Tagged: jzp

Accessorizing Like A Villain: Cruella Deville

 

I mean really my DMD darlings, HOW am I supposed to resist?  Villains have fabulous style and they know how to accessorize!  I’m not sure what it is that gives every evildoer I can think of such an amazing fashion sense, but I suspect it has to do with not being bothered about repercussions or the opinions of society.  Let us all take-in a few lessons from our favorite villains:

There is no earring too large (Monica Bellucci as the Mirror Queen).  See my post about the airbrushing effects of earrings here.

 

Accessorizing Like A Villain: Cruella Deville

 

Belts make even the simplest outfit look put together (Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy).

 

Accessorizing Like A Villain: Cruella Deville

 

Headdresses lend a sense of occasion to any outfit (Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna).

 

Accessorizing Like A Villain: Cruella Deville

 

The bigger the collar the higher the cheekbones (Malifecent from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty).

 

Accessorizing Like A Villain: Cruella Deville

 

Use a statement necklace to frame your face (Ursula from The Little Mermaid).

 

Accessorizing Like A Villain: Cruella Deville

 

Who needs technicolor when you look fabulous in black and white?

 

Accessorizing Like A Villain: Cruella Deville

 

(Glenn Close as Cruella Deville)

 

Accessorizing Like A Villain: Cruella Deville

 

Look #24 Inspired by the delicious Cruella Deville:

Dress, Vivienne Westwood

Coat, Anne Fontaine

Necklace, Fallon

Earrings, vintage Joseph Mazer

Hat, Borsalino (similar one here)

Shoes, Diplille, Stuart Weitzman

 

Accessorizing Like A Villain: Cruella Deville

Accessorizing Like A Villain: Cruella Deville

Accessorizing Like A Villain: Cruella Deville

 

Muahahahahaha!!!  They are just so fluffy!!!

Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,

JZP

DIY Jeweled Buttons

 

Ladylike is the look to embrace this fall.  It seems designers are all waxing nostalgic for a bygone era with all the use of brocade, twill and absolutely massive jeweled buttons.  Sometimes I wonder if designers have ESP, or if it is the result of collusionary meetings in a suite at the Paris Ritz, “Lets push up the market price of jeweled buttons this year!”  However these patterns take hold, it is without doubt that you will be seeing blinged out buttons from Marc Jacobs/Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, Thakoon, I could go on.  . .

 

DIY Jeweled Buttons

Louis Vuitton, Fall 2012.  Photo courtesy of Style.com

DIY Jeweled Buttons

Louis Vuitton jeweled buttons, Fall 2012. Photo courtesy of Vogue.com

DIY Jeweled Buttons

Oscar de la Renta, Fall 2012. Photo courtesy of Style.com

DIY Jeweled Buttons

Chanel, Fall 2012. Photo courtesy of Vogue.com

DIY Jeweled Buttons

Oscar de la Renta, Fall 2012. Photo courtesy of Vogue.com

How do you know if your jeweled button look is totally au courant or a bit grannypants?  It depends on how you wear the outfit.  By no means should it be a head-to-toe look.  The second you take this trend too seriously and get overly enthusiastic, that’s when you’ve gone prematurely geriatric.  Pair one piece that has jeweled buttons with something completely unexpected like boyfriend jeans or leather pants.  Play with it, have fun, just don’t over-commit to the look.

For the curious commitment-phobe, you can always try DIY jeweled buttons on the pockets of a tweed jacket and see if it takes.  Here is what you need for a DIY:

1. Button covers

DIY Jeweled Buttons

 

2. High Epoxy Adhesive or Rubber Cement

3. Old Vintage Pin or Earring (preferably a broken one where the pin or earring back has already snapped off)

DIY Jeweled Buttons
Vintage enamel, faux pearl and rhinestone earring.

 

There is only one step: Glue the earring or pin onto the button cover.

DIY Jeweled Buttons

So easy even a home-ec flunky can do it.  Try not to glue your fingers together my DMD darlings.  . .if you do, try nail polish remover.

Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,

JZP

One Dress, 27 Looks: #21 Side-Swept Jewelry

 

The ability to change one LBD into 27 different looks depends in part, on having some good jewelry to accessorize your look with, but one’s jewelry collection is hardly what matters.  Creativity and a unique vision are so much more important.

Sometimes Many times, you will have to shove convention aside in order to make something a bit more interesting.  Pushing into the final stretch of the #JZPOneDressTest, I decided to wear the dress sideways for this particular look to change the structure and shape of the dress.  What was once the arm strap is now worn as a halter around my neck and the entire dress is thus, rotated 90 degrees–which lends itself to such an interesting draping effect don’t you agree?

