Back in 2011 I wrote about Pamela Froman’s stunning jewelry line. I still dream about that moonstone ring… Well how happy was I to meet the designer in person at the Couture jewelry show!
I was anxious to see what she’s been up to, and she did NOT disappoint! This double-fingered ring features a stunning Australian yowah boulder opal surrounded by white diamonds and paraiba tourmalines, set in 18K gold. Holy cow!!
If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, then you have your chance to meet this talented designer this Friday and Saturday! She will be having a trunk show at Earthworks in Los Altos, CA on 6/14 from 12-6 and 6/15 from 10-5:30. Don’t miss this opportunity, and let me know which pieces you’re in love with!!
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.
Welcome! We’re on article number four of a six-part series highlighting the basics you need in your jewelry box, based on your personal style. So far we’ve covered the lady who lunches, the bohemian, the rock star, and now the minimalist. You still have the romantic and trendy to look forward to. (I know, you are on the edge of your seat waiting for these!) I will re-state that I know most people have a personal style that incorporates aspects from different genres — no need to worry — embrace it! Use these articles as a medium to inspire you and lead you to your local jewelry store with an open, yet focused eye. Don’t let the price tags on the items I write about discourage you. Take the idea and find your own incarnation, with the look and price that you’re comfortable with.
Now let’s focus on the minimalist. I have encountered many of these women during my years as a stylist, and also among my close, personal friends. Being a minimalist doesn’t mean that you don’t have style. (think Audrey Hepburn!) Rather, you have such a carefully curated wardrobe that you know what works, you don’t need a myriad of options, and you don’t want to spend a lot of time each day deciding what to wear. It’s uniform dressing at it’s best. When it comes to the jewelry, it needs to be classic, fuss-free, and lifestyle appropriate.
Choosing a classic watch in the most flattering metal color for your skin tone is imperative. No need for a big trendy statement. Instead, focus on simple elegance, as shown in the Cartier tank watch.
Pairing your versatile watch with a stylish bangle is key. Stay away from bracelets that are too “blingy,” make noise, or compete with your outfit. Choose a comfortable-fitting bracelet that will take you anywhere. Hermes nails this assignment with thier clic-clac bracelet.
If you’re up for a cuff, then this slim bamboo cuff by John Hardy is a wonderful choice.
Again, the minimalist needs a ring that doesn’t interfere with her life, whether she’s trying to feed her child at the park or signing a major real estate contract. So don’t opt for anything with stones that protrude or pieces of metal that may catch on things. This ring by Anne Sportun has a whole lot of style, along with a bit of sparkle.
Another option that works beautifully for the minimalist is a ring with a bit more of a sentimental bent — the monogramed signet ring. Perhaps this has been inherited from a loved family member, or it’s one that you buy yourself, such as this one from Ariel Gordon. It’s streamlined and fabulous at the same time.
Studs are the definitely the basic go-to earring for the minimalist. Whether it’s a pearls, in metal, or diamonds, there are bound to be at least one pair of studs in the minimalist’s jewelry box. Being the sparkle-lover, I would opt for either diamonds or CZ for your first pair. I love how Bony Levy offers them in a variety of sizes.
Don’t be surprised to find out you’re not the only one who puts on your necklace and then never takes it off. I’ve seen it many times — it’s on in the shower, in bed, and on the beach. Therefore, it needs to be lightweight, unobtrusive, short enough that it doesn’t tangle, and chic. The easy choice here is Tiffany’s diamonds by the yard necklace. (These come in a variety of metals and price points.) Personally, I like taking off my jewelry at night, but hey, to each his own!
So are you a minimalist at heart? I clearly am not. (You only need to look at the size of my jewelry armoire to know that!) Though I really do admire this personal style and believe it or not, I do strive to be a bit more minimal when I travel. I’d love to know what minimalist pieces you love to wear!
