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.
May 12 Sotheby’s will present a treasure trove of jewelry to fit a queen or king! There will be a total of 5 Tiaras of nobel origin, as well as amazing rare gemstones. The viewings have started in Geneva and we are releasing images of some of the most important pieces like the Historic Pink Diamond an 8.72 carat and the blood red Burmese ruby The Sunrise Ruby, over 25 carats. The pink diamond is is rumored to have been part of the collection of Princess Mathilde, a niece of Napoleon. Yet, the jewelry lover/ historian in me would be very curious to see the entire selection of historic pieces by Cartier, in person-all from a private collection. The French designs represented like the Jean Schlumberger parure, circa 1960s are also quite interesting.
Maybe most intriguing to me, would be the tiaras formerly owned by Mary Duchess of Roxburghe, granddaughter of the Rothschild heiress Hanna. She was divorced in 1953, which created a huge scandal, yet she endured. Born in 1915 and died last year…. She grew up along side noble neighbors and dinned with royalty, if ever there was a real life Mary of Downton-she could come close. She was strong willed and withstood a stand off during the divorce that caused her to refuse to leave her quarters in their Castle for six weeks. She was without phone, water, and electricity. For a look at the catalogue click here.
If you just can’t wait for May, here are some of my April 21st auction favorites -based on design and or historical significance. This auction is entitled only Magnificent jewels. Sort of a precurser to the huge May sale: Magnificent Jewels and Nobel Jewels. However there were so many beauties it’s best to click here to see this catalogue for April:
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
In this increasingly technology and time obsessed world, it seems that one need only look to their iphone for the time….. But what’s the fun in that? Lately, after spying some wonderful costume and fine art deco era watches with hidden faces, I had been rethinking the watch. Many of these were created with appearance of a well designed chunky link bracelet or cuff.
This week’s finds focuses on a watch to make you want to wear them all over again. I spotted it on invaluable.com when I ventured into their large array of vintage watches. Stand out examples on the site included stunning 20s platinum pieces and an amazing 1930s women’s rolex, seen above. However, the Piaget that caught my eye was not to be outdone. It’s 18k gold “esclave” style thick woven cuff band, malachite face and overall 1970s swagger, make it a tough one to beat. Created in the early 1970’s and designed by Jean-Paul Gueit. Icons like Elizabeth Taylor favored the brand. Jean-Paul is still at Piaget today. Similar designs are in museums and private collections.
The Piaget headquarters house similar important era examples at their “galleries” in Geneva, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The brand was started in 1874 by Georges-Edouard Piaget at the age of 19. If you like the look of their watches, then you should see some of the other jewelry pieces found in the online gallery of exhibit quality and collection examples seen here.
The coveted malachite watch goes on the auction block available to online bidders via the invaluable.com platform and auction house A.B. Levy’s, Jan 22nd with a $4,000 starting bid. Now that’s a watch to bring the sexy back to telling time!
I must admit I’m crushing on her scarab ring, but I’m in good company. The accessories maven has a line of music and rock princesses wearing her bangles, necklaces, and stacked rings. Lynn’s personal style is as inspiring as her collection. Her instagram account provides visual stimulation with a constant array of Lynn’s vintage accessories, fashion and couture clothing styled in amazing ways. Not to mention the images of Rihanna, Lorde, Fergie and more wearing her jewelry while rocking and rolling. Her gold armbands were featured on Christy Turlington in Porter Magazine, but so was her (well sort of her son’s) own personal John Galliano Top hat, as seen below via Porter magazine. It’s those kind of unexpected details that make her style and jewelry so alluring.
Her goods are already sold worldwide in some impressive stores; but I’m excited to have them readily available on her own site www.lynnban.com:
Find of the week- HatsNCompany on etsy. Find a plethora of handmade hats from Greece. I am seriously thinking about that short brimmed Fedora. The colors and style selection matched with prices, from about 65.00- 121.00, makes for a one stop hat shop!
So, I admit I have a love – hate thing with Judith Leiber bags. I either love them, especially her 1970s clutches or it just doesn’t do it for me. That said, I kind of feel that this is due to custom nature of the designs, it is meant to be that way- a bag sort of speaks to you or doesn’t. One of my favorites designs features a snake as seen below. Examples of the 70s styles include both crystal and exotic skin bags. Judith Leiber was a pioneer in terms of women designing bags, as the first woman accepted into the handbag guild. She has been creating these accessories for first ladies and the red carpet since 1953 (Her company was officially founded in 1963). Now in her 90s, and a survivor of the holocaust, she is an inspiration. Judith moved to New York with her husband and focused on her dreams. I personally remember learning about her time working with one of my favorite accessories designers- Nettie Rosenstein. Her bags are now in various museum collections like the Met, as well as her own official one located in East Hampton. The Judith Leiber museum contains over 900 bags. Since many designs were limited or couture, the museum must be still searching some of the rarer ones to add to that archive.
As of more recent years something which bridges fashion accessories and the Judith Leiber vintage designs seems to be happening. Who could forget the cupcake bag via Sex and the City…..Well, that was just the beginning of a sort of renewed interest in the designs. Today, in part this is due to the appointment of Ana Matheson as creative director.
This rejuvenated interest in her bags, includes a whole new young client base, and you can see this in the choice of designs as of late. Per this bag, front and center on the website- called the BELA LAUGOSI Skull bag. The company seems to be producing some fashion forward couture bags which bridge the gap between past and present.
The newest endeavor for S/S 15 is pure fashion fun. Harley Viera Newton, a New York DJ, model by trade and a new fashion favorite worked with the iconic bag company to create a couture collection. She describes her discovery of Judith Leiber in the recent Elle magazine interview.
Vintage accessories lovers can relate to her enthusiasm and most have at least one of Leiber’s bags in their collection. ModaOperandi.com has the Harley collaboration for preorder now exclusively. One thing you will notice is what a bargain the 70s snake bag may seem to be! However, the Harley collection does feature thousands of quality crystals and 24K gilt on some of the bags.
In terms of reviewing the designs, her creations for Judith Leiber are really a great merge of her interests in Egyptology and the brand’s own Egyptian revival/deco influenced styles of the past. I think a serious collector or red carpet maven could do no wrong having one.
My anthropology background also relates to her interest in ancient Egypt. I think she has a whimsical, yet chic approach to the couture bags she’s created. My favorites bags are the river snake (which actually has a pretty head shape when seen from above), the silver pyramid and the hieroglyph clutch. It features Egyptian hieroglyphics which spell out Judith Leiber as well as Harley. The camel gets an honorable mention for its whimsy! Honestly the winged scarab box clutch isn’t too shabby either! Not to mention the scarab is a sign of rebirth- referring to the Egyptian god which pushed the sun across the sky to be reborn each day. So, it is fitting that this collection highlights a sort of resurgence of interest in Judith Leiber bags.