Thursday, October 30, 2008

Jewelry Sparkles Across the Pond

How much do we love film festivals? It’s like a red carpet wonderland of movie stars, glamorous frocks and jewels, jewels, jewels. And much like Fashion Week, you don’t have to look too far to find one this time of year.

The Times BFI London Film Festival is the place to be in October. Europe’s largest public film event showcases the best in contemporary cinema from filmmakers around the globe and lasts for a glittering two weeks throughout the city.

This year’s lineup features the critically acclaimed, Rachel Getting Married starring a gorgeous Anne Hathaway, Woody Allen’s Vicky Christina Barcelona, and Oliver Stone’s controversial look at our Commander in Chief, W. Other entries include Steven Soderberg’s, Che, and Ron Howard’s film version of the Tony winning play, Frost Nixon.

But enough about those pesky movies - what about the jewels! We spotted a glowing Jessica Biel in diamond drops, Anne Hathaway in gold bangles, Elizabeth Banks in the statement necklace trend, Laura Linney in diamond hoops and Gwynnie in a classic, vintage diamond choker.

And of course, there is Penelope. ‘Nuff said.

Click here for a complete look at the festival line up! In the meantime, on to Rome!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Picasso's Jewelry Mosaics

With jewelry looking bigger and bolder these days, it’s no surprise that one of the industry’s famous statement makers is making her mark on the trend.

Tiffany designer, Paloma Picasso, launched a dynamic new collection - Zellige – taking inspiration from the centuries-old mosaics that surround the fountain at her home in Morocco.

The craft of Zellige combines colorful enameled tiles in geometric motifs using an almost puzzle-like pattern of open squares, angles and circles. Picasso’s line uses 18 karat yellow and white gold and features domed diamond and gemstone rings, medallion pendants and necklaces accented with black and white enamel.

“Jewelry is about timelessness. A piece of jewelry is here to stay much longer than a dress or gown. You want it to look good, fresh and modern today but you also want it to look good 30 or 300 years down the line,” Picasso explains.

The iconic designer is also a fan of the jewelry box staple. Her favorite pieces are a set of nine intertwined bangle bracelets and two pairs of simple earrings: a set of hammered gold balls and a simple pair of white gold earrings with diamonds.

Style and substance - a refreshing combination these days, no?

Visit for a complete look at the Zellige collection and other glittering Picasso offerings.
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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Michelle Obama 'Brooches' the Fashion Subject

Vintage diamonds, yellow gold, glittering gemstones – we’re seeing a bevy of beautiful variations on the brooch theme these days. The sensibly stylish, Michelle Obama, is now synonymous with the jewelry trend, and she launched yet another brooch blitz last night on the Tonight Show.

“I want to ask you about your wardrobe. I’m guessing about $60,000, $70,000 for that outfit,” Leno joked.

“Actually this is a J. Crew ensemble. We ladies, we know with J. Crew. You can get some good stuff online,” a gracious Mrs. O replied.

“Do you order it all online? Doesn’t that take the fun out of it?”

”When you don’t have time, you’ve got to click.”


We are still on the lookout for the brooch details (which, like her convention brooch, most likely came from her own jewelry box), but the J Crew ensemble included their Italian Deco tank, Crystal-button colorblock cardigan in Silver Honey and Metallic cloque pencil skirt in Metallic Sour Lemon.

Even Mrs. O knows it’s all about metallics this season, ladies.

Until recently, the brooch was a forgotten jewelry accessory relegated to Victorian era museum exhibits and grandma’s jewelry box. But with Michelle Obama’s help (and TV’s hit Mad Men), it’s clear women of all ages can “spread the wealth” with this glittering jewelry trend.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Fido's Golden Bark-a-Lounger

It might not take a diamond to woo the woof out of your pampered pooch (unless you’re Paris Hilton), but a little gold certainly never hurt anyone.

For those who have to put your beloved barker in her little cage at night so she doesn’t shred the upholstery (or eat the trash), we found a glittering solution from Daily Candy this morning – a golden doggie crate.

