Jewelry Report Card: H is for Hand Forged

Want a really really good stack, I think I may have the answer for you! This Sunday takes us back in time, in some ways, to when jewelry and items were made by hand, forged in fire- so to speak. We find the jewelry in question, in LA inside a retail concept space called ELU.  I discovered them via instagram, and am hooked on the look and construction of the pieces. The jewelry is substantial and tactile, featuring gemstones hand placed inside the forged metals.  So todays A++ goes to @elu_official as a line to watch, and a page to follow!  Elu was started by Cristina Nicoletti, when she decided to begin selling artisanal luxury goods from all over the world. This led to a meeting of the minds and friends, which evolved into a new creative space in West Hollywood. They also carry bags, perfume, shoes, scarves, hats, and sunglasses. The new jewelry line ELU, definitely caught my eye and is the fruit of a partnership with Evan Sugerman of Parts of Four, which is based in Bali.

I’m a lover and collector of the authentic jewelry of “tribes”, indigenous peoples, and taxco pieces. However, as enticed as I am by such pieces I also love the modernist movements of the 50s and today. Perhaps this is why I am drawn to this line of jewelry so much.  Hopefully, our readers will also see the allure of the pieces by ELU.

What We Covet: 

Why We Follow: 

Elu Los Angeles
8750 Holloway Dr.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
310-358-0910

https://elubycn.com

*All images via ELU online and @elu_official, 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.

Lifestyle: Honey Is Like a Fine Wine at The Savannah Bee Company

 

honey wine

Traveling this summer through my old haunts in the south afforded me time to relax and think, not only about jewelry, but body, spirit and mind. The Savannah Bee Company on St. Simons Island gave me an unexpected surprise. I walked into the shop on a hot summer day and found everything I needed to replenish my beach-washed skin and thirsty lips—honey!

There are places that sell honey, but trust me this is beyond expectations. My husband is a foodie and an enthusiast-of-sorts on honey and garlic so this is not my first experience with honey. I have never seen anything like the variety of each product at the Savannah Bee Company. There is a honey tasting bar, lotions, and skin care with royal jelly. It is a honey spa if you will. There was even a tasting option featuring honeycomb platters with apples, local cheese, and berries.

savannah bee company store honey

My husband getting in on the action!

You may think I am exaggerating a bit, however, the honey is like wine at The Savannah Bee Company. There is a tasting area with various types and flavors to try. They include raw, lavender, some from the southern bees, and some from Spanish bees that feast on lavender fields. Also, wait for it, there is actually a real bar that serves honey beer and wine in various flavors for the eager visitor. You can’t get that in another store!

My favorite lotion was the Royal Jelly Body Butter, which I am currently using. The “sensitive” one is the right mix of hydrating without being to overwhelming!

The irresistible honey coffee, turned into a iced treat!

How did it all begin? With a man named Ted and his healthy infatuation with—you guessed it—bees. Though the first Savannah Bee Company officially opened in 2002, unofficially Ted practiced the art of bees, studying them and teaching about them around the world for years. Thus, it’s the origin of the shop’s unique array of locally and globally-sourced ingredients and resources.

Where can you go for your honey fix if you are on the northeast coast? Well, the new Westport CT store opened just in time this month. Now it’s a much shorter trip to get my sweet fix.

 

Are you a fan of honey-based beauty products or beverages?

Nashville: Secret Designer Shopping Spot

If you have been following me on instagram this month, you know that I’m back in the my old southern stomping grounds. From Nashville to Atlanta and St. Simons. My stop back in Nashville to see dear old friends has me wishing I was headed back… I have been hearing for a couple of years about how the city is undergoing a renaissance, but little did I know to what extent.  There’s a whole new hipster crowd, some imported from Brooklyn, of course. This seems to be concentrated in the Belmont- Vanderbilt area….East Nashville.  There is a decidedly country spin on organic healthy living coupled with the way Nashville does the arts and music that I find comforting.  The historic homes all over the city are being renovated or sadly in some cases torn down. The new construction is everywhere from communities to detached modern style homes.  I will say I did not see any extremely tall buildings while there this round, also a comfort.

Some of My Favorite Neighborhood and Their Vibes:

Belle Meade:

Belle Meade is still well established homes in an appointed sprawling area welcoming us with a horse and ample roads, quietly meandering to homes with large yards. The area is a mix of mansions and older mid century as well as ranch homes.

