Q & A and Visit with Emily Stoehrer of MFA Boston

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After a long and exciting week in Boston, I had a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts set up to feed my jewelry history cravings. One of my favorite things about my love and passion for jewelry is learning! Museum exhibits are such a great way to see and learn, often producing a lifelong impact or memory–especially for me. Whenever there is a headlining jewelry exhibit, I like to try to schedule trips in hopes of catching it before it ends. Lucky for Boston, the MFA has quite an extensive jewelry department that is constantly researching, collaborating, and creating new exhibits. I got to have a private tour with Emily Stoehrer who is not only a wealth of knowledge, but highly dedicated and involved in what she does for the museum. I was fascinated in so many ways, as she brought me through the MFA’s current exhibit Past is Present: Revival Jewelry.

Learn more about Emily as she answers my questions below and make sure you stop by the exhibit before it ends in August of 2018. Can’t wait to visit again!

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I am the Rita J. Kaplan and Susan B. Kaplan Curator of Jewelry. It’s a unique role in an American fine art museum, which was established in 2006. I was appointed in 2014, and over the last three years have worked to develop the exhibition program; add extraordinary jewels to the collection; connect with jewelers, designers, and collectors; and collaborate with colleagues across the museum to plan programming and events

Spanning thousands of years of jewelry history, there are more than 20,000 objects in the jewelry collection. Highlights include our ancient collections and contemporary jewelry, but over the last decade have added to our holding of fine jewelry. A great example of this is a gift given by the Rothschild family a few years ago, which included an outstanding pearl and diamond necklace that dates to the late nineteenth century. With large, perfectly matched natural pearls, it’s an extraordinary treasure! Yvonne Markowitz (who is the Rita J. Kaplan and Susan B. Kaplan Curator of Jewelry Emerita) and I have worked to establish a jewelry resource center for anyone interested in the study of jewelry, and as part of that we have also worked with the Curator of Design to acquire jewelry with related design drawings. Studying drawings from firms like Trabert & Hoeffer Mauboussin, the manufacturer-jeweler Louis Ferón, and the artist-craftsman Frank Gardner Hale, alongside the jewelry they made, has greatly informed our understanding of jewelry and how the industry operated historically.

We have also worked to add strength to strength by filling in gaps in our historical collection. For example, until recently we did not have anything by Carlo Giuliano. But, this year we added two amazingly naturalistic gold and enamel butterflies to the collection—a Duke of Burgundy and Bath White butterfly, to be specific. They are impossibly thin, and enameled on both sides to show every detail of the butterfly’s body and wings. They are a stunning example of the goldsmith’s art. Another historically important and spectacular ornament that I recently acquired is the Apparitions brooch which was designed by Eugene Grasset and made by Henri Vever for the 1900 Paris Exposition. It’s hauntingly beautiful art nouveau aesthetic won them the Grand Prix.

My favorite part of the job is the research and planning that goes into creating an exhibition—doing research in libraries and archives and taking a deep dive into historical documents, publications, and material culture. Unfortunately, as I run from meeting to meeting, I don’t get to spend as much time doing this as I would like. So, I rely on some a team of volunteers and interns to help with some of it. Once the research has been done, and the objects have been selected, the real fun begins. I have learned so much about the storytelling capabilities of jewelry from working with the MFA’s remarkable exhibition designers, mountmakers, and conservators as we discuss and mock-up how each object will be displayed in the gallery.

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As any lover of jewelry knows, the past has consistently inspired jewelers and designers. While interest in historicism was particularly strong during the nineteenth century, there were great revival jewels made before 1800 and after 1900. In the same way the Victorians struggled with the tension between mass-production and hand-craftsmanship, we grapple with digital design and the pace of modern life. So, I see this as a topic that is as relevant today as it was 150 years ago, and if you think about it that way you’ll notice many examples of twentieth and twenty-first century jewelry that engage with a historical narrative. I hope that visitors enjoy seeing traditional “revivalist” ornaments by outstanding jewelers like Castellani and Giuliano, Bapst and Falize and Boucheron, but also some unexpected surprises like a 9-foot titanium python necklace by Munich-based contemporary jeweler David Bielander, and that the juxtaposition makes them question their notion of revival jewelry.