From lap dog to the lap of luxury, Peter Pracilio from designGO! created a 22.5 karat gold leaf round cage for the Fido (or the Sylvester) in your life - as long as they don’t weigh more than 40 pounds.

The limited edition crate is made of steel wire, stands at about two feet tall and includes a removable rubber mat (for obvious reasons).

The gilded beauty will set you back a mere $11,000, but a painted version in black, white, or silver rings in at a much lower $320.

So the next time Mops has to spend a dog day afternoon in the slammer, at least let him bask in the glow.

Available online at and

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Diamonds Rock the Casbah

Diamonds and Charlize Theron. Now that’s a winning combination. Our favorite jewels made a dazzling appearance last night in Hollywood at the “Rock the Casbah” fundraiser for Richard Branson’s Virgin Unite charity, and the drooling photogs got a lense-full.

While the bearded entrepreneur is stuck at sea trying to break the world record for crossing the Atlantic (what kind of excuse is that!), Hollywood’s beauties came out to show their support.

Neve Campbell made a rare appearance in a classic strapless dress and tasteful diamond earrings. TV personality, Samantha Harris, looked stunning in diamond teardrops, and the always beautiful, Salma Hayek, buttoned up in a black pants suit and silver dollar-sized vintage diamond clusters.

But, as always, all eyes were on the Charlize. Diamonds dripped from her ears, and she worked the trendy off-the-shoulder, little black dress like no other. And while we all have days when we wish, for a moment, we could understand what it means to be Charlize Theron, the Oscar-winner has her own ideas.

"He's got to be that guy that we all just secretly want to live his life," she said of Richard Branson. "Even if it's just for a week, I mean wouldn't that be incredible?."

"He's an inspiration, I think we want to surround ourselves with people who inspire you and push you, and this guy does that on a level that is out of control."

Tickets for the event went for between $750 per person to $50,000 for a V.I.P. table for 10. Guests were treated to a lavish dinner, auction and a performance by Natalie Imbruglia before dancing until the early hours.

Some of the proceeds from the night went to the Eve Branson Foundation, run by Richard Branson's mother, which helps Moroccan women set up small businesses to support their families - hence the Casbah theme.

Looks like they rocked it for you, Richard. Good luck out there!

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fashion's Gold Rush

Gold diggers take note! Your favorite metal is making a big splash in the fashion world. Runways from New York to Paris, London to Milan all glittered with gold metallics this fall, and gold jewelry accessories are holding their ground from a summer must-have to a spring ’09 necessity.

Designers like Versace, Donna Karan, Dior, and Monique Luillier all featured chunky gold jewelry on the catwalk, and iconic designers Reem Acra, Diane von Furstenerg and Vera Wang all used gold fabrics to add glitter to their lines.

Laminated linen, gold plated leather and gold applications on silks and chiffons were just some of the golden interpretations the designers came up with. And we’ve reported again and again that chunky gold jewelry looks will be making a statement well into spring.

“The Renaissance of gold in the fashion world shows no signs of slowing down,” says Duvall O’Steen of World Gold Council. “With the increasing value of gold, coupled with the economic concerns, gold has become a meaningful and safe investment for any jewelry wardrobe.”

See? Buying clothes and jewelry is not only fun, it’s good for your portfolio. Golden parachute pants, anyone?

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Journey of a Diamond (From Mine to Retail)

A fabulous jewelry hound is an educated jewelry hound. We all love to wear diamonds, but not all of us realize the long, arduous journey the stones must take to become one of the beautiful faceted gems you see in the jewelry store. Here is a brief recount of a diamond's incredible trip from the mine to the market.

A diamond's story begins deep in the earth - 100-200 miles below the surface. These stones were formed up to 3.3 billion years ago as a result of unimaginable heat and pressure placed on carbon crystals.

