On Thursday I went to a ModeWalk trunk show at Azadeh in San Francisco. ModeWalk is a unique business model in the world of fashion. Basically, they get hot, luxury fashions from Europe (many brands that I’ve never heard of!) and sell them online, through selective trunk shows, and via stylist appointments. Interesting! While I went to the show intending to focus on the clothing, my attention was (not surprisingly) re-directed to some stellar pieces of jewelry!
First up was this fab necklace by Fiona Paxton. With its pop of neon, it’s truly on-trend.
Another statement necklace that had me drooling was this rose-gold stunner by Lara Bohinc.
I certainly didn’t want to ignore my wrists, so I quickly tried on this amazing bracelet by Parisian designer Philippe Audibert…well actually it’s much more than a bracelet. I don’t even know how to describe it! But I love it — it makes my arms look so sleek!
I also adore these knotted bracelets by Coralie De Seynes. I’m very tempted by the orange one. While orange isn’t a color that necessarily looks good on me in clothing or make-up, why not add a dash of it in an accessory?!
If you’d like the opportunity to see some of these gems live, you’re in luck. ModeWalk will be having another trunk show this week (Feb. 5-9) at Azadeh in Los Gatos, California. You can find out about their upcoming trunk shows on their Facebook page. Happy shopping!
You know how some people just radiate good energy? Well jewelry designer Jen Pleasants is just one of those people. I had the fortune of hearing about her line while at In Her Shoes in Palo Alto via her business partner, Amy Salisbury. (Yep…I pretty much interrupted her private conversation with another woman when I heard “jewelry line!”) Fast forward a few weeks, and I found myself in her amazing studio in Portola Valley, CA.
While Jen did start designing about 10 years ago, she had to put it on the back burner for a decade while having three kids. Come May 2012, she’s back at the drawing board and has launched a truly wonderful business. Once an eco-blogger, Jen has always strived to give back, and finds that making the world a better place is one of her life’s callings. Combined with her creative nature and background in sculpture, she has now found the perfect intersection of her passions in her jewelry line, Show the Love. (5% of their profits go to water.org)
This is truly an inspirational jewelry line. Each piece is carefully designed, named, and has a message. As stated on their website, “STL jewelry emphasizes positive affirmations, invokes ‘girl power’ and is crafted with recycled metals and ethically sourced stones. We designed and named each piece to express a feeling or sentiment. Our hope is that by wearing STL jewelry, women will be inspired to ‘Show the Love’ for themselves, for others and for the Earth.”
I was immediately drawn to her bangles with a Herkimer diamond drop. First of all, it was the first time I’d ever heard of Herkimer diamonds, which are double-pointed crystals from Herkimer, New York. They promote healing and white light circulation. And inspecting the bangle further, I saw that it was inscribed with “She believed she could, so she did” Can I say awesome?!?
This precious necklace was inspired by her young daughter when she said, “Mamma, you know what love is? Love is showing your heart!”
This line features both fashion and fine jewelry (at a wide range of price points), and uses metals from yellow and rose gold to brass to silver. I think the following necklace and earrings from her “Soldier of Love” group are just fabulous. The subtle diamond chevron pattern make these pieces very versatile, to be worn with anything from a t-shirt and jeans to an LBD.
The organic beauty of these pieces, along with their cherished inspirational messages really make it a special line. AND…if this collection brings a smile to your face, then just wait till next week. My next giveaway is a stunning piece from this very line. So stay tuned for your chance to win!
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.
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!
Ippolita has become one of my “go to” lines for years now in my personal shopping business. Silver, gold, rose gold, gunmetal and gems galore — how can you go wrong? I now have an even deeper appreciation of this stunning line after spending some time chatting with the designer, Ippolita, herself.
Though the trunk show was absolutely packed, she easily spent fifteen minutes or more casually chatting with me. We seemed to quickly bond, covering topics from how to deal with our (mutually) curly hair to our love of Italy. (Granted, she was born there and I am only half Italian, but still…) It’s amazing how much she has done in her life already. She received a degree in sculpture in Italy, a degree in English literature, founded a dance company, and oh, yeah…started an incredible jewelry line in the 1990’s. Never mind that she’s also a mother and involved in countless other things. How does she do it?
One of the things that I love about her line is that it appeals to a wide range of personal styles among my clients. I’ve got classic gals, more bohemian women, and sporty chics who all incorporate pieces from her line into their jewelry wardrobe. Her pieces don’t become dated, either. They will be as beautiful and stylish the day you buy them as they will in ten years. That’s always a selling point, as it really lowers the cost-per-wear. (Not that you need a reason to buy a new bauble, do you?!)
Here’s a close-up of some of her bangles. She designs the bracelets in a rainbow of colors and metals. They easily can stack with bangles you already own.
This silver link necklace will take you from boardroom to a cocktail party, depending on how you style it. Now that’s jewelry bang for your buck!
I’ve written about choosing jewelry metals for different skin tones before. These mother-of-pearl earrings work on a wide range of skin tones. I’ve tried them on clients with both cool and warmer skin, and they just sort of reflect back in a flattering tone. Since she designs mother of pearl pieces in both gold and silver, all you have to do is pick what metal color best suits you, and you’re sure to have a winner.
The Neiman Marcus chain will be doing a “Silk Road Dream” Ippolita show in mid-February. She won’t be making a personal appearance, but you can still view the collection. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you can see it in San Francisco on February 10th and in Palo Alto on February 15th.
If you have a few minutes to surf around her website, I highly recommend it. It’s much more than just a jewelry site. In particular, I like the “Three Things” and “Salon” segments, so click away. You needed a little break right now, didn’t you?
