Monday, November 10, 2008

t.kahres jewelry by Teresa Kahres

There are some people who pride themselves on cultivating a mammoth Facebook friend list, and then there is you…the fiercely loyal pal, who’d rather have five amazing comrades, then hundreds of meaningless acquaintances. But you’re steadfast about everything, unequivocally committed to the things that really count, and letting the rest roll right off your shoulders with no regrets. And with jewelry, you’re the exact same way, opting for special pieces, instead of dabbling with passels of frivolous throwaways.

Silversmith Teresa Kahres veered towards enameling to widen her color palette, enabling her to dance more deeply with her botanical and oceanic inspirations. Ruffled flower earrings, dotted with pearls, are streaked with rich hues, as are lengthy crumbled leaves forming an asymmetrical necklace centerpiece. Enamel shells, glistening white and cupping grey pearls, are a perfect winter resort adornment. For the fall season, we covet the flower drop earrings (above), drenched with blue tones and dressed up with gothic pearls.

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

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lingua Nigra

Most of us say one thing, but really mean another, but that's just because we all tightly scrutinize things through our own personal microscope. Which explains why some see beauty in small imperfections, and others cite them as unequivocal flaws. But perhaps everything is a dual-sided entity, with interpretation not determined by which side the wind is kicking, but on the threshold of forgiveness in our hearts, and how far our minds will let curiosity wander.

Take for instance the reticulation of brass, a melting process that elevates the copper, imprinting the metal with intervals. What was once smooth is now imperfectly rippled, yet far more complex. This texture evolution is the blueprint for Alicia Goodwin’s jewelry line Lingua Nigra. Some circular elements are heavily manipulated to reveal repetitive patterns (disc necklace above), while others are given a lighter hand to encourage free-form results, such as a drop pendant earring with a curved end resembling a worn book page corner.

To view styles and purchase, visit the designer’s Web site, which currently forwards to her Etsy shop.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Danielle Pittman

Yes, a soft-spoken demeanor often does belie a tough-as-nails interior, but it's not as if being disingenuous is on the agenda. Some people just subscribe to the belief that if you want to rule the world, an iron fist in a velvet glove is a more palatable approach. Determination after all, doesn't come in just one aggressive flavor.

Designer Danielle Pittman has an appreciation for nice girls that say please and thank you, but insightfully recognizes that it doesn't mean they are relinquishing anything, not even close. Her pieces are simultaneously tough and pretty, influenced by nature's sturdier creations, such as pinecones, hickory, and sand dollars. Even delicate petals are translated into robust forms, appearing hearty and twisted. The honeycomb selections, necklace pendants and earrings mingling enamel with gold, are stalwart pieces, worthy of attention.

To browse styles, visit the designer's Web site. To purchase, shop Bird in Brooklyn.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


The thing about die-hard New Yorkers is that only a handful were actually born and raised here. But home is where you feel most comfortable in your own skin, regardless of whether it was adopted deliberately or arrived at inadvertently, and solidifies a sense of belonging that no other relationship can ever adequately equal. And New York City does indeed cast a spell on people, with its unmistakable fullness, lifting energy, and historical prominence.

BYLU designers Ken Leung and Dana Chin understand the joy of discovering a place that beckons your heart and stirs your soul. Heralding from Maine (Dana) and Hong Kong (Ken), both now embrace New York City as home, and their Compass Rose collection plays homage to the complex labyrinth of its city streets, as well as the calm botanical oasis at its center.

Mixed metal pieces are imprinted with vintage city street maps, from round necklace medallions to threaded earrings that dangle embossed chips. Found quartz from Central Park is hand-cut and paired with metal map charms in refined arrangements. Dual-faced disc earrings are printed with a compass rose design and street map sections, with one flipped so that both images are represented forward and back. We especially adore the stackable rings (shown above), textured with street maps and available in a variety of metals from 18k green gold to oxidized sterling silver.

To browse styles and purchase, visit the BYLU (pronounced BLUE) Web site.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Winifred Grace

One wouldn't have to twist your arm twice for you to spill the beans and fess up to being a die-hard romantic. Yes, you're an old school glamour gal, addicted to sentimental movies and the occasional bodice-ripping novel. And in the corner of your mind, you fancy yourself a modern day Garbo, veiled in mystery with beauty to spare. Slipped into a fluttering silk blouse and dripping with Winifred Grace jewelry, you're armed and ready to navigate the town in vintage style.

