all, you need to get a basic understanding of what large, medium and small scale jewelry looks like. Here’s an example shown in necklaces.
This same guideline applies to all types of jewelry, from the thinnest of gold bands to the chunky cocktail ring…from simple diamond studs to shoulder-grazing chandelier earrings. Once you can identify the scale of a piece, you next need to decide what would work best on you.
Think about your physical being and how much “space” you occupy in the world. Are you tall? Short? Somewhere in between? And think about your skeletal frame. Just because I’m quite tall, I actually have very small bones, as shown in my tiny wrists and ankles.
Finally, think about the scale of your facial features. Do you have large eyes? A small button nose? A smile to rival Julia Roberts?
Knowing how you visually come across will help you in determining the most inherent jewelry scale for you. By inherent, I mean the scale that is most naturally pleasing and complimentary to you. For me, I can carry pretty large scale jewelry due to my height and the size of my facial features, but I need to mix it with some medium or small scale to balance out my small bones. Often, I can achieve this by layering necklaces and bracelets of different scales. (I will elaborate on how to do this in a future post.)
Now keep in mind that this is how to get an inherent look. You can also create drama by selecting a scale that you wouldn’t normally choose. For example, picture some five foot tall gal who constantly wears large, oversized necklaces–and she looks fabulous! This is because she’s making a dramatic statement with her necklaces. Plus, it may very well be part of her jewelry signature. Here’s a perfect example of creating drama with a large scale necklace:
So take all this information and look at your jewelry with new eyes. You may get an “ah ha!” or two…