Powerful volcanic activity formed what are known as "pipes" - openings in the earth - and forced the diamonds up through the pipes to the surface, along with other minerals such as kimberlite. Some of these diamonds made their way into streams, rivers and seas; however, these are only considered secondary deposits. Most of the diamonds forced up through the earth settled back into the kimberlite pipes - and it is these primary sources that have been the basis for the world's diamond mines. Only one in 200 kimberlite pipes will contain diamonds in economically viable quantities.

Once diamonds are found, they can be very difficult to mine. It is estimated that it takes more than 250 tons of ore to produce just one carat of rough diamond. This ore goes through many stages of blasting, crushing and processing, including advanced x-ray techniques, to release the diamonds. Over 120 million carats are mined each year - only about a quarter of which will be considered gem quality.

Although diamonds are found in numerous exotic locations around the globe, Australia, Botswana, Canada, Namibia, South Africa and Russia account for some 80% of the world's diamond supply.

Once the diamonds have been mined and processed, the next step is to sort, classify and value them according to their size, shape, quality and color. The DTC, the marketing and selling arm of De Beers, sorts some two-thirds of the world's diamond production, by value. DTC sorts rough diamonds into more than 16,000 categories. These diamonds are then sold 10 times per year at regular, invitation-only sales called "sights" to the world's leading diamond cutters, polishers and manufacturers. Sightholders may choose to cut the rough they buy themselves, or they many sell some of it to smaller manufacturers or wholesalers.

The next step for the rough diamond is cutting and polishing. This is a great skill, with meticulous techniques that have been practiced for generations. The main diamond cutting and trading centers are based in Antwerp, Belgium; Mumbai, India; Tel Aviv, Israel; New York; and Johannesburg, South Africa. China and Thailand have most recently developed their own centers.

Although some of the polishing process is computerized, most of the work is still performed by hand. First, the cutter uses cleaving, sawing or laser cutting to separate the original rough into smaller, more workable pieces. Then, the girdler uses a process called bruting that grinds away the stone's edges and provides its outline shape. Faceting follows, usually in two steps. The first 18 facets (table, culet, bezel and pavilion of a stone) are cut and polished by the blocker. The brillianteer cuts and polishes the final 40 facets, including the star, upper girdle and lower girdle. Finally, the cut gem is boiled in acids to remove dust and oil. Once polished, most diamonds are sold and traded in the 24 registered diamond bourses around the world.

At this point, the polished gems are ready to be set into finished pieces of jewelry, which is the manufacturer's job. They are then either sold to a wholesaler, who works as a middleman to sell the manufacturer's goods to the retailer, or sold directly to the retailer by the manufacturer.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bawdy Bling at Burberry

There was something in the air last night at the Burberry party in Beverly Hills. And it had nothing to do with dazzling jewelry fashion. Maybe the ghost of fashion critic, Richard Blackwell, was haunting the red carpet, but we were shocked to see beauties like Kate Hudson and Maria Bello totally miss the mark.

Burberry's creative director Christopher Bailey and photographer Mario Testino, hosted the evening, which celebrated the British fashion icon’s new LA location.

"We're very excited about launching our brand in such an iconic city," said Bailey, who conceived the design. "This store has an entirely new concept that differs from our other locations. There are new materials, open spaces, fixtures, lighting, and an energy in the store that we think will really translate well to our customers."

And while you can’t go wrong with a Burberry trench coat, you can definitely shank it with that wacko headdress looking necklace thing, Maria Menoudos. And Maria Bello? The statement necklace should say ‘luxury’ not ‘lobster bib’. Same with you Perrey Reeves.

We will give it up for actress, Mena Suvari, who looked stunning in diamond hoops and a long black chain-link necklace. And there is something about that gold Scorpio pendant worn by Lady Victoria Hervey that works with her soft style.

But Kate Hudson’s green(ish) frock? Where is Richard Blackwell when you need him?

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Cross Your Heart with Black Diamonds

If you needed more proof that black diamonds are the new ‘it’ girl in the jewelry world, look no further. Victoria’s Secret unveiled their new Fantasy Bra, and the C cup beauty is loaded with ‘em.

