My obsession with east-west set diamond rings began in August, when I tried on this one-of-a-king diamond ring by Lauren Wolf at the NY Now show. Granted, I’ve never really been fond of the marquis cut for myself, but turned on its side — I was hooked!
This really got me to thinking about how turning a stone on its side, be it oval, emerald, pear, or whatever, really gives the stone a whole new look! Plus, there are quite a few advantages I can see to this style:
easier to stack other rings with it
makes some cuts look “larger” as it takes up more horizontal real estate on your finger
would be ideal for shorter fingers, which may find certain stone cuts set in the traditional way too “tall”
if you wanted to re-design a current ring, it could be a great option instead of getting a whole new stone
unique and outside the box, which is always a plus in my book
With east-west set stones on my mind, I started searching for other examples. Jillian Abboud posted this photo of three antique diamonds, resting horizontally, on her Instagram feed and I started picturing different designs in my mind’s eye. (Which one would you choose?)
And then my dear friend Laura, who recently got engaged, had Polly Wales make her this fantabulous ring!
All of this spurred me onto an afternoon-long search online to see what other intriguing designs I could uncover. I did find quite a few to share with you, although I think this design is still up-and-coming, as there weren’t as many as I anticipated. In no particular order, here’s some variations on the east-west theme:
What do you think of this east-west idea? Is it something you could see yourself wearing? Or perhaps you do already? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below — I’ve love to hear from you!
With the ever-increasing popularity of multiple piercings, stud earrings are gaining a lot of momentum in the jewelry world. I have to say they’ve certainly become a staple for me this past year or so. Especially during winter, when I often have scarves wrapped high around my neck, stud earrings give sparkle without getting in the way of my outfit. When you think about building your stud wardrobe, I suggest you start with your metal of choice (silver or gold) with neutral colored stones. As you build your collection, then it makes sense to start adding in more color. I’m going to share 11 hot looks, many of which have been road-tested by either yours truly or by one of my clients. This selection ranges from $165-$2000, and they are listed in order of price, lowest to highest.
First up are these Sharon Zimmerman “In the Rough” recycled diamond stud earrings in 14K gold. Hand made right here in San Francisco, I love the eco-friendly aspect that they are from recycled materials. Sold in singles or as a pair, I bought one for my second piercing, and I love it! It’s only 5mm in diameter so perfect for piercings higher up on your ear.
Corey Egan, another San Francisco designer, created these studs with a unique hand-carved shape. They are offered in both brushed silver or oxidized silver. Which would you choose?
Melissa Joy Manning, who has stores both in Berkeley, CA and Soho in NYC, is the queen of organic beauty. Last fall when I was working in New York, I picked up this pair of pyrite and yellow gold studs. I’ve been amazed at how effortlessly they blend with my wardrobe. The pyrite has a cooler tone, but it’s warmed up with the pyrite. I get constant compliments on them.
Though I’ve yet to see Alexis Russell jewelry live, I’ve visited her website more than a few times. This tiny trio of diamonds is such a cool alternative to the traditional singular diamond stud. You can order them in yellow or rose gold. They would be perfect on their own, or as a lovely compliment higher up on your ear.
Kendra Renee has a fashion-forward take on the stud with her white topaz and gold pyramid studs. It would be fun to play with the angle you wear them — either vertically, horizontally or slanted.
Have you been to Lauren Wolf’s store, Esqueleto, in Oakland? (And she now has one in LA too!) Her store carries a wide array of jewelry, both vintage and new, as well as curated objects de art. But I digress…Lauren’s octagonal rutilated quartz studs in yellow gold are fabulous. They truly have a presence when worn.
Meredith Marks makes her Jacklyn studs in a variety of stone combinations. This particular pair combines grey moonstone with black diamonds, but there are eight varieties currently available on her website. The price varies with the type of stones in the earring.
This list would not be complete without Nak Armstrong’s rainbow moonstone pyramid earrings. When Nak was having a trunk show at Barney’s in San Francisco I, of course, had to stop by. He selected these for me to try on, and I knew I had to invest in them right there on the spot. Though they weren’t inexpensive, I’ve worn them so many times, the cost-per-wear has dropped significantly. (In a few years, they’ll basically be free!) If you have small earlobes like I do, then the curved design of the earring gracefully cups your earlobe. Architectural genius!
