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Entries in designer jewelry (245)

Gem Gossip Visits TWIST in Seattle, WA

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GREAT MIX of designers: top left, going down--Ileana Makri, Fernando Jorge, Marc Alary; top right, going down--Spinelli Kilcollin, Marc Alary, Sophie Bille Brahe

TWIST | Gem Gossip

Love the artisan-made cases, organized by designer

TWIST | Gem Gossip

Wearing all Polly Wales

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Trying on some Kothari pieces

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The colorful world of Jamie Joseph, some best-sellers!

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A nice stack of Dorette rings, I'm in love!!

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...and can't forget the matching Dorette necklace

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All these are by Judy Geib: emerald bracelet, circular band, number ring, emerald ring

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Rings by Marie-Hélène de Taillac 

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Checking out the bridal selection, it's like a store within a store!

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Some of my bridal favorites! Pinky is Rebecca Overmann, ring finger is Mandrel Studio, middle finger is Mandrel Studio, pointer finger both rings by Mallary Marks (awesome necklace in background)

TWIST has been well-known for their incredible selection of fine designer jewelry for years! I realized a few weeks ago that my second blog post I ever wrote on Gem Gossip, I featured some selections from their website, so saying I've been a fan for awhile may be an understatement. Those not akin to the Pacific Northwest may not realize that TWIST has TWO locations, one in Seattle, WA and one in Portland, OR. Most are familiar with their popular website twistonline.com where people from around the world can shop their highly sought after curation of designer jewelry from the comfort of their home! I gush as I profess having a love affair with their newsletters. Anytime new designers are added or new pieces are added to their website, an eye-catching newsletter gets sent to my inbox, alerting me to check out what's new. And for TWIST, anything that they do is one step ahead of the curve. I learn of new, upcoming designers often from TWIST and love seeing how they curate their selection from all that is out there and available. Each piece is special, unique and often tells a story.

Walking into TWIST was like a fantasy becoming a reality. The store is located in Pacific Place shopping center, where some of the best shopping can be done in Seattle. A quick toss of the keys to the valet and off we were where five floors of shops awaited, TWIST being on level one. An aspect that defines TWIST since the beginning is their devotion to artists, so although jewelry now rules their main focus, some eclectic pieces of art (and although jewelry can be considered art) are still a part of the store. Items like sculptures, blown glass and pottery to be exact. Case in point, the giant penguin that stands majestically outside the storefront. It was created by artist Leo Sewell who transforms scrap metal and junk into fun animals. This piece has become iconic to the shop since first opening in 1999. 

The jewelry sprawls across multiple cases at TWIST, organized by designer and neatly displayed in artisan-made cases. Everyday pieces mixed in with one-of-a-kind, over-the-top...super cool alongside funky and chic, the jewelry is quite endless in terms of possibilities and truly such a fun shopping experience. The moment you think, "where is the engagement rings and bridal selection?," you stumble upon the tucked away bridal boutique that is just as unique as the rest of the store. Traditional mixed with alternative, with their favorite designers putting a spin on what they would consider bridal, this section reveals much to swoon over. Yes, there are diamonds, but there are also "rustic" diamonds, specially cut diamonds, inverted diamonds, fancy colored diamonds and so much more. I hope my photos above prepared you for some kickass jewelry!

Perusing the jewelry cases with Cullen, store manager and partner of TWIST, proved to be a Who's Who of the jewelry world. My favorite designers, pieces I've been coveting, and works of art I've had to stare at for a few minutes to grasp its amazingness, all in one place. Polly Wales and her masterfully-crafted jewelry set off one section of the store--both her staples and her most recent collection was displayed. I got to experience French designer Marie-Hélène de Taillac and her eye-popping colorful designs. She proves how color can be so fun and within one piece, a whole rainbow of spectral colors can be found. Arik Kastan, a brand I'm more than familiar with, was on display--but did you know they create an exclusive matte gold collection just for TWIST?! I've actually never seen it before because the pieces go straight to TWIST, so this was so great to see in person. It is funny how just changing one aspect, like the finish of the gold, can create a whole new look. And for the first time ever, I got to experience Judy Geib, a designer who hand-fabricates everything out of her Brooklyn studio. She is a phenomena in her own right, being self-taught, and on top of that, she mainly works with opals and emeralds, two of the most difficult gemstones to work with (very soft stones). There were SO many great designers featured, for a full list check out this link.

