April 2014

My Favorite Fine Jewelry Designers

Fine jewelry is an investment so it’s important to select carefully and buy pieces you know you’ll love forever. Now is the time of year when we get to dress up more so what better way to top off a holiday ensemble than with some fabulous jewels? Check out some of my favorite fine jewelry designers and my hand-picked selections to give, get or just deck yourself out this season.

Shawn Warren Signature Cushion Necklace, BUY NOW, $4,150
Shawn Warren has been designing fine jewelry for over ten years, and with a main vision for versatility, it’s easy to see how she has become the “secret weapon” of society women and red carpet walkers. I met Shawn several years ago at one of her famous Hamptons trunk shows and I am a big fan of her designs. Patti Stanger, The Millionaire Matchmaker is also a fan and can be seen wearing Shawn Warren regularly. Warren recently launched a gorgeous and less expensive line and she offers a nice selection on her website. This Signature Cushion necklace is a splurge item but quite stunning–a pale aqua Sapphire encased in diamonds and set in white gold. I love its modern design and vintage charm.

Jill Heller LoveBird Necklace, BUY NOW, $2,800
Owned and run by Jill Heller and Amy Heilberg since 2003, this line of fine jewelry is an impressive collection of contemporary and vintage. The LoveBird collection is gorgeous and caters to the most sophisticated shoppers. The pendent with its thick gold chain is a perfect statement piece to dress up any outfit. The layering of the chain also adds an extra touch of style to the already flawless design. I admire Amy and Jill’s talent for designing and finding exceptional pieces of jewelry. I still enjoy my purchases from them over the years and receive so many compliments when wearing their unique and stylish pieces. They also have a huge following among many New York celebutantes.

Ippolita 7 Stone Bangle, BUY NOW, $1,295
The Florence born designer started her jewelry design house in 1993, melding together her love for beauty and craft which has caught the attention of celebs like Mila Kunis, Zoe Saldana and Sofia Vergara. The 7 Stone bangle in clear quartz with diamonds is part of the Ippolita Wicked Collection and I can see why! It is sinfully chic either alone as a statement piece, or stacked with some of your favorite bangles (that is how I like to wear them). The asymmetrical stones give this piece depth and I love how it plays with the contours of my wrist. I bought some bangles from Ippolita over ten years ago and still wearing them so I think they are a sound investment.

Jennifer Meyer Diamond Stick Necklace, BUY NOW, $1050
After working in public relations and in editorial for Glamour Magazine, Jennifer returned to her roots in 2004, crafting her trademark leaf-shaped gold charm. Expanding largely since then, the designer includes a lot of Rubies in her collection, in honor of her daughter with husband Toby Maguire, Ruby Sweetheart. The newest edition to Jennifer Meyer’s Bar/Stick collection, the Diamond Stick necklace has wasted no time in landing on the famous necks of Hollywood’s A-list. Scarlett Johansson donned the design for her December 12th appearance on The Today Show and Jennifer Aniston rocked the piece in her upcoming film Wanderlust. Jennifer Meyer got her start alongside her grandmother, who taught the designer how to make enamel jewelry when she was just six years old. I love the linear array of diamonds in this geometric beauty and can’t wait to wear with the plunging neckline of my new favorite Jay Godfrey top.

Nina Runsdorf Serpent Cocktail Ring, AVAILABLE at Bergdorf Goodman, $900
Nina Runsdorf has quite the jewelry pedigree–her family has been in the business for many generations as one of the top jewelers and diamond merchants, with a lineage tracing back to the founders of the Antwerp Diamond Bourse in Europe. Runsdorf’s collection is glamorous and very special. In fact, met magnificent designs can be seen on celebrities and style mavens including Rachel Zoe and on the hit show Gossip Girl. I love serpent accessories and Nina Runsdorf’s snake wrapped, ten karat Moonstone slice nails it with its uber-chic design. The statement piece is resplendent and a throw back to Egyptian culture. Keep other animal accents to a minimum when sporting this ring and pair it with something soft and feminine. I bought my very first pair of diamond studs from Nina as she is one of the best gemologists in New York City.

Chic and Casual Summer Clothes

Finding the right pieces for your best gorgeous + glam look is easy, but who says elegance is an evening-only affair? Equal parts comfy and chic, we’ve compiled a list of on-trend casual clothes for summer – mix and match for a variety of looks guaranteed to keep you looking cute long before cocktail hour.