The exhibition highlights four revival styles: Archeological, Classical, Renaissance, and Egyptian. Each case in the intimate space includes a choice group of jewelry aimed to tell a story – travel, nationalism, graduation, cameo, scarabs, and snakes are just a few of the themes explored. If you pay very close attention to the labels, visitors might also be delighted to learn how early some of these objects were added to the MFA collection. Like the Met, the MFA was founded in 1870, and some of these jewels were acquired in the subsequent decades, making them contemporary jewelry when they were donated. A neoclassical necklace and five brooches with mythological scenes in carved shell cameo, and a Castellani necklace, earrings, and brooch commissioned by the amber collector William Buffum are just two examples of the objects that have resided at the MFA for more than one hundred years. Newer acquisitions on view include: a tour-de-force bracelet by the Roman jeweler Ernesto Pierret that features a central bovine head, granulation, and two menacing faces that come together to form the clap; a spectacular early twentieth-century neck ornament by G. Paulding Farham for Tiffany & Co.; and a slithering silver snake belt/necklace, with sapphire eyes, that Elsa Peretti designed for the American fashion designer Halston in the 1970s.

While 80% of the works on view are from the MFA collection, there are also some noteworthy loans. From the collection of Susan B. Kaplan, a startlingly lifelike lion speaks to the genius of Castellani’s designers and craftsmen. Unlike other micromosaic workshops, Castellani left the surface of their work uneven to create a glittering effected. Wartski Ltd., of London, loaned a demi-parure (belt buckle, brooch, and bracelet) by Falize Frères. Enameled on both sides, the glorious ornaments use translucent enamel and foil to create a fantastical scene with birds, like those seen in illuminated manuscripts. Generously sponsored by Cartier, the exhibition includes four magnificent twentieth-century ornaments from the Cartier Collection. Made between 1906 and 1928, the garland style medusa necklace, winged scarab belt buckle, Eye of Horus bracelet (that once belonged to Linda Porter), and the diamond chimera bracelet are outstanding examples of French revival jewelry, and the depth of the MFAs ancient collection allows for these dazzling jewels to be exhibited alongside the ancient artifacts that inspired their design.

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My path to jewelry was a crooked one. I have an undergraduate degree in Psychology, and had plans to attend law school. But a few years working in the District Attorney’s office, I changed my mind and I began researching graduate programs in fashion. In 2005 I moved to New York City and enrolled in the two-year Fashion & Textile Studies program at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Thanks to FIT’s remarkable alumni network I ended up back in my hometown with an internship at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. As an intern I worked with conservators in the Textile Conservation department to relocate the fashion collection.

My first full-time position at the MFA was as a Collections Care Specialist and my responsibilities included preparing more than 10,000 objects from the Asian costume and textile collection for photography – everything from kimono to dragon robes and textile fragments to temple hangings. When that project ended, I became the Curatorial Research Associate reporting to Yvonne Markowitz (then curator of jewelry). For two years I worked with her on the inaugural exhibition in the jewelry gallery, and the book Artful Adornment. Both the exhibition and the book focused on highlights from the MFA’s jewelry collection. Yvonne quickly became a very important part of my life, and has been an extraordinary mentor. She encouraged me to think about a future as a jewelry curator, bringing my knowledge of fashion history to the understanding of jewelry. She enthusiastically introduced me to her contacts and colleagues, took me to conferences, and supported my own research in the field. She also told me to consider a PhD.

During my time at the MFA, I had been teaching courses in textiles and fashion history, and in 2010 I left the Museum and took a position at a small college in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. As Program Director and Assistant Professor, I managed three robust fashion programs with more than 100 students. At the same time I took PhD courses and exams, and began work on my dissertation. My doctoral work focused on the intersection of fashion, jewelry, and media. I examined the vintage jewelry on the red carpet from 1995-2010 using Neil Lane’s collection as a case study.

After nearly 30 years at the MFA, Yvonne retired in 2014 and I was appointed to replace her. Over the last three years, I curated the exhibitions Hollywood Glamour: Fashion and Jewelry from the Silver Screen, Past is Present: Revival Jewelry, and smaller installations; planned jewelry related events and trips for the MFA’s Fashion Council; traveled extensively to lecture, visit art fairs and exhibitions, participated in educational opportunities organized by Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts (ASJRA) and Art Jewelry Forum (AJF) trips, attend conferences, visited collectors, galleries, designers, and jewelers. It’s been a whirlwind. Recently I have taken on two leadership roles, joining the board of directors for the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) and the Boston chapter of the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA).

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I am immersed in research for two forthcoming exhibitions, and a book related to my doctoral work.

Opening in September 2018, an exhibition of Boston arts and crafts jewelry and metalwork will replace Past is Present in the Stanley H. and Rita J. Kaplan Family Foundation Gallery. From the establishment of the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts to the disastrous 1929 stock market crash that crippled many artist craftsmen, this exhibition will be the first to focus solely on Boston jewelers, and will include design drawings, jewelry, and hollowware by artists like Frank Gardner Hale, Josephine Hartwell Shaw, Margaret Rogers, and Edward Everett Oakes.

