August 2012

Jewelry and joy

Designs by CoriNa Mardari

If you're looking for accessories that combine delicate femininity with a touch of whimsy, look no further than CoriNa Mardari. This Romanian designer's vibrant yet simple pieces have us practically swooning. 

Take a look. 

  

With names like Endless Summer, Fibonacci (modeled after nature's most famous recurring sequence), and Mystical Chic, pieces by CoriNa Mardari celebrate the joy of living beautifully. CoriNa makes wonderful use of sparkling stones like garnet, lila and sapphire, combining them with a new approach to jewelry on cord. The resulting looks are bright, sophisticated and just plain pretty. 

More buzz

Exciting news from Kat&Bee

Just when we thought we couldn't love Kat&Bee any more, the makers of colorful, girly-gothic jewelry end up thrilling us yet again. 

   

Rings by Kat&Bee 

Kat&Bee's super cute and totally original pieces will be available from Opening Ceremony in London, starting in September 2012. That's right. The Kat&Bee designs you love have been such a smashing success in the New York and Tokyo stores that they're now for sale on their home turf. Opening Ceremony says they selected Kat&Bee for their "unique, one-off pieces." We can't help but applaud their choice. 

Opening Ceremony's London store 

East meets west

Designs by Arosha Taglia

With pieces that fuse the best of contemporary Italian design with traditions from ancient Egypt, there's nothing out there quite like fine jewelry by Arosha Taglia

  

Styles range from minimal to exotic, which makes choosing a favorite a nearly impossible feat. We're torn between the Lace collection, inspired by handmade Italian lace and adorned with natural gemstones, and the Egypt pieces, with designs that Cleopatra would have celebrated. Which should you choose? It depends what look you're seeking. The Lace line is one of delicacy and understated beauty, while the Egypt collection gives an air of exotic grandeur. Whichever piece you choose, eye-catching elegance is guaranteed.

 

   

For even bolder looks, check out the amazingly unique pieces in the Under the Sea collection and the pendants in the Mystic line. We love the Between the Seaweeds ring and the Mandala Pendants (pictured above). But it's not just stunning sophistication and fabulous fashion with these designs. Arosha Taglia has tons of pieces with a greater purpose: check out the beautiful assortment of engagement and wedding rings.

   

And just how does such beauty happen? How is it that you're able to find gorgeous Italian style combined with Egyptian-inspired design, crafted by a Sanskrit-quoting artist who makes his home in Israel? The story is pretty incredible.

As with most jewelers, Arosha Luigi Taglia began as an artist. Originally for Torino, Italy, Taglia graduated from the prestigious School of Design and Applied Arts before marrying and relocating to Israel. He worked as a painter, digital and video artist, sculptor, and furniture designer before becoming a jewelry maker.

Best Jewelry Books: Learn about an Amazing Adornment

Enlisted below the well-received books on Jewelry Designs as well as Jewelry Making that will escort the readers to an amalgamated world of beauty and creativity.  

Vintage Jewelry Design: Classics to Collect & Wear – This gorgeous coffee-table book, with a foreword by influential jeweler Gerda Flöckinger, showcases classic vintage jewelry from the past 100 years. Featuring examples that epitomize the iconic styles of each decade, it offers an overview of the most influential designers including Tiffany, Cartier, Fabergé, and Chanel), their sources of inspiration, and materials of choice. Photos display a selection of rare and remarkable pieces from museums and private owners, and a vintage shopping guide gives tips on spotting fakes, caring for purchases, and other important facts collectors should know.

Teach Yourself VISUALLY Jewelry Making and Beading – You’ve probably coveted jewelry you’ve seen in artsy boutiques and fashion magazines or envied friends who have the perfect bling to accentuate everything. With this book, you’ll learn to craft designs that are chic but inexpensive. With hundreds of detailed photos, this book covers tools and supplies, bead stringing and weaving, wire wrapping, and more. Terrific projects will get you started and inspire you to create your own jewelry and beadwork designs.

7000 Years of Jewelry – This is the most comprehensive and beautifully illustrated history of jewelry. It explores the varied styles, techniques and materials used to make jewelry in many civilizations throughout the world and across the millennia. Egyptian necklaces, Celtic torcs, South American gold masks, Renaissance pendants and Art Nouveau buckles are examples of the range of the masterpieces described and illustrated with 400 superb photographs.

Beauty buzz

Enviable objects by Kat&Bee

Let's face it. Even though this line has received global attention from fashion magazines and celebrities, no one loves Kat&Bee as much as we do. 

Kat Barry, Kat&Bee's designer, is an artist who knows what she's doing. (Obviously). Having worked on a variety of fashion brands at Elle, The Guardian, and Company, Kat brings years of experience and expertise to her line. 

  

Fit for a queen

Power pieces by Blind Spot Jewelry

Not all jewelry needs to sparkle to be eye-catching. Sometimes all it has to do is shine.

Blind Spot Jewelry's metalwork collection combines rugged luminosity with chiseled style. These amulets, iron bangles and poison rings give off the powerful aura of a Medieval queen, and they'll satisfy that royal tough girl inside of you. Look for bolts, iron, and brass, as well as gemstones like olivine and labradorite.