The Black Diamond Fantasy Bra was created by celebrity jeweler, Martin Katz, and is set with 3,575 black diamonds, 117 certified one-carat white round diamonds and 34 rubies. If that weren’t enough, two huge black diamond drops weighing in at 50 carats each swing down from the center.

Supermodel, Adriana Lima, wears the black diamond beauty in the Victoria Secret ad campaign (they aren’t lying when they say the thing is designed for maximum cleavage enhancement).

And, hey, if you want to find a little luxury lingerie under the tree this year, you’ll only have to shell out a mere 5 mil.

Not bad for 1500 carats that will never see the light of day.
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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rags to Richie - Nicole's Boho Jewelry Line Debuts

Reality wild child turned style icon, Nicole Richie, has set her sights on a new venture: jewelry. Richie's new line, House of Harlow 1960, is named after her daughter and celebrates the period fashions of both the 60s and 70s. Think art deco meets bohemian chic.

The 27-year-old celebutante partnered with celebrity jeweler, Pascal Mouawad, to bring her vision to life, and the collection takes inspiration from her sought-after style. Using leather, silk strings, chains, rivets, gold plated metals and a jewel-toned color palette, the jewelry explores “every theme true to the bohemian look; from gypsy to tribal, flower child to edgy street wear,” according to a press release.

October’s InStyle Magazine features Nicole and her baubles, and in it she describes her jewelry philosophy:

“I don’t like anything tiny. I guess it would make more sense for me, but I’m drawn to large, eclectic pieces.”

Lucky for us, the price tag is not large or eclectic with a reasonable range of $30 - $250. We’re sure these well-designed, yet affordable, baubles will make her target audience of teens to 30-somethings loosen their purse strings - or dance on the ceiling (couldn't resist).

But don’t look for House of Harlow in mass market outlets like Target or Kohls. The collection is only available at the famous LA boutique, Kitson, when it opens its new store in November. Not to worry, though. For those not living in la la land, you can shop Harlow online at

For more visuals, check out Richie’s Harlow photo shoot here. She's three times a lady in our book (irresistible, sorry).
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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Let Jewelry Go to Your Head

Diamonds, gemstones, gold – it’s easy to fall head over heels for jewelry this season. We all know by now the “big and bawdy” trend is taking the runways and red carpets by storm. But there’s another look emerging that’s giving the statement necklace a run for its money: bejeweled hair pieces.

Maybe Sarah Jessica Parker started the hunkering for headwear with that green bird thingy she wore in the SATC movie this summer? Or maybe it’s a longing for our Richard Simmons, headband-wearing, 80s past? Regardless, it’s clear the noggin is clamoring for a little more attention this season – and the celebs are taking note!

Mad Men’s January Jones threaded an elegant diamond strand throughout her updo at the Emmys. Nicole Richie kicked it old school during Fashion Week with a glittering band across her forehead, John McEnroe style. Paris Hilton and The Hills diva, Lauren Conrad, opted to bedazzle a traditional Jackie-O inspired headband, and Pink threw some ice on just one side of her punk rock locks.

Whether you’re an elegant Audrey Hepburn type or a happy-go-lucky hippie chick, there are many ways you can add a little moxy to your melon. So channel your inner Olivia and get physical with some headstrong jewelry fashions this season!

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Katie in the Waldorf with Diamonds

Last night, all eyes were on political candidates John McCain ad Barack Obama at the tony, white tie Al Smith charity roast at the Waldorf in New York City. Well, perhaps all eyes but mine. The speeches were traditionally hilarious, the mood light, and while anyone who is anyone in politics and media was relieved to have a break from the gut wrenching campaign for a night, I couldn’t stop looking at Katie Couric.

No, I wasn’t in the room (unfortunately). But if any of you watched on TV, you probably couldn’t help but notice how much bling the CBS anchor was sporting. It was downright distracting. The necklace was so sparkly, the diamond cuff so stunning, I could hardly focus.

The dimly lit room was perfect for that diamond light show. You know that light. I kept hoping the camera would pan out so I could get a closer look since she was sitting right behind the podium, but only laser-show like flashes of her bling would peak in the frame from time to time. Cindy McCain must have been drooling in her crab cakes.

