What?! Don’t you live/work in SF? Well, yes…I do. I am a Bay Area native. I work in San Francisco many days a week, and I lived in Pacific Heights for a few years as well. (I currently live 15 miles south of the city.) But don’t you find that when you live somewhere, you often don’t take the time to visit all the cool, local places as opposed to when you’re visiting somewhere new? Heck, I know SF born and bred people who have never been to Alcatraz or walked the Golden Gate Bridge, but I know all my friends who’ve visited from abroad have done these things!
This was the impetus for Friday’s field trip, with my fabulous co-hort, Jennifer Bressie. There were a few jewelry stores in areas of SF we don’t often frequent which have been on our “must see” list. So we both cleared our schedule for the day to check them out. Jen was the driver, and I was the the direction girl…(Jen probably should have been worried when I had my directions scrawled on a piece of paper, instead of using Google maps on my phone!)
Our first stop was going to be D & H Sustainable Jewelers in the Castro. Now I know that directions aren’t my strong suit, but the streets in the area where Noe and Market (and others?) meet are so catywompus, that we found ourselves stuck behind this trolley, at a dead stop. (Please note the “Dead End” sign to the right. It’s true, signs don’t lie.) Oops! Let’s do a “creative” U-turn. Perfect. Did I mention I’m not the best navigator?!
But it was all worth it, and Jen’s superb driving skills got us to our destination. In a matter of about 10 minutes, I knew that I wanted Shawn Higgins, half of the duo behind D & H Sustainable Jewelers, as a new best friend. His humor, expertise, and openness are infectious.
This store is among the first that will be SCS certified, meaning that 100% of their products are ethically sourced and sustainable. What a fabulous feat! They sell their own designs, as well as representing many other jewelry designers. It’s clear that bridal is a huge category for them. Being the magpie that I am, I went straight for the bling-iest ring in the case, featuring a flawless yellow canary diamond. (This is one of their own designs.)
Another one of their amazing pieces is this cage pendant, which took over a year to make, to get it just right. It’s made of sterling silver and 14K gold, and housed an incredible Alexander the Great coin, dating back 2500 years. Adore.
You can open it up, and really put whatever sort of talisman you’d like inside.
I also thought this necklace, made from a re-purposed 1910 Edwardian lingerie pin was quite fantastic.
If you’re looking for a supremely unique wedding ring for your guy, then check out this Gibeon meteorite set in rose gold by Lashbrooke!
After briefly meeting Lindsay (the other partner), we had to run. Lunch was most definitely next on the agenda, and you can’t go wrong with the croque monsieur (for me) or the burger sans bun (for Jen–she’s so good!) at Absinthe in Hayes Valley.
With our appetites sufficiently satisfied, were were off to Metier. You may be familiar with this store. They spent 5 years on Maiden Lane (Union Square), 16 years on Sutter (where they were a large clothing and jewelry boutique), and then a year in the Shreve building, before moving to this new location on Laguna. This jewel-box of a boutique offers both vintage/antique jewelry as well as merchandise from current designers. The more carefully you look, the more you see. The owners, Sheri Evans and Trina Papini, have an impeccable eye, so the collection is curated to perfection. During our visit, the place was hopping with customers!
I couldn’t resist trying on these Georgian rings, which are from the late 1700’s-early 1800’s. Amazeballs.
Or what about one of these silver bracelets, from Victorian to Arts & Crafts? So easy to mix with current outfits!
One of the current designers they carry is Arielle de Pinto, who weaves magic with metal. The ombre finish on this necklace is just perfect.
Loved seeing Sheri and Trina, and I’ll certainly be back soon.
Our last stop of the day was in the Mission. Love & Luxe is an amazing jewelry gallery and atelier owned by artist-in-residence, Betsy Barron. She shows her own work and also showcases 40+ other hand-crafted lines in her spacious store. As luck would have it, she came to the store during our visit. Yay!
First checking out Betsy’s line, I couldn’t help but try on a few rings.
Jen was in love with this rose gold locket from 1870. She is a total rose gold girl!
I definitely have always had a thing for turquoise, and this vintage-inspired design with Sleeping Beauty turquoise by Chris Neff made me smile.
Definitely one of the most unique lines I’ve ever seen is James Banks, which is a collaboration between Adam Schulman and Heidi Nahser-Fink. Here is their necklace called “Lightkeeper.” On one necklace, there is a glass bulb filled with black diamonds and one ruby. Then on the other necklace are the “tools” you can use to open the bulb to add/change whatever you want inside. Have you ever seen something like this?!
