Archive | January, 2010

Pearls: Worn By a Trendsetter?

31 Jan

Pearls: Worn By A Trendsetter?

It was Aliona Doletskaya who first introduced me to pearl earrings. My mother has pearls. My aunt has always coveted a Mikimoto necklace (she settled for a less expensive strand of "ordinary pearls" that looked anything but ordinary to me). But me, I've always felt that pearls were simply for older women.

Then I saw a photograph of Aliona – something about her look stopped me. She was in a simple, starched white oxford with a navy cashmere wrap casually thrown over her shoulders. Next to her was a black crocodile bag (to die for) and her only jewelry: an enormous set of big, white pearl studs. Aliona Doletskaya is the editor of Vogue Russia. Figures.

Pearls vary hugely in quality. They are graded (AAA, or sometimes just A, being the highest) on shape, luster, size and of course, surface quality. South Sea pearls can grow to be quite large, and let me tell you, they are really expensive. This pair is stunning at $2,600. They are flawless, and very large at 14.0 – 15.0 mm.

I bet that's what Aliona Doletskaya (don't you just love that name!?) was wearing.

But for us non-Vogue editors, Since 1910 also sells a 12.0 – 13.0 mm version for a mere $1,230.

Gear-up For Summer Vacation Deals

29 Jan

Hitting the beach this summer? Then start looking for summer vacation deals way ahead of time before they all run out. As long as there's a beach, it doesn't matter where the destination is. So, gear up for summer and the beach.

Swim wear? Check.
Rubber flip-flops? Check.
Snorkel equipments? Check
Hat, sun-visors and shades? Check.
Sun protection lotion? Check.
Beach jewelries? X

Speaking of jewelries…do you really need one on the beach? Not necessarily. But if you must insist, pick out jewelries appropriate for summer and the beach. Nothing extravagant necessary for a fashionable summer vacation. In fact, you can even make your own beach jewelry out of seashells and other beach-themed charms. Making your own beach jewelry will definitely save you some money.

So hit the beach this summer and don't forget to pack up your beach gears, jewelries and other accessories. Happy summer time, everyone. Have fun at the beach!

Discount Jewelry That Turns Heads

28 Jan

Discount Jewelry That Turns Heads

Nordstrom has done something wonderful and added a $50-and-under tab to their jewelry search function. It's a clever idea, and rather refreshing when so many websites have $100-$150 as the starting price point.

A lot of what's in the $50 price point is for kids, but they have a nice selection of Kate Spade earrings there too. Her Garden Party Floral Earrings are really pretty and would be a lovely gift for a bridesmaid at a small wedding.

If you're shopping for yourself, the Lauren Small Cabochon Drop Earrings in Turquoise are lovely.

But what really caught my eye are the Cara Couture Leather Wrap Bracelets. They come in black, orange, yellow, turquoise (though I read from the reviews that it's more like a light blue), pink and white. The black comes in gold or silver, but the others all have a gold clasp.

They're super cool and at only $28.00 a piece, they're a nice gift for yourself (or for a friend) for spring!

Photo above is from Nordstrom.com.

Gemstone Gelateria

28 Jan

Gemstone Gelateria

I love gelato. When I was in Italy a million years ago, I fell in love with Gianduja – which is a sweet chocolate mixed with hazelnut paste. When I was married, I made sure Gianduja gelato was part of the dessert menu.

So it seems cruel, somehow, that this stunning necklace is called a "Gelato Necklace." I can only guess the designer, Ippolita Rostagno, looked at a case of gelato with its many colors of ice cream and chose the name that inspired her. If only I could look at a case of ice cream and think of clever ideas. My brain usually blanks out and all I can think is, "Should I get the large and be happy? Or get the small, and remain guilt-free?"

On Ippolita's website, she has many lovely colors of this necklace. This particular chain has mother of pearl, clear quartz, blue topaz, London blue topaz, turquoise, light amethyst and green amethyst.

Green was the color of my skin when I saw it: I am in love.

Gucci Rules

26 Jan

Gucci Rules

When I was twelve, my proudest purchase was a Gucci watch. It was a knock-off, and I doubt a very good one. At that age, growing up in the Midwest, I didn't know what a knock-off was – all I knew was that it looked like the real thing and I loved it.

I have since harbored a passionate, zealous and bizarre love for anything Gucci. I once owned one of their belts. But let's face it – I'm not hiding some huge collection of Gucci in my closet. I am not thin enough to fit into their clothes, and their prices aren't friendly to my pocketbook.

But now they have this amazing jewelry. And they even have an affordable (for them) line in silver. I loathe silver – I hate cleaning it, I hate the way it tarnishes – but for Gucci… need I say it?

Check out this fantastic ring from their horsebit collection. Or this fabulous bracelet. Or this super-cool ring in silver. The brand may be as old as the hills, but their designs are shiny and new.