I don't think I can say enough positive things about TWIST, so I'm going to leave you with this idea--if you're in the area or planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest, make sure you visit either their Seattle or Portland locations. You could easily spend hours in here, so plan accordingly. (I also recommend the wine bar located at Pacific Place, Sixth Avenue Wine Sellers for before or after visiting!) ;) 

Thanks Cullen and TWIST for showing me some amazing designer jewelry while in Seattle on my #JewelryRoadTrip, I'll be catching up in the meantime via newsletter!

TWIST logo

Pacific Place, 600 Pine St #300

Seattle, WA 98101

(TWIST's other location, Portland, OR)

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Top Five Designer Jewelry Brands You NEED In Your Jewel Box

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There are so many pieces of jewelry out there! It is almost mind-boggling thinking about the number of options we have as consumers, along with all the push and pull we get from the media..."buy this," "save 50% on this," "check out this season's must-haves."  And with more and more celebrity endorsements and blogger sponsorships, you might not know who to turn to for advice anymore! 

Well, I've put together my current list for the Top Five Designer Jewelry Brands which you need in your jewel box--and these are chosen based on my own opinion.  This is not a sponsored blog post nor did I receive any compensation to choose any of these five designers! I simply think what they are doing right now is amazing and by adding any or all of these designers to your jewelry box will no doubt be an investment in more ways than one!

1. Buddha Mama Jewelry: I was really impressed after seeing all the new collections at this year's Couture show and truly floored by the vibrant colors, rich gold and enamel work, with enamel being a huge focus for the girls this year. I loved every bit of it!  When buying a piece from Buddha Mama, you can't really go wrong--they also have big and bold if that is your style, lots of statement pieces, some spiritual pieces and if color is your thing--tons of options!

>> My pick? I would go for either one of their shaker cuffs (of course custom fit, as no cuff ever fits me ) or one of their 20k Marquise pendants outfitted with a color combo that gives you the best zen vibes you can find.

2. Nancy Newberg Jewelry: I love this line of jewelry because it is one that you can put on with anything--jeans and t-shirt, ball gown, pajamas--and just works. The jewelry is sophisticated yet cool, refined yet slightly edgy. The rings you see in the photo above, those can be worn alone, with no other jewelry whatsoever, and you'd still be best dressed in terms of jewelry wherever you are.

>> My choice? Either the ring pictured in yellow gold or one of her newest domed ball rings.

3. Venyx: This stunning line by Eugenie Niarchos totally transports you to another world. The uniqueness of it alone puts it in the top five. If you like colorful, most of her designs will be the perfect addition to your jewelry box; color is a big part of her line. The black-light responsive enamel rings are really cool too. Bottom line, if you want something that will truly get people talking and curious as to the story behind a piece, then Venyx is for you.

>> My pick? Anything with a rainbow of gems will do, but if I had to choose, a Moonshell rainbow ring.

4. NC Rocks: A favorite newcomer of many, NC Rocks truly "rocked" it at Couture. Adding a piece from their collection to your jewelry box would be a smart thing to do, as I only see them growing and continually expanding their collection. Start now and continue collecting! Their enamel pieces are incredible--love the Art Deco inspired designs.

>> My choice? Either the middle ring I'm wearing in the above photo or the Venice ring.

5. Alison Lou Jewelry: Investing in a young and hip jewelry designer like Alison Lou is smart and her jewelry is worth every penny. Every jewelry box needs a piece when you look at it, it makes you smile. That's exactly what kind of jewelry Alison designs...whether it's a ring that features your favorite emoji, a pair of earrings delicately enameled in your favorite color, or a necklace that is personalized, her jewels are just as sentimental as they are trendy.

>> My fave? Her Wildflowers by the Yard necklace...or if you're more of a ring girl, any of her enamel eternity bands are amazing.

 

 

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? You may also enjoy reading these Q&A interviews.


Arik Kastan Launches New Designs at Couture

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Arik Kastan has been busy debuting some new designs and collections out in Vegas earlier this month! The team was so excited to show off new pieces in front of thousands of buyers, press and journalists.

