Category: Costume Jewelry: Contemporary

Double-Sided Earrings: Being Two-Faced Has Never Looked So Good

The next time a guy uses the lame line, “I hate to see you go but I love to watch you leave,” you can take it as a compliment about your new double-sided earrings.  This jewelry trend is nothing short of a godsend for all ladies of excess.  Why only accessorize a single side of one’s ear when one can bling out both?  Jewelry designers are embracing this idea by turning the boring earring back into a jewel in its own right–when worn, both the earring and the earring back is visible thereby transforming our little lobes into double-sided display vehicles.  Swoon!

Double Sided Earrings: Being Two Faced Has Never Looked So GoodBaubleBar Crystal tri-pod ear jackets; available here.

Double Sided Earrings: Being Two Faced Has Never Looked So GoodBaubleBar Cairo Ear Jackets; available here.

Double Sided Earrings: Being Two Faced Has Never Looked So Good

BaubleBar Pave Spike 360 Studs; available here.
Double Sided Earrings: Being Two Faced Has Never Looked So GoodBaubleBar Teardrop Reverse Studs; available here.

Double Sided Earrings: Being Two Faced Has Never Looked So GoodGivenchy Double-Sided Earrings; available here.

Double Sided Earrings: Being Two Faced Has Never Looked So Good

Maria Black Double-Sided Earrings; available here.Double Sided Earrings: Being Two Faced Has Never Looked So Good

Givenchy Double-Sided Earrings; available here.

Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,

JZP

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

Costume Jewelry vs. Fine Jewelry

 

Most costume jewelry designers will tell you that there is no need for fine jewelry and almost all fine jewelry designers will tell you that costume jewelry is garbage.  My jewelry tyrant father, having been a veteran in the high-end fine jewelry business for over 30 years, frequently throws his arms up in exasperation when I saunter into the office wearing costume jewelry.  My personal stance on the issue of costume jewelry vs. fine jewelry is that each serves a different purpose so I collect both.  Let it never be said that JZP discriminates against costume jewelry!  Here is the rationale:

Costume jewelry is made with crystal, glass, plastic, acrylic, and base metals.  As a result, it is more affordable than fine jewelry.  Keep in mind that designer costume jewelry these days often will run up to a few thousands dollars so it’s not necessarily cheap.  However, as we’ve seen from Barbara Berger’s collection, costume jewelry can be highly collectible as well.  Due to the cheaper cost of materials, costume jewelry designers can go all out and over the top so most of the costume jewelry that you will see are statement pieces.  Another characteristic of costume jewelry is that the styles tend to embody the trend of the moment.  I buy trendy styles in costume jewelry because I know that I won’t feel guilty if the piece looks dated next season and is cast aside, whereas a $20,000 diamond encrusted skull or piglet-shaped ring may not be the wisest investment for the long-term.

Costume Jewelry vs. Fine Jewelry

 

Lulu Frost, solar wave necklace; available here.

Fine jewelry is about love, timelessness, significance, and investment.  Love–one purchases fine jewelry out of love whether it be love for oneself, for the recipient, or love of the piece of jewelry.  It is something you can see yourself wearing for a long time–something that will give you warm fuzzy feelings whenever you look at it or receive a compliment on it.  A gorgeous piece of fine jewelry can signify a milestone in life (engagement, marriage, the birth of a child, a birthday), a milestone in one’s career (I got a promotion so will treat myself to something significant), or even a mental milestone (I’m going to take better care of myself).  Gems, diamonds, and precious metals like silver, gold or platinum will always appreciate in value if they are high quality.

Costume Jewelry vs. Fine Jewelry

 

Roberto Coin, rose gold and diamond pave bangle; available here.

Which leads me to my don’ts:

1. Don’t buy costume jewelry that is meant to pass for fine jewelry–if you’re going to buy costume, go for a statement piece and be unabashed about the fact that it is costume jewelry.  Costume jewelry that is masquerading as fine jewelry is easily detectable and may lead to bouts of paranoia.

2.  Don’t buy low quality fine jewelry–I’m not saying everyone can afford or has to buy exorbitantly expensive fine jewelry.  However, you should always buy something that doesn’t look or feel cheap to you.  This is about your expectations and standards not anyone else’s.  Don’t settle for lower quality in materials or workmanship than you are accustomed to.

Costume jewelry should be fun and fine jewelry should be extravagant–one is a cupcake and the other a soufflé.  There is a time and place for both.

Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,

JZP

Costume Jewelry: The Barbara Berger Collection

 

OK, get ready to dork out with me.  Barbara Berger, daughter to a diamond dealer, has amassed a collection of costume jewelry 4,000+ pieces strong and a selection of the Barbara Berger collection is currently on display at the Museum of Art and Design in NYC.  My mind is literally reeling at the prospect that someone else out there loves costume jewelry as much as I do to have curated such a collection.  The next thought that popped into my head is that I have to track down Ms. Berger and trade storage tips.

