Layered History: Jewelry Judge

I stopped in my tracks when I spied this woman in downtown San Francisco. Attired in a simple, yet chic black dress and neutral layer (which you always need in the city!), this outfit just came to life with the jewelry!! The longest necklace is an acrylic pendant. The buddah, which you know I’m obsessed with, actually had some sanskrit on the backside. The bezel-set coin was an 1888 US silver dollar, from the year her grandmother was born. Combined with the double-wraped chunky silver chain, it was an unexpected, yet cool combination. It sort of had a bit of a zen meets rock-n-roll vibe. Kudos from the jewelry judge!

layered necklaces
This makes me want to go dig in my jewelry box!

Spectacular Layers: Jewelry Judge

I had the time to pop into Angela’s in Menlo Park recently — a well-loved boutique. I almost ran right into a customer, as her amazing array of necklaces just had me mesmerized!

layered necklaces
Neutrals and diamonds done right!

As I turned around, I literally started seeing double, as there was her twin sister adorned in another fascinating combination!

layered necklaces
Love the pop of color with the white dress!

Come to find out that she’s the jewelry designer of all these lovely creations! I can’t wait to check out her line in person. And don’t worry…I’ll be sure to let you know all about it! šŸ˜‰

Too Many Layers: Jewelry Judge

So you know that I’m all about layering necklaces and stacking bracelets. But when you decide to wear all your gold at once, you resemble an extra from “Pirates of the Caribbean” more than a chic woman about town. Case in point with this gal. While I really loved her diamond encrusted sea star pendant, it was completely overwhelmed by the heavy chain/gold coin and the thick omega with diamond enhancer. And let’s not even mention the seahorse pin with the heavily patterned vest. I think this is the perfect opportunity to edit, edit, edit….

too many necklaces
Three times is not a charm....

Stacy King of Lulu Designs

I always love to check out the latest in style (I’m sure you’re shocked to hear!) at one of my favorite boutiques, Crimson Mim. (now with locations in Los Altos and Palo Alto, CA) It’s a double bonus when my visit coincides with a jewelry trunk show! I was very pleased to meet Bay Area local Stacy King, the designer of Lulu Designs.

Me with jewelry designer Stacy King

Stacy, in her thirteenth year of business (and come to find out next door neighbors with one of my clients!), studied art history and ceramics. Eventually she evolved into jewelry making as a hobby, which then became a bonafide business. Her inspiration for the lovely line comes from nature, architecture and textiles. She has a talented group of trained metal smiths here in the Bay Area that cast her jewelry in silver, and then use 24K vermeil.

Lulu designs necklaces

One of the things I like best about her pieces are her unique materials, which include ancient Thai silver trade beads, hand-cut deer leather and Baroque pearls. Many of her necklaces have a delicate quality that are just itching to be layered within her line or with other necklaces you may already have.

Can you picture layering these?

There are numerous stores who carry this versatile line, so I’m sure you can find a retailer near you. Enjoy!

Layer it on: Jewelry Judge

I was lunching in the Neiman’s cafe in San Francisco today, when I spied this woman with just the right necklaces layered together. Not too much, not too wimpy, but just right. (Goldilocks would be pleased.) What could have been just an ordinary jean and black top turned into a head-turning ensemble with the addition of the killer necklaces and the pop of color with the scarf. In addition, the scarf carries the circular design element of the main necklace and her watch echoes the nutmeg color in the scarf. Well done!

layered necklaces
Now this combo has some umph!

Liseanne Frankfurt of LFrank

I found myself once again at a deliciously gorgeous trunk show at Angela’s in Menlo Park. The designer herself was there to showcase her LFrank collection, which was so beautiful, I didn’t know where to look first!

LFrank designer and Amy Roseveare
Liseanne Frankfurt and me

Discovering that we were both UCLA alumni (where she began her business her sophomore year) just added to the instant bond I felt with the hand-finished collection. Liseanne works with rose or moghul cut diamonds, colored stones, and pearls set in 18K yellow, white and rose gold. You’ll also find her incorporating some other materials, such as shells, vintage beads or wood.

What first caught my eye was a bust of layered necklaces. They seemed to glow with their matte finish and I could instantly see each piece being worn separately, layered with things I already owned, and worn day to night. It’s clear that her inspirations include travel, art and architecture.