Even the box it comes in is exquisite.
There was also a lovely selection of work by Johnny Ninos. His current collection is inspired by barnacles, as shown in these rings. Organic beauty, no doubt.
Jen had to take one more look at that locket before we had to leave and get back on the road…
I can’t think of a better way to spend the day–with a life-long friend (We actually went to kindergarten together!) looking at gorgeous jewelry! Thanks to all of you for your time, knowledge and kindness!
I’m thrilled to have Jennifer Bressie, a fellow image consultant and friend since kindergarten, as a guest blogger today. Enjoy her recap of her visit to the Atelier Swarovski villa at the Couture show!
So this is like that episode of Batman and Robin, where Robin takes over the hour. The last three years I have had so much fun attending the Couture show with Amy as her sidekick/assistant. I am there to take the cute photos of Amy with the designers; I shop for my clients (and myself . . .this blog has cost me a fortune!) and just generally provide comic relief when necessary. This past spring, after registering myself for the show, I received a lovely invitation to view the Atelier Swarovski line, which would be located in the Wynn Villas. As a lover of all things sparkle, of course I was interested in seeing this cool collection. Also, I love visiting the Villas at the Couture Show! Not only are they beautifully decorated, but the Villas feel so separate from the hustle and bustle of the showroom floor. I welcomed the opportunity to focus on the jewelry without distractions.
My morning in the land of sparkle was just as dazzling as expected, maybe a bit more so. Upon entry to the beautiful villa, the most beautiful crystal-encrusted flowers greeted me. I love flowers almost as much as jewelry, so to see this combination just thrilled me. The flowers, animals and bugs are sold exclusively through private sale with Bergdorf Goodman. These flowers would brighten any home!
Atelier Swarovski began in 2007, as a division of the famous crystal business, inspired to offer a fresh perspective to accessories. This luxury accessories line celebrates innovative design from the worlds of fashion, jewelry, architecture, stage and screen. Each fashion week, a new collaboration is unveiled. The first of such lines was a bold creation by award-winning designer Christopher Kane in 2007. Subsequent collaborations have included Viktor and Rolf, innovative architect Zaha Hadid, Joseph Altuzarra, Mary Katrantzou, New York costume designer, Zaldy, and Gossip Girl stylist, Eric Daman. I was able to view the Fall/Winter 2014 collaboration with Viktor and Rolf, British designer Emma Shipley and Chinese fashion designer Ye Mingzi. Below are a few photos of the latest collaboration with Viktor and Rolf; clean graphic shapes inspire the design. Each piece is set with jet and black diamond crystals lying in textured velvet. These pieces definitely have an edgy, rebellious feel! Check out this on-trend double ring.
I can’t decide which one of these cuffs I love more, too much to wear both?
In addition to the amazing collaborations, the line has recently released its Core Collection. Released for Spring/Summer 2014, the collection will continue to develop with new pieces being added each season. The color ways will evolve and change with the seasons, but the design aesthetic and quality will always embody the Atelier Swarovski brand. The collection is split into two stories. The first is the Pointiage, which uses Swarovski’s unique Pointiage technique, setting hundreds of crystals into ceramic. Check out this amazing necklace!
I thought these bracelets were very wearable, in fact maybe many at once!
The other story in their Core Collection is the Crystal Bead Story, which includes stackable designs and beautiful pieces for every day; it’s totally up my alley. Again, easy to wear one big statement piece or mix them to create a unique stack!
I thought these pieces were so unique and dramatic.
I should mention that most of the core pieces I have shown you come in a gold tone, a silver tone and gunmetal. As if it weren’t overwhelming enough! I thoroughly enjoyed my morning with the team from Atelier Swarovski. I tried things on and generally felt like a princess for over an hour. Please visit the Atelier Swarovski web site to see more of this vast and dazzling collection.
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!
Hello there! I’m SO excited to send you this invitation. On the evening of Thursday, May 2, my colleague Jennifer Bressie (and friend since kindergarten) and I will be co-hosting a fabulous event at the Union Square location of Gallery of Jewels in San Francisco. We are both professional image consultants and wardrobe stylists with a deep love of jewelry. We will be here to style you and talk with you about everything from hoop earrings (a definite jewelry box basic!) to what other pieces would look amazing on you. So if you’re up for an evening of jewelry, champagne, and surely some laughs, then come on by! Bring your best-ies and make a fun evening of it. Hope to see you there!