Tura Sugden is a master with the German blow torch. When I visited her at her studio, I was dazzled by her diamond slice earrings. The cage-like setting really takes the diamond slice to the next level. My client who purchased a pair agrees, as I know they’ve become one of her go-to pieces of jewelry.
Black diamonds are definitely both avant-garde and chic in my book. When combined with white gold by Sethi Couture, you’ve got an alternative classic design on your hands. (or in your ears, for that matter) The rose cut diamonds create a black glow, rather than a harsh, black look. Perfection.
I conclude this list with a pair by English designer Polly Wales. The way she sets white sapphires in 18K gold in such a sophisticated yet unstructured way is awe-inspiring. Jaw-meet-floor.
Though I could go on and on with stud suggestions, I’ve got to stop here. As you contemplate what earrings to add to your jewelry box, I urge you to ONLY buy what you love — what makes your heart truly sing. These are the purchases which will go the distance for you. Don’t settle. Be patient and save up for what will work best for you. I promise you’ll be happier in the long run.
One thing I truly love to do is explore new shops and neighborhoods. I’m always amazed how many great places there are, practically in my own back yard. My friend Laura (you may remember her from my great piercing escapade), is like a walking tour book of amazing stores. It’s not just because she loves shopping as much as I do (and she does!), but she is a rep for many home, jewelry, and gift/accessory lines with Aesthetic Movement, so it’s her duty to know all the happening places.
We set our itinerary for various places in Berkeley, Piedmont, and Oakland. I picked her up in SF and headed over the Bay Bridge. First up was Zaver & Mor in Berkeley. I’d met the lovely owner, Rada Sahney, at a couple Women’s Jewelry Association events, so I was very eager to check out her establishment, and it definitely did not disappoint.
She carries some of my favorite lines, such as Tura Sugden, Julez Bryant, and Elyria Jewels. But there were also some lines that I was seeing for the first time. One of my favorite pieces I saw the whole day is this gold and diamond bracelet by Mia Chicco. (One more item for my jewelry lust list!)
I was also excited to see a display of Sharon Zimmerman’s work, who is a local jeweler from San Francisco.
By the time we had (just about) tried on everything we wanted to, it was time to grab a bite for lunch. Since our second stop was going to be Red Bird, right by the Claremont in Berkeley, we popped into Rick & Ann’s for a really tasty meal at their community table.
Sufficiently refueled, we went to Red Bird and began perusing all the lovely clothing and jewelry. This, in fact, is a place where I have purchased many of my favorite items over the years.
I couldn’t resist trying on this unique pearl necklace by Melissa Joy Manning I spotted in the sale case. The organic shapes of the pearls are captivating.
I thought it looked pretty cool layered with the two necklaces I was wearing. And who am I to turn down 60% off?!
Ok…time to hit the road again, and next up was Atomic Garden in Oakland. (Next time I want to explore this area more, as there seemed to be many cute shops on College Avenue!)
I was definitely psyched to visit Esqueleto, which is a jewel box of a store in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland, curated by jeweler Lauren Wolf. Not only does the store carry her line (the two rings I have on in the photo below), but they have selections from many designers, including a beautiful vintage selection.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Mania Mania is branching into the fine jewlery business, and I love this ring by them!
The natural beauty of these pieces by Lou Zeldis also caught my eye.
As fate would have it, jeweler Marisa Haskell, whose line is now named Marisa Mason, was in the shop, so we had to end our field trip by running around the corner in to her boutique as well.
She has a workshop right in the store, and her jewelry is artfully displayed on the walls, making it very easy to try things on.
By this time, the rain was starting to come down hard, and it was time to head back across the Bay Bridge to San Francisco. Our itinerary was clearly ambitious, as we still have many stores left on our list. Hence…part 2, (hopefully) coming in January. If you have any recommendations for additions to our list, please let me know in the comment section below!