Lovely everyday pieces have always been designer Winifred Grace Gundeck’s specialty, but her Autumn 2008 collection proves that she can equally guide women through the evening hours as well. The 1920s-inspired selections, with looped rhinestone fringe and oxidize chain, have a magical antique quality, much like treasures found in an ancestor’s jewelry box. The flowing necklaces and elongated earrings may be perfectly in step with this season’s clothes, but thankfully they are not costumey, ensuring that the adornments can be worn for years and years to come.

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

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

wear-and-tear Jewelry

If only life's biggest decisions were as black and white as a mathematical equation, with no shades of grey caught in between, and no ideological questions to ponder. Then, it might be possible, just possible, for all of us to reside on the same page, working happily in sync to accomplish greater goals for the common good. Sadly right answers are generally subjective, which forges otherwise smooth processes critically out-of-whack. But what if the solutions actually existed in the chaos? Twists and turns, after all, only remind us that nothing worth having comes so easily.

Similar to the transformation of a sheet of paper from a flat piece to a crumpled ball, Cheung Lik squeezes once harmonious chain links into erratic 3-D silhouettes. Some of the irregular shapes, presented in necklace and bracelet arrangements, have lopsided effects, others are more balanced, but all make a statement. Lik, who previously created amazing jewelry with the Daydream Nation team, has launched her own label, wear-and-tear, to showcase these pieces, along with her signature weaved fabric tape designs.

To browse styles and purchase, visit the designer's Web site.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Stone & Honey

Transcendent first acts are hard to follow…just ask Liz Phair. But every now and then, someone follows up an alluring debut with a second chapter that is equally compelling. Such is the case with Portland designer Teresa Robinson who launched her smallthings designs jewelry line six years ago and instantly won the hearts of many with her charming stained glass pieces. Over time, she broadened the collection but stayed true to the idea of capturing the simplicity and beauty of diminutive objects.

Artistic people with ideas, however, need to change course to keep their creative juices flowing. So rather than continually extend smallthings and risk losing cohesiveness, Robinson has introduced Stone & Honey, a brand spanking new line with its own identity and Web-based store. Inspired by the intricacies of honeycomb and pinwheels, Robinson creates silver and gold necklace pendants in varying arrangements mirroring the silhouettes. For a bolder look, these pendants are layered on top of ringed Brazilian agate stones in dazzling colors, from vibrant pinks, blues and greens to earthy browns and moody grays. Shown above is the Heather necklace with swirled magenta and violet hues and tumbling silver pinwheels.

To view styles and purchase, visit Stone & Honey.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wendy Brandes

If you've learned anything, it's that laying everything on the line immediately is never a good idea, and full disclosure will always put you at a distinct disadvantage. Nope it's always better to keep a few tricks up your sleeve, to be revealed at the right place, ideal time, when opportunities are plentiful and the rewards rich. Let others make the mistake of taking you lightly at first, because in the end, they undoubtedly will learn that you are indeed quite clever, and have mastered the game extremely well.

Crafting a line of adornments flaunting concealed objects, designer Wendy Brandes digs deep in the past for inspiration. An acorn nut necklace, when pried apart, dangles an interior squirrel, a token of immorality often used in antique mourning jewelry. A black diamond pendant brandishes a skull when opened in homage to Juana "La Loca" who peeked at her husband’s coffin remains. A tribute to English Empress Matilda manifests itself as an elaborate sword necklace that can be pulled from its gold scabbard. The collection also boasts many stealthy lockets and poison rings, as well as intriguing pieces that dramatically twist into several shapes providing alternate looks.

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

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Farrah Dragon Jewelry

You've always been insanely picky about your wardrobe, prioritizing longevity, yet never dismissing the importance of personality. Channeling the essence of you, after all, has nothing to do with being ahead of trends or on point with them, but more in line with assembling a thoughtful grouping of beautiful, quality items to lovingly be worn again and again. But that’s part of growing up, understanding that fads come and go, and arrive again, but timeless pieces always look relevant.

Which is why Farrah Dragon's designs are so appealing, a collection of fine jewelry with a relaxed spirit, but still striking a heady chord in terms of visual enchantment. Flaunting organic shapes, such as fern leaves, lotus petals and exotic flowers, the precious metal pieces are crafted from recycled materials or gathered from environmentally friendly sources, so you feel good about wearing them. The insect rings, moths and beetles, are easy everyday pieces, but we also favor the pendant necklaces dangling fluid orchids in an array of compositions, such as the slipper necklace (above).

To browse designs and view store list, visit the designer’s Web site.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Deka Ray

It’s always the little things that make the biggest impression, which is why mom always warned us to do a “lipstick on teeth” check before every job interview, and of course why Frank Lloyd Wright is known the world over, and always will be. Yep, the devil is indeed in the details, and if you’re clever enough to master them, without being a total control freak, than you’ll always have the upper hand.