Take a look at the photos here, taken at the tradeshow...can you spot the new designs?  New favorites?!

>> Didn't attend the event, no worries--here's some things you missed! 

Vegas Favorites

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

A padlock on a thin chain is all you need for a night out in Vegas! And this particular piece has a surprise--one side is moonstone, the other is labradorite. Hey, there's your day to night change-up right there! ;)

Double-sided padlock, Price: $2,398

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

We've added lapis to our lineup and have never looked back! Completely obsessed with how this deep, opaque blue looks with all that is trending in fashion right now. Don't forget to stack for full potential.

Signature Three-Stone ring in Lapis, Price: $990

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

We've got the case of the blues, in the best way possible--we've introduced a whole lineup of aquamarine beauties while in Vegas! As you can see, this one is gorgeous on its own or stacks nicely.

Oval Eternity band in aquamarine, Price: $1,240

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Feeling the summer heat over here in Vegas, which goes perfectly with our Blossom Stud earrings. We opted for the gemstone combo shown here, onyx and aquamarine--a little edgy, a little flirty. Definitely our kind of Vegas vibes.

Blossom Stud earrings, Price: $1,334

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

If we could have one wish out here in Vegas, it would be to spend some time by the pool! This ring will help with that--one glance leaves you feeling cooled off and in a tranquil state. Thanks turquoise and emeralds!

Pebble Stone ring, Price: $1,725

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Last but not least, we couldn't help but add a little spice to our repertoire with these earrings! Bold and beautiful, set with garnets in a floral motif. Turn heads with these babies on!

Stained Glass Drop earrings, Price: $1,496

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

The latest favorite TRIO, with two brand new designs--the MOSAIC band on the very top and COMPASS ring right below. Look out for them to hit the website soon! Can't wait? Email info@arikkastan.com

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Q & A with Shaesby Fine Jewelry 

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I love catching up with jewelry designers--seeing what's new, their latest collections and what tricks they have up their sleeve for the future. Shaesby Scott is a designer I've been keeping tabs on since 2011. I was even lucky enough to visit his studio on my #JewelryRoadTrip while in Austin, TX. From elongated lines to geometric shapes, Shaesby's jewelry all has one thing in common: it is instantly flattering. I can't get enough of his ring designs and after much deliberation, have finally decided on a pair of earrings for my own personal collection--stay tuned to see what I chose!

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Since we met last Spring, we’ve launched our celestial-inspired, mixed-metal Isla Collection, and now have several exciting projects in the works. Our new Diamond Slice Collection has just been released. It’s comprised of delicate earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings with one-of-a-kind slices of raw diamonds. Each piece is created with the most simple, hand-carved bezel design to showcase the natural beauty of each stone. They catch the light in a very unique way. We are also working on our new bridal collection, expected to launch in the coming months. Stay tuned...


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Austin has turned into a creative hot spot with many talented designers working in a variety of mediums. Inspiration can be found all around. We love calling Austin our creative community!

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Seeing my jewelry worn by others, each piece takes on a life of its own. Building and working alongside a team of extremely talented people I consider family.

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We want to continue adorning women with heirloom quality jewelry. We are extremely fortunate to have customers that value our craft and retail partners that share our passion for assisting in their selection. We will continue to push our creative process.

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A bolo tie my grandfather gave me.

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*Photography by Allison Smoler 

Q & A with Lisa Kim Fine Jewelry

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With each collection released and each encounter I have with Lisa Kim Fine Jewelry, I am more and more intrigued...spellbound, you could say. From the first concept of the lookbook (which I still have laid out like a coffee table best seller) to her enchanting video launch depicting her vision and a glimpse into her world, Lisa Kim strikes again, this time debuting a new collection called The Seabeast. The concept and inspiration will leave you curious to see what is next and the new pieces are gorgeous. Highly wearable ear climbers, earrings, necklaces and a unique ring make up The Seabeast collection. If you're like me, you want to know more about the pieces and some insights into the designer, so here you go! Hope you enjoy:

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My boyfriend and I love to cook. We were in the kitchen making dinner one day several months ago when he told me about the cockentrice, which originated from the Middle Ages in Europe. A suckling pig and a capon were sewn together to create a whole new beast that was roasted and served on a platter. This was culinary drama designed to amaze and delight guests while feeding them. The idea of a creature made of different parts stuck in my head and it shaped the story behind The Seabeast. Mythological beasts are mash-ups anyway; the unicorn is a horse with a horn, the manticore is a lion with a human head, rows of shark-like teeth, bat wings, and a scorpion tail.

