Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Yayoi Forest

Flowers, of course, get all the glory, but they come and go too quickly. Which is why all women know that good looks only take you so far, and that it is better to have unwavering strength that can carry you through absolutely anything and everything. Like a tree branch weathering the heat of summer, the cold of winter, the rains of spring. Like a tree branch that remains standing after the colorful leaves and scented flowers have all fallen to the ground.

Jewelry line Yayoi Forest understands the unparalleled beauty of the tree branch, using its meandering form throughout its collection. A blackened silver twig necklace, spiral vine earrings, a gold branch pendant brandishing the word “love”. Naturally, other earthly creatures find their way into the designs, from owls etched into silver pendants to tiny gold birds dangling within a birdcage comprised of twisted silver branches.

To view styles visit the designer’s Web site. To purchase, visit YLANG 23.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Andrea Moore

Your home may be filled with antique lamps and furniture, and you sleep in a four-poster bed piled high with beaded pillows, but that's Black Sabbath on your stereo, not Devendra Banhart. You're an individual, thank you very much, and so your philosophy is to never buy into a whole package of anything, but rather pick scattered pieces that bristle with fusion, inspiration, and originality.

Austin designer Andrea Moore knows a thing or two about fusion, blending tough chick leather and chain mail with earth mother elements like wood and turquoise. Each selection from her Gypsy Born Designs line has a free spirit vibe, but she knows restraint, so nothing seems overdone. Many of the selections feature organic shapes, but we adore the whimsical owl pendant necklace brightened with turquoise and contrasted with a textured chain body…the perfect summer adornment.

To view styles and purchase visit the designer’s Web site.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Analogous Jewelry

You’re all grown up now, but deep down you will always be the bad girl willing to try just about anything. Because it wasn’t so long ago that you retired your motorcycle jacket and Doc Martin boots, and realized that musicians make horrible boyfriends. However, that doesn’t mean that your successful, professional self doesn’t still know how to cut loose. In fact, older and wiser counts for a whole lot, as now you know exactly who you are, what you want, and how to get it without giving too much of yourself away.

Slightly sinister, but definitely feminine, Judith Hoetker’s jewelry pieces are cast from vintage brass jewelry findings, carved wax models, and toy parts. Her signature razor blade necklace from her Analogous line has been a long time favorite, but her vintage lockets, hung from oxidized sterling silver chains and adorned with insects, are just the right blend of old and new in one cool package.

To view styles visit the designers’s Web site. To purchase visit Rare Device.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Lauren Wolf

A living, breathing embodiment of Mary MacGregor’s 1977 hit song Torn Between Two Lovers, your soul craves the tranquil comforts of a calm beach and soothing sea, while your heart aches for the pulsating city filled with grittiness and adventure. But there is room in your life for two great love affairs, even if they are geographically and contextually divergent.

Lauren Wolf, who studied jewelry design in coastal Mexico and now calls Brooklyn home, presents the best of both worlds with her sea collection, an urban-spiced tribute to nature’s most breathtaking compositions. A blackened silver nautilus pendant is paired with a green gold centerpiece textured with a sting ray pattern. Silver Amazona bones dangle from yellow gold chains. A spiked green gold bracelet, textured with a sting ray pattern, is studded with sparkling diamonds. Indeed, the beach has never looked so high-end and refined, yet equally edgy.

To view styles and a store list, visit the Lauren Wolf Web site.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Urban Dencity

You may like your men gritty and rough, but deep down you are a lady, who has little interest in looking scummy. And while there is something infinitely pleasing about having your hair freshly cut, legs smoothly shaved, and toes pedicured, you’re no snob hung up on achieving the picture of perfection. Treasuring sophistication after all is a completely different animal than simply keeping up with appearances. Light, elegant, clean…these are words that resonate with you, and infiltrate your decisions on everything from dining to décor, and certainly wardrobe.

