The 90th annual Academy Awards was not an exercise in shyness, though we did feel a strong throwback to old Hollywood glamour in many of the fashion choices. (Editor’s Note: Tonya was one of the few who predicted that the color palette would lighten up from the darker colors worn in protest earlier in awards season.)
There were lots of red, white, and blue as well as touches of the requisite shimmer. Necklines were plunging, asymmetrical or even turtled as in Maya Rudolph’s interesting choice of a billowing red gown. My favorites and top picks includes Gal Gadot in a plunging silver dress with an exquisite encrusted 27 carat aquamarine lariat drop necklace with more than 1000 diamonds from Tiffany & Co.
Also top on my list was Allison Janney in the stunning red low V-neck with draping kimono sleeves. It was very similar to Meryl Streep’s red in color and cut, but was simply stunning when she took the stage to receive the Oscar for her performance as Tonya Harding’s mother in “I, Tonya.” My third top choice was Laura Dern in a captivating white, one-shoulder dress by Calvin Klein. She doesn’t typically wow me on the red carpet, but definitely brought her old Hollywood A game to the Oscars.
With all of these top picks the bottoms are always interesting to explore as well. Top on my list of misses was Nicole Kidman in Giorgio Armani. The blue bow at her hips was distracting and just plain bizarre. It looked like a functional booboo, with nowhere for Nicole to place her hands.
Another miss for me was Salma Hayek. Her lavender paillette gown with excessive garland like beading read more like Bollywood not Hollywood to me, but not in a successful way.
Was anyone else wondering what was Eiza Gonzalez wearing? Her yellow “bodycon” gown looked like something you would wear coming back from a day on the beach. But it was a contouring couture from Ralph Lauren. (Note to the House of RL: What were you thinking? The material was all wrong for a black tie event, and almost insulting! I get it, she’s new to the awards, but please, next time have a publicist line up a designer for that girl!)
My last miss was Margot Robbie. This girl is so gorgeous that she could wear a Christmas tree and look good. The bad thing is, that’s exactly what she did! The beaded shoulder draping and neckline was just too holiday and not enough Hollywood for me. Sorry Margot, Chanel just wasn’t scoring high with this judge.
Local connections to the award show are always fun to keep track of. David Fialkow of General Catalyst and producer of “Icarus,” winner of the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature rocked the red carpet with red Ferragamo shoes which added a fun punch of color to his navy tuxedo. So glad he made it on stage to accept the award! Local designer, Beth Miller, bejeweled Natalie Morales with her signature pearl rose gold earrings and diamond rose gold ring.
What were your favorites and misses of the evening? Let us know in the comments or on social media.
We all know there’s no such thing as perfect but if there was, the Classic MARC JACOBS studs would be pure perfection. The circular earring is simply composed with a blush pink-tone and embossed with a standard Marc by Marc Jacobs logo, this easily is the epitome of “less is more”. Speaking of less— fortunately this investment won’t lead to bankruptcy, seeing as they’re reasonably valued at $48. The effortless design, moderate price and unintended subtleness gives me all the evidence needed to determine that this fashion find is undeniably worthy of a well deserved sale. In other words, BUY IT.
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Good things come in threes right? If that’s wrong, than BCBG just made it oh so right. In a blinged out gold finish and smooth rounded shape, three chunky gold rings connected through fine strands of curb chain are the makeup of BCBGMAXAZRIA’s Signature Trio Ring. A toned down version of brass knuckles with a touch of class – this triplet ring set can be styled with your most rugged leather jacket and black combat boots. The amount of rings aren’t the eye catcher here as we’ve seen that done before, it’s how they’re bound together that sparked the initial attraction of love at first sight. The connecting strands of curb chain add a feeling of playfulness; while still screaming bad-ass.
Get yours HERE for $58…and add some swagger to your wardrobe.