It’s certainly trunk show season, and I have been having lots of fun making new discoveries in the world of jewelry! One I particularly enjoyed was meeting Rebecca Longenecker and Meghan Zimmerman, the dynamic duo behind Metal Earth Studios, at a recent trunk show at Manika Jewelry in San Francisco.
Meghan and Rebecca became friends when Rebecca moved in across the street from Meghan about nine years ago. Both having small children at the time, it was a natural connection. Fast forward about seven years, and their Oakland-based jewelry line was born. Rebecca had more of of the jewelry background, and Meghan has talents in art and photography. Combining all of their strengths, they started hand-crafting beautiful, organic, and bohemian jewelry.
They use green gold, ethically mined diamonds and sterling silver. “Each piece is created to help women feel connected to the earth, its elements, and the feminine creature,” Meghan told me. They do all the forging and finishing work themselves in their home studio. Wow!
I love the mixed metals in this necklace.
And this necklace is beautiful on its own, or layered with other pieces.
Since I have tiny wrists, I was very happy to see that they make bangles in small sizes too!
The designers are so inspired by the metals they design with, and they clearly have a talent for working with them. Take a look at these beautifully crafted rings.
If this line appeals to your sense of personal style, I definitely recommend you check it out!
Given that my mom is one of my best-est friends, I’m always pleased when I meet other close mother-daughter duos. While at the Couture show in Las Vegas, I was very pleased to meet Rhonda and Tiffany Bartolacci, the mother and daughter behind the fabulous Borgioni Private Collection.
Though they live on opposite coasts, the pair have built a thriving business the past six years. The whole line was inspired by the family matriarch, who left the women some vintage jewelry. They really wanted to re-design these pieces so that they could be worn today, yet still represent their own style. From there, they decided to develop a collection comprised of “unique pieces of art that can be worn as accessories.” Rhonda (the mom) is definitely a bit more rock-n-roll in her aesthetic, while Tiffany has more of a vintage/boho vibe. But they are able to combine their viewpoints in a very creative, bejeweled line.
They first became known for their bracelets, both their beaded ones and the handcuff design. But that was just the beginning — buddahs, snakes, the evil eye and animals are just some of what you’ll find in their stunning creations. (In fact animals are currently a very strong theme in their line, as they are both such animal lovers.)
The first thing that caught my eye at their booth was an amazing group of large, rectangular rings. Here’s a stunning showpiece in rose gold.
Still with the rose gold theme, I think this rose gold and diamond flower on a sting ray cuff is beyond cool!
If more delicate bracelets are your style, then take a look at this one. You can wear it just as easily on its own as you could stacked with other bracelets you already own.
As my readers know, I have a completely unexplained addiction to buddah. (Perhaps I was Buddhist in a former life?!) I was a happy camper looking through their pieces, as buddah popped up in everything from pendants to bracelets!
While you might see this jewelry on everyone from Heidi Klum to Steven Tyler, you can also try it on yourself. You can find this collection at Neiman Marcus, Amazon, and in specialty jewelry stores around the country, including Fragments in NYC.
The first time I met Petra Class and saw her beautiful line was at the American Craft Council show in San Francisco. (She’ll be showing there again this coming weekend, August 3-5!) Her line had a very modern aesthetic, with clean lines and delicious gems. I was delighted to once again see her at the Couture show, and I had a chance to chat more with her (loved finding out that she’s a 2nd degree black belt in Aikido!) and really explore the line.
Petra was born and raised in Germany and started designing right out of high school. She adores sitting at the work bench working on her designs. All her pieces are made right here in San Francisco, and she only uses recycled gold.
Here is a stunning ring. The blue-green hues elicit the feeling of the Mediterranean. I can almost feel the sun shining down on me…
This bracelet really showcases Petra’s perspective. As she told me,”I like crazy in a structured way.” Well, I certainly believe she achieved it with this creation!
I thought this pair of pearl, gold and diamond earrings had a particularly feminine feel, though combined with a modern edge. Nice juxtaposition!
