Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Jewelry to Wear with the Lady-Like Handbag

Louis Vuitton structured handbag

The structured handbag is all the rage. On the runway and at the mall I’m seeing a lot of smaller, structured, short handled lady-like handbags. Every time I see one of these little bags I do have a tendency to think of Queen Elizabeth or anyone who had their heyday in the fifties. These cute little bags are super sweet but you want to make sure you don’t go all Halloween costume with the rest of your outfit when you carry one.


Add a cocktail ring, B. Tiff New York
While I love pearls, I don’t think this is a good accessory to wear with the small structured handbag. It looks too Breakfast at Tiffany’s, little black dress, a la Audrey Hepburn. Instead you want to keep things casual. The structured handbag looks best when worn with jeans and boots. Go for some large contemporary jewelry, think statement necklace, large earrings maybe a cocktail ring. Stay away from anything delicate and sweet.


Go organic with your pearls, Jorge Revilla
You can also go with jewelry that has an edgy mix, such as leather pieces with metal. Think biker chick or a touch of Goth. Your jewelry should have a modern or contemporary style. This is in order to juxtaposition the classic and lady-like style against something more casual and down to earth. When your outfit is all classics, nothing out of the ordinary and very typical it has a tendency to become a costume. Too old school and you can look dated instead of on trend.


Try a statement necklace, Gabrielle Bruni
A handbag and some jewelry are the ornamentations of your outfit. An outfit that is classic in styling needs a little mixing up. If you go with something bohemian, stick to jewelry that doesn’t compete. The small lady-like structured handbag is all the rage so try not to put together an outfit that looks like you stepped out of the pages of Ladies Home Journal 1955. Rough things up a bit and you’ll be on trend and in style.

Wear some contemporary earrings, Bastian Inverun Onyx and Silver Earrings

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pocket Watch Cufflinks by Penny Black


I saw these little items and I thought they were the coolest, pocket watch cufflinks. Now cufflinks are generally worn on special occasions or at least when you’re wearing that special shirt that takes cufflinks. Cufflinks can add a little bit of extra style to menswear and which guy doesn’t want to look stylish, especially when he’s gone through the trouble of putting on that shirt that takes the cufflinks.


I personally have a couple of shirts that take cufflinks and yes it is a ladies shirt. I look for cufflinks that have some style and are out of the ordinary. Since I’m a woman I might go for something with gemstones or maybe pave to add some shine and sparkle. I’m sure the same might be true of some guys, but typically, guys want something a little more conservative or maybe unique but not too flashy. Enter the pocket watch cufflink.


These little cufflinks are actually quartz movement pocket watches on a minuscule scale. The case is a half hunter and has a quartz movement to keep accurate time. That’s right, your cufflinks can tell you what time it is by simply looking at your cuffs and the cover opens and closes! These pocket watch cufflinks are a unique way to not only tell time but to dress up your shirt cuffs and add something extra special to your outfit.


These little treasures come in antiqued gold or silver and are made by Penny Black which is known for their high quality cufflinks. Penny Black is the same company that makes the mechanical cufflinks which are wound up and actually move, kind of like kinetic art. So if you’re a gentleman out on the town and want to dress up for that special lady, think a shirt with cufflinks and you will find that the cufflinks by Penny Black are the most special.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Acrylic Pearls

Acrylic pearls are just plastic

The first thing I would like to say is, why? I’m not casting aspersions on the pearl market, I love pearls. I think they look beautiful and elegant. They are a classic jewelry item that has stood the test of time. My daughter wore her great grandmother’s pearls on her wedding day and they looked fabulous. Not many jewelry pieces can be worn by four different generations of women without alteration and say it worked for everyone.


Jorge Revilla uses real pearls in his bangles
What I find hard to swallow is the acrylic pearl. Basically an acrylic pearl is a plastic bead. A factory, usually in China, squirts out this little beads, some of which look like pearls. I would have to say that more than likely the similarities will end at the color of the plastic bead. An acrylic pearl is not a pearl and will not have the same luster. What is really the biggest shame is that pearls aren’t so expensive that they are unobtainable, like a solid gold necklace.


