Jewelry Report Card: The Cut London and Meghan Markle Have Us Thinking About Alternative Wedding Rings

Today we take you to London, which only a day ago was in a flurry of activity due to the royal wedding. Whether you admit it or not, married or not, male or female you’ve been fantasizing just a bit about what it would be like to be Meghan or Harry. I’m waving goodbye in my jag with that aquamarine ring, off to a swanky royal after party…wait BUT I digress …Harry’s gift of Princess Diana’s aquamarine ring, which Diana bought after the divorce to wear, instead of her former wedding ring, had me thinking about alternative wedding ring styles!  This is why we chose The Cut London as our A++ recipient for our Sunday jewelry report card. We are handing the grade out to Kate as one to follow on instagram for her unique offerings.  As we go into summer, keeping up with The Cut London is not a bad idea, whether you want to reward yourself with a unique piece, buy someone a promise ring, or pick out that forever style for your big day.

Started by Kate Baxter a jewellery designer, who wanted to help revolutionize the engagement ring world by seeking out unique bespoke pieces, the selection does not disappoint. She offers her all of this online, from unique cuts to colored gemstones at THE CUT LONDON. There is also a tailored selection of antique rings in her repotroire. She books consultations and helps find original one of a kind pieces for clients from her base in London. If one is overwhelmed or actually underwhelmed by the selection of engagement rings out there she specializes in finding something outside the box.  @thecutlondon is full of new pieces, inspiration, gifts or jewelry shopping guides ,and gorgeous designs posted daily, with an email link directly to Kate. She often mentions new finds from up and coming jewelry designers, as well including earrings or whatever else strikes her fancy! Since she is constantly searching for unique pieces many are not online so following here gives you access to some pieces you may only see during a consultation!

What We Love:

Why We Follow: 

*All images from The Cut London, via instagram and their website!

Sunday Jewelry Report Card: Going to the Source with Rachel Garrahan

Have your Sunday breakfast in luxury reading one of the many quality articles done by this report card winner! One aspect that seems to be a connecting force for a few very successful jewelry based magazines and such publications is freelance writer Rachel Garrahan.  As such, we wanted to bring you right to the source, her instagram account. Why miss out on the plethora of gorgeous images and links to her newest articles. She discusses all things sparkly for the New York Times, 1stdibs, Vanity Fair, Town and Country magazine, the Jewellery Editor and the list goes on… Her instagram images are gorgeous as she also visits jewelers, galleries, picks her favorite finds, and reports on collections via the account.

Lion via Rachel and @hancocks_london

She discusses all types of luxury jewelry; from contemporary collaborations, new artists on the scene, rare estate pieces at auction, to ancient jewels.

Art is one of my favorite jewelry designers of all time, just look at this piece on Rachel’s wrist!

Why We Follow Her:

What We Love:

3D Jewelry, The New York Times. 

Exotic Fables, The Jewellery Editor. 

British Gems From the 1960s, Mahnaz Collection.

Jewelry Armor, New York Times article. 

How Female Collectors are Driving in a New Era of Watch Design

*All images belong to Rachel’s via her instagram page.

Sunday Jewelry Report Card: Ushering in Spring with Madina Visconti Jewelry

Today’s jewelry report card selection is almost like a necessary ritual to bring forth spring. Her pieces seemingly contain a sort of earthly power held in the enamels and forms.  Let’s just say I now know what I want to wear to the May pole and the city next time I’m there. The A++ jewelry report card goes to Madina Visconti di Modrone. She is based in Milan and her jewelry roots itself in both modern form/sculpture, and natural incarnations. It feels like her enamels are catching the perfect Italian light and freezing it for us. Her work is also playful, the right scale, and has movement.  Her mother Lucio Fontana, was a jeweler and she remembers as well as draws from her childhood experiences.  The pieces are not fine jewelry in the sense of gold, but are on that level, yet allow the jewelry lover to indulge.  Each piece is made in 24k gilt bronze and silver.  The family talent runs deep with her sister Osanna also creating objects and furniture.  

She has a boutique in Milan’s historical center on Via Santa Maria for anyone who is in the area.  The jewelry designer has been featured in Vogue, W as one to watch, and worked on collaborations with Matthew Chevallard founder of a footwear brand, as well as designers presenting at Milan fashion week.  As Vogue mentioned in their article about Madina, she made a series of bronze pieces for the shoes including Italian food elements such as pasta. While her new collection is like the Garden of Eden in spring, other works by her include snakes, thorns, and harder edged themes.  I like her mix of both sides of life.

