I first met Michelle around 2000. I recall that the first year or so we knew each other, her wardrobe uniform included a fitted black Prada t-shirt, and virtually no jewelry. Seriously, no sparkle! It’s been such a treat to see how Michelle’s style has evolved over the years, and I now consider her one of the most avant-garde dressers I know. Granted, she is in the fashion industry, but Michelle does not let trends dictate what she wears. I’ve seen her dive into both color and gems the past 17+ years and truly discover her own personal style. Lucky me — I got to spend an hour exploring her jewlery box and hearing about her favorite pieces for this latest installment of Into the Jewelry Box.
When Michelle met me at the door, she was in a Saturday casual chic look which included an Avant Toi sweater topped with a knotted chain necklace with a singular Tahitian pearl. She told me, “It’s messy and old…I’ve had it for over 10 years…and I love it.” Now that’s a good return on investment, still wearing it a decade later.
She complemented the easy look with a pair of pave diamond studs. These earrings get a lot of mileage in her wardrobe, as they go everywhere from spin class to traveling the globe.
I was lusting after this other pair of diamond slice studs nestled in her jewelry box — what a fabulous, warm glow! These were purchased on a trip to India.
Another pair of her everyday earrings are these luscious grey drops from Larkspur & Hawk. I can see how they’d just meld with whatever she decided to wear that day.
I hadn’t been to Michelle’s house in years, but it didn’t surprise me to see her jewelry collection was as edited as she keeps her closet. She chooses to buy fewer pieces, but fabulous pieces. I asked her what her most worn items are in the current rotation. First and foremost is the “rolling” bracelet by Sidney Garber.
She first saw this bracelet in Aspen, where one of her friends was wearing it. At first she didn’t “get it,” but then her eye started seeing it paired with The Row and other key designers, and suddenly she had a big “ah ha!” and had to purchase one for herself. It is now her #1 favorite piece of jewelry she owns. She likened the phenomenon to skinny jeans. Remember how when they first hit the scene we cringed while wearing our boot-cut jeans? Then when our eye and mind got used to them, they were suddenly a staple.
Michelle also has two long necklaces which she frequently layers together. One is a golden hand on a long leather cord, and the other is a gold Irene Neuwirth chain with two brightly colored pendants. And all together, they totally work on her!
She found a pair of amethyst Judy Geib earrings that really play back well with the whole jewelry ensemble. They “go” but they’re not totally matchy-matchy, if you know what I mean.
Michelle also has a real affinity for the fashion jewelry from Bottega Veneta. She’s acquired a nice collection of their drop earrings, as well as a very cool bracelet with green accents. These are easy for her to mix and match with her scarf collection.
Speaking of earrings, she has a few pair that are extra-special. When I asked about her strategy for jewlery acquisition, she explained, “I’m clothes-driven. I just LOVE clothes. I buy the outfit first, and then I go about finding the right jewelry.” This is how she ended up with these crazy-cool Nak Armstrong earrings, purchased to complement her mother-of-the-groom outfit for her son’s wedding. I took a photo of them on top of the Gucci skirt she wore. Once again, you can see how she just nailed the blended color palette.
Here’s another standout pair of earrings, this time labradorite by Irene Neuwirth. These are generally reserved for more special occasions.
One of the things I really admire about Michelle’s collection is that it really isn’t full of “basics.” In fact, most pieces have a very distinct personality, just like she does. Have you ever though about having a fly on a necklace? And that it would be one of your go-to pieces? Neither had I, but she bought this Stephen Webster fly necklace and it has become a staple. Who would have thought?
Or what about a multi-strand necklace embellished with crystal evil eyes on pearls? Sounds a bit out there? Well not in this case — in her wardrobe it’s spot on perfect.
I have to say, that getting an inside look into Michelle’s jewelry collection has really got me thinking. Perhaps I should consider adding more color to my jewelry? Does this fit into my personal style? I certainly tend towards buying neutrals. Also, if I see a piece that truly speaks to me, yet it’s more “quirky” than I would normally buy, I’m going to analyze it before automatically dismissing it — would it blend with my wardrobe? Where could I see myself wearing it? All things to ponder.
Thanks to Michelle for allowing me to invade her jewelry box. I love the collection you’ve built, and I’ll be anxious to see what you acquire next!
I’ve been inundated with the color orange as of late, between Halloween, the San Francisco Giant’s being in the World Series, the leaves changing outside my window…pretty much everywhere except in my jewelry box. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I rarely see jewelry with orange stones. Why is that? Is it a color many don’t prefer? Perhaps it’s because there aren’t as many varieties of stones with an orange hue? (In fact, how many can you name?) I’m really not quite sure.
