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.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rising Trend: Unisex Jewelry

There's nothing innovative about women wearing menswear, from skinny ties to tailored's all repurposed from decades past. And yet, slouchy boy-cut pants seem fresh after an avalanche of matchstick jeans over the years, and now unisex adornments are on the rise too, perfect for women who want to tone things down, and embrace a rugged, less-obvious look.

Giles and Brother, Philip Crangi's diffusion line, serves up a bevy of unisex styles flaunting heavyweight brass hardware elements. We love the railroad spike cuff, a curved bracelet with a gritty appearance available at Kabiri. A similar version, wrapped in leather with bolt ends (above right) is available at Barney's CO-OP.

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.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hot Pick: T.Cyia Plum Pearl Necklace

Pearls, yes, they are radiant jewels of the sea. And if tailored, preppy clothing is all the rage when the weather once again dips cold, will the classic string of pearls soon follow suit? But then again, even if they do reign supreme, there are far more interesting variations than the standard ivory, such as T.Cyia’s iced plum pearl necklace. Interspersed with brass skulls, the decadent piece is 108” inches, lengthy enough to swaddle the neck many times over.

Available at the designer’s Web site.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hot Pick: Soixante Neuf Heart Earrings

Heart jewelry usually can be described as a giant sugar-rush, transforming women into little girls who absentmindedly forget that eating too much candy does indeed make one sick to their stomach.

Fortunately designer Joie Jager serves up an alternative, draining the heart of its gushiness, and infusing it with some well-placed gypsy mojo. Her heart-shaped wood earrings from her Soixante Neuf line are intricately hand-carved with floral detail, maintaining a sense of femininity, but without heavy-handedness.

Available at the designer’s Web site.

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.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hot Pick: SURevolution Studded Bangle

Too often bracelets are relegated to second-tier status, almost as if they are the bastard children of the jewelry world. Lately necklaces have taken front-and-center position, and statement earrings will soon be at the head-of-the-pack. And rings, well they have had their resurgence and them some. Yet, the cuff, the bangle, and other bracelet styles always seem to be the additional adornment, never the main event. It’s certainly not for a lack of options, that’s for sure.

We’re big fans of SURevolution, who bring you hand-crafted goodies from around the world, and they always have an amazing array of bracelets in their collections, from woven metal bangles to mosaic coral cuffs. Our current fave is a dark wood bangle embellished with rows of copper-hued brass studs.

Available at Vivre.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hot Pick: Aurora Lopez-Mejia

At least one piece of inspirational jewelry usually finds its way into every woman’s collection, whether it’s a rubber LiveStrong bracelet, or a Jeanine Payer necklace received as a special occasion gift. But for us, Aurora Lopez-Mejia’s designs are the gold standard, brandishing empowerment messages on chunky, modern shapes, such as handcuff bracelets and cigar rings.

Each piece is hand-stamped with an antique letterpress and many of the words were selected from 18th century English dictionaries. We love her pebble gem rings swirled with phrases on the front and back.

Available at the Aurora Lopez-Mejia 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.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Margaux Lange Deconstructed Doll Jewelry

Whether Margaux Lange is deconstructing Barbie Dolls as a feminist statement, or simply taking us on a whimsical trip down memory lane is open for interpretation, but in the end it really doesn’t matter, because her jewelry pieces are just flat-out fun. Eyes and lips peek out from colorful resin frames in necklace and earring arrangements, with some in repetitive patterns. And on occasion Ken even makes an appearance, and lovingly cups Barbie’s plastic face.

Available at the Margaux Lange Web site.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Brilliant Everyday: smallthings designs Stained Glass Necklaces

The Brilliant Everyday series spotlights jewelry pieces perfect for everyday wear.

Designer Teresa Robinson has a devoted fan base who covets her precious jewelry pieces, and buy from her again and again. Her smallthings designs line, which boasts nature-inspired sterling silver images backed with colorful stained glass has stretched over the years to include additional collections, but her classic designs still sell amazingly well.

Robinson recently updated her original selections with a fresh palette of colors, including marigold, salmon, steel blue, forest green and lavender. We couldn’t be happier, as her necklaces are the perfect everyday adornment, and now it’s even easier to select a hue that will fuse effortlessly with your wardrobe.

Available at smallthings designs.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Best of Etsy: Neile Butterfly Jewelry

This series highlights noteworthy jewelry selections available on Etsy, the mammoth online marketplace for handmade goods.

Nature on its own is so color-streaked and full of life, that imitation is not always the best form of flattery. After all, why take the humdrum route, simply casting butterflies in silver, when you can preserve them in full tinted winged glory?

Stained glass artist Neile extends the beauty of the butterfly by recycling their wings (after natural death), and placing them under glass. The pendants are offered in different arrangements, with some clustered in circular shapes, and others dangling a single crescent. All flaunt a dazzling array of colors, from the Monarch’s golden orange hues to the deep purple shade of the Graphium Weiskei butterfly (above). Each pendant is framed with silver alloy and hung from a sterling silver chain.

To view styles and purchase, visit the Neile Etsy shop.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Amy Tavern Limited Editions

There’s a genuine thrill in buying a special piece that no one else owns, which has always been the appeal of vintage clothing. Metalsmith Amy Tavern gets this, launching her first limited edition collection this month, a set of five sterling silver pendants, each shaped differently and wrapped in cotton embroidery floss in varying shades of green-blue.

The necklaces, inspired by the Aegean Sea, are numbered and available exclusively on her Web site until the end of July (or until they sell). After that, new one-of-a-kind pieces will be listed each month as part of her ongoing Jewelry of the Month series. Upcoming sets will incorporate vintage wallpaper and sewing, and feature collaborations with other designers who specialize in mediums such as glass and clay.

Available at Amy Tavern.

Photo courtesy of Hank Drew.

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.