Though spring in San Francisco currently seems to be colder than our winter, my eye is still being caught by the ever-popular insect motif in jewelry. As I was walking up Sutter Street the other day, this little Victorian beauty buzzed my name from the front window of Lang Antique & Estate Jewelry.
I know that much of the country is being slammed with snow and ice as of late, and it got me thinking about rock crystal (also known as quartz crystal), as it resembles ice. In fact, its name comes from the Greek word for ice, according to The Book of Stones by Robert Simmons & Naisha Ahsian (A great reference book!). I’ve always been drawn to the stone, from my fascination with crystal balls as a child, to the crystal pendants I wore around my neck throughout college. Even today, I have quite a few rock crystal items I adore. This stone is said to heighten spiritual awareness, generate prosperity, and alleviate stress, among other things. Here’s some of my favorite rock crystal pieces I have collected over the years.
It all started when I saw this sleek, sculptural piece on a model from the Jason Wu S/S 15 runway show. He had my attention.
Never having tried on a solid choker necklace like this, I was intrigued. And what better place to explore what I think is a hot trend, than during my time working in NYC this past week. My client was totally on board (I love her sense of jewelry adventure!), and we found the perfect rendition for her in the form of a Jennifer Fisher rose gold ball choker at Owen in the Meatpacking district. (The balls can be worn in the back or in front.) Instead of wearing it solo, we paired it with an Efva Attling necklace we had purchased the previous fall. In addition, the mix of rose and yellow gold is a strong part of my client’s personal style. Perfect!
Well yesterday I returned home from one of my favorite places in the world, Las Vegas. When I combine that with two amazing jewelry shows, saying that I was in heaven is putting it mildly! There are two major jewelry shows that occur at the same time each year in Vegas. Couture is held at the Wynn, and JCK is held at Mandalay Bay, at the opposite end of the strip. (love that they have a shuttle between the two shows!)
As editor of this blog, I was just thrilled to attend the shows. My dear friend and colleague, Jennifer Bressie, joined me again this year, and I have to say that we met and interviewed some amazing designers. I will be writing up articles about them in the months to come, so be prepared for a visual vacation.
Here’s Jen and me at the entrance to Couture, ready to explore all the glittering baubles that time would allow!
The shows are more than just jewelry, too. There are social events and parties, which are the perfect opportunity to get to know the designers and other people in the jewelry business better.
I was also so excited to see Efva Attling, one of the designers I met last year who truly made a lasting impression on me.
Beth Bernstein, author of My Charmed Life, has a new coffee table book coming out soon, and I was honored to be at her book launch. Clearly, Todd Reed (designer extraordinaire) is a fan as well. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!!
This year was my first time attending JCK, which I believe had over 3000 exhibitors. (Can you believe it?!) I cannot wait to tell you about some of the cool, talented designers I met there as well.
My last night was topped off by attending the Couture design awards — basically the Academy Awards of jewelry design. Here I am with Mary Esses (who was nominated) and Lisa Evans, awaiting the big announcement.
So buckle your seat belts, and get ready for the glittery ride. You’re going to love what’s to come!
I arrived at the Couture jewelry show a couple days before it started, as I wanted some time to relax in Vegas. (OK…actually time to shop, who am I trying to kid?!) While lounging by the pool one morning, I saw a very stylish woman in an aqua bikini gracefully walking into the pool. The next night, at Couture’s poolside opening party (Taio Cruz!), I found myself sitting next to that same glamorous woman. Coincidence? I think not. I’m confident that we were supposed to meet.
Come to find out that she is Efva Attling, an amazing jeweler from Stockholm, Sweden.
We sat for quite some time in her salon, as she told me a bit about her life and how she came to be the woman and designer she is today. Her history includes being an uber-famous model (she was even on the cover of Elle at age 50!), headlining a gold-record band back in the 80’s, and hosting a talk show, just to touch the tip of the iceberg. Regardless of her fame, she is extremely open and down to earth. She exudes a positive energy that just draws you to her. I think this energy translates to the jewelry she designs.
Known for her silver work, her tag line is “beauty with a thought,” as she desires to connect with people with “short songs,” as she calls them. While she can’t put an entire song’s lyrics on her pieces, she instead carefully selects words to get to the heart of the matter and connect with wearer. I love the words embedded in this necklace, don’t you?! It’s a rod of rock crystal with silver.
Here’s a very clever necklace, that has a heart tucked inside. When she gave one as a gift to Angelina Jolie, she had the names of her children inscribed on the heart. Precious.
And this unique cuff bracelet has a fingerprint on it — do you see it? Believe it or not, it’s the fingerprint of her mother, which she captured before she passed away. Truly, all her jewelry has a heart.
Her fine jewelry is also quite amazing. Here she is wearing one of her signature necklaces. All I can say is, “Wow!”
While we were talking, she told me the story of a very good friend of hers. She had tried for years to have a child, and was finally blessed with a son. This precious gift was then taken from her in the tsunami in 2004. In her grief for her friend’s loss, she designed a special angel necklace. This “Angels” necklace, in cooperation with the Red Cross, has now raised over a million dollars for the tsunami victims. I think this story clearly demonstrates the type of woman Efva is.
For those of you stateside who can’t quite swing jewelry shopping in Sweden, don’t despair! In addition to her online shop, she also recently opened a boutique in the fabulous meatpacking district in New York City. Personally, I can’t wait to check it out on my next trip to the Big Apple!