Exposing the finer points of objects isn’t foreign territory for designer Eugenie Huang, who holds a Masters degree in architecture, the mother of all detail-oriented professions. Her Deka Ray jewelry line is a collection of concept pieces, with each selection contributing to an overall theme rooted in organic process and technological advancement. But there is zero pretentiousness in her designs -- they are completely accessible in an understated manner, and most importantly, cool.

Multiply, an arrow pendant collection plays with sequenced arrangements on rings, earrings and pendants, including a waxed sterling silver and 10k yellow gold necklace (above). The DeathStar Debris series has a sci-fi vibe, and features oxidized chain necklaces with tumbled cage pendants, and Outland, inspired by the woods of North Carolina, flaunts mixed material pieces crafted from wood, waxed linen twine and shipping rope.

For more information, visit the Deka Ray Web site. To purchase, visit Gargyle.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Molly Mendenhall

There are many ways to skin a cat, as the saying goes, and while the exact task of course is an analogy, and not to be taken literally, the sentiment does ring solidly true. Do things your way, instead of mimicking the traditional path. Order a meal like Sally Albright with everything on the side, or take world-class photos with a cheapie instamatic like Terry Richardson. And when it comes to fashion, it's all about individualistic style, or at least it should be. And if you wear jewelry, than by all means slip something around your neck that hasn't been mass marketed to death.

Heralding from the beautiful state of New Mexico and clocking in at a mere 19 years old, designer Molly Mendenhall draws on her surroundings to create multifarious pieces that are bold and earthy. Leather necklaces are intricately beaded and embroidered and adorned with feathers, gemstones, and shells. Some pieces are dyed by hand, and others incorporate copper and antique brass elements. Each design is one-of-a-kind, making each selection a collector's item.

The designer operates two Etsy shops, one called Hokaiye, which stocks her elaborate beaded pieces, and another called ChanteDesign which features lower-priced designs, such as pretty painted stone necklaces.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Rheanna Lingham

You’ve never been a Saturday night kind of woman, saving up all of your good-time energy and blowing it on one evening. Nope, you prowl the town on your own terms and timeline, be it smack in the middle of Wednesday afternoon, or the wee hours of Friday morning. After all, if you obey all the rules, you bypass the adventure. And British designer Rheanna Lingham’s jewelry confections are the ideal partner in crime for the woman who doesn’t just spring out her fancy gear for one night.

Lingham’s Feather Your Nest collection encompasses her trademark feather designs, from ball-shaped necklaces layered with Pheasant, Partridge or Peacock feathers to chandelier necklaces that dangle white feathers on lengthy gold-plated chains. As radiant as her feather pieces are, Lingham proves she isn’t a one-trick pony, presenting an equally fluid collection of gold-hued inspired designs, including an embroidered double wreath necklace.

Limited selections available at PixieMarket. For more information, visit the designers Web site.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Eva Gozlan

Yes, you’re sweet, but thankfully not that sweet. So, sure you sometimes wear pink, and adore gooey lip gloss, but you balance it out with a choppy haircut and steel gray nail lacquer on your toes. Which is why you adore Eva Gozlan’s jewelry pieces, which are equally sweet and left-of-the-dial cool.

The French designer works primarily with brass adding dainty pearl and gemstone touches, and her collection is deliciously cohesive, transforming girly touchstones (like purses and butterflies) into modern statements. A bracelet with a sculptured form on a closer glance resembles an angel’s wing. A leaf charm earring, to be worn on its own ala 80s style, dangles pearls on oxidized chain. A lengthy necklace flaunts a glass jar pendant revealing miniature brass butterflies.

Her collection is available online at Manjoh.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mifflin Jewelry

You grew up a long time ago, swapping Bukowski for Philip Roth, eliminating cigarette breakfasts, and eradicating whiskey shots from your Saturday night activities. And so when you buy jewelry, you’re no longer in the mood for trendy knock-offs from Urban Outfitters. Instead you opt for distinct pieces that elevate your wardrobe without defining it entirely.

For her Mifflin Jewelry line, Brooklyn designer Staci Leatherland avoids large scale pieces in favor of adult selections that are whittled down to promote a solitary statement. The Lost Time necklace (above right) flaunts a barren clock disk in sterling silver, with another version dangling the pendant cracked in half. A series of gold-plated necklaces and rings boast single coins embossed with Pomona, the Roman goddess of the gardens. Antique buttons, cast in silver, swing alone from thin bangle bracelets and chains.