That exhibition will be followed by one on Elsa Peretti, who will be celebrating 50 years as a designer in 2020. Beginning her design career making jewelry and accessories for Giorgio Sant’ Angelo and Halston before joining Tiffany & Co., Peretti has created timeless designs that continue to resonate with modern consumers. Her refined taste has focused, primarily, on silver but the exhibition will feature a diverse sample of her work, as well as her inspirations, and—of course—include a fashion element. An esteemed arbiter of style, fashion icon, and friend of many twentieth century notables, this exhibition will celebrate Peretti’s life and career.

My work at the MFA keeps me very busy, but I am also in the midst of writing a book titled Jewelry in Celebrity Culture: Glamour and the Hollywood Spectacle. It will be published as part of I.B. Taurus’s Dress Culture series (edited by Reina Lewis and Elizabeth Wilson). From the tour-de-force necklace that the American firm Trabert & Hoeffer loaned Colette Colbert to wear in the 1935 film The Gilded Lily to the impact of The Representation Project’s #askhermore campaign, the book will examine how jewelry aids in Hollywood’s production of glamour.

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To be honest, the last three years have been a series of highlights. The people I have had the opportunity to meet have been the most memorable. The many conversations and meetings I had with Neil Lane as I conducted research on Hollywood jewelry and his private collection, having lunch with Elsa Peretti in Sant Marti Vell, Spain and discussing her incredible life and work, and spending two days in Wallace Chan’s Hong Kong atelier are at the top of the list!

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I look forward to seeing the field grow in new and exciting ways. There are so many M.A. programs that embrace the study of jewelry history, and there remain extensive subjects awaiting scholarly work. Coupled with a G.G. I think there is extraordinary potential for research and writing. I was lucky to have a great mentor, who guided my career path, and if you can find an experienced curator or historian to play that role for you, it’s priceless. This field is so welcoming. I encourage anyone interested in jewelry to find others that share their passion, social media is a great place for this.

Being a museum curator is much more multi-faceted than I realized after leaving graduate school. Even after years working at the Museum, it wasn’t until I was a curator that I realized the diverse requirements of the job—a natural curiosity, a mastery of your subject area and how it connects to other types of art, a vision and strong ideas that you can translate into exhibitions, excellence in building and maintaining relationships with artists and collectors, as well as strong research, writing, and public speaking skills.

I am very lucky that the MFA has such a vibrant jewelry program. My position, the gallery, and the prominence of jewelry at the MFA is all thanks to tremendous generosity Susan B. Kaplan. It is our hope that other American fine art museums will expand their collection, exhibition, and publication related to jewelry. And, that similar positions will emerge at other American museums.

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Gem Gossip Visits M. Flynn Jewelry in Boston, MA

Come along with me as I take you inside M. Flynn in Boston!

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Such a gorgeous selection of engagement & wedding — these are a mix of Anna Sheffield & M. Flynn’s own bridal designs, shop bridal

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Getting the store tour from co-founder Megan

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some of Page Sargisson zodiac medallions, a best-seller

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I’m wearing some pieces from M. Flynn’s estate selection, the necklace was created out of a collection of vintage hat charms!

M Flynn | Gem Gossip

I love the crystal chandeliers and white fixtures–it is its own jewel box!

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Some more vintage pieces from their estate section: antique buttons turned into pendants, a scottie dog, and a stick pin converted into a pendant

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The entire back wall is covered in crystals floating from invisible wire–it is quite magical!

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M. Flynn has all the right studs to create an epic ear stack, shop earrings — and loving the turquoise selection, Mociun + vintage

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Turquoise has taken over a section of this case and we’re not mad at that.

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A fun line of jewelry called Loquet allows you to customize gems and gold trinkets inside a rock crystal dome

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Wearing rings by Misa Jewelry and necklaces by Page Sargisson

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M. Flynn loves working one-on-one with clients to help them find the perfect piece!

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I can’t get enough of these estate pieces!

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The shop has been open since 2009 and is located amongst some amazing restaurants and walking areas.