Anndra Neen’s Mirror and Leaf collar choker is quite the shower stopper. Elegant, yet bold this piece composed of solid nickel with a vintage brass-like finish adds just enough edge to a formal outfit to keep it classy with a little sass. The highlight of Neen’s piece is the brilliant contrast of texture and pattern. The cascading leaf pattern down the left-hand side of the choker creates a unique asymmetrical design against the smooth mirrored finish on the right.
Get yours at Shopbop – and get it fast. These limited edition masterpieces are selling out fast. The price packs quite a punch, but beauty is pain and we say this one is worth it.
Samantha House continues to breed talent and style with Chevron – the latest jewelry collection from the well-acclaimed Boston designer.
The line is sold exclusively at Flock Boutique and was inspired by the owner, Dani Kupsc. House captured her “free love glam” style with these refined but edgy pieces in gold and silver. It was Kupsc’s obsession with geometric shapes that inspired House’s triangle-shaped necklaces, earrings, and bracelets – hence, Chevron.
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Maybe I’ve been living under a rock for the past 19 years but up until this point, I was under the impression that mustaches were definitely not cool. Unless found on the upper lip of Robert Downey Jr. or Brad Pitt (and even that is pushing it), mustaches are not stylish in any way, shape or form.
Or so I thought.
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P.L.U.R. (peace love unity and respect) are the four pillars of raver culture. This acronym is frequently featured on the brightly colored ‘Kandi’ jewelry that so often adorn the limbs of these ecstatic dancers. Now, I’m not saying you should walk out of work right this second and buy super baggy neon pants and furry ears to wear around on the daily, but there is something magnetic about the colors featured in this culture, and Blandine Bardeau, the French jewelry designer has very succinctly captured this fluorescence in her pieces. These are by no means understated, in fact, they are outright loud, yet they carry a beauty that evokes Zulu tribal jewelry, Native American beadwork, and most notably the aforementioned London rave scene.
Blandine Bardeau graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2009, and in addition to her jewelry she actively pursues illustration. In both mediums she deals with the fantastic, allowing for a graceful touch of the absurd in all of her work. Despite her newcomer status, she has already designed and put together jewelry for a Selfridges storefront, had her jewelry featured in many music videos, and has pieces that can be purchased in stores all over the world.
GET IT HERE.
Let’s face it, the friendship bracelets you made during arts and crafts at sleep-away camp never came out looking this good. This summer, relive your youth by sporting an armful of these Shaka Lanyard Bracelets. Sold in an array of fluorescent color and equipped with gold plated clasp closures, there are as many possibilities for pairing these hand woven creations by nOir as there are animal crackers in the camp’s snack jar.
GET IT HERE.
Rumor has it this solid brass cuff was influenced by the Rite of Spring scene in the classic Disney film Fantasia. However, I speculate the creative team behind jewelry company nOir spent a night locked in the Museum of Natural History (sans Ben Stiller and Dick Van Dyke) and woke up inspired by its extensive dinosaur exhibit.
Regardless, there is no denying just how damn cool this piece is. For proof, look no further than the effortlessly chic singer and mother of two Gwen Stefani, who wore this plated gold bracelet embellished with hundreds of Cubic Zirconia stones in pave setting on the cover of Elle UK earlier this year.
Like a fine glass of Bordeaux, or George Clooney, it would seem the dinosaur motif only gets better with age.
GET IT HERE.
Just opened at the Museum of Fine Arts is Jewels, Gems, and Treasures: Ancient to Modern. The exhibit will be in the new Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation Gallery, a gallery devoted purely to jewelry exhibitions. The perimeter of the room is lined with lush jewelry and adornments, punctuated in the middle by a large glass case in which lies a chest. This intricately filigreed chest is covered with the richest golden amber, each piece ensconced lovingly within its setting. The whole exhibit was lit wonderfully, allowing each piece to glow, sparkle, and shine.