With her Urban Dencity line, jewelry designer Kim Shephard creates decadent pendant necklaces that will make you feel every inch a beautiful woman. Richly colored leather is used as a backdrop to sterling silver and gold-filled pendants, some filigree with an antique vibe, and others intricately cut with modern designs. Hung on vintage-looking chains, the two-toned medallions are detailed with colored beads and stones that add just the right touch (not too much, not too little).

To view styles and purchase, visit the Urban Dencity Web site.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dirty Librarian Chains

In kindergarten, you were the sweet-cheeked girl who, despite explicitly instructed not to, still boldly colored outside the lines. Because even way back then you insightfully knew a life with everything neat and perfect was as dull as dishwater. But that doesn’t mean that you were, or grew up to be, a mistress of mess. Nope, you’re neither disorganized or a scatterbrain…just someone who isn’t hung up on mirroring others, but rather resolutely focused on dressing their home and body in adoring fashion with unexpected details.

Designer Susan Domelsmith’s jewelry line Dirty Librarian, is filled with nimble chain pieces that flaunt unpredictable drapes and out-of-the-ordinary vintage notions, such as metal jewelry tags and necklace clasps. Even a straightforward charm necklace, looks effortlessly distinctive with a pendant cluster of maker’s mark tags. Each selection from the collection has a winking reference to the stacks – from the Card Catalog necklace to the Annex earrings. Shown right is the media bracelet, a chunky piece with delicate chains woven through the links that serves up a draped fringe when worn.

To view styles and purchase, visit the Dirty Librarian Chains Web site.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Arielle de Pinto

It may sound like an easy quest, to find a piece of jewelry that ably straddles both the feminine and tough-chick course, but then again, it's always difficult to lay your hands on the real deal no matter what the search entails. Something that isn't too in-your-face, yet doesn't fade into the background...a piece that can worn each and every day as your personal statement, however never seems adornment that reaffirms your grown-up status, but also sends the message that a cut-loose lifestyle still resides deep in your heart.

Designer Arielle de Pinto’s hand crocheted necklaces are exactly those kind of perfect jewelry selections. The collection, crafted from sterling silver and gold vermeil metals, is filled with ethereal pieces that flaunt a delicate and fine appearance, but are unmistakably bold in tone. Utilizing an experimental oxidation process that colors the metal, de Pinto offers two-toned inlayed collar necklaces, and her trademark Web necklaces in a variety of shades.

Visit the designer’s Web site to see styles and a list of stores to purchase.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Kyoko Hashimoto

Hotter than a pistol, you’re the one who always somehow lands at parties that later garner legendary status…the type who stumbles into undiscovered spots on the eve of becoming the “it” hangout…the sort with ESP-like senses that catches bands before they become huge. Right place, right time, yeah that’s you. Label it luck, call it coincidence, it doesn’t matter…the cards are always on your side. And so you crave jewelry that’s ready for anything – nothing too girlish, too stuffy, too trendy…just cool, cool, cool.

The Seducing the Bowerbird collection from Australian designer Kyoko Hashimoto is brimming with intricate black and white pieces inspired by Victorian lace patterns, vintage Art Deco jewelry and Japanese cartoon characters. Large-scale bib necklaces and fan earrings, crafted from wood, brass and acrylic, blend antique-type silhouettes with a modern twist. Our favorite is the reversible Dinner Party necklace, brilliantly informed by a toy car model kit, and then elegantly transformed with lace and graphic images and hung on an oxidized sterling silver chain.

To view current styles visit the designer's blog. Past collections can be purchased at modamuse.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Alisha Louise Designs

The best jewelry pieces are the ones that don't look like they can be worn everyday, with any outfit, for any occasion. But really it is these selections that communicate your personal style, your willingness to mix things up, to take chances, to not be defined within stereotypical terms. After all, if your iPod can be loaded up with Hank Williams, Black Mountain, and Andrew Bird, surely your wardrobe also can be an intoxicating off-beat blend of this and that, vintage and new, edgy and preppy, upper-crust and vagabond, bohemian and mod minimalist.

