Saturday, January 23, 2016

Southwestern Style

I love Southwestern style.  Living in NYC I don't get to incorporate it into my wardrobe too often, but I have some jewelry that I occasionally wear.  I was at an event the other night and thought turquoise and silver would dress up my all black outfit and add some warmth to a freezing New York night.  I added a Verdura cuff bracelet for polish.

Southwestern jewelry

The necklace was a Christmas gift this year and the earrings were a gift a few years ago.  This Southwestern Indian catalog has an amazing variety of gifts for a great cause:  I especially love the jewelry.  When my father's family first came to this country in the 1850's they settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico and stayed there for 30-40 years before moving East to NYC, so I think my love of Southwestern style is in my blood.  I've been out West a few times and next time I go I plan to buy an authentic concho belt and maybe some cowboy boots.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Vintage Purse Mirror

The other day I opened my father's medicine cabinet and found some vintage shaving items and a really cool purse mirror.  I don't remember ever seeing this mirror before.  My father passed away almost twenty years ago and I still have not gone through everything.

Vintage purse mirror

The handle seems to be a jade or jadeite figure of a Chinese man.  It's stamped "Germany" on one side, so it has to be from the pre WWII era, otherwise it would be stamped either East or West Germany.  

Figure on the handle

Made in Germany

The mirror was in a leather pouch, which also looked vintage.

Mirror's leather pouch

I have no idea of the history of this mirror, but I'm going to poke around the internet and see if I can find anything similar.  The odd thing was that I found this on what would have been my dad's birthday.  It kind of feels like he sent me a little present!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Hermes petit h Surprise

Four year ago I posted about what was then Hermes' new petit h collection.  I wanted a piece of the new collection and bought a silk accordion necklace.

In 2015 Hermes petit h started a monthly surprise feature.  For three different price points, ranging from about $250 to $1800, shoppers can buy a box with a mystery item inside.  Hermes gives hints as to the colors and if the mystery item is appropriate for men or women.  And, the items can be returned.  After reading what some of the mystery gifts have been so far I thought it would be fun to try the $250 version one month.  So, my mom got it for me for Christmas and inside was another silk accordion necklace, but in red this time.  Considering they are selling on resale sites for over $400, it was a good surprise.

Aside from the anticipation of what was going to be inside the box, there was also the question of what would be on the outside.  Each mystery box comes with a leather animal decoration.  Mine was a turtle.  

Here are the step by step photos as I unwrapped the gift:

The mystery package arrived in a silver foil envelope

The box looked good!

The leather turtle on the box

The necklace inside

Another view

Close up of the pattern

All in all a fun mystery gift.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas Pin

Last year I wrote a column about Christmas pins and I got somewhat obsessed, especially with the vintage variety.  I particularly like the idea of a wreath pin.  It's a little more unexpected than a tree and the round shape lends itself well as a brooch or a scarf clip.  I also did not want something kitschy or tacky like an ugly Christmas sweater.  I wanted the pin to be a bit glamorous and sparkly. I found an inexpensive wreath pin with crystals in a tiny store in my neighborhood and I wore it today for the first time.  I think it looks pretty good!

Crystal wreath pin

The hunt is still on for a vintage Christmas tree pin.  I have something very specific in mind that reminds me of my childhood.  One of the women in my family must have had one, because I can envision it and I'm determined to find something similar.  But, for now, I'm happy with my wreath.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Lure of Indian Jewelry

The Indian jewelry I wore last night

I have loved Indian jewelry since I was a young child.  I remember in third grade we had someone come to class and give a presentation about Indian culture and she brought jewelry with her.  I wanted to get a closer look at the earrings in the display because I was fascinated, but when I picked one up the back piece fell off.  We were all crawling around on the floor looking for it and the teacher was rather upset with me.  Luckily we found it, but my obsession has only grown since then.

Last night I went to a lovely event at The New York Botanical Gardens.  It was a long week and I didn't really have time to think about an outfit until the day of and had to throw something together quickly.  The theme was black & white so I settled on a simple black dress and jacket with lots of pearls a la Coco Chanel, but then it occurred to me that my Indian jewelry has tons of pearls and would make a great alternative.  I had so much fun playing with it all while I was getting dressed.  I need to wear it more often.

Most of my stash of Indian jewels is costume, but I do have a few real pieces.  What I love about the real deal is that the back is always beautifully enameled.  Some pieces, like a bracelet or pendant, can be reversible, but most of the time the enamel work is for the eyes of the wearer only, a stunning secret.

The front of two rings and a bracelet

The beautiful enamel on the reverse sides

Anyone who wants to spice up their look with some exotic jewelry should definitely experiment with a few Indian pieces.  For those new to the world of Indian jewels, I recommended dangling earrings like the ones pictured in the first photo, they are flattering and draw attention to the face.