Her work can be found in her Milan boutique and on-madinavisconti.com as well as Artemest.com.

What We WANT:

 


Why We Follow Her: (well some of her spectacular designs aren’t online and we want to request them, her new items hit instagram and her Milan boutique).

Sunday Jewelry Report: A Walk with Ullmann Antique Jewelry

What is better on a Sunday then to enter the 5th generation jewelry shop as you stroll the streets of London?  I’ve had a fascination with all things from England and really the whole United Kingdom lately, although my first encounter with the area was in my teens, when I spent a bit of time there one summer. Today’s A++ jewelry report goes to A.R. Ullmann antique jewelry. 

The first reason we chose them, is that they are a well established firm, based in London’s “Jewellery Quarter” specializing in Georgian to Art Deco jewelry and everything in between those eras. Also, I love stories that begin ages ago, and such is the story of this particular jewelry destination.

Joseph Ullmann.

In 1902, Joseph Ullmann established his jewelry shop in Budapest. During the 1920s he was joined by his son, officially making it a family affair.  However; in 1944, after over 40 years in business they were forced to flee, because of Nazi invasion.  During this period the original shop was destroyed and looted. But Joseph’s son Andrew was not deterred, and in 1951 he opened the 10 Hatton Garden shop, which is the subject of our jewelry report today.

Their jewelry can be shopped in that original location or online. They are also one to follow on instagram, for their beautiful photographs and unique finds. I love the romantic nature of their pieces and images. With the location and long European history of jewelry design, one never knows what they may find or post. Although, they do seem to have quite the assortment of antique whimsical creature and bug jewelry, as well as fantastic rings!

What We Want:

Why We Follow Them:

Dawson’s Creek Cast Reunites and We Find Joey an Engagement Ring

The cast of TV obsession Dawson’s Creek, that ran from 1998-2003, has reunited! Thanks to Entertainment Weekly, the once angst-y teen TV stars turned adult screen actors came together to celebrate the hit show’s 20th anniversary with a photo shoot for the magazine. It’s the first time they’ve all been in the same room in two decades, but watching the group interview no one seemed to miss a beat.


The attending castmates—which included Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson, Michelle Williams, James Van Der Beek, Kerr Smith, Meredith Monroe, Busy Philipps, Mary Beth Peil—discussed details about the show’s creative decisions like Joey choosing Pacey in the end. Although Katie nervously faltered in answering whether she agreed with the love triangle’s conclusion, we’re #TeamPacey all the way. But, it did get us thinking about what Joey’s engagement bling would have looked like from each of her great loves.

 

We imagine a Joey and Dawson engagement ring to be statement-making. As the do-the-right-thing type who stayed the straight-and-narrow path to love, we think Dawson would have gone the traditional route with a white-gold or silver band and large centerpiece diamond. The cushion cut is similar to the diamond earrings he gave Joey to wear in the Anti-Prom episode (pictured above), but he might up the stakes with eye-catching sapphire accent stones.

Traditional is not a word we’d use to describe Pacey Witter. He was a lover and a fighter, who traveled a winding road…usually to Joey. In the same Anti-Prom episode Pacey comments that Joey’s earrings are not her and too “gaudy”. He says the bracelet she’s wearing, which belonged to her mother, is “simple and elegant” like her. So we imagine a romantic, timeless engagement ring that, although not gaudy, is still unique—a floral design in mixed metal with a soft, baby blue diamond.

Here is a fun shopping list of vintage and antique engagement rings that they might have picked:

Pacey:

Dawson:

 

 

 

 

KRISTEN DORSEY DESIGNS: Cultural Stories, Strength, and Jewelry

 

Today’s Sunday jewelry report card is about heritage, culture, and jewelry. Kristen’s designs are her own and reflect a sense of style that matches that strong foundation. Her work has modern lines, but it is also about the power of women in society, as well as Chickasaw heritage.  I first saw her work in a post on the popular instagram page Diamonds in the Library. Not a bad one to follow either! Anyway, she is also carried by Vicki Turberville, whose is a favorite of ours!  She has been featured in British Vogue and other publications. What drew me to Kristen’s work immediately, was her use of symbolism, which is steeped in beautiful jewelry design.