Serving up bold enamel jewelry drenched with fresh color, Alisha Louise Designs delivers pitch-perfect pieces that compliment any stylistic choice. Brimming with Art Deco and Nouveau inspired designs, the collection boasts statement pieces like the daring Triple Fan Neckpiece, antique-feeling pendants resembling historic tile work, and dangling earrings in feminine, artistic silhouettes. And the best part? Each design is offered in 16 dazzling colors, enabling you to choose the precise shade that will seamlessly integrate with your existing wardrobe.

To view styles and purchase, visit the Alisha Louise Web site.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Amy Bengtson

The wanderlust bug bit you early on in life, creating an insatiable appetite for snow-capped peaks, historic ruins, and bountiful rain forests. Yes, you’re quite the free spirit, always more than a few steps ahead, eager to explore each and every crevice of our planet. Of course, this defines you more than any job could or should, leaving its indelible imprint on every embarked activity. And your jewelry box, filled with tasteful delights that never betray your inherent down-to-earth sensibilities, is a textbook lesson in owning things that one loves, instead of buying what’s trendy.

Amy Bengtson’s wood jewelry flaunts etched patterns, many with a vintage flavor be it circular mod shapes detailed with mother-of-pearl and sterling silver, or intricate scrolling graphics. A perfect marriage of modern and earthiness, the pieces are special, but unfussy enough to wear with your favorite everyday casual ensembles.

To view styles and purchase visit the Amy Bengtson Web site.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pamela Love

You’re the playful chick in the corner that people seek out at parties, and not because you’re always equipped with a great, not good, dirty joke. It’s because you never bore anyone with self-serving tales of how yoga changed your life, or worse yet, how you avoided a wait list and scored some item that you and the rest of the country, spotted on some trendy actress. But you can however, thoroughly analyze Donnie Darko, down a shot of Jack without wincing, and do a spot-on impersonation of Darby Crash. And as if that’s not reason enough, well, you’re scorching hot too, all dolled up in a nerdy Isabel Marant button-down shirt, crisp Built By Wendy jeans, and your wicked cool Pamela Love talon cuff.

Gold-plated cuff bracelet with three talon claws wrapping around the wrist, the piece is part of an artistic collection from designer Pamela Law filled with beloved objects that explore the darker side of nature…bird cranium pendants, deer tooth necklaces and menacing scorpion rings. But like any great love affair she doesn’t linger on the underbelly entirely, serving up sparkling rings flaunting peacocks, rams and dainty bear heads.

Available online at Cabinets of Curiosities.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Iggy & Lou Lou

Yes, you're the sort who has her radar honed for trouble in all the right places, with a life eerily resembling a live-action Nick Cave song, filled with dark dreary musings and wistful imagery. Chanel Blue Satin nail lacquer on your toes, eye make-up smudged like Polly Jean Harvey, lips painted a frosty tone that glimmers under the light of the moon, and Poppy Z. Brite's Liquor tucked under your milk and honey arm. And just like everything else, your jewelry choices are always discerning, which is why you’re destined to adore Iggy & Lou Lou's precious ceramic necklaces and pins.

Inspired by her childhood dreams of exotic travels, Australian ceramic sculptor Irene Grishin-Selzer creates keepsake pieces that marry gothic undertones with fanciful characters, cleverly playing in the same sandbox as The Smashing Pumpkins "Tonight, Tonight" video (inspired by Georges Méliès's silent film A Trip to the Moon). The collection ranges from an auburn porcelain bunny pin framed with darkened sterling silver to a maritime-flavored necklace mingling dainty anchor and bird charms. Our favorite is a sterling silver chain necklace flaunting an aged brown tiger head nestled next to a buried treasure-type coin. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

To view styles visit the Iggy & Lou Lou Web site, or shop Le Train Bleu.