To view styles and browse a store list visit the designer’s Web site.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Nugaard Designs

You've always instinctively recognized that living life to the fullest doesn't necessarily translate to packing in as much activity into a day as humanly possible. That's just running (run, run, run), and to you, a busy life is a blurred one. You'd much rather take your time, enjoy the journey, and dismiss the never-ending checklist that can clog the mind and soul. Yes, taking time to stop and smell the flowers isn't a cliché, but a way of life...a healthy, full, rewarding one at that.

Nugaard Designs keeps you connected to the world outside, blending nature's creations into their jewelry designs. The brainchild of Erica Pacey and Alessandra Feio, the line plays with the fusion of recycled metal and earthy elements, dipping bamboo bangles in silver, and coating dehydrated leaves with gold for dangled earrings and pendants. The selections from their Camp collection are inspired, sprucing up gold jewelry with golden grass from the northwest of Brazil, such as a cuff bracelet with a circular centerpiece.

Available at Nimli. For more information, visit the designer’s Web site.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Megan Auman

You’re a dyed-in-the-wool minimalist, which means you cleverly opt for one savvy, unconfined effect, instead of piling on a myriad of overly hip items. Label it selective behavior or pickiness, it doesn’t matter, because the heart of the deal is that the objects that take up cherished residence in your world are there for the right reasons, instead of all the wrong ones.

Floral patterns are the focal point of Megan Auman’s jewelry collection, but she impressively sidesteps the usual route by employing welded steel in her designs. The effect is dark, but not dour, with beautifully shaped ironwork leaves sprinkled across long necklaces or taking form as hoop earrings (above). Many of the pieces are artistically adorned with raised silver drops in clustered patterns, imparting a dew-like appearance.

To view styles and browse a store list, visit the designer’s Web site.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gemma Redux

I’ve been accused of everything, and I’m guilty of most of it.
- Dolly Parton

Yes, that’s you…guilty of walking into a room and stirring up healthy trouble with a swift wink, a cunning smile, and off-the-radar jewelry that will keep the compliments flowing. But you’ve always been comfortable in your own skin, letting the sweetheart and the siren collide into one formidable woman.

With her Gemma Redux line, designer Rachel Dooley creates daring pieces that are premeditated in their messiness, assembling bundles of chain in a tumbled fashion and then nestling chunky stones within the arrangements. The effect is much like a meandering jazz song, vigorous and free, but purposeful. For her Spring 2008 collection, Dooley selected soothing stones like lemon jade and reconstructed green turquoise to offset the hardness of stainless steel and silver chains in her designs. We adore the Ami necklace (above right), which mingles vintage chains with rippled disks of Labradorite.

Visit the designer’s Web site for more information and to purchase.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Kimberley Selwood

The thing about you is, that you never really can be pigeonholed into owning a particular look or style...because that's just downright dreary, and certainly no fun at all. Yes, one of the pleasures of being a woman is playing dress-up each and every day, mixing and matching, and adorning. And so you are always on the hunt for special, yet adaptable pieces that will mesh with your revolving moods.

British designer Kimberley Selwood’s jewelry line is a potent, well-mixed blend of uptown sophistication and downtown cool. Her Order in Chaos collection boasts three-dimensional elements pieces that are lacey and delicate, and Tangled Hearts, an oxidized range, flaunts designs that are twisted with airy filigree touches. The Butterfly Effect presents a bevy of interesting arrangements, from mixed metal rings with an open center to wide cuffs with sterling silver waves adorned with resting butterflies (above).

Available at Astley Clarke. For more information visit the designer’s Web site.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Emily Amey

Beauty, truly spectacular beauty, often can go criminally unnoticed…because it does take a certain type of person to look outside the confines of traditional attractiveness, and appreciate the splendor of an everyday miracle.

Designer Emily Amey positions the spotlight on many of nature’s overlooked treasures, from seaweed to amoebas to swirling vines. Working primarily with sterling silver and 14k gold, Amey’s designs flaunt single silhouettes with intricate detail, such as a crescent-shaped sea fan necklace with a sprawling pattern, and squid hoop earrings that twist and curve in unexpected directions. There are many stand-out pieces from her collection, especially her bracelets, notably the sea fan cuff (above), which exquisitely translates the complexity of the organic form.

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

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Beth Church Jewelry

Oh, how we adore, the disobedient dresser who masterminds genius outfits with a palette loaded up with vintage Vivienne Westwood, lace kimono jackets, chenille clutches, and Rachel Comey shoes. Because attitude reigns supreme, which is why Beth Church’s high wattage necklaces are perfect, just perfect, for making that bold statement no one else dares to make.

