Skip to Content

Jewelry Designers

Meet the New “Clip-On”

Remember when you were a kid playing dress-up with your grandmother’s gaudy costume jewelry?  Back before you had your ears pierced, playing dress up probably meant one of two things: clip-ons or stick-ons.  The clip-on earrings were either too tight, pinching the lobe, or too loose, slipping off.  The stick-ons — round, sequined pieces of plastic that you peeled off sticker paper and onto your ears — usually lost its stickiness after the first few minutes.  Well, Paige Novick has something to ease that frustration… and her collection will certainly not get relegated to the far corners of a dusty old costume box in Grandma’s basement.  Her modern style utilizes a clever and sleek alternative for those without pierced ears: magnetism.

That’s right – with a brass foundation, the products are plated with 18 karats of yellow or pink gold, black rhodium, silver, and sometimes Swarovski crystals.  Her design style often applies opposing elements, like a merging of masculine and feminine features. In her Romy collection, she offers a rather bestial — yet still elegant — style: an elongated, fang-like front piece that juts downward in a slow curve while a twisted stud magnetically pins it through the back of the ear. It comes in either gold or gunmetal silver. Another dual element may be noticed in the magnetic studs found in her Lola line. The pair of triangular earrings embody both the sharp, simple traits of architectural mathematics along with the elegant, even ethereal glow of 28-karat yellow gold and rows of decreasing Swarovski crystals — a total of 37 per earpiece.  Novick seems to have done a great job of spicing up a genre of what could have become a relic of the past.

A Blast from the Past

If you’re seeking the newest in fashion trends, your best bet may be to look back at some of the “oldies.” Back in the sixties, a self-taught designer by the name of David Webb popularized the rock crystal quartz. This crystal comes in a range of hues, from completely transparent, to translucent, to cloudy and opaque. For the next two decades this stone was one of the most popular options in nonprecious gems and often got paired with materials as fine as diamond.

Well, it seems as if that crystal clarity is making a major comeback. The latest creations come in all sorts of styles. You can find more traditional pieces, like the simple Rock Candy earrings — clear quartz elongated teardrops outlined by 18-karat gold — or a sleek modern design like the Large Navette ring, an 18-karat yellow gold ring with a large, almond-shaped crystal dotted on either end by two small round diamonds. There is also a middle-ground of strong, personality-filled pieces: a large pendant upon which the crystal itself is encrusted with gold and silver stones.

While these crystals are still in style, make sure you root through your (or your parents’!) old boxes of jewelry to see what the sixties and seventies left behind. You won’t regret it!

Geisha Gold

Here’s a piece that’s worth a second look: Sylvie Corbelin’s pair of intricately designed geisha earrings. A long-time Parisian jewelry designer, Corbelin finds her work inspired by women in artistic professions, a path that led her to the geisha — or, as Corbelin explains, “a mysterious woman who dedicates her life to fine arts.” In fact, the Japanese word “geisha” literally means “artist.” Geishas are adorned with varying degrees of paints and makeup, depending on their ranking, a facade that the earrings mimic with sterling silver (rather than the white rice paint used in real life). According to Corbelin, the earrings seem to come with personalities of their own, so much so that they have names: Geiko, which often refers to a geisha specifically from the western Japan region, and Maiko, a word meaning an apprentice geisha (literally, a “dance child”).

In full geisha fashion, this dangling duo is clad in 18 karats of gold lined with rubies, emeralds, tourmaline, and turquoise to capture the spiced-up color of a geisha’s kimono. Each geisha earring also has a diamond-studded fan to give a “silky finish” to the ensemble.

These 4-inch long earrings will be showcased at the end of May in Las Vegas, priced at $25,000 — quite an success for Geiko and Maiko’s (not to mention Corbelin’s) career!


Wendy Yue

Take a look at one of Hong Kong’s most successful jewelers: Wendy Yue. Since its inception, Yue’s jewelry design firm has grown to become one of the city’s most renowned labels. What’s her secret?  Mostly, dedication and determination, not to mention a seemingly limitless abundance of inspiration. In fact, Yue creates a new piece almost every single day! In addition to her incredible rate of productivity (as if that wouldn’t keep her busy enough), Yue is also a mother of four children, including a set of twins, as well as a number of pets. And of course, let’s not forget hobbies: somehow she carves out time in her week to fix up homes and properties, a pastime she enjoys during leisure hours.