I offer different iterations of the same animal in The Seabeast. The initial release features pendants and earrings that are fusions of scales, fins, waves, and shark teeth. I always like to leave some interpretation up to the viewer so I tend to steer away from literal design; but with this collection I felt compelled to design The Eye of The Beast, which is a departure for me. There are other pieces in the collection with ferocious teeth and spines like the ones you find on crab shells and conch shells.

Did Leviathan really exist? Was there a Kraken that smashed ships to their doom? Did the Midgard Serpent truly wrap itself around the world? Is it still there? Could it be that these myths and tall tales were about one and the same creature that has ruled the deepest and the most secret parts of the Earth all this time? Science would tell us otherwise, but we can't really say for certain that this creature is pure fiction. I like to think that this beast once lived and that its parts were scattered. Once re-assembled, it will live again. I aim to suspend your disbelief. I want you to possess a piece of this creature and take on its power and believe that it is real.

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From an early age I would draw and write stories while listening to music. This led me to my first career as a storyboard artist in animation. It was a fun occupation for sure but I never stopped dreaming stories of heroes in my fantasy world.

I was still working in animation when I signed up for a wax carving course at a small jewelry school here in L.A. One month into the course I committed to becoming a jewelry designer and business owner. I quit my job in 2011.

I took a bench jeweler course at the school. In the following year I interned for fashion designer Michael Schmidt where I got to work on some amazing metal projects for pop artists. After that I went to work for Tony Swatton, a blacksmith, bladesmith, leatherworker, costumer - a truly remarkable maker of all things. If you’ve watched film and tv in the past thirty years, chances are you’ve seen his work. (Remember the Vikings from the Capital One commercials? Tony made all of their gear.) Michael and Tony are two very different guys but they had one thing in common: They made incredible accessories that punched up a performer’s onstage presence. I came away from these places feeling really empowered by the things we worked on. I really wanted to create that feeling with statement fine jewelry.

I had the fortune of studying chasing and repoussé under European masters Valentin Yotkov and Davide Bigazzi. Chasing and repoussé are ancient metalworking techniques that allowed me to create my signature cuff bracelets that remind everyone of Wonder Woman. My bracelets are made by hand using tools and thousands of hammer blows. It’s a more efficient use of metal compared to casting - this means I can go pretty large with my designs and they remain surprisingly light in weight.

I am a member of AGTA and I serve as Communications Chair at WJA Los Angeles. In 2013 I received the Carelle-WJA Grant in Honor of Brooke Tivol McGrath. This was a cash grant of $5,000 that allowed me to produce a look book with my first collection that helped me establish the look of my brand. I feel incredibly blessed to have received this aid from WJA.

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Selling my first piece – a custom rubelite ring in 18k gold. My passion lies in bespoke pieces for fierce and independent women. You know who they are –they’re the ones who speak up and turn heads whenever they enter a room.

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I aim to grow this collection over the coming months. You can expect to see more parts of the beast. There will be one-of-a-kinds with colored stones, pearls, and diamonds.

I would like to partner with more retailers. Consumer values have been changing a lot these past few years and retailers have had to evolve with this. I strongly believe brick-and-mortar stores are still incredibly important despite the rise of e-commerce. Women know what they want more than ever before. They will always want a place where they can experience jewelry in person and connect with it.

From the very beginning my goal has been to create magic in metal. This is my raison d’être. Running a business involves wearing all kinds of hats which I love, but at the end of the day all I want is bad-ass jewelry for our bad-ass selves.

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My cavansite ring. It’s the one piece I made for myself so far. It looks magical and everyone always asks about it. It has heft like all my other designs. My pieces aren’t just pleasing to look at - they have to feel substantial and luxurious, too. My jewelry has presence just like the women who wear it.

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This post was brought to you in collaboration with Lisa Kim Fine Jewelry.

 

Lisa Kim Fine Jewelry

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Check out Diamonds in the Library, who also is featuring the new collection today as well!