Thanks for the great response to my “Observations on Portland” article — so fun! And as I promised, here’s the follow-up post with the jewelry lo-down from the ‘hood. As I mentioned, one of the reasons I went there was to visit Twist. (This store is up in the 23rd Ave. area.) I’ve ordered from them online before, and I was so psyched to see the store in person. Not only was it much bigger than I had envisioned, but they carry items for the home as well. Who knew? The first case that magnetized me was filled with work by Judy Geib. This opal bracelet left me speechless. (There are so many times I wish I had a bottomless wallet…)
I was also fascinated with these crystal lockets from Loquet London. You can select from a vast variety of charms to put inside. Such a darling take on the charm theme!
These lovely studs by Suzanne Kalan with a black diamond halo “sparkled” my attention as well.
Oh, and you can’t help but be intrigued by the signage and light when leaving the store!
Only a couple blocks away on 23rd Ave., I visited Gilt. They specialize in both vintage and antique fine jewelry (on the main floor), and vintage costume jewelry and new items from local designers up on the second floor. It was brimming with customers, and I was told that Sundays are a BIG day for engagement ring shopping. (I’m always learning something new!) Given Portland’s eco-conscious attitude, I’m not surprised that vintage rings are a hot commodity. They have a very clever color-coded box system, and the color of box tells you what metal the ring is set in. Here’s a (very small) sampling of their fabulous selection.
They have a large collection of lockets and Native American jewelry as well.
I did make a little purchase here. It’s a necklace by Amira (a Portland artisan), made of woven nylon thread, glass beads, and brass. It definitely appeals to the boho girl in my soul, and I like the mixed metals. And I just haaad to take home some sort of souvenir, right?!
Walking back towards my hotel downtown, I stopped at Frances May on SW Washington St. They carry some of my favorite clothing designers, and they have a well-edited selection of modern jewelry as well. I liked this large statement necklace by Erin Considine.
During my exploration of the east side, I went to Altar, as recommended by my fashionable bartendress, Emily, from the previous evening. I may have missed this had I not been chatting with her. This establishment features “northwest alternative handmade” items, and it’s definitely worth a stop. This organic wall display of necklaces was awesome!
It turns out that the designer of this line (called Iron Oxide Designs) is Amy Fox, and she is part-owner of the store and was manning the front desk that day. Cool!
These necklaces by Fox Tail Jewelry are very industrial boho, and they fit in perfectly with the Portland aesthetic.
I unfortunately failed to note the designer of these tassel necklaces, but I love them!
While I tried to really pack in my shopping time during my two-day stay in Portland (and I certainly saw a lot!), these were my jewelry highlights. As you can see, there’s a real range in offerings. To be honest, I found more diversity in the jewelry than I did in fashion. Hope you enjoyed this virtual tour! And please let me know if you have a favorite spot to shop there as well. I always love hearing from you.
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.
My obsession with Nak Armstrong jewelry all started when I tried on this ring at Red Bird in Berkeley last year. (It’s the big one in the center of the stack.) I tried it on mixed with some of my own rings, gazed at it when worn on its own, and I must say that I’ve driven over the Bay Bridge more than once in the time since to visit my oh, so longed-for friend. I kid you not, that if I were to suddenly come into a lot of money, that this would be my absolute first jewelry purchase.
Much to my delight, I was able to meet Nak, the extraordinary designer of this beauty, at a recent trunk show at Barney’s in San Francisco.
Nak’s kind, creative, and open personality makes me like his jewelry all the more. He spent a generous amount of time answering all my questions and giving me a tour of his latest and greatest. The first pair of earring that drew me in are these hoops. The clever design has a right and a left, so that they hang just so.
This Austin-based designer launched his signature line in 2011, though he has been designing since the late 90’s. (You may remember Anthony Nak, which was a line he co-founded.) Every piece is hand fabricated in the USA. The colors of stones he uses are so intriguing to me — they are very nuanced..deep and moody, with incredible depth. Here’s an array in his classic style of bangle.
He also showed me some new bracelets, which are flexible and quite fabulous.
Nak’s jewelry combines the feel of Roman mosaics with Art Deco. He finds joy in imperfections, and sources inspiration from clothing, textiles and architecture. The result is a “tapestry of color,” as he told me. Take a look at these incredible earring designs.
Nak’s wider band rings are perfect worn in stacks. Here’s my friend Jen, wearing two of hers paired with a couple skinnier rings.
You can see the detail in this image of an aquamarine and emerald design.
There were also some daintier rings at the trunk show, and I tried on these.
When not designing jewelry, you can find Nak and his (delightful) partner having Netflix marathons in their recently renovated home. I so enjoyed seeing some photos of their new space, with its clean lines and well-edited decor. Clearly, his creativity spans many avenues.
If you’re interested in seeing more of his work, there are nice selections online at Barney’s, Twist and Ylang 23. Thanks to Nak and Walter for spending so much time with me!