The concept for the show was to query our understanding of what is rare and valuable, and showcases jewelry made from a vast spectrum of materials – everything from shells and feathers to multiple carat diamonds. That means, in moving counter clockwise around the room, we see a transition from organic materials commonly found outdoors to semi-precious and precious stones, and then another metamorphosis into jewelry that doesn’t have worth due to how many carats the diamonds are, but how thoughtfully made the piece was.
While many entering the show were immediately drawn to the diamonds, a small Nubian pendant with a gold-cast head of Hathor draws my attention. It sits and glows regally, flanked by other Nubian ornaments. Reputedly it is the only one of its kind, since most of the smaller items in these Sudanese tombs were heavily looted. The pendant is said to be imbued with magic, and is used to protect the wearer against maleficent energies. Hathor seems aware of his worth; smugly sitting atop the clear stone, “size is not everything,” the small head seems to say.
Moving on through the exhibition, diamonds sparkle alongside deep amethysts, and one can see how severely cultural differences shape the aesthetics of jewelry-making.
Perhaps the most conceptually intriguing piece was at the end of the show, where a bangle with a large sphere of gold is coated in a thick layer of rubber, obscuring any of the precious materials used for its creation. Thus the worth of the bracelet is unbeknownst to all but the owner.
Jewels, Gems, and Treasures: Ancient to Modern will be on display until November 2012.
You probably already know that the Museum of Fine Arts has opened the first gallery in the United States dedicated exclusively to jewelry. What you may not know is that the MFA was also the first museum to dedicate a curatorship to jewerly, as well. I caught up with Yvonne Markowitz, the Rita J. Kaplan and Susan B. Kaplan Curator of Jewelry , to discuss her role at the MFA, her fascination with Egypt, and her own jewelry designs.
KCQ: Let’s start at the beginning: you’re a renowned specialist in Egyptology. What drew you to Egypt?
YM: It was actually a second career. I was an art therapist for many years and worked for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I burned out and my husband said, ‘Why don’t you do something that you really would like to spend the rest of your life doing?’ I always had a passion for Egypt, so I went to Brandeis because they had a great graduate program there. Then I came to work at the MFA.
KCQ: Where does your passion for jewelry come from?
YM: My specialty in Egyptology is ancient jewelry so I spent a good deal of time working on art-excavated collections of Egyptian ornament. Also, the Museum, along with Harvard University, spent several decades excavating tombs in the Sudan, which is ancient Nubia. Nubia and Egypt had a very close relationship in antiquity. We have a wonderful collection of excavated material from Nubia also. Basically that is how I spent my research days here.
KCQ: If you weren’t working at the MFA, what other profession could you see yourself doing?
YM: Well, I make jewelry. I like working with unusual natural specimens, particularly rutilated quartzes and clear quartzes that have pieces of needles made of copper and other metals. The way the needles are arranged in the stone gives the lens a certain type of geometric appeal to me, somewhat random but quite beautiful.
KCQ: Do you have a focus in your jewelry? Earrings? Bracelets? Necklaces?
YM: Primarily pendants or necklaces.
KCQ: Clearly, you get your hands on some of the world’s most remarkable jewelry. Do you have a favorite piece from the exhibition?
YM:I have a couple of favorites. One is the ancient Nubian Hathor pendant. It has the image of the head of the goddess Hathor, she’s the cow goddess. So her sundress is a sun disk with cow horns. Her head rests on this rock crystal orb and in the center there is a gold tube that probably contains a magical piece of folded gold with text on it or images. And I really like the Colt diamond necklace.
KCQ: Tell me about the latter piece.
YM: That was a necklace given in 1856 by Samuel Colt, the gun merchant, to his bride Elizabeth Jarvis, with matching earrings.
KCQ: As the first jewelry curator in the U.S. you are in charge of overseeing the Museum’s extensive jewelry collection. Could you expand more on your position at the MFA?
YM: I guess the most enjoyable part is I get to handle research and write about the collection. I also make recommendations for purchases for acquisitions. I work with donors, donors who are very generous in gifting us wonderful pieces of jewelry or providing funds for us to purchase objects. And I write books and I put on exhibitions.