Richland-West end:

Has an old luxurious history vibe of well established money and has attracted a mix of successful creative types.

Belmont / 12th:

This is the area I stayed in this trip. My friend’s homes are amazing, but with beagle in tow I decided to give them some personal space. My arbnb was right in the heart of the historic bungalows, with walkability to 12th Avenue south and Hillsboro village shopping.  It is a fun area with a young style and it seems to be also currently under construction, with newer homes and mostly historic renovations happening. Belmont was once the home of America’s riches woman, Adelicia. The area derives the name from that historic site.

Green Hill- Hillsboro area:

This is the sort of higher end shopping destination. Green Hills is near Belle Meade with homes starting a bit more accessibly and in the style of Bungalows and Cape Cods.

UAL (United Apparel Liquidators est. 1980)

While there are lots more area neighborhoods to explore, the point of my post today is to introduce you to one of my secret favorite spots to hunt couture and designer pieces at a mere fraction of the cost. No this is not the American Picker’s shop, but don’t forget to stop in there if you are a fan. While talking to the owner and taking pictures, one of the customers said “How fun, but don’t go letting too many people know”.  This is the general consensus about UAL. This brand is a southern staple with locations in Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Mississippi… And why is that you may ask? The deep discounts on Marni, Escada, Prada, Givenchy, Zac Posen,Rag and Bone, Lanvin and frankly whatever new designer piece that comes in- which for some reason did not sell. Thus the over flow was sent to them.  Their shoe section, bags, and especially jewelry is well stocked.

You can find the Chanel bags and rarer things in the cases. New and older established high end jewelry around the counter. While there is a dig style feel to the shop in some ways, once you scratch the surface you realize what is there! The inventory and brands carried change frequently and you never know what you might find. After a close friend and Nashvillite showed me this store years ago it has been on my must stop in list every year.  What is nice is the really young new vibe to the store’s selection. These pieces somehow are not the total cast offs and bad designs. They are hip!

My online picks. Jewelry selection here is also not too shabby. I have a mind to buy those Rosie earrings right now!

How deep are the discounts: Well something that retails for 1000 maybe 200 or something that is 300 may go to 60.  Not to mention if you catch their sales on top of those prices.  They have 2 Nashville locations one in the West End and another in Hillsboro Village as well as an online site. Nothing compares to being there in person to score the deals!

So here are some images of my shopping trip to the West End location in the hopes I’ve added a secret Nashville source to your list:

 

Chinese Imperial Beads: Jewelry Find of the Week

Chinese Imperial necklace, 19th century. Eden Galleries image.

Chinese Imperial necklace, 19th century. Eden Fine Antique Galleries image.

I often attend auctions, private sales, scout private collections, hunt abroad and on. I think fashion jewelry, collectors and accessories lovers alike will enjoy seeing them. Most of these are available accessories for purchase at auction or in shops, that I run across during my jewelry hunt. This week’s find is a Chinese Chinese Pearl Imperial Court ChaoZhu Beads. China, 19th C., Qing imperial court necklace.  There two necklaces are my favorites from this auction and with the Met exhibit-China through the looking glass, these pieces fit the mood of the month.  Offered at Eden Fine Antiques Galleries Showroom. Preview starts May 20th in Marietta Georgia. This is an online auction as well. 

Chinese Imperial necklace, 19th century. Eden Galleries image. Chinese Pearl Imperial Court ChaoZhu Beads. China, 19th C., Qing imperial court necklace comprised of well strung 108 natural round shape Pearls accented by four larger agate beads bordered with smaller green jade beads. circled toward the center Fotou connecting to a golden-yellow ribbon suspending Oval shaped Filigree emblem-ed with green jade, followed by a quartz crystal tear shaped pendant. Eden Fine Antiques Gallery description and image. Available at auction.

Chinese Imperial necklace, 19th century. Eden Galleries image. Chinese Pearl Imperial Court ChaoZhu Beads. China, 19th C., Qing imperial court necklace comprised of well strung 108 natural round shape Pearls accented by four larger agate beads bordered with smaller green jade beads. circled toward the center Fotou connecting to a golden-yellow ribbon suspending Oval shaped Filigree emblem-ed with green jade, followed by a quartz crystal tear shaped pendant. Eden Fine Antiques Gallery description and image. Available at auction.