  

If you're seeking generic Goth-girl femininity, head to the mall and hit up Hot Topic. But if you want the real thing, you've got to go with Blind Spot. The line's designer, Janos Gabor Varga spent years in the countrysides of Hungary, Ukraine and Transylvania. He spent his time working with peasants, learning about the deep complexities of human nature and developing a fascination with metal. The influence and history of those experiences are reflected in every piece. The results are striking, a tad unnerving and totally magnificent.

When jewelry meets modern art

Daring designs by Selda Okutan

No, the items pictured below are not from a modern art exhibit, though they may as well be. These pieces are so high-end, people are going to think you robbed a museum when you wear them. 

Selda Okutan is a designer that creates beauty by pushing boundaries. And we love her for it. 

  

In Okutan's native Turkey, there's great taboo surrounding nudity. Each of Okutan's pieces flies in the face of that taboo, defying tradition by celebrating the human form. Talk about courageous. 

 

Simple pleasures

Creations by Yuki Nagao

Have you ever noticed that everything that comes from Japan seems to combine simplicity, originality, and beautiful design? Think about it. Sushi. Hello Kitty. Anime. Obviously, when Japan produces art, the world responds. 

The newest Japanese artist to watch for is Yuki Nagao. Her playful, delicate creations offer the best of Japanese design: beautiful, eye-catching simplicity packed with a whole lot of charm. 

  

Yuki's pieces, from character cufflinks to free viewpoint rings, come from a lifetime of creativity. Nagao has been designing, drawing and creating since she was a child. It was jewelry-making, however, that excited her the most. She brought that excitement to her studies at Jewelry College in Itami, Japan, before staring her own line in 2008. 

Modern marvels

Designs by Christina Elleni

There are designers who find inspiration in the past, creating new twists on old favorites. Others are moved by the natural world. But what happens when a young designer finds her muse in both nature and modern cityscapes? 

Beautiful creations happen. Check out these great pieces from Christina Elleni

  

Christina Elleni credits coming from a family of architects, as well as her urban and natural surroundings, for shaping the direction of her art. Travel has also influenced her work: look for famous destinations reborn in her keepsake pieces. 

   

Gorgon girly

Innovation by MeDusa

Here's a brand to snatch up and sport around town before everyone else discovers it. Inspired by nature and the sea, Israeli designers Gili Rozin and Adi Singfer have created a line that will satisfy your inner child ... and inner goddess. With a new spin on a tried and true material -- plastic -- creations by MeDusa are young, fun and modern. 

  

Fashion-savvy women know never to knock plastic. From the jelly shoe to the Jelly Kelly, plastic has been with us through some of the most exciting fashion trends. Using techniques not usually found in jewelry making, MeDusa produces pieces that are vibrant, durable and eye-catching. The accompanying metal chains perfectly balance out the bright colors and floral designs, creating a chic effect that would make the Gorgon proud. 

An earthly vision

Wearable art by Niza Huang

Anyone who knows accessories will tell you that jewelry is an art form. There's an art to selecting it and an art to wearing it. Every time we don a piece of anything, from rings to anklets to earrings, we're expressing our aesthetic tastes.

We also know that jewelry is the artistic vision of its creator. Some jewelers pursue style by season. Others create new versions of classic designs. But the best designers find inspiration in the natural world, creating a form of wearable art so beautiful that it borders on surreal. 

One such designer is Niza Huang. Good luck trying to take your eyes off these ones. 

 

  

 

 

Euro Style: Bohemian Chic

Vivien Frank Designs

Europe always seems to produce great designers. Case in point? Vivien Frank Designs, a Swiss jewelry line that’s been featured in Vogue UK and Annabelle, as well as on Boticca. The pieces mix earthy elements like cord, wood and leather with sterling silver and high quality gold . The result? A perfect balance of subtle femininity and Bohemian chic. Here are a few favorites. 

Remember those name-necklaces that were big in the '90s, like what Carrie wore on Sex and the City? If you've got one, get rid of it right now. You can upgrade your look by toning it down. But don't worry. You'll still be able to declare your individuality while making a fashion statement. For a more understated version of the name-necklace, check out Vivien Frank gold initial necklace. The hand-stamped charm and hangs from a 14k gold chain. Super sweet. 

Jewelry flash!

Sale on international designs at Boticca

Flash sales have exploded on the Internet lately. You know what I mean. There's Gilt and Rue La La for fashion, Zulily for kids and moms and Fab for all things design. But what about accessories? If you're sick of scouring the net for the perfect piece, head over to Boticca, the flash sale site for all of your jewelry needs. 

  

Scrolling through Boticca's homepage is like wandering through an international jewelry market: there are designers from France, Japan, India, Switzerland and the UK. Even better? Boticca's creators aren't trying to collect your cash while they unload massive amounts of sparkling swag. Their aim is actually much more intimate. When you click on a designer's profile you can view her feedback, get information about her business and read about her inspiration. That means each piece comes with its own unique story. The result is a shopping experience that feels much more personal than your standard click-and-buy flash sale.