I always love meeting jewelry designers for the first time, and meeting Annie Fensterstock at the Couture show was no exception. This bubbly and clearly talented designer had a bevy of beauties in her case!
In business for about twenty years now, Annie still uses the jewelry making techniques of times gone by — everything is hand made in New York City — no casting or molds in her studio. Working with 18 and 22K gold and platinum, her designs are for the “confident, artistic woman.” She truly strives to capture the spirit of the modern woman using ancient gold-smithing practices.
Annie’s collection ranges from a clean look to the more ornate, as shown in these two cuffs.
This mother of three alloys all the gold herself. I can just picture her hard at work at the bench creating such rings as this one, bedazzled with natural colored diamonds. In fact, many of her rings would make fabulous wedding rings, so if you’re in the market for something non-traditional then you’re in luck!
She also showcases this type of diamond in these amazing dangling earrings. I would SO rock these day and night!
Once again showing the range in her design, these earrings have more detail in their angular silhouette.
Currently, Annie is in Jaipur, India. She won the opportunity (via Fragments) to teach Afghan women to make jewelry. The collection they design together will be represented by Fragments when it’s complete. I cannot WAIT to see it! If you’re in NYC, then you are a lucky duck, as you can check out her line in person at Fragments in Soho.
The first time I made the short jaunt from Union Square to Jackson Square to see the newly-opened boutique, Carrots, I was in love! The vibe was so modern and fashion-forward. It was like stepping right into some completely chic woman’s enormous closet, yet you can actually try on and buy the merchandise. And one of the selling points to me, was that it really covered everything from head to toe. You need the perfect bootie for those skinny pants? What’s your size. Oh, and a wide belt would be the finishing touch on that dress? Well then here, try this one. And of course, the pièce de résistance is that they carry some of the coolest, edgiest jewelry collections around. Whether you’re completing a look while trying on clothes, or just searching for that “perfect piece that MUST go home with you!!!” then you’re sure to find it here. (By the way, that’s an official jewelry category in my mind.) 😉
Opened in fall of 2007 by the lovely sisters Melissa and Catie Grimm, these gals really know what they’re doing! Although they grew up literally surrounded by carrots, (their family is the largest grower, producer and shipper of carrots in the world!) they certainly know what they’re doing in the glorious realm of fashion.
Last week I popped in (you know me and my pre-season “rounds”) and Catie spent some time showing me the latest and greatest. Here are a few items that turned my head.
First is this fantabulous leather, chain and beaded necklace by Marin local Geoffrey Young. You know that I’m currently obsessed with leather bracelets…and then this comes along!
I found these rose gold sword earrings by Suzanne Wilson extremely intriguing as well. Though I can’t necessarily picture myself wearing them, I can certainly envision them on some other, edgier woman. And here’s the interesting thing — when I browsed through this designer’s website, I didn’t see any earrings like these. But that’s where Catie and Melissa are so brilliant in their buy. They are experts at curating their own, signature look in their store.
There were a couple groups of bracelets that really grabbed my attention as well. This first display is oxidized silver and Italian-made by Goti. I could see them layered with other bracelets, or simply on their own. They are artistic, a little tough, and utterly hip, all at once.
Perhaps a bit more attuned to my luxe-boho look are these beaded bracelets by Elizabeth Martin. I enjoy the patina of the turquoise and the organic feel of the rough black and cream beads.
Of course, I wouldn’t want to ignore my fingers. I adore the sleek designs of these silver and druzy rings by hitchcock Madrona. (I’m SO bummed I missed this store while up in Seattle earlier this year! One more reason to go back.)
Last, but not definitely not least, was this pair of stunning earrings. Taking a departure from the traditional chandelier earring for stepping things up a notch, these lovelies have natural diamond balls with a gorgeous tassel of oxidized silver. I must say that they are officially on my “lust list.” Created by a two-sister design team named The Woods, I’m in jewelry heaven!
I could go on, but I will stop here. Needless to say, if you’re ever in San Francisco, I would definitely add Carrots to your “to do” list. I know you won’t regret it!
I’m sure you all get inundated with catalogues in the mail. Personally, I throw most of them straight into the recycling bin without even opening them. But there are two jewelry catalogues that you just might want to peek through — I know I have found some treasures in each of them.
The first one is the Sundance catalogue, which is a company owned by Robert Redford. Just like many of the characters he has played on the big screen, there is a relaxed, “country” feel to this collection. (Jewelry is just part of it…Sundance has everything from clothing to furniture!) Most of the jewelry has a rougher, rustic finish to it and veers toward a bohemian sensibility. There is a wide range of price points. Here are two different sets of stacking rings that demonstrate this.
Sundance offers jewelry from a wide array of designers, including some I just adore, like Anne Sportun and Love Heals. There are more pieces on the website than in the catalogue, so be sure to check out both.
Now Ross Simons is a different ballgame all together. Truth be told, when I first started receiving this catalogue I thought it looked like a bunch of old lady junk! But if you look carefully, there are definitely some finds mixed in with the other tacky pieces. And they are constantly running promotions, so you rarely have to pay the advertised price.
Recently, Ross Simons has been increasing their collection of Indian jewelry, which includes one of my latest loves, polki diamonds (which are usually erroneously called rose cut diamonds) and other small, natural diamonds set in oxidized silver. Here are a couple things that have caught my eye.
Of course, this bracelet is a big investment…currently $2306.50 down from $3295. But, it’s 4 ct. total weight, which isn’t bad!
When shopping on any retail site, don’t forget that there might be some online coupons available. For example, the last time I bought something from Sundance, I first googled “Sundance coupons.” I found one for 30% off one item. Perfect! It worked like a charm. You may not always be so lucky, but it’s always worth a try.
If you come across any wonderful jewelry catalogues, please let me know — I love the tips!