I was at the jewelry counter at Neiman’s the other day working on a story, and up walked this lovely woman, clearly on a mission. And given that she was holding a necklace, I knew it was one of my favorite types of missions — finding earrings to coordinate with her necklace. Lucky for me, she was open for my assistance in process. Here’s the necklace she brought, with beautiful beads accented by a large polki diamond bead.
I inquired about the necklace’s designer, and she explained that friends of her daughter, Lauren, had made the necklace. Once I explained that I was an image consultant and jewelry blogger, she quickly picked up the phone to ask Lauren the designer’s name. NO surprise to me, it was made by The Woods, who I l-o-v-e, and who I interviewed a while back. (Click here to read that story.)
Vicki, the woman-on-a-mission, was going to wear this with a natural linen-colored outfit to an event up in Napa.
“So I think that a simple diamond hoop would be great with this, don’t you think?”
“I’ve got those, and they just don’t work…”
“Are they too refined for the style of the necklace?”
“That’s exactly right! Too refined!”
She was going for a coordinating, yet not overly-polished look for the earrings. Some oxidized silver with diamonds hit the perfect note, and we certainly knew the right designer’s case to find them in, that of Irit Design, another over my total faves! (Click here to read my interview with her.) And there they were, just waiting to be tried on.
The mix was perfect. The earrings were a compliment to the necklace, but they didn’t overpower it, so the focus is still on the necklace. Since the hoops were a modified shape, they really add some interest, and it’s not a shape she currently had in her jewelry box. In addition, these will be a great choice for her everyday options, as they’re great on their own when just running around the city. This gives them great cost-per-wear. If they were some big, fancy earring that could only be worn for special occasions, they wouldn’t have been nearly as cost-effective.
So not only did this encounter involve two of my most loved jewelry lines, but it was great to meet Vicki, and I have a feeling that I may be lunching with her and her daughter sometime soon! Hope that she had a great time at her event!
Get excited — it’s time for the third article in my series “Jewelry Box Basics!” To catch you up, this is a six-part series outlining the basic pieces you should have in your jewelry box based on your personal style: the lady who lunches, bohemian, rock star, romantic, minimalist and trendy. True, everyone is a unique individual and may adopt aspects of various styles, so just use this as a framework. Use the images as a jumping off point to inspire you and send you in the right direction. Don’t let the price tags affect your vision. Instead, shop at the price points that you’re comfortable with and have fun!
So let’s get back to the style du jour. Now granted, not everyone can be a successful rock star, belting out songs on stage, yet I know that there are many people who have an inner rock star living inside them. (regardless of their musical talent) If this sounds like you, then you should let this aspect of your personality shine through in your wardrobe and jewelry!
The jewelry for the rock star conjures up images of metals in oxidized silver and gunmetal…motifs such as skulls, spikes, angel wings…leather cuffs…and black diamonds. But you have to select pieces carefully, as you don’t want to appear like a parody of an actual rock star. Here are some examples of jewelry that would strike the right note.
Oversized and in black, there are many options for a rock’n roll watch out there. Karl Lagerfeld’s new collection is right on the money with this vibe.
The rock chic needs a chunky link bracelet to complement her style. This one by Moritz Glik is tremendous.
But there also has to be a leather bracelet in your jewelry box. I think this wide leather cuff by Erika Honig with woven pewter and silver would look fantastic worn on the opposite wrist as your watch.
I’m thinking of one particular friend in Austin, and she is definitely the rocker. Her husband really chose the ideal wedding ring for her — a large, black diamond. For the right hand, I think an edgy ring like this one by Stephen Webster would be just fantastic on her.
You might be in shock that the pair I’m recommending for a basic for this personal style is actually not a hoop! I could, of course, but I’m going a step further with these dangling chain earrings by Alberian and Aulde. I love the movement of the chains accented by diamonds.
Layering necklaces is intrinsically part of the rocker style, just as it was with the bohemian. Therefore, a minimum of two necklaces are going to be basic, one more delicate, and the other more of a statement. For the smaller piece, I like this embellished feather by Jamie Joseph. The mixed metals (notice the gold-toned ring that holds on the pendant) make it even more versatile.
Either worn solo, or in combination with this necklace by Virgins, Saints & Angels, it’s rockin’ without being a costume.
So how do these pieces sit with you? Can you picture yourself wearing them? Or is it too much of a departure from your personal style? With the three styles I’ve now covered, you can see what a range there is out there in the world of jewelry. And just think, we’re only half way through! 😉
As a long-time fan (and collector) of the Armenta line, I was just thrilled to spend some time with Emily at the Couture show. She was everything I thought she’d be and more! With her long, dark hair and fair complexion, she was just what I’d envisioned as the creator of such beauty. Both her and her line have an almost other-worldly quality to them, with nods to earlier times in history.
Born into an extremely artistic family (mom paints and sculpts, dad is a writer and sister is a poet!), Emily told me she began to sketch jewelry as soon as she could hold a pencil. Though she did go the route of working as a trader for Morgan Stanley, she knew it just wasn’t the right fit for her. While in business school she created the plan for her jewelry business, and she launched in 2002. From the sounds of it, she did everything in her power to make it work! One of her money-making ventures was buying cars at auctions and then re-selling them. She dumped every cent of profit into building her business, and I’m so glad she did! Not only that, but her whole line is hand-crafted right here in the USA. Brava!
Inspired by the Spanish poet Fedrico Garcia Lorca, Emily learned of duende, which is “…a spirit of unpredictable passions that surges within us, and how it manifests itself as a creative force.” Black and gold are a big part of her signature, and here’s a perfect example of how she expresses herself in large, statement rings.
Personally, I also just adore her bangles. I long to have a collection of them, stacking them with other bracelets I already own. The creative combinations would be endless with each bangle added to the group.
Working with 18K yellow and rose gold, oxidized silver, and incredible stones, she also launched a “New World” collection in 2011. This group is made of sterling silver with a platinum wash. I asked her about how she finds stones with such amazing colorations. Turns out that she often fuses two stones together, which are called doublets. For example, she’ll fuse boulder opal to sandstone. Not only does this create fascinating hues, yet it also creates a stronger stone. Who knew?! Here are some rings from her New World collection.
If you read fashion magazines, you may well recognize this following photo from her current ad campaign. In addition to her jewelry, she also has started a handbag line! Made of exotic materials such as crocodile and python, many of the evening bags have removable straps. Her wrap leather cuffs actually clip on to the evening bags for an ultra-chic wristlet look. How creative!
If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and you are intrigued by this line, then it’s your lucky day! This Saturday, September 8th, Emily will be making a personal appearance at her trunk show at Neiman Marcus in Union Square from 10-5. This is a rare opportunity to meet her in person, so don’t miss out!
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!