In her interview with W magazine (and in every interview I’ve ever read about her) she is asked why the daughter of a diamond dealer collects costume jewelry.  Such a ridiculous question.  Costume jewelry and fine jewelry are totally different beasts and serve different masters.  Costume jewelry worships at the altar of fanciful and massive whereas fine jewelry is the commander of rarity and value.  Totally different from design, technique, and aesthetic perspectives.  People who don’t realize that distinction are those who either do not care for jewelry or those who buy costume jewelry that is intended to mimic real gems and precious stones–faux pas.  I can’t resist a tangent on the horrors of buying boring costume jewelry in an effort to pass it as fine jewelry.  A) You’re not fooling anyone worth fooling and B) grow some cojones–if you’re going to buy costume, go for the most frivolous, massive, gorgeously jaw dropping piece you can find. Costume jewelry was not invented in order to pass for real jewelry; it was invented because the crazy shit that people wanted to make would be too cost-prohibitive to make with real gems and precious metals.

OK, back to Barbara Berger’s massive costume jewelry collection that is on exhibit at the Museum of Art and Design in NYC until January 20, 2014.  It is exactly what costume jewelry should be.  Vintage Trifari, Gripoix, and Boucher pieces are shown alongside contemporary favorites (of mine) Iradj Moini, Lawrence Vrba, and Daniel von Weinberger.  Here is a sneak peek:

Costume Jewelry: The Barbara Berger CollectionMaison Gripoix (circa 2000), France.  Feather bib necklace. Feathers, poured glass, simulated pearls, rhinestones, gold-plated. ©Pablo Esteva

Costume Jewelry: The Barbara Berger Collection

Iradj Moini (1995), United States.  Lobster brooch. Czech and Austrian stones, silver plated. Signed Iradj Moini. ©Pablo Esteva

If you can, go see the exhibit before September 22, 2013 as a portion of it will close.  If can’t make it to New York for a viewing, you can view all the pieces in Fashion Jewelry, The Collection of Barbara BergerCostume Jewelry: The Barbara Berger Collection.

Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,

JZP

Fall 2013 Jewelry Trends: Go for Baroque

With NY Fashion Week looming it is very easy to get swept up in next years trends and then become frustrated that nothing is yet in stores.  Well, at least that is what happens to me as patience is not a virtue that I possess in plenitude.  Let this post then serve as a reminder to us all that we only need to look ahead to next season, fall 2013 that is, and not next year quite yet.

Gold was big last year, sleek minimalist forms prevailed–but for this coming season it’s all about Baroque or rocaille-inspired gilding.  We will see a lot of lacy flourishes, filigree, jewel tones, and ornamental scrollwork.  It’s all about hyper-feminine accents that remind us of how much fun it is indeed to be a woman and will encourage us to be perhaps a little less apologetic about being driven by our whims and flights of fancy.

Fall 2013 Jewelry Trends: Go for BaroqueDolce & Gabbana earrings; available here.

Fall 2013 Jewelry Trends: Go for Baroque

Dolce & Gabbana necklace; available here.

Now I know that in the past I’ve ranted and raved about how much I despise matchy-matchy jewelry.  Let me clarify that the prior statement applies to boring sets of jewelry–think matching heart pendant and earrings from generic jewelry chain store.  There is no black letter rule when it comes to matching jewelry–use your best judgement.  I happen to think that if one is drawing inspiration from Baroque or Rococo periods anyway, then one might as well go full force and do it up with as much jewelry as you have the strength to carry.  So yes, matching allowed here although not obligatory.

It is also perfectly acceptable to put together such a look without purchasing a matching set of jewelry.  As with the two earring options, necklace and cuff below, either earring pairing would work–just make sure the period and themes are accurate and there is an interplay of colors between the pieces.  Note also that the cuff pairs well with the pieces below but would be out-of-place with the Dolce & Gabbana set above.  This is because the set above is technically more Baroque-inspired and the pieces below are more Rococo-inspired but the easier way to make the distinction is in the patterns of the jewelry.  The pieces above play on symmetry and geometry whereas the pieces below are more fluid and asymmetric so naturally the cuff would work better with the latter, it being in the same vein.

Fall 2013 Jewelry Trends: Go for BaroquePercossi Papi gold-plated multi-stone earrings; available here.

Fall 2013 Jewelry Trends: Go for Baroque

Bijoux Heart earrings; available here.Fall 2013 Jewelry Trends: Go for Baroque

Rosantica agate and opal necklace; available here.

Fall 2013 Jewelry Trends: Go for Baroque

Emilio Pucci engraved gold-tone cuff; available here.

Fall 2013 Jewelry Trends: Go for Baroque

Oscar de la Renta earrings; available here.Fall 2013 Jewelry Trends: Go for Baroque

Oscar de la Renta necklace; available here.

No need to go full-on Marie Antoinette in your garb with these gilded accouterments (although, I won’t be the one to stop you); you’d be surprised how good this type of jewelry pairs with a monochrome sheath dress or perhaps a little peplum number.  Experiment, play a little; do a few twirls around your apartment or while washing the dishes to see if you feel comfortable in the look.  If all else fails, tweet a pic at me (@jeanzpoh).

Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,

JZP