While I am still on the search for more details about Katie’s baubles, I did manage to find the hilarious Mo Rocca’s blog, where he posted pics of the evening – including a stunner of Katie, the diamond diva. He says it’s going to be their Christmas card this year – and well – I don’t blame him.

Katie is certainly quieting her critics after scoring those pivotal Sarah Palin interviews, but she’s getting roaring cheers from this jewelry hound. It's not easy to upstage Barack in a tux, but if we have to elect the night's best dressed? Katie would win by a landslide.
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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lipstick, Luxury and Libations

Want a diamond with your drink? Sapphires with your spirits? The folks at Mohegan Sun Casino in southeastern Connecticut will give you just that - if you have $6200 to burn. And you just might if you visit their new Casino of the Wind, which had a dazzling opening last week.

Lipstick Jungle star, Kimberly Price, was at the star-packed launch party and left her own lipstick mark on the luxurious libation, appropriately called the Windfall. The fruity concoction is made with champagne, cognac and a bevy of berries. And the garnish? A platinum diamond and pink sapphire celebration band by Tiffany. That’s downright double down-worthy.

Mohegan’s new Casino of the Wind joins the existing Casino of the Earth and Casino of the Sky and features a 42-table poker room, nearly 30 traditional table games, over 650 slot machines - and an indoor water wall. What is a casino, really, without a water wall?

If you want your own Windfall, cash in your chips at the Leffingwells Martini Bar or Todd English’s Tuscany in the casino through October 31st.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Jamie-Lynn's Jewels

From ‘badda-bing’ to making bling, former Soprano, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, is adding jewelry designer to her glittering resume. Sigler and friend, Holly Freeman, have joined forces to create a custom jewelry line that will be ready for special order in the New Year.

The gal pals started the project while Jamie-Lynn spent a month living with Holly and her son in Los Angeles.

“We would put the baby to sleep, and we would just start beading and talking, and we realized this would be a fun thing for us to do,” Sigler explains.

The beaded jewelry line, called C.J. Free after Holly’s son, will feature bangles and pendant necklaces and is made from gold, rose gold, white gold with custom charms and precious stones. Jamie-Lynn and Holly do all the beading themselves.

“We love accessories; we love jewelry, so we’re having a lot of fun,” says Sigler.

Make that jewelry magic happen for us, Meadow. Bead, baby, bead!
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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Diamonds, Gold, Filth and Wisdom

The stars came out in droves last night to toast Madonna’s latest accomplishment: movie directing. The lady clearly likes a challenge.

Dolce & Gabbana and the Cinema Society hosted a celebrity-packed screening of her freshman film effort, Filth and Wisdom, at New York’s Sunshine Cinema. Movie director hubby, Guy Ritchie, was conspicuously absent from the affair.

Jealous, anyone? Or maybe he couldn't sit through it again.

The film is a “musical/ drama/ comedy” hybrid about an aspiring Ukranian rock star and features Richard E Grant and Eugene Huntz of the gypsy punk band, Gogol Bordello. The interweaving plot also revolves around "a man who spanks for money, a chemist and a pole dancer".

That’s our Madge.

The director looked lovely in a black D & G number and worked the diamond brooch blitz to its full effect. Lindsay Lohan (is there a red carpet she hasn’t been on lately?) wore a tasteful pendant necklace and the layered bangle look with her short short skirt and very blue fingernails.

Actress Elizabeth Banks (who plays Laura Bush in the upcoming Oliver Stone film, W) looked lovely in a tasteful gold choker, and newlywed, Beth Ostrosky, showed up in a tasteful LBD and a classic gold bracelet.

Jerry Seinfeld ex, Shoshanna Loenstein, on the other hand tried to work the gold statement necklace trend, but the overall effect was less than glowing. Unfortunately, movie reviewers have had the same reaction to the flick. Ouch.

Filth and Wisdom opens in select theaters on October 17th

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