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Nautical, New England style fully represented in the Turk’s Head collection by AGA Correa

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Fashion jewelry also lines the shelves of the shop, along with jewelry books and other jewel-inspired gifts

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An up-close shot of the necklaces from Page Sargisson & diamond Misa Jewelry

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Shop M. Flynn’s estate collection

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myself with the founders & owners of M. Flynn, sister duo Megan & Moria

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Gorgeous crystal chandeliers are the perfect touch to the light and airy decor

M Flynn | Gem Gossip

Vintage charms found at M. Flynn

A dazzling curtain of crystals which doubles as artwork…all the best jewelry books one can fathom…flawless displays…sparkling jewelry of all kinds…and one mascot named Stu. This reads as the ultimate recipe for a beautiful, successful jewelry store, which happens to be a real-life place. It is called M. Flynn Jewelry and the shop is located in Boston, Massachusetts. I was lucky enough to visit the store on my #JewelryRoadTrip, where I learned all about its beginnings, what it has to offer, as well as the two sisters behind the namesake: Megan & Moria Flynn!

Opened in 2009, the store fostered the sisters’ love for all things sparkly. Elizabeth Taylor is a jewelry icon for all of the world, but for Megan & Moria, she is everything! They wanted to create a space where they can serve multiple needs for their clients and the store has evolved over the past several years, growing along the way. Their are a few important features of M. Flynn Jewelry–so let’s break down each one!

Their own line of jewelry: if you need classic, every day wear pieces the M. Flynn line is just what you’re looking for. Gemstone rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings make up the line, including bridal options as well. They also have a collaboration collection called the Gates Collection which they’ve created along with an interior designer/blogger that is highly popular–Erin Gates.

Designer jewelry: M. Flynn has been expanding each year, adding new designers they feel are a good fit for both their store and the Boston area. Some of the best selling and favorites are Adel Chefridi, Page Sargisson, EF Collection, Misa Jewelry, Mociun, Loquet, Kelly Bello, and more.

Bridal jewelry: An ideal destination for all your wedding needs, M. Flynn can create your dream ring! They also have a large assortment of finished pieces from their own designs, as well as top designer engagement rings from Anna Sheffield, Mociun, Misa Jewelry, and Page Sargisson. They also have a selection of men’s wedding bands too!

Estate Jewelry: All periods, all styles–M. Flynn loves it all, so if it is delicate and sentimental or retro and unique, you will find it here. Lots of rings, some earrings and necklaces, and a large assortment of charms. This section is ever-changing and always one-of-a-kind, so check back often!

Fashion Jewelry: I know Gem Gossip does not cover fashion jewelry at all, but it is noteworthy that M. Flynn does carry fashion jewelry–lots of different designers, such as Lizzie Fortunato, Pamela Love, and Alexis Bittar–and great price points for gift-giving season.

Gifts/Accessories: Who knew jewelry-related gifts were so fun?! Gem Water bottles, jewelry travel cases, fragrances, cards, candles, jewelry books…you name it, they have it! I need this store in my life during the holidays!

Custom design: Besides all the above amazingness, M. Flynn also can custom design your dream piece. Whether you bring in family stones or have nothing at all except for a few slight ideas, they are here to help with that. You will be loving the finished result and coming back for more.

Hope you enjoy browsing the above photos from my visit–I know you will have heart-emoji eyes while doing so. Megan & Moria are truly so nice and have such a passion for what they do–I also have major respect for Megan getting her gemology degree at GIA. Not many store owners do so and I think that’s amazing! Next time you’re in Boston, pop in and say hi–make sure to pet Stu for me!

M Flynn

40 Waltham St.

Boston, MA 02118

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Q & A with Nektar De Stagni Fine Jewelry

Spike Jewelry Set by Nektar De Stagni

Transforming soft, elegant pearls into edgy and cool pieces of jewelry, Nektar De Stagni has created a fine jewelry brand that is both fun and here to stay. I’m loving everything about it, including the smiley (and non-smiley) pearl emoji dudes, whether they’re in pendant form, ring form, or earrings, these provoke positivity! I personally own the spike pearl necklace in yellow gold and every time I wear it, someone always asks about it!

Nektar De Stagni has creativity in her blood and first launched her fashion brand at the young age of 21. Both the response and the passion she felt from her jewelry which also launched had led her to solely focus on NDS her fine jewelry identity and brand. Since its inception in 2008, Nektar De Stagni has become a cult favorite and is currently carried at Nordstrom, The Webster, Opening Ceremony, and several other retailers, including her own e-commerce website. We caught up with the busy entrepreneur and DJ to learn the latest:

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We are currently working on expanding on the Pearl Styles to include other cute symbols like Hearts, Peace signs, and Letters/initials!

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I have been designing since I was a little girl. I have sketches of jewelry as early as age 6! When I was 18 I started a ready to wear company and made jewelry accessories to complement the clothes. The jewelry was really popular and it slowly took over. In 2008 I decided to launch Nektar De Stagni Fine Jewelry as a standalone brand.