At any rate, I took myself on another of my infamous virtual shopping sprees with no budget (like the one I took with green stones this past March). Before I knew it, hours (yes, hours!) had slipped by, but I had found some stunning pieces in so many different shades of orange. Here are my fave finds, in no particular order. Enjoy!
Orange coral was one of the first things that jumped into my mind when I thought about orange jewelry, and this pair of earrings by Annette Ferdinandsen are just beautiful.
Ray Griffiths designed these with a lovely orange harmony in carnelian and amber.
Sethi Couture also has a lovely ombre effect in these diamond linear drop earrings.
Geodes are always a favorite of mine, and Kimberly McDonald used a stunning pair in these earrings.
Mary Esses designed a party for your ears in gold, diamonds, and carnelian.
For a style with more angular lines, then these by Kothari are pretty amazing. It reminds me of photos I’ve seen of the sun’s surface!
The traditional cameo was another image that popped into my head as I thought about jewelry with an orange hue. Amedeo takes the cameo to a whole new, modern level, as shown in this “see no evil” pendant.
Jes MaHarry created an uber-cool necklace, with a wheel of coral, gold, diamonds, and a silver chain. its’ a very chic bohemian look, which I would layer with other necklaces in a heartbeat.
This orange crystal and diamond necklace by Jacquie Aiche would be another great layering piece.
For more of an orange punch, then I’d go for this druzy agate pendant by Peppina.
Vaubel is a master with color in his designs, as demonstrated in this chunky bracelet.
Nak Armstrong is another designer with impeccable use of color, this time with mandarin garnets.
For a skinny layering piece, this orange garnet bead bracelet by Joseph Brooks makes me smile.
And let’s not forget adding the color orange in the form of a watch. I’d never say no to one by Hermes!
Jane Bohan designed a substantial ring with citrine and diamonds.
I try not to discriminate in the world of gemstones, but I must admit that emeralds have never been one of my favorite stones. (I guess it’s lucky I wasn’t born in May.) So I thought I’d give myself a challenge this St. Patrick’s Day and delve into the world of green stones, from emeralds to green diamonds to tourmalines and beyond. I decided to send myself on a virtual shopping spree, with no budget constraints and see what gorgeous green gems I could come up with. Folks, I was definitely NOT disappointed, and I now have a completely new appreciation for lovely baubles in all shades of green. So here goes, my top 20 picks.
First up is this amaze-balls pair of earrings by Sutra.
Next I started drooling over these oval cravellit earrings by Armenta.
With the bar necklace trend still fresh in my mind, I expanded further by adoring these bar earrings by Jennifer Meyer. Though they are made of opals, they definitely read “green,” don’t you think?
For a classic tear-drop with a twist, take a look at these chrysoprase earrings by Irene Neuwirth.
And taking a more yellow-green approach, I think Anne Sportun has a lovely design in green garnets and diamonds!
Moving down the body, I started looking for green ways to adorn my neck. And oh, what lovelies did I find! First, I fell in lust with this tourmaline and diamond necklace by LFrank.
For a truly dramatic look, Irene Neuwirth nailed it with this emerald necklace.
I also explored the world of vintage jewelry, and I fell in love with this antique “Mogul” emerald and diamond pendant. The emerald was carved 1695 — so pretty!
Back to a simpler design, I think this green diamond paisley by Sethi Couture is beautiful.
And finally, this pendant necklace by Emily Amey would be great in creative layers.
Taking us to the wrist, I was loving the array of choices in which you can adorn yourself in green gemstones. This ombre look in chrysoprase and green quartz by Mary Esses is phenomenal.
Since I am a fan of stacking bracelets, I thought this bangle by Nak Armstrong would be a fab addition to my jewelry box. I love how the emeralds are such an unusual hue — veering more toward the aqua-green side.
I am often seen wearing my Hermes click-clack bracelet, and perhaps one in green would be just the right way to add a punch of color to my oft-neutral ensembles.
This delicate cuff by Jemma Wynne made of Zambian emeralds, gold and diamonds is perfection.
And given that this exercise gave me an unlimited budget, why not go for this tourmaline and diamond bracelet via Sotheby’s?
Lest we forget our fingers, I kept on the search. The first ring to catch my eye was this emerald slice and diamond stunner by Monique Pean. The stone has such a smoky quality to it — love it!
For a much more organic, boho look, I’d opt for something like this adventurine and sterling silver ring from Circle & Square.
Given my penchant for stacking rings, I know that I could incorporate some of these skinnies by Suzy Landa into my collection.
I think this opaque green diamond ring by Sethi Couture would look amazing with my skin tone.
And to end with another vintage piece, I think this emerald and diamond ring from the late 1800’s/early 1900’s via Bonhams is exquisite. I’m actually shocked that it sold for under $3K.
So what do you think of my virtual shopping spree? Do you see some pieces that you’d like as well? Wishing you a fabulous St. Patrick’s Day!