But really all of the Arizona designer’s glitzy pieces, from cuffs to earrings, grab attention, flaunting color-drenched glass and stones, a wide range of vintage elements, and heavyweight chains. Selections are one-of-a-kind or limited edition. The necklace shown above marries striking opal drops with vintage 1930s Bakelite wings layered with filigree work.

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

Friday, June 6, 2008

Comfort Station

You’re the brainy one in the group, humble, but with biting wit. Of course, smart doesn’t equate to being a know-it-all, it just means that attention to the finer points carries serious weight. That’s right, the devil is in the details, not to be glossed over in flaky, airhead style.

London designer Amy Anderson’s Comfort Station line is brimming with multifaceted jewelry selections that deliver a singular monumental impact. The whimsical pieces flaunt signature wood pendants (some engraved with cloak-and-dagger type messages, others shaped like chess pieces), as well as a slew of other adornments, from chandelier charms to glass bottles. Steam Punk influences are on full display, from a gold vermeil necklace dangling clock hands to burnt walnut heart-shaped earrings dressed up with brass clock innards.

To view styles and browse a store list visit the designer’s Web site. Selected pieces are also available at kim & maki.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Pamela Tuohy Jewelry

Sure life is not about keeping score or collecting notches on your belt, but there is something immensely gratifying about finding a sensational piece that no one else owns. Of course, it’s not just the thrill of the hunt, but the discovery of a designer who fits just right with your personality, one who dabbles in intriguing compositions and materials, and understands that jewelry can indeed be flavorful without being conventional or weird.

Designer Pamela Tuohy recognizes that now and then you need to reach back in time to savor something really good. Her one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, crafted from recycled antique frames, flaunt portraits of the world’s creatures, big and small. A mixed metal chain necklace dangles a green Praying Mantis pendant encased within a gold and brushed silver frame…an ornate gold frame brooch boasts a majestic lion…a black and white spider portrait is mounted on a darkened silver cuff. While all the selections have a similar focus, each piece has its own distinct vibe, solidifying its singular status.

To view styles and browse a store list, visit the designer’s Web site.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Balboa Jewelry

This year is the year. The one where you check things off your list, set things right, and buy what you need and adore, instead of gorging on sales that often reap regrettable purchases that can’t be returned. Yes, you’ve decided, this is the year. You’re going to own a swimsuit that fits and a beach hat that wasn’t borrowed from your boyfriend. And finally, you’re going to buy a versatile necklace that you can rotate with your work outfits, casual weekend attire, and hitting-the-town evening ensembles. A tall order, indeed, but Jane Pope’s necklaces from her Balboa hit the mark perfectly.

Like many designers out there, Pope uses vintage elements as the main ingredient in her designs, but the difference is that her pieces are streamlined confections heeding to the mantra “less is more” where many of her counterparts pile on, and on, and on. The result is genuinely successful, imparting a signature feel to the designs that breathe femininity and easiness. Necklaces dangle pretty pendants, but nothing too girly, and earrings have an heirloom vibe to them. The best part? The pieces are all reasonably priced, with many of her earring selections around $50.

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

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lizzie Fortunato Jewels

It's amazing really, that a piece of jewelry can actually inspire you to conquer the world outside, but then again, that's what the best items do. Inspire you at the last minute to drop by a midnight party that an acquaintance casually mentioned, but you never thought you would truly attend...inspire you to convincingly walk into a bar knowing your ex will most likely be there too...inspire you on a weeknight to hit the hottest nightspot in town overflowing with sexy men and great music. Yes, a jewelry selection can inspire a can-do lifestyle, if, and only if, it is brimming with all the right elements.

Lizzie Fortunato Jewels, a kicky line of jewelry created by twin sisters Elizabeth and Kathryn Fortunato, is overflowing with beautifully crafted pieces that embody a good-time attitude, but with a decidedly grown-up flavor. Whimsical necklaces flaunt hand-sewn leather and silk elements adorned with antique chains and precious gemstones, and include fanciful touches like gold skulls and vintage buttons. Previous collections are still very relevant and wearable...check out their Fall 2007 collection, which pairs porcupine quills and shark's teeth with Peruvian opals.

To view styles, visit the designer's Web site. To purchase (including the necklace above with hand-sewn chiffon rosettes), visit La Garçonne.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Pade Vavra

For some, it's a cathartic experience...toes dipped in sand, salty air kissing your face, and the soothing sound of lapping waves. For others, it's a lifestyle filled with indulgent freedoms, from tossing your shoes aside to letting your work become a distant memory. And then there are those who see it as a reminder of what's pure and essential, and commit themselves wholly to the power of nature. But that's the beauty of the beach, there's always a staunch personal connection, and a level of unwavering devotion that can never be matched by any urban structure.