The plastic pearl looks flat
Pearls come in a variety of shapes, colors and of course, grades. Pearls that are oddly shaped or flawed can still be attractive and will be substantially less expensive than a pair of flawless perfectly round 12mm pearls all matched in size and luster. If you’re not super particular and have a limited budget, fresh water pearls are available at a reduced cost. They may not be large, have matching color or size, but they do make for an organic and interesting necklace, especially when there are multiple strands.

So why sell yourself short with acrylic pearls? Go for something real, something from nature, something that you will love. A plastic bead is just that, a piece of plastic and nothing feels as nice as the real deal so buy natural pearls. They don't have to be fancy, they don't have to be perfectly matched they just have to come from an oyster. Take the time to shop around, I bet you'll find something wonderful and in your budget. Pearls are really affordable, just take a look around.
Freshwater pearls have beautiful luster, color and an organic feel

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Stephen Webster Jewelry

Stephen Webster Magnipheasant, $90,000

I saw a necklace made up of 128 gemstones in gradient colors and it was such a beautiful rainbow of gemstones I fell in love. Unfortunately, it cost around $90,000 and was completely out of my budget. While the price might be prohibitive, I still loved the look of this Stephen Webster marquise cut gemstone collar. It really was a creative piece of jewelry.


Stephen Webster, beautiful butterflies in gemstone earrings
This beautiful necklace got me into researching Stephen Webster and his creations. He is from London England and has been developing his style for 38 years. Many of his pieces mimic nature, or at least those are the ones I am most interest in seeing. The 128 gemstone necklace is from his Magnipheasant Collection because the marquise cut gemstones mimic the feathers of the local pheasants.


Stephen Webster, cuff ring and matching earrings
Stephen Webster also mimics butterflies in finely pave gemstones. Using the same technique of matching colored gemstones he creates a beautiful rainbow effect. The colors are so lovely it appears as if the wings of a butterfly have been gem encrusted and when it takes flight it will sparkle and shine as it flutters away. He captures the feel of a real butterfly perfectly and adds that additional energy.


Stephen Webster, Aquarius pendant
Stephen Webster is quite popular with the rich and famous. His jewelry pieces are worn by Jennifer Lopez and Pink. It is easy to see why, as his style is both traditional and whimsical. He has pieces that resemble Art Deco while incorporating the feeling of flowers and wildlife. Jewelry is really art, art that we can wear and enjoy. It’s fun to explore the jewelry world; you never know what you will find.
My favorite, Crystal Haze ring

Monday, August 18, 2014

What is Normcore?

Normcore, simple, plain, comfortable

This is the catchphrase of the week. Apparently it is a fashion statement, or really a fashion non-statement. Some would say it is dressing comfortably without any pretentiousness, others will say it is a minimalist style; still some will say it is dressing to fit in. Supposedly you dress to fit in so then you will stand out…huh? From the pictures I’ve seen it appears to be either dressing like a 90s grunge or dressing like a minimalist, I’m going with minimalist.


Wear these onyx earrings with a black turtleneck
Some people say that Steve Jobs from Apple was a Normcore dresser. His uniform consisted of jeans and a black turtleneck sweater. He found his style and pretty much it stuck. It is a very minimalist style. Simple clean lines, basic classic pieces, not a whole lot of fuss or bling, this style doesn’t necessarily mesh with my love of jewelry. I like the idea of minimalism and I do like the idea of keeping things clean and simple, but you need to add just a little shine.


Normcore on the runway
In keeping with the Normcore idea of minimalism, a simple wardrobe of blazers, turtlenecks or t-shirts and jeans goes well as a blank canvas to wear jewelry. Keeping things simple doesn’t mean the absence of jewelry it just requires jewelry that follows cleans lines in order to keep the outfit balanced. A classic black blazer, worn with jeans and a t-shirt looks great with bold yet contemporary earrings or maybe a pendant, but not both. You can add a menswear style watch for interest. Do not wear pave jewelry or super long dangles or anything else that screams Kardashian.


