Ear Cuffs in Earnest

For Millennials, the return of ear cuffs may feel reminiscent of the 90′s when grunge, goth, and punk revival made spike or skull and crossbones ear cuffs practically de rigueur.  While I can just squeak into the Millennials basket (I hop in and out depending on whether it suits my current mindset and stance in a discussion naturally), my study of jewelry history has made it possible for me to disassociate ear cuffs with the grunge movement and hence, embrace them far more readily.

Ear cuffs can be dated back to the ancient Greeks, they were a favored adornment of the aristocracy and widely worn as a symbol of affluence.  Ear cuffs were also worn by the indigenous people of Mexico, Thailand, and India many centuries ago.  In the 1950′s, costume jewelry designer, Marcel Boucher, coined the term “earrite” for another type of ear cuff which wraps around the ear.

While both ear cuffs and earrites are gaining momentum in the arena of aural accoutrement, it seems that Mr. Boucher’s earrites are stealing the show–they first started trickling down the fashion pipeline during the Spring/Summer 2013 shows at Rodarte and Jason Wu but mark my words, this little trend is just taking root.  Hit it early and you may be able to get some quality time with your blinged-out ear cuffs and earrites before every blogger want-to-be starts plastering their social media with their sparkling elfin ears.

Fine Jewelry

Ear Cuffs in EarnestAna Khouri, Mirian 18-karat white gold diamond ear cuff; available here.

Ear Cuffs in EarnestNikos Koulis, white gold and white diamond Fontana ear cuff; available here.

Ear Cuffs in Earnest

Izel, 14-karat gold diamond ear cuff; available here.

Costume Jewelry

Ear Cuffs in Earnest

Ryan Storer, Swarovski crystal ear cuff; available here.

Ear Cuffs in Earnest

Ryan Storer, Swarovski crystal ear cuff; available here.

Ear Cuffs in EarnestEmanuele Bicocchi, flower ear cuff; available here.

Ear Cuffs in Earnest

Givenchy, crystal and mother-of-pearl ear cuff; available here.Ear Cuffs in EarnestBjorg, silver ear cuff; available here.

Ear Cuffs in Earnest

Vicki Sarge, gold-plated Swarovski crystal ear cuffs; available here.

Ear Cuffs in Earnest

Ryan Storer, rose gold-plated Swarovski crystal and pearl ear cuffs; available here.

Look for Less

 

Ear Cuffs in EarnestBaubleBar, winged crystal ear cuff; available here.

Ear Cuffs in EarnestBaubleBar, crystal Orion ear cuff; available here.

Ear Cuffs in EarnestBaubleBar, Hermes ear cuff; available here.

Ear Cuffs in EarnestJewelIQ, laurel ear cuff; available here.

Someone should make hearing aids for women this pretty…just a thought.

Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,

JZP

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Hard Core Jewelry Storage: So Much More than a Jewelry Box

I am constantly inundated with questions about the best jewelry box on the market, how to best store and organize one’s jewelry, etc.  I admit, up until now I really did not have a good answer.  I’ve acquired many a jewelry box only to find them impractical and much too small.  Jewelry trees topple over and look messy, and let’s be honest, have you seen my jewelry?!?!  I have a penchant for enormous costume pieces and well, unless I convert a coat stand into a jewelry tree, they will hardly fit on your run-of-the-mill jewelry stand from the Container Store.  I’ve tried the little acrylic boxes but then unless you are about to create a Dewey decimal system to organize your pieces, good luck finding that particular pair of earrings in the morning as you’re running around putting yourself together.

One day a girlfriend of mine told me she was buying a toolbox for her jewelry.  I suspect she meant a 2 foot by 3 foot toolbox but naturally I was inspired to take it to the next level.  Enter: the roller cabinet.  What is a roller cabinet you ask?  It is a giant cabinet with wheels where real men (the ones who can build you a walk-in closet and fix things like cars and motorcycles) keep their tools.  They are generally found in tool sheds, garages and man caves but guess what?  One found its way into my bedroom.  The drawers are shallow and many–perfect for storing one’s jewelry.

Hard Core Jewelry Storage: So Much More than a Jewelry Box

Hard Core Jewelry Storage: So Much More than a Jewelry Box
Hard Core Jewelry Storage: So Much More than a Jewelry Box Hard Core Jewelry Storage: So Much More than a Jewelry Box

Hard Core Jewelry Storage: So Much More than a Jewelry Box

Hard Core Jewelry Storage: So Much More than a Jewelry Box

Hard Core Jewelry Storage: So Much More than a Jewelry Box

Hard Core Jewelry Storage: So Much More than a Jewelry BoxThere is minimal assembly required and the wheels are optional–I chose not to put the wheels on mine.  All you have to do is take it out of the box and line the drawers with contact paperHard Core Jewelry Storage: So Much More than a Jewelry Box.

Now you don’t necessarily have to go quite so large, here are a few smaller options:

Hard Core Jewelry Storage: So Much More than a Jewelry Box

 

Table top tool box; available here.

Hard Core Jewelry Storage: So Much More than a Jewelry Box

And in red here.

Hard Core Jewelry Storage: So Much More than a Jewelry Box

There is the 6 drawer option with wheels; available here.

Hard Core Jewelry Storage: So Much More than a Jewelry Box

And a super high-tech one; available here.

The best part?  It seems handy macho men are just as afraid of tool theft as we are of jewel theft so every toolbox and roller cabinet locks.  So regardless of whether you use them for costume jewelry or fine jewelry, they will be safe and sound.  Obviously, I would bolt down the smaller toolboxes (especially if you are storing fine jewelry) and I would still keep the really valuable jewels in a safe, but for every day use, let’s just say every girl should own a toolbox.

Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,

JZP

New Year Wishes

In 2014 may all my DMD darlings be formidable enough to live unapologetically, brave enough to love fearlessly, wise enough to recognize happiness, naive enough to want to make a difference in the world, humble enough to be grateful for what one has, insightful enough to know what one wants, and hungry enough to to go out and get it.

Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,
JZP

What to Wear to Holiday Parties?

 

I look forward to the holiday season every year–full of festivities, lights, family, friends, and presents.  However with the aggressive holiday party circuit, it is inevitable that we tend to sleep too little, eat too much, and drink more than our fair share of holiday cheer; and when one is groggy, puffy, and feeling a little worse for the wear, the question of “what am I going to wear?” may feel like an insurmountable mountain.  Not only does the outfit have to be festive and event-appropriate, we also have to worry about running into people in repeat outfits.  The easy solution is to have a few solid outfits that make you feel like you can run into an ex boyfriend at an event and leave him reeling; and a few high-impact holiday jewelry options that will change the look of the outfit.

The Holidays are a time of year when we all push the envelope a little bit more and swathe ourselves in that extra bit of bling (at least I do).  Now, I take no issue with going over the top with one’s jewelry (obviously) but I do believe that there is a fine line between gaudy-glam and gaudy-gauche.  If you’re going to go overboard, go holiday-windows-at-Bergdorf’s-overboard and not National-Lampoon’s-Christmas-Vacation-overboard.

Not like this. . .What to Wear to Holiday Parties?

Like this!
What to Wear to Holiday Parties?

1. Tell a Subtle Story

Feel like channeling a snowflake?  Go ahead.  Pile on the diamonds, crystals, etc. but think about what you’re trying to achieve and exercise good judgement.  Your jewelry doesn’t have to come from the same set (actually it’s preferable if it doesn’t) but there should be a cohesive story that is not so obvious that the jewelry wears you.  For example, the three pieces below are from different labels but they all feature navette (or marquis) shaped stones–visually, the look is appealing but not too literal.

What to Wear to Holiday Parties?

Kenneth Jay Lane, Waterfall earrings; available here.What to Wear to Holiday Parties?

Net-a-porter, Hello Sweetie necklace; available here.What to Wear to Holiday Parties?

Jenny Packham, Navette bracelet; available here.

2. Kitsch Never Looked Sexy on Anyone

Menorah earrings, christmas tree brooches, Santa’s sexy helper outfit–you get the idea.  Don’t do it.

3.  Know When and What to Pull Back

If you intend to wear a lot of eye catching jewelry then dial down your outfit a touch.  Tons of jewelry plus a jeweled neckline and jeweled pumps is overkill.  If you are wearing an outfit with a lot of layers or patterns then simple jewelry is best.  You can still wear a big piece of jewelry (or two) if it is monochromatic or minimalist.  You don’t have to trade size for simplicity; but choose a piece of jewelry that is simple enough to serve as a solid anchor for a loud outfit.

4.  Be Comfortable

Everything I wear, no matter how outrageous, must be comfortable.  Earrings shouldn’t pinch, necklaces shouldn’t leave an imprint, rings shouldn’t snag stockings, etc.  This also applies to one’s style.  If you are not comfortable in loud statement pieces, then don’t wear them.  When someone wears something they are not comfortable with or in, the strain and effort is visible which renders the entire exercise useless–no one looks their best whilst suffering.

Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,

JZP

JAR-Zebra-brooch-crafted-from-banded-agate-diamonds-silver-and-gold-from-1987.

Jewels by JAR at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

I am often moved to tears by pieces of jewelry from the past.  The irrational effort and passion of the designer, the otherworldly amount of skill of the jeweler, the serendipity that wove the fate of gem, precious metal, and wearer together.  But seldom am I moved to tears by the work of a contemporary jewelry designer.  There is only one living designer whose jewelry can makes believers of us all–Joel A. Rosenthal the creator of JAR.

JAR is like an underground cult, a secret society.  Few will have heard of it and even fewer will have the privilege of owning a piece.  However, amongst serious jewelry connoisseurs–people who revere jewelry as an art form, those who float in the heady dream that a spectacular piece conjures, those who believe in the integrity of master artisans–JAR reigns supreme.

From November 20, 2013 until March 9, 2014, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will exhibit over four hundred pieces of jewelry by Joel A. Rosenthal.  It will be the first retrospective of the designer’s work in America and he will be the first contemporary “gem artist” exhibited at the Met.

Jewels by JAR at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

JAR Tulip Brooch 2008 with diamond and ruby*

 

Jewels by JAR at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

JAR Diamond Bracelet 2010*

Jewels by JAR at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

JAR Zebra Brooch 1987 crafted from banded agate, diamonds, silver and gold*

Jewels by JAR at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

JAR Geranium brooch 2007 Diamonds, aluminum, silver, gold Private Collection*

Most of the pieces being exhibited are on loan from their owners.  Imagine the pangs of anxiety they will feel when they reach in their safes for a piece only to remember that it is beyond their reach.

For those who cannot make it to the Met for the exhibit or for those who want to keep a piece of JAR in their homes, one can purchase the coffee table book hereJewels by JAR at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I leave you with a quote from the designer:

“Unlike beauty, art and luxury are possessable, but beyond, the opposite of sleep, indifference, and imitation.  They do not care about perspective, nor does passion.  These three, beauty, art, and luxury, are inseparable from happiness.

Jewels are for the passing possessor and onlooker, both the epitome of now, the breath breathed as they sparkle, and that promise of more, of more time.”

- Joel A. Rosenthal

 

Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,

JZP

*Photos courtesy of The Jewellery Editor, B-JEWELED, and Jewels du Jour