Los Angeles designer Pade Vavra has indeed created a passionate homage to the beach with her collection filled with sparkling seahorse locket necklaces, and bangles inset with coral. Vavra's gold vermeil jewelry flaunts precious and colorful elements, such as turquoise, pearls, and gemstones such as Peridot and Iolite. Her serpent necklace, a pendant adorned with opals and sapphires is a decadent piece, but it's her shark tooth necklace that makes the most majestic statement, dangling a hefty fossilized tooth from a double chain with tiny pearls (her Prehistoric Mako Shark Tooth in her fine jewelry collection is even more dazzling).

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

Friday, May 23, 2008

Daughter of the Sun

You left it in the dust years ago…a frantic lifestyle brimming with sharp edges and one-upmanship. These days you’re calmer, more in sync with yourself, less in tune with what everyone else is doing. Sipping on iced peppermint tea, casually paging through The Secret of the Golden Flower, while Eva Cassidy serenades you through your ear buds…yeah, if this isn’t the good life, than someone has deceptively pulled the wool right over your eyes. Either way, your compass has been set just perfect, with your instincts never more in focus, your choices especially discriminate.

Native American artistry is on vibrant display with designer Amy Woodruff’s Daughter of the Sun line, a collection of hand crafted leather jewelry with a vintage flavor. Staying true to her ancestral Chocktaw and Cherokee roots, Woodruff’s pieces are hand-cut, tooled and dyed, and flaunt intricate nature landscapes. Each necklace boasts adornments such as feathers, bells or brass pendants. Our favorite is the macramé necklace (above), woven with brass beads, and tooled with an Art Nouveau design.

To view styles and purchase, visit the designer’s Etsy store. For more information, visit the designer’s Web site.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


There’s nothing in your rules of conduct about throwing down the “play it safe” card. After all, boring is as boring does, and you’d much rather be the life of the party, than sit upright with your legs properly crossed while making polite small talk. With a stiff drink in one hand, you’re a fearless mischief-maker with a special blend of smarty-pants wit and dry intellect that would have even Dorothy Parker beaming with pride. And so, of course, you relish jewelry pieces that match your spirited nature...bold and energetic, but still thoughtful and feminine.

Designer Laila Aitken was bitten by the fashion bug early own, growing up in her mother’s NYC store Samson and Delilah, which catered to a range of adventurous clients from Alice Cooper to David Bowie. And as if it was all meant to be, she became very passionate about vintage accessories, so much so, that after a stint selling pieces to boutiques, Aitken decided to launch her own jewelry line that would winningly blend the past with the present.

Inspired by the Art Deco movement, Aitken’s Delaila line is filled with wearable, modern pieces that are crafted from brass metal, Plexiglass and Swarovski crystals, and then color-coated. Many of the pieces flaunt fan-shaped elements, and are offered in stirring colors, from fuchsia to bright orange.

Visit the designer’s Web site to view styles, browse a store list, or shop online.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Jacqueline Sanchez

It’s the unlikely pairings that always seem to create magic together…Run D.M.C. and Aerosmith, Johnny Cash and Rick Rubin, Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort in the 1971 movie classic Harold and Maude. Because the best collaborations don’t cross each other out, or compete with one another, but define something new, something fresher, something powerful.

With her Forever Young jewelry collection, designer Jacqueline Sanchez introduces an unpredictable, yet perfectly balanced threesome -- modernist plastic squares resembling Lego building blocks are encased with sandblasted silver and adorned with sparkling diamonds. The range of rings, earrings and cuff links are offered in a plethora of eye-popping colors, from primary red to magenta.

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

Monday, May 19, 2008

Vesper Jewelry

Never one to live life as a spectator sport, you categorically define optimism, bouncing from one adventure to the next with smiling authoritative glee. And your friends, well they love you to pieces, thankful for a genuine cohort who’s up for anything, day or night, rain or shine. But don’t paint you with a brush dipped in sticky sugar, because you’re no one’s fool…just someone who’d rather not get her hands dirty with self-centered drama. So unsurprisingly you favor jewelry pieces with an infectious playfulness that radiate your live-it-up lifestyle.

Working in collaboration with her main squeeze Jason Sho Green, Seattle designer Jessi Frenkel crafts a light-hearted collection that proves jewelry doesn’t have to be grim to be taken seriously. Let others corner the skull and crossbones market, because Frenkel’s joyful robots, angry totem poles, and delightful storm clouds are right-as-rain objects to adore (shown above are the peacock feather earrings). The sterling silver and copper pendants are created using a production process that entails toner resist etching and roll printing, and then hung on complimentary chains or ear wires.