That's a far cry from a knock-off!

The Cat Collar: Improved

24 Jan

The Cat Collar: Improved

I love these charms. I know, I know, this is the second time in a month that I've blogged about charms, and I'm really not a charm person. But there's something about these… They're very tasteful, classic… A lot like my cat's collar tag, actually. But nicer.

They are, without a doubt, overpriced. It's the charm with the tiny gold heart that brings me back to the site again and again. It reminds me of the kind of thing we'd make in high school when we made jewelry in our shop class. If you missed out on this experience, you probably wonder why jewelry is so terrifically expensive. If, like me, you tried to recreate the neighbor's wedding ring, you would know how desperately hard it is to get metal to do what you want it to.

So kudos to Heather Moore for landing her collection at Neiman Marcus. And for patiently printing our names in courier font around a tiny gold heart. That sort of thing takes patience. The sort of patience that can only be bought for $700.

The Byzantine Fashionista

21 Jan

The Byzantine Fashionista

I do not care what you think; I love these earrings. Actually, these earrings do seem to say, "I don't care what you think." They have that bohemian quality that screams, "I embrace style from any age and laugh in the face of fashion."

Perhaps I'm not being fair, but let's face it, in the description, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store uses the word "Byzantine" as a selling point.

I have an enormous soft spot for the Museum. A) I love going there. B) It's an art institution, which makes me feel like my purchases aren't really going towards commerce, but that my funds are being used to support the arts. And C) well… truth be told, their stuff is cheap.

Anyway, where else can you buy something that comes with this description:

"One of the great initiatives taken by Constantine the Great, emperor of Rome from 307-337 A.D., was the transferring of the imperial capital to Constantinople (originally a small Greek town called Byzantion, that is now Istanbul, Turkey). Serving as a bridge between Europe and Asia, Constantinople became one of the most important centers of jewelry-making in the Mediterranean. The capital's stylistic innovations became popular and highly lauded throughout the Byzantine Empire."

Great factoid, huh? Perfect for a dinner party where you can wear earrings so classic they were worn in 300 A.D.

I love it.

Elves Work Their Magic

19 Jan

Elves Work Their Magic

I confess: I covet. I covet the jewelry from M. Khordipour Enterprises. This store on 47th Street in New York is a feast for the eyes. Even on "jewelry row" with bling in every window, Khordipour (as I fondly call it – as if it's an old friend) stands out with quality jewelry the like of which you've never seen.

What I love about their collection of estate jewelry is how intricate and delicate everything is – the pieces are so unique! They also make a few designs of their own. I swear they have a group of elves in the back room, because everything they turn out is so pretty.

I sent a friend of mine to their website to check out their rings when she was looking for an engagement ring… which led to the idea that a colored ring might be fun instead of a diamond. I mean, why not? If you love it, buy it.

This aquamarine and diamond ring is so stunning, it's hardly a "right hand ring," as they call these things today. It's truly a piece for a special occasion.

And so… I covet. Isn't that one of the seven deadly sins? I love its beautiful stone, and most of all the fabulous setting. I know they say a diamond is a girl's best friend. But in this case… the competition is hard to beat!

Tacori Engagement Rings… You Wish?

19 Jan

If it were up to you, would you rather be surprised with an engagement ring– you know, just like the romantic and creatively planned surprise wedding proposals you see in the movies where the guy magically pulls out a ring as he asks the question– or would you rather pick your own engagement ring?

Of course you'd like to receive something you actually would want to wear (and well, perhaps flaunt, to your friends and family). But how do you even broach the topic of choosing rings without sounding too presumptive? Not only would that be considered tacky, it can also be a bit awkward with budget and payment issues if your significant other doesn't have a deep pocket. Those Tacori engagement rings are stunning, but can he afford it? Sometimes, it's also not a simple question of what he can spend on a ring, but how much he wants to spend on a ring.

Ah, I say let him figure it out. Ultimately you'll have a wedding band anyway, and that's when you can have your say!

Gems Meant To Be Worn

17 Jan

Gems Meant To Be Worn

I am a huge fan of Roberto Coin. I suppose, given the quality and prices of his jewelry, who wouldn't be? When I saw these earrings, I knew I had to write about them. After all, something so shockingly beautiful ought to be out there in the world being worn. And you never know – maybe Roberto needs help advertising (as if Christy Turlington isn't enough!)

I am a big believer in gems, though I grew up in a house where my mother wore beads on a regular basis. If it sparkled, it was locked up in her safety deposit box. Her engagement ring has been locked away for so long, I can no longer remember what it looks like. Gems are meant to be worn: there is nothing like a multi-faceted stone catching the light to make a woman sparkle.

These earrings fit the bill and if I owned them, I can tell you, they'd never be locked away!