Statement Hoops: Jewelry Judge

So the “statement necklace” has been a big trend (no pun intended) for quite some time. But as I was paying for a garment at Bloomingdale’s at Stanford this week, I was struck by the earrings the darling gal ringing me up was wearing. Now mind you, it’s the “uniform” at Bloomies that they have to wear black, and so many of the employees lack a personal touch with their outfits. I love how this woman made a major fashion statement with some very large scale hoops.

hoop earrings 1

hoop earrings 2

Now you have to know, that this is a very petite gal, and the inherent scale of earrings for her would normally be much smaller. (Read about choosing the scale of your jewelry here.) But by choosing these large hoops, she was deliberately making a dramatic fashion choice. I also think her big smile really helped balance them out. In addition, her slightly upturned eyes gives her an exotic look, which is complemented by the bold earrings. It’s not necessarily the earrings I would have first though to pick out for her, but as Tim Gunn would say, she made it work!

Vintage Layers: Jewelry Judge

I’m working in NYC this week, and it’s truly shopping heaven for me. Hopping from Bergdorf’s (Kardashian sighting) to the Meatpacking (Paris Hilton sighting) to Soho is just so fun. And people watching is right up there with cool things to do in the city, in my book. I ran across 5th Ave. and practically knocked this gal over.

vintage necklaces

I only had about 30 seconds to talk to her and snap her photo, but I really thought her two vintage necklaces were quite eye-catching. Granted, her sweater is pilling and her shoes were in need of repair, but all I could focus on was her jewelry. She was really showing her personality and sense of creativity. What do you think? And be honest, I want to know your opinion!

Spectacular Stack: Jewelry Judge

I always love to see what eclectic mixes people can come up with in their bracelet stacks. This gal did not disappoint, and I think we spent at least 10 minutes talking about where all her various bracelets came from.

What a combo!
What a combo!

From the pearls by Erica Molinari, to the large bracelet by Diane Cotton, it was a cool mix. The antler cuff is from Grange Hall in Texas — apparently a store that I must add to my “must see” list!

This inspires me. Tomorrow I will be heading to my jewelry box and creating a brand new stack for the day!!

Creative Necklace: Jewelry Judge

While strolling along the charming streets of Carmel, California, I came across this stylish 60-something. She was wearing a simple white tee, black pants, and a teal sweater. While a fine outfit in its own right, it was her creative necklace that really set her apart from the crowd.

Not your average necklace!
Not your average necklace!

In chatting with her, it turns out that wearing a statement necklace has really become her jewelry signature. Love that! Just goes to show that fabulous jewelry knows no age! Jewelry Judge gives the thumbs up!

Men’s Armani Stack: Jewelry Judge

While shopping at Sak’s in SF recently, the wrists of one of the sales guys caught my eye.

Very creative!
Very creative!

He had wrapped a Balenciaga brown leather strap around his watch, which was a cool idea. But his right wrist, which sports three different bracelets by Armani, was really a great example of masculine chic. Nice.

This stack has some power!
This stack has some power!

Stainless Steel Wedding Rings: Jewelry Judge

I recently had my first taste of Peruvian food at La Mar on one of those ideal, sunny San Francisco days. My friend Patti and I were chatting away, when I was distracted by the modern wedding bands on the couple next to us.

Modern, simple beauty
Modern, simple beauty

While these newlyweds (just two years in!) reside in Minnesota, they bring two different cultures to their marriage — she’s from Canada and he’s from Peru. Combined with their extensive travels, it’s no surprise that they opted for these unique stainless steel and concrete bands designed by Karen Konzuk. It was the first time I’ve ever seen concrete in wedding jewelry! I thought they really meshed with their personalities and personal style. Inspired choice!

Voodoo Jewelry: Jewelry Judge

While I have heard of Voodoo dolls in my life, I actually never knew that it was a religion until I started chatting with a waiter at Monkeypod in Ko Olina on Oahu. (sidebar: best, darn fish tacos I’ve ever had in my life!)

So Oi O’Brian (Hawaiian heritage, yet adopted by an Irish family) first caught my attention because of his abundant tattoos and big smile. (another sidebar: Tattoos are probably one of the most popular accessories I saw while on Oahu.) When I noticed that he was wearing an intriguing necklace, I clearly had to go introduce myself.

Can you see the details of the skulls?
Can you see the details of the skulls?

Oi follows Haitian Voodoo, and part of his religion says that all things must be in odd numbers. Therefore, there are 5 skulls on his necklace, which he carved himself out of yak bone. He has paired this with a red and black (significant colors in his religion) titanium wrap necklace, which he claims has health benefits. He wears both necklaces 24/7 — they are just part of him.

I know that with my jewelry judge series, I usually have a specific opinion about what I’m writing about. But this time, I don’t. I just find the whole thing so interesting, and I’m just nodding my head and thinking, “hmmm.” Perhaps you have an opinion??

Charlene Court: Jewelry Judge

I think that sometimes people must think I’m a total nut-job when I accost them in public places. I found my latest “victim” while I was having lunch with a friend at the Rotunda in San Francisco. This lovely young woman walked by, I caught a glimpse of the fan-tabulous necklace she was wearing, and truly leapt out of my seat to go after her.

Turns out, that she was wearing the designs of her friend, jewelry designer Charlene Court. (I LOVE when I discover a designer that I’ve never heard of!) So here’s the necklace that she was wearing.

Talk about dramatic!
Talk about dramatic!

Here’s a close-up of the pendant.

Organic beauty!
Organic beauty!

And get ready for the surprise in the back….

It's beautiful coming and going!
It’s beautiful coming and going!

In addition to this magnificent necklace she was also wearing a fab ring, also by Charlene.


And in case you want a close-up view of the ring, as I know I did!

Dress it up or down!
Dress it up or down!

So I suppose that you don’t have to guess whether the Jewelry Judge gives a thumbs up or a thumbs down this week. Wow! Know that I did eventually get back to my table to finish my salad, but I was on a jewelry high for the rest of my lunch!

Stacked Bangles with Style: Jewelry Judge

It’s on those rare days when the escalator is down that I find myself in the elevator at a department store. But today, this unexpected detour gave me the chance to see some chic arm candy.

The perfect mix
The perfect mix

While her over-all image is very cosmopolitan and refined (right down to her Prada bag) the stack she put together has a little bit of a global vibe, which really adds dimension to her appearance. I think I could tell a lot about her without even exchanging words. Well done!

Vintage Chanel Cross: Jewelry Judge

Do you remember how a while back I told you that my interest had been piqued about vintage jewelry? Well ever since then, I seem to be noticing it more and more! (I guess it’s sort of like when you’re in the market for a new car, and suddenly you’re surrounded by the make and model you have your heart set on.)

At any rate, I found myself at a swanky cocktail party in San Francisco, and I was taking in the scene unfolding around me. Before I knew it, my eyes made a bee-line for this cross around a very glamorous woman’s neck.

I may not be religious, but I'm loving this cross!
I may not be religious, but I’m lovin’ this cross!

In chatting with her, I learned that she bought this at the Vintage Fashion Expo back in the 1980’s. Looks like this show will be back in the Bay Area in September, so I just may have to check it out! (They have three shows in the Los Angeles area this winter/spring as well) I think it’s great that this piece has stood the test of time, and that she makes it her own by mixing it with current fashion.