For Look #21

Dress, Vivienne Westwood

Belt, Dolce & Gabbana

Vintage Pecking Glass Necklace, Joseph Mazer

Brass and Crystal necklace, J.Crew

Mother of Pearl and Diamond Ring, JZP

Shoes, Diplille, Stuart Weitzman

One Dress, 27 Looks: #21 Side Swept Jewelry

One Dress, 27 Looks: #21 Side Swept Jewelry

 Here are examples of the same dress worn normally, without rotation.

As for the jewelry, I chose to focus on the neckline and keep it relatively simple with a J.Crew Egyptian-revivial necklace, a vintage Joseph Mazer Peking glass necklace and a JZP cocktail ring made with mother of pear and diamonds, to pick up the color in the belt.

Do you have a look that you’re not sure about or an outfit you don’t know how to accessorize?  Feel free to ask me before you rock it by leaving a comment below or contacting me directly.

Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,

JZP

 

In Defense of Diamonds: Why Ira Weissman is Wasting His Time

 

There are times in one’s life when selfishness needs to be cast aside, when instincts of self-preservation are subjugated in order to defend one’s beliefs against a bully.  I came across diamond industry veteran, Ira Weissman’s, article “7 Reasons Why Diamonds are a Waste of Your Money” via Huffington Post Blog this week and felt an overwhelming need to right a wrong–to come to the defense of something that cannot defend itself from the inaccurate statements and sweeping generalizations made in Mr. Weissman’s article.

Reason #1

According to Mr. Weissman, “The most common misconception about engagement rings is that they’re some kind of ancient tradition that’s deeply embedded in human history in societies around the world. This is completely false.”  Well. . .actually, around the 2nd Century AD, the Romans first used rings as tokens of betrothal.  During that time, diamonds and colored stones were extremely popular and though diamond cutting techniques were not sophisticated, there is evidence showing that solitaire rough diamond rings did exist (See Black, J. Anderson, A History of Jewelry: Five Thousand Years (Park Lane 1981)).

I will acknowledge the fact that De Beers did propel the popularity of the engagement rings to its current height with some excellent marketing and ad campaigns, but let’s not make sweeping generalizations about “human history and societies around the world” without researching said histories and societies first, shall we?  History aside, assuming that the practice of presenting engagement rings to symbolize love, betrothal, and commitment, is a tradition that was developed over the last century, I still fail to see what Mr. Weissman is taking issue with.  America is a young country, and just like older civilizations before us, the creation of traditions and practices that hold sentimental significance is an integral part of the evolution of any culture.

Reason #2:

“Diamonds are not an investment — they are a retail product like any other.”  Now, Mr. Weissman, assuming that we are discussing finished jewelry rather than diamonds, which are a commodity, there are retail products that depreciate in value the second they leave the store, and there are luxury goods that increase in value based on the basic principles of market economics.  A Chevy Impala will be worth less the day after you drive it away from the dealership, but a limited edition Aston Martin, however, will likely retain its value pretty well, if not appreciate in value, as long as it’s well cared for.  Another prime example of a retail good that not only retains value, but appreciates, is the Hermes Birkin bag.  Point made.

I assume you would retort with something along the lines of, “Limited edition, sure.  But diamonds are mass-produced and readily available.”  I beg to differ.  Diamonds are a limited resource.  The sheer fact that it took the perfect combination of temperature and pressure for carbon to transform into diamond’s unique crystal structure over billions of years, hundreds of millions of years for the diamonds to be transported by kimberlite and lamproite from the earth’s mantle, through the process of emplacement, to the earth’s crust where they can be mined by humans, renders the diamond a rare and awe-inspiring phenomenon indeed.

I am not claiming that all diamonds are investment-grade.  Just like some investments make money and others fail, one must invest well for a diamond to appreciate in value.  I would never buy shares in any old company and expect for a 15% return in one year, or ever.  Would I buy a 2 carat, L colored, SI1 and call it an investment?  Of course not.  However, with proper investment advice, certain diamonds will appreciate in value.

Diamonds, just like any other investment have to be bought low and sold high.  There must be demand in the market and a rare, high-quality stone will appreciate in value like any other commodity over time.  Given the recent demand for diamonds in China and India, diamond prices increased by 10-20% in the first half of last year alone.  Appraisers are quite familiar with the increase in diamond value, which is why most will automatically add 15% to the appraisal value in order to arrive at the replacement value of a diamond.