Aside from at various shows, you can also find some of her line at Gumps in San Francisco. Personally, I really hope to make it to the ACC show at Fort Mason this weekend and see her latest work. If you’re in the SF Bay Area, hope you can make it as well!
I, probably more than most, can certainly appreciate the sentimentality of jewelry. I’ve got my Italian grandmother’s engagement ring, which features blue glass that has been weathered by work in harsh chemicals. I’ve still got a lovely black safety pin embellished with beads from a German pen-pal from when I was nine. Oh, and of course some of my Swedish grandmother’s “cruise” jewelry. (translation: pink rhinestones)
But when you wear all your mementos on your fingers all at once (along with a dated manicure) it’s just not right. Though I loved hearing the story of each and every one of the rings this sweet woman wears daily, I really think she should selectively wear her rings and not over-accessorize. (Curious side bar: why has she ignored her pinky fingers when she is clearly into abundance?!?)
I first have to apologize for the quality of this photo…it was taken in a dark place during a concert. Even though the show on stage was quite tremendous, the hand of the gal next to me just stole the show. It’s one thing to rock the huge, embellished cross ring. I can get into that if it jives with the outfit. But combined with one of the most frightening manicures I’ve ever laid eyes on, I just was flabbergasted. What was she thinking?!? (And really, those nails must be a safety hazard!)
Forget the rule that you have to wait till 5 o’clock for a drink. The NEW rule is that ANYtime is cocktail time…you do realize that I’m talking about cocktail rings, right?!
Don’t save your big bling for going out in the evening. Instead, enjoy that heavy weight on your finger all day long. I, myself, have been having fun with this trend. Here’s a picture of me wearing a killer taupe Alexis Bittar ring that I picked up for a song at a pre-Christmas sale at Decorazzi in Las Vegas.
Whether the ring be made simply of metal or with a stone, don’t be afraid to get your milage out of it! (Remember the cost-per-wear rule…the more you pay for something, the more you should wear it to get the best value.) A large-scale ring can really add some attitude to the simplest jeans and t-shirt ensemble. If you need some inspiration, here are some gorgeous options.
I have admired Steve Vaubel’s work since I purchased my first pair of his earrings at Sak’s years ago. He makes striking, modern jewelry, and this ring is certainly no exception.
Finally, here’s a bit of the floral craze interpreted in a cocktail ring by Yves Saint Laurent. By the way, if you only associate this brand with high-end clothing, shoes, and bags, you may be pleasantly surprised at their costume jewelry line!
So go dig deep into your ring collection. While you’re at it, see what your mom and grandmother have tucked away. They may have just the perfect ring to bring your outfit to the next level…and to think that these rings were normally just brought out for special occasions. Isn’t everyday a special occasion?! I truly think so.
I’m like a kid in a candy store when I attend jewelry trunk shows. When I have the opportunity to see a designer’s line that I never have seen before AND it’s tremendous, it’s like Christmas morning. That’s exactly how I felt last week when I went to see the Meredith Marks show at Angela in Menlo Park. WOW!
The first thing that struck me about her line was it’s diversity. Some pieces had a more exotic flair, while others were polished to the nines. I also appreciate how she uses gold (in various colors), silver, and both precious and semi-precious stones, which gives her collection a wide range in price points. It is accessible jewelry to be loved and worn.
Another wonderful feature is the multi-functionality of many of her pieces. For example, she showed me a pair of larger earrings (the elongated pointed ovals on the left side of the picture below) where the dangling part comes off and can be used as a pendant on a necklace. Another necklace she showed me is the perfect length to be used as a wrap bracelet as well. With jewelry that can be used in a variety of ways, it really makes your jewelry dollar go farther.
Meredith started her line a couple years ago, and her passion for it is palpable as she talks with you and shows you various pieces. You can’t currently find her jewelry in any US department stores–just specialty boutiques. In my mind, this makes her line all the more coveted, as it’s truly unique. If you’re interested in seeing her jewelry, you can contact her to find where it’s sold near you.