Her work also resonates with me, because I also had more than one ancestor on the Trail of Tears, so we share a bit of that southeastern indigenous link.  Kristen is an advocate for authentic Native American design and indigenous art. This subject is important, because I can attest to having seen many people use indigenous motifs and lead people to believe they were Native American artists, referring to things about their time near reservations, their experiences-yet never clarifying that they aren’t really Native American artists.  It is important to realize how much intellectual and cultural heritage is appropriated and used for monetary gain and to try to support artists like Kristen Dorsey, who has strong ties and is actually Chickasaw. Native American identity, indigenous women, law, and stereotypes was a main focus of my doctorate, so I could just go on and on. In her own words:

“I honed my craft at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston while also earning a degree in American studies with a concentration in Native American studies from Tufts University.

The materials and techniques I use reflect my passion for the history of adornment within the southeastern Native American culture. My designs reflect a unique historical and cultural perspective…one which connects me with my cultural identity.

Chickasaw jewelry is characterized by shell carving, copper relief sculpture, and freshwater pearls. Using Mississippian imagery from shell and copper gorgets as my inspiration, I create pieces that reference traditional materials. Working with these materials and imagery connects me to my ancestors”. KristenDorseyDesigns.com

The pieces in her line tell a story as she says in ‘metal and stone’. She uses materials also once important to her people like pearls. See her detailed historical link here. Yet, while culture informs some of her choices, it shouldn’t be thought that her work is all about the past or that Native Americans are static. Her jewelry has a very personal style…she plays with modernity and geometric shapes.  Her Hatchet Woman collection has these two aspects interconnected. In one way, she discusses the fact that Chickasaw women could be warriors, but in another embraces femininity and contemporary jewelry design.  The Panther pieces highlight the strength of Chickasaw women leaders, but they are beautiful pieces without any knowledge at all of that narrative.  Sky serpent, is also a favorite of mine for it’s ancient roots and modern lines. The scale of her jewelry is great, large and fierce. You can really see this on the body, as seen in the images we’ve included here. Her work is available on her website kristendorseydesigns.com and in various shops as seen via this link. USE THE CODE: SARARA on her website for 15% off. 

What We Covet: 

Why We Follow Her: 

* All images belong to Kristen Dorsey Designs. From her instagram and website. Rights Reserved.

Jewelry Report Card: The Designs of Billie Hilliard

Custom choker, by request. $478.

This Sunday we travel back south to from Texas to Atlanta, GA (my old stomping ground) to the home of a designer who fits the bill for an account and designer to follow. Her jewelry report card grade is an A++! Her brand Billie Hilliard, merges fashion with a sense of heirloom design.  Her jewelry has been worn by Queen Bee, enough said…. She has been featured in magazines like Oh Brides and Essence. You can also follow her blog for more inspiration and style posts. 

How did it all begin? It seems that Billie studied fashion design and even modeled for United Colors of Benetton in her early career. She decided to pursue her passion of jewelry design and is sold in boutiques worldwide.  Studying her jewelry style and pieces, in a few minutes, it is easy to see this gal has talent.  Her designs are fluid and warm, they harken back to the 70s brutalist influences, but in a very modern way. Her jewelry appeals to me because there is a definite sense of structure to the “brutalist” aspects.  She uses wax casting and makes these by hand. Shop our favorite pieces below!

What We WANT:

 

Why We Follow Her:

*All images from Billie’s website and instagram. Rights Reserved.

BILLIE HILLIARD, 1200 FOSTER STREET NORTHWEST, ATLANTA, GA, 3031

Sunday Jewelry Report in Mid Century Jewelry Heaven

Time to wake up in a mid century home, sunshine streaming in those oversized, let nature in windows, and sit down with a cup of coffee in your Herman Miller lounger… I do this every morning well, except for that lounger I can’t seem to find at my comfortable budget zone.  Today’s jewelry report card is for my mid century lovers, and actually, this is a store you can get the chair and the jewelry!

I chose Nordlings Vintage Jewelry on instagram because I love a page with focus and expertise. It is part of the larger NordlingsAntik.com or Nordlings Antik on instagram.  Besides, I’m also indulging myself a little with the mid century theme, for those of you who don’t know we are in the midst of our ongoing mid century restoration outside of New York City, in good old Connecticut. Nordlings is actually based in Stockholm, opened by the family in 1973, but you can shop online as well. If you are in Sweden, be sure to check out their happenings or events up online here. Furniture and art enthusiasts won’t be disappointed either.

The online shop is full of lust worthy mid century works of jewelry art organized by artist.  Spanning mens cufflinks to women jewelry; Tapio Wirkkala to Lissa Vitali. The shop also includes unique unsigned examples as well.