Reason #3

Mr. Weissman then cites integrity of the diamond dealers and their willingness to engage in unsavory behavior in order to turn a profit as his third reason why diamonds are a waste of money.  Diamond dealers like Mr. Weissman sell to manufacturers, designers, and wholesalers, not directly to the consumer.  The diamond dealers margins are absorbed by the manufacturer or wholesaler as their cost of doing business.  Every stage of the industrial process has a built-in margin, everyone needs to make some money along the way.  To argue that profits should not be made by suppliers in the production chain suggests a naiveté about capitalism that I would find alarming coming from a diamond investment advisor.  On the other hand, if reason #3 was an attempt at undermining the integrity of other diamond dealers in an effort to drum up business for himself, I’m afraid Mr. Weissman’s efforts fall short as well.  Do we really expect the public to believe that a disenchanted and slightly bitter diamond dealer is going to forgo any profits in his own business dealings?  I think not.

Reasons #4-7

If I wasn’t sufficiently appalled by the unresearched blanket statement about the history of engagement rings made by Mr. Weissman earlier in his article, please consider me fully horrified by his reasons #4-7, which range from unsolicited lectures on fiscal responsibility to sweeping statements about men and women’s motivations behind buying or wanting an engagement ring, respectively.  He supposes that men buy rings to “prove their manhood” or to keep their girlfriends “quiet for another year about marriage” and women are merely seeking a diamond as proof that they are loved.  Such unfounded stereotypes are about as insightful as those of a high school psychology student with a penchant for watching reality TV.  Perhaps reasons #4-7 clawed away at Mr. Weissman’s inner dialogue when he was proposing to his (poor) wife, but I have more faith in society than to assume they are all weak-minded sheep with inferiority complexes who can be herded en mass into the abyss in search of a little blue box.

For me, engagements rings remain a beautiful gesture.  If a man loves a woman enough to want to make her happy by purchasing a rare gem because she thinks its stunning, and if he is selfless enough to spend (whatever the amount) on a gift for her, rather than on himself, that is something worthy of praise, not ridicule.  As for the women, I doubt many of us would condemn ourselves to a lifetime with a horrid man we couldn’t stand purely for the sake of a diamond.  In case you didn’t get the memo, women are quite capable of funding their own diamonds nowadays.  So if the sparkly ring on our finger reminds us of how we fell in love and the man we fell in love with, I would say it’s money well spent.

I am a big proponent of loving what you do and believing in what you sell.  I left a career as a corporate lawyer in order to pursue my passions, jewelry, design, fashion and diamonds.  It is because I love what I do that I urge clients to make informed decisions by discussing things to consider before buying your first diamond, or the truth about conflict diamonds.  I would never sell something I felt resentment towards, nor would I hold my potential clients in such low regard.

Quite frankly, Mr. Weissman, if you are so disenchanted with your profession, perhaps the more effective solution would be to pursue another trade, rather than trying to fashion for yourself a niche as the “diamond Cassandra.”  After all, in life as in the purchase of diamonds, it is not the money that matters in the long-run, it’s the joy that one derives from the process and the relationships that one builds, that make for a life of fulfillment.

Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,

JZP

In Defense of Diamonds: Why Ira Weissman is Wasting His Time


Wrist-Wear for the Wispy

 

Oh, how I envy women with big hands and long limbs that extend ad infinitum!  Bangles look so divine on them!  Me, I’ve got little hands connected to tiny wrists that get swallowed up by larger bangles that fit other women so well.  Put large round bangles on me and you might as well call me T-Rex.  Since persistence is a virtue (don’t tell your stalker), I continue to plug away experimenting with various acoutrements for my less than sturdy limbs.  The solutions:

1.  Wear dainty bracelets that can be adjusted for size.

Wrist Wear for the Wispy

Eddie Borgo, Gold-Plated Northern Star Bracelet. Photo courtesy of Net-a-Porter.

Wrist Wear for the Wispy

Lulu Frost for J.Crew, Resin and Marcasite Bracelet. Photo courtesy of J.Crew.

Wrist Wear for the Wispy

BaubleBar, Brown ID Bar Triple Wrap.  Photo courtesy of BaubleBar.

2.  If dainty is not your cup of vodka, then you can get the look of cuffs  by stacking a selection of smaller, thinner bracelets together.

Wrist Wear for the Wispy

Arm Party a la Manrepeller.  Photo courtesy of Dannijo.

3.  Or, wear size-adjustable cuffs OVER your sleeves, as I do.  The sleeves elongate the arm while giving your wrist some bulk.  It’s a revelation.

Wrist Wear for the Wispy

Shourouk, Pheonix crystal cuff.  Photo courtesy of Net-a-Porter.

4.  When in doubt, diamond tennis bracelet.  No one ever said, “oh those diamonds look terrible on her!” unless they were positively green with envy.  Tennis bracelets are versatile.  You can wear them alone or stack them.  Have your jeweler size the bracelet for your wrist upon purchase.  Don’t worry about the diamonds that will be left over, you can turn them into earrings.

Wrist Wear for the Wispy

JZP diamond tennis bracelet, Fallon necklace worn as a bracelet, Miansai hook in rose gold.

Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,

JZP