This style of dress can look masculine so you would want some jewelry to dress it up and make it more feminine. Delicate rings on your fingers or stacked together turns sweatpants from something frumpy into something casual. Add a black leather moto jacket and a metal studded bracelet and it looks intentionally styled, not like you just got out of bed or came home from the gym. There is a fine line between Normcore fashions and looking like a homeless bum, please add some stylish jewelry so people won’t drop coins in your coffee cup.
Adidas sweatpants with little gold rings, cute

Friday, August 15, 2014

Rock Star Jewelry

Lynn Ban scarab ring

As many probably already know those in the entertainment industry sure seem to have a love of jewelry, these are my kind of people. I’ve been to countless concerts and shows and quite a few up on the stage have big gold jewelry to complement their outfits. Heck, even Elton John won’t go on stage without at least half a ton of bling. I know, I’ve seen him twice and he sparkled all through the performance.


Anita Ko graphic ring
Rock star jewelry is usually pieces that we associate with a rock star. This includes large bold pieces, items with studs and generally anything that has an extra amount of bling. I’m sure the reasoning behind such high voltage pieces has a lot to do with the stage and its setting. The performer in under a lot of bright lights and sometimes seats can be yards away. Without that extra sparkle a fan wouldn’t see them at all.


Although rock stars wear a lot of bling to perform who says you can’t take a lesson from them? There are plenty of jewelry pieces on the market that mimic rock star style. Leather wristbands with studs that can be mixed and matched, dangle earrings with plenty of shine and layered necklaces can all bring to mind your favorite band. This style of jewelry is becoming so popular that it isn’t reserved just for a concert.


You can wear pieces that have gunmetal darkened silver with black pave diamonds. Think edgy and dark jewelry. Studs or skulls all in mixed metal make for cool rock star inspired jewelry. You can also go with reptiles like snakes or lizards, maybe an animal or two. Rock star jewelry is anything that makes you feel awesome, like a rock star. The benefits, you look great and you don’t have to get up on a stage in front of a ton of people.
Lynn Ban earrings

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Bastian Inverun Jewelry


Recently at JCK in Las Vegas I spent some time at the booth of Bastian Inverun. Bastian Inverun is a German jewelry manufacturer who has been making quality jewelry since 1974. What impressed me the most was the wonderful modern designs. Many of the pieces have large gemstones and use sterling silver and gold accents. The designs feature smooth, clean, simple lines.


Contemporary jewelry can be a tricky thing. It can get a little too unusual and then you’ve gone from unique to weird. Shapes that are odd, colors that clash and pieces that feel clumsy or lopsided are hallmarks of modern jewelry gone wild. Bastian Inverun is unique not ungainly. The jewelry is sleek, balanced and inventive; everything a modern jewelry lover is looking for in contemporary pieces.


I found the Fascination Gemstones particularly interesting. Most were set in sterling silver, some had gold accents, and all had large beautifully shaped gemstones. When I say large I mean like one to eight carats large. Now large gemstones aren’t that unusual but to find such beautiful gemstones at such reasonable prices was quite unexpected. One 8.30 carat peridot pendant retails for around $320.00, what a deal!


What I love about the Bastian Inverun designs are the simple lines. All the pieces are sleek, smooth and classic. Even though it is a modern design it feels like it could be worn for years. Longevity is something everyone should look for in jewelry, even in modern jewelry. Just because you love contemporary doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice classical styling, with Bastian Inverun jewelry you get the best of both worlds, modernly classic.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Jorge Revilla of Spain


If you’re on the lookout for jewelry that is different, organic and basically beautiful, look no further than Jorge Revilla of Spain. His designs are quite unique and have a contemporary styling. Jorge mixes gold with silver, blues with gold and brushed finishes with high gloss accents. This mixture of colors and textures produces jewelry you’ll love to wear.


I’ve always been a fan of unique jewelry, something out of the ordinary. Those cookie-cutter pieces have never held my interest. You pieces know who you are, straight up solitaire with no pave! Now I don’t want to give the impression that I’m one of those people that wears outrageous jewelry. Supersized hoops, dangles down to my shoulders or necklaces so heavy you’re getting a workout by wearing it aren’t my style either. I like jewelry that is interesting but subtle.