But even with this packed schedule, Yue clearly exhibits tremendous depth of thought in every single piece she creates. Her motif of choice is the bond between wildlife and human existence, after young adult travel across Europe left her utterly inspired. She decided the best way to capture those memories was in jewelry, an everyday wearable reminder — “an enduring monument,” as Yue explains — of her travels.

Her creations range from animal to botanical and even to the mythological. The Sacred Phoenix is an explosively vibrant ring, studded with jade; white and brown diamonds; pink, yellow, blue, and white sapphires; and tsavorite. Meanwhile, the Chimpanzee Wonder depicts in precise detail a pensive chimp out of mother-of-pearl; it is surrounded by sapphire, ruby, and jasper leafy branches and, on one side, a playful monkey out of brown diamond.

These beautiful creations have many other companion pieces, so be sure to check out more of her work!

It Takes Two

Manhattan­ based decade-­old company Vale Jewelry has a unique feature in its two founders: they are identical twins. Ava and Eva Bai, despite their shockingly similar names, have very different personalities, which allows them to blend styles in a way that only enhances their products. After earning degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as FIT post­graduate work in metallurgy and gemology, the dynamic duo decided to go into business together, creating pieces that have been worn by celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker, Miranda Kerr, and Lena Dunham ­­ just to name a few.

As children they busied themselves with lanyards and beads, but they have long since swapped those materials for significantly classier options.  In the face of trends these days that lean towards bulkier jewelry, their style is distinctly understated: it has been called “super­fine” and usually consists of very thin chains and lines. Some people have argued that their jewelry is too small to hold buyers’ interests… but those critics are easily silenced by the broad fan ­base that the Bai sisters have attracted over the past decade.

Two “moonlet” pieces ­­ crawler earrings and a ring ­­ are made of equidistant round diamonds bezel­ set in 14 karat gold.  The ring, a perfect symmetrical band, contrasts well with the earrings’ irregular semicircle shape.  Even finer is the large open bangle with diamond slices (rather than round cuts) on either end of a gold wire so thin it seems to disappear on the wrist. The style is clearly understated, buts its two creators don’t feel the need to make their gold loud; the delicacy of their design makes a quiet ­­ but powerful ­­ statement of its own.

With an Open Heart

New this year is the jewelry line “Open Hearts”, inspired by actress and designer Jane Seymour. The collection is a very personal one, admits Seymour, who developed the first necklace of the line in honor of her mother. The design consists of two hearts connected at the tails, with the most prominent feature ­­ and the basis for the collection’s title ­­ being the missing slivers that leave each heart lacking a small part of its outline. These hearts can be arranged in any of a variety of ways: from chains of repeated rose gold linked hearts to diamond necklaces, where a single “open hearted” design is encircled within a standard heart shape.

In honor of Mothers’ Day, which is quickly sneaking up on us, Kay Jewelers is offering a few mom­specific pieces for a limited time: necklaces, charms, and more that have the word “mom” fixed somewhere along the piece. (In true “hearty” fashion, the “O” of “Mom” is, of course, always crafted with a heart.)

According to Seymour, this style has featured in much of her work, including paintings for the American Heart Association. Her mother had lived by the counsel of keeping her heart open to giving and receiving love. This advice is something that Seymour always took ­­ well ­­ to heart. The pieces of her line offer both elegant design as well as poignant sentiment, which make them the perfect gift for an appreciated mother… or anyone else!

What’s a Guy to Wear?

One place you’ll be sure to find some great pieces is David Yurman, a company that provides an excellent selection of goods even in an area that often gets neglected — namely, men’s jewelry.

Along with some things you might expect — like sleek cufflinks or military tags — David Yurman also has a wide variety of collections exclusively for the male population. These include lines like Chevron, Streamline, and Faceted Metal, all aptly named for the products they encompass. The Chevron Collection boasts a triple¬wrap of black braided leather that closes via a magnetic clasp of sterling silver.  The Streamline Collection comes in a range of colors, like the Heirloom Signet Ring, a sterling silver squarish band set with a rectangular gemstone of either jade, black jade, or pietersite. (The ring is also sold without a stone, leaving just the smooth silver facet as its surface.)

The most variety, however, may come from the Faceted Metal Collection, which brings an ‘edgy’ dimension to jewelry. The multi-edged metal cuff topped with 18-karat rose gold has simplicity that gives it a clean, contemporary feel. Another companion in the line is made of silver lobster claw shapes that each clasp the end of another to form a sharp, funky bracelet. If you’re a guy who feels left out of the jewelry market, David Yurman is a great place to get in on the action!


« Previous Entries