What We Want: (it is in Kr but the have a USD option on the site)

 

$2100 KR or around 255 dollars.

1,034 US dollar

Nordlings jewelry store focuses on Scandinavian design in particular of the mid century.  Their instagram page is a plethora of jewelry being worn and displayed as it comes into the store. Its a clean and fun aesthetic that won’t mess up you instagram feed, but instead enhance it.

Why We Follow Them:

Sunday Report Card: Modern Magic at Cyril Jewelry

Lily Stewart in the Orbital Drops and Satellite ring in Russh Magazine.

Today’s jewelry report card is about discovering something new. We’ve chosen this artist’s jewelry account to follow for a few reasons. There is something a little entrancing, almost enchanting about the work of New York based jewelry designer Leila Du Mond of Cyril Studio.  Launched in 2017, it is a new brand, with tons of potential! The pieces are made in the city by hand and retain a minimal but magic style. The crystals she uses are mounted in 14k or sterling,and bounce light beautifully of the human form. There is a sensuality about how they are made and worn, yet the are beautifully modern.  The crystals remind me of antique pools of light pieces in theory, but her application of them is so different and well molded.

Firstly, her construction of the “crystals” seems to be lighter and uniquely mounted. Her hand carved examples seem almost molded to the sculptural fittings that surround them.  Read about her process in a detailed an interesting interview here.  She’s one to watch and you can do that from her instagram account where she posts some of her new pieces and one of a kind creations.  Let’s see where her investigation into light takes us!

What We Want: 

Why We Follow Her:

*All images from the Cyril Studio’s website and instagram page. Rights Reserved.

Oscar Sunday: Jewelry Report Card Muse

Lainy Hedaya in Aron & Hirsch jewelry at Muse.

Some people like Christmas morning, for fine jewelers there may be no other better beginning to the day than Oscar morning. Our choice for the jewelry report card A++, one to follow, has been chosen because they work hard to showcase unique jewelers, include ethical stone practices, and are a influencer’s hidden gem when reporting on the fine jewelry market.

It all started with an international trip to Tel Aviv and a custom wedding band. That young designer was Yossi Harari. Muse, began at that moment. It was founded by the band’s commissioner, Jennifer Shanker, WJA award winner.  She has an established history in the jewelry biz, and in 2016 Muse partnered with GEMFIELDS, using ethically sourced and sustainably mined gemstones. GEMFIELDS X MUSE is in its own right a sustainable and gorgeous charm filled jewelry line. However, if you want to be on top of the fine market and meet new jewelers ahead of them blowing up, following @museshowroom on instagram is a start. We’re betting that we will see some pieces from Muse tonight at the Oscars. Besides Oprah frequently sources her finds there, and if it is good enough for O, it is good enough for me!

The carpet will be full of diamonds, emeralds, and rubies…so why not take a look inside Muse, who has worked to elevate colored gemstones to an artform. They are a leader in showcasing the next big thing in the world of fine jewelry. They stock a group that is both international and in many cases,exclusive to Muse. Here are a list of some of their current jewelry designers. Also, they don’t carry everything online so following them means you’ll be the first to see new designs. If you are in the New York area, one could benefit from a trip to the showroom to see the amount of pieces they really do carry.

Elena Vosti
Holly Dyment
Julls Brasil*
Joana Salazar
Michelle Fantaci
Nancy Newberg
Nikos Koulis
Silvia Furmanovich (fine jewelry and preciously worked bags)
Tara Hirshberg
What We Want:
How does this relate to tonight’s Oscars, well a little birdy told my we can expect to see plenty of Nikos Koulis on the carpet among other jewelers tonight. While the Oscars is usually full of large diamonds, it would indeed be fun to see some color.  Now, if you were following the work of the showroom you would have a leg up on this already!   So to celebrate the work of these designers we have chosen our favorite pieces, and those we think are very red carpet worthy.

Silvia Furmanovich bags at Muse.

Nikos Koulis jewels from Muse

Nikos Koulis jewels from Muse.

 

Carolina Neves earrings at Muse.

 

Joana Salazar earrings from Muse.

Keeping up with Muse on instagram is a way to discover new whimsical designers. Not to mention it is a plethora of pretty sparkly images. The pieces they post are enough to make any Conneoisseur’s mouth water.

*All images from Muse Showroom online, its jewelers, and its instagram images. Rights Reserved.

Yara Shahidi image via Vanity Fair, Nagi Sakai photo.