LFrank necklaces
Stunning array of necklaces

Soon, though, a wide ribbon full of stud earrings drew my attention. Studs may not always be the most “exciting” part of a collection, but they can certainly be one of the most useful elements in any jewelry wardrobe. Finding out-of-the-ordinary studs can be a challenge and the following are examples of some truly unique designs.

LFrank studs with grey diamond stripe
Rose gold with grey diamond stripe

LFrank quak cluster studs
Yellow gold with 4-diamond cluster

LFrank pave disc studs with grey diamonds
Grey pave diamond disc studs

All her jewelry is made in her studio in Los Angeles. She works with a third generation goldsmith in creating each unique piece. Even her findings (things like clasps and chains) are made specifically for her, so there’s nothing “common” whatsoever about her products. You are guaranteed to have a high-quality, exquisite piece with amazing detail.

Now if you just MUST see this line after reading this, you can always visit her store on Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice Beach. Or, cruise through her chic online store on her website. The diversity in her line will please a variety of personal styles and includes jewelry in many scales — so odds are you’ll find something that makes you go, “ooooo!” Happy shopping!

Jewelry that gives back

While I certainly never need a reason to go jewelry shopping, I must admit that when I find out that part of the proceeds from my purchase will go to charity, then I’m doubly happy! I’m encountering more and more designers who do give back, and I’d like to tell you about three that I’ve found right here in the Bay Area.

First is Joan Hornig. I first saw a stunning necklace of hers at Philanthropist on Sacramento Street, but now even Neiman Marcus has picked up her line. And get ready for the shocker…100% of the profits from each purchase are donated to the charity of your choice–it’s almost too good to be true!

I would describe her line as modern chic, with pieces ranging from chunky to more streamlined. You’ll find both silver and gold, either on their own or combined with color and neutrals. Her larger scale necklaces are sure to be conversation starters!

Joan Hornig butterfly necklace

I think this pair of earrings would be just as beautiful with a cocktail dress as they would be with jeans and a sweater.

Joan Hornig earrings

While in Manika Jewelry recently, I was excited to see and learn about Jeanne Johngren’s line. She donates a portion of her proceeds to various charities, some of which focus on children, education, and health literacy. Jeanne combines her background in art and cinematography to create stunning pieces in silver, gold, and gemstones. Two circular pendant necklaces specifically jumped out at me while in the store.

Gold medallion with diamond starburst

Mandala inspired necklace by Jeanne Johngren

Finally, I have to tell you about a jewelry line that I’ve had a long-time love affair with…Love Heals. This family company (mom, son and daughter) is based right here in California and they have 10 trees planted for every piece they sell. How amazing is that?! This organic, bohemian-flavored line is just divine. I find their simpler, long necklaces are ideal layering pieces, and their more ornate pieces are stunning on their own. Here are a couple examples of their design:

Love Heals necklace

Double layer necklace

Love Heals sells at a wide range of stores and boutiques. I often find a nice selection at the various Margaret O’Leary boutiques in the Bay Area.

So with these designers in mind, go hit the stores with a happy heart, knowing that your new treasure will be helping others as well. šŸ™‚

Layering Necklaces: It’s all in the Mix

You may have noticed that one of the hot trends in the world of jewelry has been layering necklaces. But have you been afraid to try this out yourself? Don’t be, because there are no hard and fast rules. Instead, just play around a little and see what sparks your creative eye.

Start with one necklace that hits around your upper balance point. Then add another one that’s a bit longer, maybe even two more. You might try one of your longer necklaces and doubling it. The following picture demonstrates how a longer necklace was wrapped around twice and combined with a shorter necklace for a stunning effect.

jen layered necklaces
layering a short necklace with a doubled longer one

This photograph shows how a shorter necklace is layered with a doubled longer one. Then added to the mix is yet another one, worn long, for sort of a three-tiered effect. I’m just lovin’ it.

three-tiered layered necklaces
layering three necklaces

One more thing you may want to experiment with is the scale of the necklaces you’re layering. Sometimes a combination you may have never thought about just looks hot. I practically accosted this woman, Janet, in Neiman Marcus when her creative combination really got my attention.

Janet-layered necklaces

I just think the chunkiness of the carved wood necklace creates beautiful juxtaposition with the more delicate blue beaded strand with the gold medallion.

So here’s your mission, should you choose to accept it. Go to your jewelry box, haul out all your necklaces (even the ones that have been hiding in the deep recesses) and start playing around. I’m sure you’ll find some combinations that really resonate with your personal style.