Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Zoe Catherine Kendall

It’s the dream, no? To wave your freak flag as high as you can without sacrificing a lick of coolness. After all, there is definitely a distinct difference between being downright scary, and just weird in a good way. Which is what sets apart Zoe Catherine Kendall’s eccentric Precious Creatures collection from other creepy jewelry. Featuring twisting oxidized silver worm pieces adorned with enameled eyeballs, the necklaces, earrings and rings have a surreal beauty to them, much like the world presented in Pan’s Labyrinth. Bizarre, yes, but oh so perfect.

Available at Kabiri.

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.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hot Pick: Danielle Gori-Montanelli Felt Necklaces

Marrying the frothy coziness of a wrapped scarf with the delicate beauty of a jewelry piece, Danielle Gori-Montanelli’s felt flower train necklace is a terrific change of pace. Tossed over a jacket or a cocktail dress, it’s whimsical, but elegant, and deliciously different. Hand-cut black and grey wool felt flowers are sewn together in a link arrangement, and falls at a long length.

Available at Artful Home. Additional color and shape selections available on 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, August 14, 2008

Hot Pick: Jewelry Suspenders by Bless

Suspenders, adopted once again by the young fashion set, are showing up in stretchy solid tones, reawakening visions of skinhead punks and New Wave/Ska boys. Madonna, early in her career, also wore them with everything. But translating any item directly is tedious, even if you weren’t around for previous iterations.

Thankfully Bless deviates from the past, delivering a high-energy twist on the classic suspenders. Intermingling mixed metal chains with metallic elastic the piece is modern and elegant, and can be worn in full view, or under a jacket to reveal a hint of sparkle.

Available at Ooga Booga.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Leather Wrapped Jewelry

Lambskin leggings might be popping up everywhere, but leather is snuggly wrapping itself around jewelry as well, recently debuting in numerous collections. The result is tough, but luxurious, with a dash of mystery that can only be derived from touchable hidden textures buried underneath the hide.

A few of our favorites include Annie Costello Brown’s heavy weight chain necklaces enveloped with leather and arranged in intriguing knot formations, and Belgian designer Natalia Brilli’s horse head pendant necklace that resembles a chess piece (above). Also notable is Wendy Nichol’s collection of studded cuffs and earrings now swathed in leather for Fall.

Our only complaint? Everyone is dabbling in black leather, which is striking, but there are other shades on the color wheel that would vibrantly elevate the pieces.

Natalia Brilli is available at Erie Basin. Wendy Nichol is available at Ravinstyle. Visit Annie Costello Brown’s Web site to view styles.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Karen Karch Engagement Rings

Sure, there must be some women out there that genuinely covet Harry Winston engagement rings, but frankly we do not know any of these people. Instead, we field questions from suitors who say that their better halves want something different…a ring that doesn’t scream traditional and flaunts an artistic vibe. And always, we point them in the direction of Karen Karch, a fine jewelry designer who crafts exquisite, off-the-radar pieces. Incorporating stones like black and cognac diamonds into settings resembling vines or upside down tiaras, most of Karch’s collection is one-of-a-kind, and many of her clients work personally with her to create customized designs.

If you are in New York, drop by her jewel box store in NoLita, or visit her online site to view selections.