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!
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.
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.
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!
I put on this ring, and I fell in love right on the spot. The substantial weight of it on my hand and the ethereal quality of the moonstone was mesmerizing.
Pamela Froman is a very talented Los Angeles based designer who’s motto is “get crushed.” This refers to the special hand-hammered satin finish applied to her pieces. Each piece is handmade, so no two are exactly alike. Pamela’s line includes gold of all colors, including a chocolate hue that I had never laid eyes on before. It’s just beautiful either on its own or when mixed with other metals.
Many of her pieces have more than one tone of gold in the same piece, making it very wearable on a variety of skin tones. She uses a special alloy with her rose gold, giving it a warmer peachy tone as opposed to the more typical cooler pink.
When I started trying on her natural diamond rings at this Mankia Jewelry trunk show, I realized that they would make stunning, non-traditional engagement rings. I found out that they can customize these rings — the bigger the better in this situation, right?! 😉
Yellow gold, bronze, white gold, sterling, rose gold, copper…the choices are endless as you stand at the jewelry counter. How to choose? Well, I have a few tips which might aid in the decision-making process. Here are some gorgeous mixed metal rings from Nadine Jewelry.
I know that there are many “rules” in the world of fashion and accessorizing. Some people are vigilant in following them. I, on the other hand, like to know what the rules are, and even more importantly, how to effectively break them.
The first thing you need to do is to take a look at your personal coloring temperature. Look at your skin first. Does is have a pink undertone? If so, then you’re in the “cool” family. Warmer skin tones have a more yellow or olive undertone. If you have trouble deciding, compare the skin on your inner arm to the skin of some of your friends, and I’m sure you’ll be able to detect the tone.
Next, look at your eyes and hair. Cool eyes include blue and icy green. Toasty browns and greens are warm. The same goes for hair. Black, silver, ashe blonde–those are examples of cool hair colors. Whereas golden blonde, auburn and many browns are on the warm side.
Don’t forget that you may fall into the “neutral” category on any or all of these, and in the case of jewelry metal choice, you will have a much wider range.
Once you have determined your personal color temperature, then take a look at the different jewelry metals. Metals on the cool side are silver, white gold and platinum. Yellow gold, copper, and bronze are warmer metals. Rose gold is a very interesting one, as it comes in a variety of shades. The pinker edge of the spectrum can be great with cool coloring, and those which veer to the peachier side complement warmer tones.
Now here comes the kicker. Most of us are a combination of temperatures. In my case, I have super cool skin, warm eyes, and my hair can be warm or cool depending on the color-du-jour. So what’s the solution? Mixing metals! It’s the supreme way to “break” the rules! You can effectively mix metals by layering necklaces or stacking bracelets. And there are many pieces of jewelry on the market now that do the job for you. Take a look at this beautiful Cartier ring.
With these guidelines in your pocket, you can figure out what will look best on you. But always remember the bottom line…whatever jewelry you end up wearing, it needs to resonate with your own sense of personal style and make your heart sing. That’s where true beauty comes from!
“Be your own sugar daddy” is Julez Bryant’s tag line, and I couldn’t agree more! I have shopped for my own jewelry with this very mantra in mind my whole adult life. Why wait for someone to buy you a beautiful gem when you can buy it for yourself? You’re worth it!
I was so pleased to meet her at her recent trunk show at Les Duex Copines in Burlingame, California. Julez, formerly of the tech world, has been making jewelry for about eleven years now. In speaking with her, her passion for design and sparkle were evident. She believes that jewelry should be versatile and “add a zing of casual luxury” to your wardrobe–wear her pieces with jeans or a cocktail dress. Her collection is meant to be mixed and matched, both within the line and with other jewelry you may have.
She makes her jewelry in house, down in southern California. (Gotta love that!) When she started the line, she worked mostly with rose gold, and that is her signature. Now she also works with yellow and white gold, along with sterling silver. Her beautiful designs are highlighted by white, black, and cognac diamonds.
She is also known for her charms, which can be purchased individually or on a necklace. And if you see one of her pieces yet would like to tweak it a bit, she’s more than willing to do that as well. (as evidenced by my friend who did exactly that at the event)
Another very cool thing about her is that she will “remodel” one of your own pieces of jewelry, incorporating the older piece with something new. While I was at the trunk show, a woman came in with a baggie of vintage jewelry, and Julez jumped right into creative gear thinking up inventive redesign plans. Just fabulous!
If you want to check out Julez Bryant’s line for yourself, be sure to visit Les Duex Copines or her website for a store location near you! You won’t be disappointed by her (and I quote) “little pieces of magic.”
I have been a huge Dominique Cohen fan for years, so I was especially excited to meet her in person at a recent trunk show in San Francisco.
I’ve always considered Dominique’s jewelry as perfect layering pieces. Although she makes all different types of jewelry, I associate her most with her necklaces. She has core collection chains in rose and yellow gold. To these you can add a variety of pendants.
She features semi-precious and precious stones, as well as stunning pearls to her jewelry. By adding different layers and stones, you get completely different effects. It’s wonderful (and cost-effective) how you can keep adding different necklaces to your collection over the years, yet they all mix and match perfectly, both with themselves and with other necklaces you already own.
I also love the fact that her jewelry is made right here in the USA. It is hand made, and she casts each gold piece in her Los Angeles facility.
Here are a necklace and some earrings from her spring 2011 line:
You can find her jewelry at Neiman Marcus, Sak’s Fifth Avenue and various smaller boutiques. Read more about her and her line at Dominique Cohen.