Tagged: Hobé

Travel: What Jewelry to Bring to an Urban Jungle


I’m leaving for Shanghai tomorrow and no, of course I haven’t started packing yet!  I usually start planning for any trip by making lists of things I want to bring and then waking up at the crack of dawn to place everything in a suitcase.  In light of my insane travel schedule, I thought it would be fun to pen a travel section.  In upcoming posts I’m going to cover what to bring to which destinations, how to pack the jewelry so it doesn’t get lost/stolen/broken, and what jewelry to buy while abroad!  GASP!  So fun!

Let us start today then shall we, with packing for an urban jungle. . .Shanghai.  Shanghai, for those of you who have never been is just like NYC except more colorful, more densely packed with people AND with better Chinese food!  When I’m in Shanghai my day ranges from meetings with clients (we don’t actually produce in China, all our jewelry is designed and made in NYC so my meetings in Asia are generally client development), marketing firms, yoga with my dear friend “Tang Tai Tai” (Jewish UES New Yorker who graduated Spence, had a career in law and is now a yoga teacher–go figure), drinks dinner drinks dinner dancing with my “Eddie” (best friend, if you follow AbFab, I’m Pats, she’s Eddie, you get the picture) and somewhere in there I inevitably find myself dressed to the nines, dangling off the back of a gypsy peasant motorcycle decked in diamonds and trying to keep my stilettos from getting caught in the wheels (I sit side-saddle as ANY lady would).  I will try to get a pic of that one.  So, there is a whole slew of situations for which I have to accessorize.  Lets begin with the necessary evils:

1) Diamond Stud earrings: These are my every day earrings, they are conservative and truly go with everything.  Heaven forbid I should leave the house without earrings!  These are for business meetings with service providers, marketing, branding, etc. etc. where I don’t want to be too flashy–people tend to overcharge you when you’re too flashy and we can’t have that!  These are on my ears, so not in the photo.

2) Pink Diamond Earring Jackets: to give the studs a little more oomph! in case I’m meeting with a client.  Never outshine a client but we are taste-makers and trend-setters so we must dress the part.

3) Pair of diamond statement earrings: elegant, slightly decadent for “work dinners” but not enough to get me mugged or kidnapped by the gypsy motorcycle driver.

4) Pair of Statement Designer Costume Earrings: Here the motto is GO BIG OR GO HOME!  For nights out with the girls, parties, dancing so you can have a proper rager without worrying about losing bajillion dollar earrings.  Slap these on and have at it!  The ones shown here with multicolored rhinestones and pearls are vintage Hobé.

5) I don’t tend to pack rings when I travel because rings are very particular to an outfit.  I just stick to my wedding band and my three J&A bubble rings in white, yellow and pink diamonds/gold which I stack if I want to be conservative or wear as knuckle dusters for a little more emphasis.  I would suggest, bring the rings you wear every day and stick to that.  Rings are also notoriously easy to lose on hotel room side tables if you’re not weary so save yourself the fuss.

6) Necklace: I go for two statement necklaces one gold and one silver the two shown here are both from J.Crew.  This will generally cover me for most situations and give any outfit that little extra.  I used to pack my Sent Murano glass necklaces but I decided it’s not worth risking breakage since mine is the old version with GIANT size glass bubbles which has been discontinued and the one sold now has significantly smaller bubbles.

7) Bracelets: I don’t think I can live without bracelets.  In my arsenal I always have by J&A Star bangles (19 of them), some sort of Hermes leather bracelet, I’ve been wearing my J&A 20k gold elephant charm necklace as a bracelet these days (his name is Moe my lucky elephant) so that’s on there, a white vintage Monet enamel bracelet and a new Murano glass bracelet from the Sent sisters.

Travel: What Jewelry to Bring to an Urban Jungle
My Shanghai Travel Arsenal. There's Moe, my elephant in the top left corner. He has diamond eyes.

Alright my DMD darlings.  I will be posting on the road with loads of pics from the Hai so until the next one. . .

Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,




I’m Not Old, I’m Vintage Costume Jewelry!

To collective dismay of my father and husband (my father because he would rather I wore “real jewelry” and my husband because I’ve found yet another exy thing to “collect”), I’ve recently begun hoarding curating vintage designer costume jewelry (“VDC”).  By now you know that I do not discriminate against jewelry–if it’s beautiful and shiny I’ll take it!  I love vintage costume jewelry (sometimes more than new costume jewelry) because the quality is just so much better as a whole than costume jewelry made today.  VDC was often made with the same techniques as fine jewelry and most of it was made by hand whereas today most costume jewelry is made by machine.  I sometimes bemoan industrialization for exactly this reason—where is the art-factor when its made in an assembly line? Grrrr.  Exy and exclusive is always better than mass market.

First, a little history.  Costume jewelry was born out of necessity.  Towards the end of World War I, metals were in short supply and even if you could afford precious stones during wartime you probably valued your life and wouldn’t go around buying or wearing precious jewelry; so designers had to improvise with other materials.  Coco Chanel was one of the first designers to make costume jewelry out of non-precious materials such as glass, bakelite, gold-plated metals, etc.  Soon costume jewelry started trending and it’s been with us ever since.

If you follow fashion at all, you would have realized that designer costume jewelry is back in a big way.  Thanks Lehman Bros and leveraged debt!  No shame in it at all.  Actually, I’ve realized that vintage costume jewelry from certain designers have actually gone up in value.  So I am of the opinion that if you enjoy it and you share in my belief that “more is more,” go ahead and invest in some excellent quality pieces for your collection.  Don’t start hallucinating about moth balls and crocheted doilies!  Not all vintage jewelry looks like it fell out of grandma’s dentures cabinet.  Here are two pair of earrings from my personal collection that I absolutely swoon over.  Funky, hip and totally au courant.

Im Not Old, Im Vintage Costume Jewelry!
Hobé foxtail clip-on earrings, JZP’s personal collection.
Im Not Old, Im Vintage Costume Jewelry!
Hollycraft rhinestone and seed pearl earrings from 1951, JZP’s personal collection.

Of the vintage costume jewelry houses of the 20th Century, here is a small list of the ones I am most fond of (judging by design, quality, and whimsy):

Coco Chanel

Elsa Schiaparelli

Miriam Haskell



Trifari (aka Crown Trifari, KTF Trifari)

Mazer Bros.

Jomaz (by Joseph Mazer of the Mazer Bros.)


Joseff of Hollywood






Stanley Hagler


Zoe Coste (from the 80’s because remember: Everything before 1993 is considered vintage)

Marcel Boucher

Larry Vrba

How do you know if its authentic?  How much should you pay for it? Where do you get it?  Ahhh, my darlings, those are topics for another post.  Until then. . .

Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,