A RARE and IMPORTANT Chinese ChenXiang Beads in Filigree (gilt over silver) Trinket Box Chinese ChenXiang Prayer's Beads Necklace comprised of well strung carved round shape ChenXiang wood accented by three larger Tourmaline beads. Circled toward the center Jade Fotou followed with a double-gourd turquoise bead connecting to a golden-yellow ribbon suspending flower shaped cloisonne cartouche emblem-ed with oval shaped green jade, followed by brown and green tassels. Eden Fine Antiques Gallery description and image.

A RARE and IMPORTANT Chinese ChenXiang Beads in Filigree (gilt over silver) Trinket Box
Chinese ChenXiang Prayer’s Beads Necklace comprised of well strung carved round shape ChenXiang wood accented by three larger Tourmaline beads. Circled toward the center Jade Fotou followed with a double-gourd turquoise bead connecting to a golden-yellow ribbon suspending flower shaped cloisonne cartouche emblem-ed with oval shaped green jade, followed by brown and green tassels. Eden Fine Antiques Gallery description and image.

 

1990s Miu Miu Wedge Heels- Find of the Week!

Wedge vintage sandal.

Miu Miu 90s Wedge. Available at Big Yellow Taxi Vintage. Image by BYTV.

With the wedge heel all over the runways this season into the winter boots for 2015-16, I thought these were a great find. The 70s look that is on trend for the spring and technically now being from the 90s they are “vintage”.  I’m still in denial and hoping the 80s is technically vintage, but for the sake of argument…. In terms of spring this are on spot for being on trend and fun.  The patent element is also a plus as seen on the Dior Paris A/W2015 runway in the form of colorful patent leather boots.  Available from Big Yellow Taxi on etsy. 79.99, Size 36.

Wedge side view. Big Yellow Taxi image.

Wedge side view. Big Yellow Taxi image.

Warby Parker Eyeglasses- Different Shades of You.

Sunnies

Crystal Sunglasses with Hazelnut, via Warby Parker.

I’m in a bit of a new affair with Warby Parker, a socially conscious eye glass company with fashionable and modern frame designs and a decidedly vintage appeal. Their “buy a pair, give a pair” philosophy is really quite inspiring. There is something very “American sporty” about it all! With stores in NYC, San Francisco, Chicago, Nashville, Boston and beyond they are also becoming easily accessible. Their vintage roots, available colors and instant attitude are appealing to me. By instant “attitude”, I mean the designs have personality, you can use them as an accessory. To me some of the glasses say: well traveled French literature student, others speak the language of a sexy Clark Kent and in another, I see a stylish hard working accessories editor on the run…

wpglasses

To celebrate their five year anniversary, they are launching their new “half decade” collection today. The 5 designs are the first ones they ever created, newly resurrected- well 5.5 styles exactly, but you can check that out on their site via this link.  Plus, I enjoy the quality of construction ( Part of the frame materials are sourced from a 150 year old Italian company) and the pricing is easier on the wallet than you would think. When they asked me to create a look to celebrate, it was  a fun challenge. Here is my favorite style from their half decade collection – the Wiloughby.  I paired it with my new dream jean, these star jeans by Stella McCartney, Proenza Schouler PS1 backpack and Eva Fehren diamond earrings for a photo worthy street style look.

WarbyParkerWiloughby

Possibly my favorite accessories find from their site are the sunnies, which at times feels like Marilyn Monroe hitting the beach in the 1950s, with a bit of today’s gal. Take a look at the Banks or Reilly and you’ll get what I mean.  The best news for the opposite sex is that they have so many options for men (both sunglasses and eye glasses) and many are unisex.   Here is a taste of the various ways you can express yourself.

couplewarby

banks

Warby Parker sunglasses. Banks.

Warby

Quimby in green via Warby Parker.com, Yes they have another color.

 

 

Find: Super Chanel Runway Cuffs Via Katy Kane

Okay, so at the weekly finds we focus on accessories that make us dream, deals, couture and whatever inspires. The fashion accessories that blew my mind this week were : a pair of runway Chanel cuffs in leather and metal listed by veteran shop Katy Kane on 1stdibs.

Katy’s client attended haute couture shows regularly in the 80s and 90s and purchased these right off of the runway. Honestly, it doesn’t get much better than these! Right now the 1980s vintage designer accessories are picking up steam with collectors and wearers showing renewed interest. The big golden CC and powerful look are a no brainer for the Chanel lover.

You can see them linked here for more info.

KKChanel

Katy Kane image, via her 1stdibs storefront. You can shop them here.