Tops

It’s all about fit this summer… less of it! Stay lovely in tanks that are loose and frame-flattering, such as this nautical-striped silk top from Joie or SPLENDID’s Cotton Mesh & Chambray Stripe Tank. Like any designer piece worth its price tag, beauty is in the details: Accenting the finer, delicate features of your body is both sexy and feminine. We’re loving scoopnecks, the perfect style for highlighting your collarbone and elongating your neck. Try ecoSkin’s Hydra Top, Two Color Rugby Stripe Scoopneck Top from SPLENDID, or Ralph Lauren’s Modal-Cashmere Scoopneck Tee for a look that shows you off without showing too much. If your taste is more dramatic than demure, we recommend Rammy Brook’s DEBBY top. The charmeuse staple combines the airy flow of a summer tank with the daring plunge of a night-worthy neckline, while the high neck in back and careful front drapery keep it just right for the daylight hours.

Bottoms

Get back in touch with your inner child this summer by channeling this season’s whimsical inspiration: Rainbow Bright. Summer’s hottest bottoms are coming fast and fashionable in an assortment of colors, from muted rose to hot, hot pink. J Brand’s Cut-off Shorts come in five eye-popping varieties, while Forever 21’s short shorts have you (mostly!) covered, with faded denim cutoffs available in a trio of light, pastel shades. Skinny jeans are a great fit all year round, and the warmer months are a perfect excuse to experiment with a warmer color palette. Rag & Bone have a sweetly rose-toned skinny cigarette pant, Urban Outfitters offers a high-rise take on the look in berry, and for an even comfier fit with the skinny flair, we can’t wait to kick back in American Apparel’s Unisex Stretch Twill Slim Slack, carried in both hot + cold colors. Twill is our latest material of choice, great for those lazy days that mosey rather than move too quickly, and Forever 21’s Twill Joggers are right up our alley of relaxation. Ramy Brook’s Silk Stretch Charmeuse pants are a higher-end take on the jogger look, offered in the more understated options of mocha and fern.

Dresses

There’s lots of crossover action going on in this season’s dress designs, and we want a piece of it! Both Edit and H&M are carrying dresses with the detailing of a great fitted shirt, replete with sleeveless button-up fronts and attached belts. We’re reaching for Phillip Lim’s Sleeveless Belted Patch Pocket Dress W/ Shirtail Hem, and H&M’s spin on the style, in either white or brown. Can’t decide which style suits you best? There’s always James & Joy’s Orange Convertible Dress, which goes both ways to equal fun and flirty effect: Pull the fitted bottom down for a sassy shift, or hike it up and pair over skinny jeans to wear as a loose, flowy top. For those whose style trends to the wild, jungle genre-bending is in: mix your maxis with fierce patterns, including Mink Pink’s Tribal Dancer Dress or TIBI’s Mosaic-print stretch-jersey maxi dress.

Shoes

There’s only one way to move when your heels are strapped and styled in summer’s must-have sandals: sashay! Gladiators are still very much on-trend, but to more understated ­– and comfortable – effect. K.Jacques Suede Knot Sandal is a simple interpretation of the distinctly summer design, with a single strap around the heel and two encircling the front of the foot. A more open shoe, Endless’ Cocobelle Women’s Samuna Sandal puts a spin on traditional straps by twisting them over and around the big toe, while the crisscross design of Urban Outfitters’ Ecote Toehold Simple Gladiator Sandal keeps the detailing and definition of traditional Gladiators without restricting your foot.

Bracelets

Coco Chanel always said she never left the house without taking at least one item off – but she didn’t have accessories like these. We say, the more the merrier when it comes to Chan Luu: Layer the wrap bracelets for an exotic, beachy vibe, or wrap your wrists in a leather or intricately beaded cuff. Jill Heller Fine Jewelry is dedicated to bringing spiritual substance to the style of her Abundance bracelets – each sterling silver or gold-linked piece comes encased with a “scrolled mantra for abundance,” including instructions on how best to use the fashionable and wise words.

Bags

Any outfit, no matter the time of day, is ever complete without the right bag to complement, highlight, and pull everything together! For a comfy look, go for bags that, like your outfit, are less structured: CALYPSO St. Barth for Target’s Linen Tote is the perfect accessory for any relaxed beach-day wear, functionally sized and decorated with fun threaded detailing.  CALYPSO’s Convertible Tote may be a little pricier, but it stands apart from the style pack as a study in daytime slouch chic.