KCQ: Having studied ancient and contemporary jewelry, do you have a preference?
YM: I like good design, all times, all places. If the piece is well made and the design is good, it appeals to me. Of course, I always have a soft spot for ancient jewelry because I spent a lot of time particularly with ancient Egyptian beadwork. But I like modern studio jewelry also. We have a wonderful collection of contemporary studio pieces, a collection that was given to us in 2006, the Daphne Fargo collection of studio jewelry that is probably the best of its kind in the United States.
KCQ: Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry that you own or have made?
YM: I have some pieces that are favorites because jewelry is unlike most art forms in that it is personal and most we often associate it with special events, rights of passage. So, the wedding band my husband gave me I value. It’s a simple Tiffany ring.
KCQ: Any others?
YM: There is a piece I made, a piece that I like a lot. It’s a piece with rutilated quartz that looks like an abstract landscape of sand dunes with wire grasses just because of the way the rutilation in the quartz are arranged. I put it in a simple bezel and where a sun would be I drilled through the quartz and a diamond has been set in that. It is a diamond sun.
KCQ: Any sources for fellow jewelry enthusiasts who may not have your access to such incredible pieces?
YM: Skinner. They have four jewelry auctions per year.
KCQ: As a keeper of jewelry, I’d think you must be quite conscious of where you place your jewelry. Do you store your unworn jewelry in a jewelry box?
YM: I actually keep each piece in an archival plastic bag. A wooden box is a very bad place to keep jewelry because the wood is acidic and it makes silver tarnish faster. I keep only archival museum-like conditions for my jewelry. And I store them in archival boxes. I have a box for bracelets, a box for rings, necklaces.
KCQ: What’s one piece of jewelry you’ve misplaced that you wish you could go back in time to retrieve?
YM: It was a bracelet that was given to me when I was a young child. It was a gold bangle and I wore it for many years. I thought I misplaced it in the house. But it was never found.
KCQ: When I’m having a bad day, I am guilty of indulging in retail therapy. Do you ever go on therapeutic jewelry shopping sprees?
YM: No, I think I am pretty calculated in the way I go about it. I am more likely to eat chocolate for therapy!
Any of my friends can tell you, I love a good cocktail ring. I wear one nearly every day. But much as I plead, most of my ‘practical’ friends cite one reason for not getting in on the fun: cocktail rings usually pack quite a punch in the profile department. While I obviously don’t have any trouble wearing a ring that could accidentally knock a glass off a table when I walk by, I understand some of you may not be as willing, so I offer this AMAZING ring from Lady Grey as the best of both worlds!
Yes, it has a low, comfortable profile, but with its unique double-layered design, staggered geometric shapes, and–my very favorite aspect–its hand-applied, gradient patina finish, it’s anything but understated.
GET IT HERE.
or take in a selection of Lady Grey locally at:
60 Northern Avenue
Boston, MA 02210
P | (612) 262 6100
Words cannot describe just how much I love this epaulet necklace from (In)Decorous Taste. Talk about wow factor, add this piece t0 any boring LBD and you’ll instantly be transformed into the baddest bitch in the room. Striking, beautiful, and depending on your nerve, a go with anything accessory.
As the oft-quoted but wildly underappreciated, erudite scholar Bobby Brown once said: it’s my prerogative.
GET IT HERE.
Sculptural, futuristic, inspired by the grace of nature, who would ever guess that a rubber and aluminum ring would become one of my most loved pieces of statement jewelry? And yet, Ian Henderson, the local designer behind this amazing and infinitely unique ring has found a way to do it. Lightweight and incredibly elegant, the piece is an easy addition to almost any evening ensemble.
Looking for something a little more understated? Try one of Ian Henderson’s single plume rings. Or if you’re ready to really make a statement, commission one of his incredibly dramatic custom designs.
Get it HERE.
EDITOR AT LARGE
CHIEF FASHION CORRESPONDENT
Anna Paula Goncalves
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