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

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Natural Historie

Color is derived from nature after all…iridescent puddles following torrential rains to fading sun-streaked skies smeared with blending hues. And no matter how many acrylic paint tubes you empty onto a canvas, or recreate graphically on a computer screen, artificial color is always going to be second best. Which may answer our fascination with geodes, always romancing us with beguiling shapes, fascinating textures, and alluring colors.

Jenny Vorwaller is a painter and a photographer, but first and foremost, she is a world traveler. And along the way, as she explores exotic locales, she collects arousing elements, such as colorful geodes from Uruguay, and incorporates them into beautiful jewelry designs for her Natural Historie line.

The sliced geodes are electroplated in silver or gold and then hung in different arrangements, some with faceted crystal beads hung in the cavity, others with pearls dangling on either side. Each geode is one-of-a-kind, boasting its very own color palette of rippling bands and interior bursting crystals, and is hung from a 14k gold chain.

To view styles and purchase, visit the online shop SuperMarketHQ. To learn more about the Natural Historie collection, visit the designer’s Web site.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Diamonds, pearls, sparkling gems…that’s never been your style. You live fast, skirt confining traditions, and spend your time off at the corner brewery where cold mugs, bratwurst, and British Jazz-Funk music rules. And yes, try as you might, jeans and camisoles always seem to be your uniform, so when you can add a spark, while staying casual, you’re all for it.

Wooden cuff bracelets from Tivi are crafted from ebony, zebrawood, maple and walnut, and then hand silk-screened with distinctive prints that have charming names such as Orange Junegrass and black coneflower (shown right). Each cuff is finished with a satin lacquer for resiliency. Tivi’s designers Ryan Wither and Paul Lewin enlisted artist Sari Gunderson, a fibers and mixed media specialist, to collaborate on the line, which also includes laser-cut flat veneer wood bracelets.

To view styles and purchase, visit the Tivi Web site.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Renata Mann

Your personal soundtrack has always been a moving target, a little PJ Harvey, a dab of Coralie Clément, a good dose of Nina Simone. So it's no surprise that paired with your perfect ladylike shift dress are your bad girl Camilla Skovgaard pumps...but it's your Renata Mann necklace that keeps things interesting, an intriguing centerpiece that mixes hard with soft in a thoroughly convincing manner.

Mann’s hand-knit necklace collection serves up visually arresting arrangements of chunky stones, shells and glass beads encased in colorful yarn. Woven bib necklaces flaunt draped quartz clusters…mosaic shell discs are layered in a pyramid sequence…strands of glass beads are twisted to achieve a rope effect. Each piece is offered in a variety of colors, and is custom produced.

To view styles, visit the designer’s Web site. The collection can be purchased at her Etsy store.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Kate Cusack

There’s no definitive age when a woman crosses over from being wholly interested in wearing what’s hip to embodying her own natural style. But at some point we all wise up and realize that owning what everyone else is buying isn’t all that much fun. And the moment you turn that corner is when you start to build a wardrobe filled with classic, quality pieces, and a jewelry box stocked with truly artistic adornments.

Some designers are drawn to classic jewelry materials, such as metals, gemstones, enamel and glass, and then there is Kate Cusack who abandons that conventional path entirely and fashions her collection entirely out of metal-teethed zippers. Her one-of-a-kind pieces are fluid, flaunting kaleidoscope patterns that spiral in unexpected, playful directions. Some pieces sport complex circular arrangements that resemble beehives, and others have streamlined asymmetrical drops.

Her necklaces are understandably expensive, but she also offers flower-shaped zipper pins in a variety of colors at a wallet-friendly price. To view styles visit the designer’s Web site To purchase, email Kate at

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Elke Kramer

You'd love to fill your apartment with bright white accoutrements and Florence Knoll furniture, but the reality is, it's a challenge to even get the dishes done, let alone find time to organize and decorate your humble abode. But the thing is, deep down you're a minimalist who hates clutter, and in a heartbeat you'd swap everything you own for one perfect Pierre Paulin orange slice lounge chair. You shop for personal adornments in the same manner - opting to own one amazing piece, than cram your drawers with a bunch of mediocre stuff.

Australian Elke Kramer spreads herself across many creative mediums, from graphic design, illustration and art direction (she did the backdrop artwork for the Holly Throsby and Joanna Newsom tour) to textile design. But it’s her role as jewelry designer that we love best, producing artistic pieces that are infinitely wearable yet deliciously off-beat. Her limited edition collection of necklaces and earrings flaunt abstract elements that are laser-cut from plywood and then laminated. Evocative of insect forms, Aztec motifs and clockwork mechanics, the shapes are hung from copper-plated chains.