This is one of the benefits of Jorge Revilla. His designs incorporate bold uses of color and/or texture while keeping it simple. His Tundra Collection resembles the branches of a tree, texture upon texture, but the free formed patterned isn’t all over the board. He keeps the design compact and monochromatic. The subtle brushed finished coupled with a solid gold makes this piece highly wearable yet distinctive.


His Rosa pieces are a classic Spanish rose finely traced in gold and silver. The cut-out is light and airy yet convenes the pattern of the rose beautifully. These pieces give a sense of weightlessness due to the open styling but are large in scale to produce a bold feel. I invite you to take a look at some of Jorge Revilla of Spain jewelry collection on our website. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Complicated Jewelry

This is what my husband saw in a magazine...

The other day my husband was browsing one of my fashion magazines. He does this sometimes when he is bored and I’ve left it on the bed and he’s waiting for me to get ready. He wanted to know if women actually wear jewelry that is so complicated. In particular he was referencing a ring/bracelet combination whereby the bracelet and ring were attached across the back of your hand by a thin chain.


makes you wonder how uncomfortable it is in real life
I’m not sure that a lot of women wear these types of set-ups, but I’m sure they’re out there otherwise no one would make such jewelry pieces. While I think the concept of complicated jewelry with its chains and various attachments is interesting, it doesn’t seem highly user friendly. I mean what happens the first time you stick your hand in your purse to fish out your keys? Do you become tangled or worse; does the chain get caught then break?


This might make it easy to poke someone in the eye or point out that restaurant down the street
I’ve seen rings that stretch across an entire length of a finger and while it is a fascinating look one would think it would make it hard to bend your finger, so how do you grip a steering wheel when you drive? By the same token, my hats off to those women who wear hoops the size of their head. I would think that they would get in the way every time you turned your head, another hazard to driving.


This requires you finger to be in a semi-bent position all day
To me complicated jewelry is anything that may inhibit movement, requires special hairdos or clothing, or has the potential for injury, e.g. torn earlobes. While I love the look of a statement necklace I don’t think most of them will get you choked if you turn your head too far. So this is probably why you will never see me wearing anything too daring. That’s right, no earring to nose ring chains for me, but if it works for you, be my guest.
While this look has cultural significance, it just looks painful to me

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Jewelry For All Ages

This is where it all begins

I wonder at which point in my life I will stop loving jewelry. I’ve come across these women, they tell me that they just don’t wear jewelry anymore, or they state that they have nowhere to wear it, why? To me jewelry is important. Example, the other day I was in the grocery store and I saw an elderly lady shopping. She was all dolled up. Hair done, rings on her fingers, red lipstick and cute shoes that matched her handbag, I want to be her when I grow up. This lovely lady might not have been moving very fast but she looked great.


I read an interview with Zoe Saldana the other day and she said that sweatpants are for the gym. She believed that the end could come at any time and if she was going to die in a plane crash she was going to do it looking chic. Part of looking chic is accessorizing and accessories mean jewelry. Heck, interior designers call hardware for your kitchen cabinets, cabinet jewelry. This means your kitchen isn’t complete without jewelry. So why do so many women decide that jewelry isn’t what they need to complete an outfit after a certain age?


Carmen Dell' Orefice, 81 and awesome
When we are young most girls have a love for things that are sparkly and pretty. Many of us wanted to be princesses when we grew up. These aspirations are usually replaced with realistic goals such as writer, doctor or maybe even lawyer, but as a well turned out professional you’ll still need to be styled appropriately. While a large plastic pink tiara may have been all the rage at age five you really can’t get away with one at a board meeting, but you don’t want to be plain either.  Jewelry is an accessory and jewelry should be part of any outfit, even a small part.


Jewelry should change as our tastes and personalities change. Our life experiences make us who we are and our jewelry should reflect these changes. A lack of jewelry or any adornment conveys a message that we don’t care or can’t be bothered. It’s as if you just put on something comfortable in order to get the job done, end of story. Saying “hey, I took a shower isn’t that enough?” isn’t how I want to be remembered. Like Zoe Saldana, I want to be chic and if that takes jewelry then so be it. Just remember that jewelry should change with our age, it just shouldn’t be excluded from our lives. Life’s not worth living without jewelry.
Diane Keaton, 68 and looking gorgeous, love the pearls!