India is one of my ultimate inspirations. I love it because of its: history, culture, designs, patterns, colors, gemstones, and sense of beauty. In my opinion, Indian jewelry has one of the most special styles. Many pieces are hand-made therefore, the detail and the craftsmanship used, make them one-of-a-kind little treasures. A major plus about Indian jewelry is that a lot of the times it can look a bit more expensive than what they really are, so you can find very beautiful pieces for reasonable and decent prices!
The words that come to mind when I think of Victoire de Castellane are nothing but complimentary: brilliant, sophisticated creative and avant-garde. Victoire de Castellane is a French jewelry designer whose career success is defined in her named, victorious. She started working alongside Karl Lagerfield in Chanel overseeing the costume jewelry design (1984-1998), but then moved to her still current job as the creative director of the Dior’s fine jewelry line in 1998 when Dior’s CEO Arnault anounced the innaguration of Dior Joaillerie. If that was still not enough, Castellane also had two exhibitions of her work at some of the most prestigious art galleries, Gagosian Gallery, in NY, London and Paris.
Castellane’s success is definitely well deserved, her love for jewelry is clearly transmitted in her work in both her own Victoire de Castellane brand and Dior Joaillerie. Her jewelry is big, it makes you look twice but it is also art and beauty in one. The detail in every piece is intricate and carefully designated. One of my favorite collections was the 2009 collection of “Kings and Queens” with skulls of different colored gem stones and designs.
What is different about Dior Joaillerie to other jewelers in the business is the importance they give to the story behind the design, the designer and the creation. They see it as a master piece, a work of art. I’ve been to so many jewelry web sites in my life and what I normally see is the jewelry piece/pieces, the price and maybe, if I’m lucky, the name of the piece, and a tiny description of what it is or the materials used. Thus making my jewelry experience a very materialistic and inspiration-less one. Where as in Dior it is the opposite, the experience and the story behind their jewelry is everything, they have pictures they have videos they have full texts. They give Castellane’s masterpieces the acknowledgment that they deserve.
In this link you see why Dior and Castellane’s jewelry is so special. This is the story behind the famous Rose Dior Bagatelle:
This is another very interesting article that WSJ wrote about her, definitely worth a read if you like her style:
Images via: Vogue, WSJ and unknown
As one of Hollywoods most prestigious actresses, Cameron Diaz gets to wear and be styled by some of fashion’s most elite names. Her style is very clean, young and fresh. The jewelry that she wears on movies and on a daily basis are simple but beautiful, always making a subtle statement.
From what I have seen her wearing these are my favorite pieces:
1) The Renee Lewis “shake pendant necklace” that she wore in the movie The Holiday. This is a stunning piece but with it comes a heart-breaking price tag. The price of the piece depends on what gemstone you choose inside the pendant, the cheapest I found was 13,000 for the sapphire and gold. Overpriced, but a beautiful piece to keep as treasure.
2) She wore two of the “opal and diamond necklace”, by designer Kimberly McDonald, to the AFI awards. She looked stunning, making the jewelry the statement of her outfit. This designer does high-end and expensive pieces. Another famous customer of hers is Michelle Obama!
3) The Lana “blake necklace” she wore in the movie The Other Woman. I actually bought the “petite black necklace” which is a smaller version of the one that she is wearing. It is a very sexy and beautiful layered piece where the first layer fits as a choker and the other falls beautifully right below it. It is a bit expensive (mine was about $750, I bought it in Intermix) but understandable because it is gold.
Pearls are normally associated with royalty or a “lady-like” style. I think pearls are very feminine, but I also believe that pearls don’t fit anyone’s style like a diamond can. But with that being said a lot of new designers are doing a great job and making pieces with pearls that are modern and therefore can fit people who don’t necessarily dress or want to feel like Audrey Hepburn or Jackie O. The following are pieces and designers who I believe work with pearls the best.
The godmother of pearls is and forever will be Coco Chanel. Chanel knows how to work with pearls beautifully. They make traditional and modern pieces in both jewelry and clothes. I love that they still keep true to Coco Chanel’s love for “your grandmother” pearls style necklace. I bought one of their long pearl chains with a faux diamond bow on the side and I like to wear it with everything, especially when I’m wearing something very plain and simple. For some reason I associate my necklace more with winter that with summer.
I think Tasaki is one of the most innovative pearl jewelry designers now a days. He is a Japanese designer with a lot of talent but unfortunately not as well known as he should be. He does a lot of fine jewelry but he has a few less expensive piece as well. I discovered him in a store in Miami where I bought one of his black pearl & black diamond ring from the “refined rebellion” collection (the bottom piece).
One of my recent purchases was from the famous designer Alison Lou. Her jewelry is very current and fun, she plays with emojis and other quirky items. She is coming out with a beautiful, young and fun collection of oysters with pearls inside. My favorite piece of the collection is the stack ring which is the smallest with the thin band (the one on the far right).
I find Ryan Storer’s jewelry very esthetically beautiful. Very simple and modern. Reminds me a bit of Tasaki’s play with pearls, yet you can see the difference. I really love his jewelry and I hope I can buy a piece from him in the near future.
Mizuki is another Japanese designer who does fine jewelry. Her pieces are beautiful, but the “Sea of Beauty” collection where she works with pearls is just breathtaking. What I love about her pieces is how in the bracelets she leaves the pearl as it is, imperfect. I also love how she pairs the pearls with very thin diamonds and a ver thin gold bracelet, the balance in the pieces is what makes them so beautiful.
Smith/Grey does very playful and young jewelry. The name of the pearl collection fits the fun in the pearl jewelry pieces, it is called “THE PEARLGATORY”.