To view styles and purchase visit Style-Scene.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Glamour. For you it's about wearing saucy lipstick when no one is looking, ordering a sparkling Bellini with breakfast, and slipping into vintage stilettos for a trip to the corner deli. But it's a lifestyle after all, not just a state of mind, and so it's the little splurges and guilty pleasures that count. And of course, your secret weapon is your jewelry choices, utilized cleverly to make even a simple jeans and t-shirt combo, look nothing short of spectacular.

For her Spring '08 collection, designer Melissa Draugsvold pairs her signature vintage brass chains and findings with pale pink, peach and lilac gem stones which give the heavyweight pieces an infusion of lightness and femininity. Sculpted antique glass beads and printed Lucite drops add intrigue, as does a well-placed green Egyptian Scarab.

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

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Madame Fortuna

Everyone has perennial, hard-and-fast rules when it comes to dressing, but in your book, unoriginality is the only cardinal sin. But that’s the gypsy in you, the free spirit who may get caught up in the quest for the jean du jour, but ultimately settles on clothing and accessories that are anything but ubiquitous renditions. Pieces that meow, whisper, coax and captivate.

Guaranteed to be the most novel jewelry selection you’ll ever own, Madame Fortuna’s Relic necklaces capture personal artifacts within dainty hand-blown glass globes where they can be treasured forever and ever. Allison Nowlin Ward, the designer behind the Madame Fortuna moniker, fills the pendants with bits of moss, colorful feathers, pearls or Victorian lace, but will custom produce the piece with a customer’s chosen keepsake…a lock of your child’s hair, a lover’s note, sand from your favorite beach…you decide. The globe dangles on a 24” gold-filled chain, and fastens with a spring ring clasp.

To purchase visit the designer’s Web site.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Elisa Solomon Jewelry

Reinvention is a wonder to behold. Someone, not just anyone, sees beyond the expected and boldly rearranges what everyone else saw as expected and true. Philippe Starck interpreting the martini glass as a chair or Hendrix transforming Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower from an obscure acoustical ditty to a Hall of Fame guitar assault. Of course, retranslating is not the hard part. The magic trick is to astutely preserve the critical elements, and alter the ones that could survive a creative shake-up.

By taking gemstones, and smashing them to pieces, designer Elisa Solomon presents an intriguing reinvention of the traditional jewel pendant necklace. Sparkling rubies, brown diamonds, emeralds, sapphire, and earthy turquoise, are cracked into small nuggets and then encased within a glass frame, presenting a shaking visual, much like a tipping sand hourglass, except bolder and chunkier. The “shake” pendants are then hung from 14k solid yellow gold chains.

To view styles and a store list, visit the designer’s Web site.

Friday, May 2, 2008


Sass and spirit, yes they can reside on the same wavelength as sweetness and light. Genuine sunshine, after all, can take many forms…a wicked smile, a contagious laugh, an inclusive whisper. Which is why flowers, the ultimate token of beauty, should never be mistaken for a one-trick pony reserved for perky girly-girls. They are in fact, best suited for complicated women who dabble in shades of gray, but are smart enough to count their blessings.

For her Fenton line, designer Dana Lorenz has created a series of heirloom quality pendants handcrafted from fossilized ivory, that flaunt intricate floral designs using the scrimshaw technique (the picture is first skillfully etched and then filled in with ink). Harmoniously mingling modernity with old world beauty, the dreamy and feminine pendants are hung from sterling silver chains.

To view styles and purchase visit Dilsey Coal.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Bonbon Oiseau

You carefully weigh every word, because you know that confessions blurted out are often regretted, and can never be taken back. But just because you're restrained, doesn't mean that you're uptight. You'd just rather reveal yourself when the moment is right, because timing is everything, and giving everything away, right away, seems tacky. Which is why you adore jewelry pieces that inspire meandering conversation, rather than ones that can be sized up quickly.

The Le Tour du Monde Nouveau collection from Bonbon Oiseau suits your style perfectly, delivering love-at-first-sight pieces with an arsenal of unfolding details. Deborah Stein, the designer behind the line, is a raconteur at heart, and each selection she creates has a very specific, entertaining story to tell, whether it is capturing the excitement of the racetrack, or imagining the bank robbing adventures of Bonnie and Clyde. Her pieces are precious, adorned with pearls, gemstones, and antique charms, and arranged in thoughtful sequences. Our current favorite is the New York necklace, dressed up with a square glass cabochon celebrating the 7th race at Belmont Track in May 1955.

To view styles and purchase visit the Bonbon Oiseau Web site.

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.