Yep, you read that right…track pants. And I’m not referring tothe version we wore in the 80’s, with wide legs in shiny polyester and contrasting stripes down the side. Instead, I’m talking about a much more refined version, which has taken the leap from the gym to the street. With their relaxed shape, often with an elastic or drawstring waist and fitted ankles, they are becoming a definite staple in many people’s closets (including mine!), and I’m here to show you how to make it work for you, whether your style is more casual and urban, or more sophisticated and uptown. There are countless versions of track pants out there, from Trouve to Eileen Fisher. For the sake of this post, I’ve selected a lovely silk charmeuse pair from T by Alexander Wang. (And don’t forget, if something in this article piques your curiosity, all the links are right there for you to click on.)
First lets take this look a bit edgy. First, paring the pants with a fun, graphic sweater by Joie sets the tone that this person likes to have fun and be a little bit quirky.
This look definitely calls for a sneaker, and I think this interpretation of the slip-on variety by DV by Dolce Vita is perfect.
Now, for the bling. Let’s start with the ears. I’m loving the ear climber trend (Click here if you missed my article about this.) and think this mis-matched pair by Luv AJ is awesome.
I’d forego a necklace with this ensemble, since the graphic design in the sweater is statement enough. I would add at least a couple bracelets, though. These two would be a nice stack, and then you can even add more from your own jewelry box. The first is by Vita Fede, and the chunky chain is from Marc by Marc Jacobs.
Sticking with the black, grey and silver theme, I think this ring by Lauren Wolf is a great choice. Don’t you love the pattern in the rutialted quartz?
But of course, we don’t want to be completely in neutrals, right? So throw on a chic cross body in your color of choice! Here’s an example by Rag & Bone that would definitely add some umph to the ensemble.
I think you’ve now gotten the gist of this look. And remember, if you are drawn to this look, but you don’t think it’s quite your personal style, it’s easy to adapt it for your own personality. Not a fan of the graphic sweater? Then opt for a solid one. Really not into asymmetry on your earlobes? Then wear a pair of earrings that you like. Make sense?
Ok, so now for a more polished look, using the same pair of pants. For this version, I started with a sleeveless silk blouse by Theory. I like that it’s a bit fitted around the waist, which will give a nice shape when paired with the pants.
Most of my clients have found a fabulous leather jacket to incorporate into their wardrobe. If you think all leather jackets are “biker” with lots of hardware, then you need to hit the stores and see the wide range of options there are out there (including many faux-leather jackets). Vince makes some of my favorite styles, always with butter-soft leather and sleek styling. (And they just added sizes XXS and XL to their size run–yea!) True, they are an investment, but remember my whole cost-per-wear philosophy. If you pay a lot of money for something that you use ALL the time, then the cost-per-wear is much smaller than if you invest a lot in an item that you only wear once or twice. (Remember that black-tie dress hanging in the back of your closet from 10 years ago that you’ve only worn once?! And how much did it cost? Just sayin’…)
Selecting a higher heel shoe elevates this whole look (no pun intended), and I like this open-toe sling bootie by Vince Camuto. It’s quite lovely, and the cut would elongate the leg. Yes, choosing an open shoe for fall definitely shows that I live in California! If you live in a region that actually has weather (Rain? I forgot what that is!), then a closed toe bootie or pump would be just fine as well.
For jewelry, I started with finding the perfect necklace, and I found it in this crystal montage by Lulu Frost. It’s a little bit vintage, a little bit rocker, has some color and sparkle, and I think it would fill in the neckline of the blouse quite fabulously!
Keeping with the angular lines in the necklace, I chose this pair of earrings by Campbell for a complimentary look.
Here’s how they look on the ear.
Next, it was a toss-up for bracelets and/or rings. I’m thinking that I’d do one or the other, but if your style is “more is more,” then you may just opt for both. They carry the same angular design motif, creating harmony in line and design. The bracelet is from Pamela Love, and Michael Kors designed the ring.
I like the idea of adding a bag that picks up the color in the necklace, and this one by Time’s Arrow is very chic.
So there you have it…track pants dressed up and down, yet both most definitely stylish. So tell me, can you see yourself trying out this silhouette? I’d love to hear from you.