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Seeing my jewelry in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Bergdorf Goodman, and worn by Rihanna is a major thrill!

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I would love to one day collaborate with Tiffany & Co, and Cartier.

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I love all of my jewelry, but the Smiley Emoji Pearl Ring is a great reminder to stay positive and grateful every day 🙂

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Enter to win your own Nektar De Stagni smile emoji pearl ring — click here!

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Weekday Wardrobe: When Shoes Are Just As Important As Rings

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If you know me or read my blog, it is apparent that I love jewelry, especially rings. When it comes to fashion–like clothing and accessories–I’m the type of person to look for a deal or purchase online at places that feature trendy clothing mostly under $100, often called “fast fashion.” I look at jewelry as investment pieces, and I know fashion and accessories can be as well, but I have a tough time putting my money into cotton fabric and other materials. Gold is gold and diamonds are diamonds!

In that same breadth, I’ve been really into buying shoes lately and experimenting with different styles. They truly can change an entire look, from a simple outfit to a memorable one! I’m obsessed with these two pairs I recently got from Tobi.com — the Alie Nude Lucite Peep Toe Booties & the Faye Feather Ankle Strap Heels. I took a pair of fishnet socks and wore them underneath the lucite booties to give the look some texture–and the feathers are just so pretty. I love feathers in fashion; like a splash of feathers on a shoe like this or a small clutch purse done in feathers–totally statement-making.

Thought this would be a different take on my normal Weekday Wardrobe posts and hope you like it! Here are the details on my two ring looks and you can shop my shoes below by clicking on the photos!

Lucite Look Rings:

  • elongated diamond ring from Miami Antique Show 2017
  • sapphire and diamond alternative engagement ring from Maejean Vintage, stone cut by TopNotch Faceting
  • gold wave ring from Cleopatra’s Barge Fine Jewelry in Naples, FL
  • diamond elongated ring from Hampton Estate Jewelry
  • wide Eye of Warrior ring from Communion by Joy
  • various baby rings used as pinky rings and midi-rings

Feather Heel Rings:

  • tiny cameo ring from eBay
  • mid-size cameo ring from Ageless Heirlooms
  • different sized baby rings on one pinky
  • “Feel the Love” pinky ring by Jessie V E
  • large Victorian onyx brooch converted into a ring

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WANT MORE? Check out my past Weekday Wardrobe posts

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Valentine’s Day Picks from KAVADOR

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Launched in 2015, Kavador was created with a main goal in mind: to dig into the vaults of jewelry stores around the country and give these hidden jewels their time to shine online! Jennie Pastor, CEO and Founder of Kavador, and myself have a few things in common. One of them being that we both realize there are so many amazing pieces of jewelry out there belonging to smaller, independent jewelers that don’t have the means to promote their inventory online. Websites are expensive and having one that is fully functional with e-commerce capability is often way over a jewelry store owner’s head. Just as I like to travel the US, visiting jewelry stores to showcase all that is out there, Kavador does as well! Only they have a whole team dedicated to curating items they find and listing them online, available for purchase. Kavador has quickly become a growing marketplace for stores to sell their pieces and for jewelry lovers to frequent often to find new treasures. And if you glance at their inventory, you’ll recognize right away how this website needs to be on your radar and checked regularly! Their SOLD gallery is fun to look at as well, although it is slightly sad because they’ve already found their forever home.

I’m so excited to partner with Kavador–not only have I gotten the chance to learn more about this amazing company and speak with Jennie (interview below) but I also got to curate my own favorites just in time for Valentine’s Day. I’ve also got a special treat for everyone–have $150 credit on me! Have fun exploring the vaults of Kavador and use code GEMGOSSIP150 from now until the end of February for your $150 credit.

As a kid, I have always been attracted to glitter and sparkle – I made my own accessories, tinkered with colorful nails and clothes and hair… No surprise then that I married into a family of jewelers and gemologists!

My family has been in the fine jewelry business for over 40 years, owning and operating independent retail jewelry stores and developing relationships with jewelry lovers and buyers as they select and maintain jewelry for generations. I’ve personally watched how dramatically the industry has changed in the last decade, specifically the challenges faced by independent local retailers in the face of changing consumer buying patterns and reduced in-store foot traffic.

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How to make Jhumka earrings

I like doing simple projects on lazy Sunday afternoons that keep me occupied for an hour or two just after my lunch.

I like doing simple projects on lazy Sunday afternoons that keep me occupied for an hour or two just after my lunch. One such afternoon, I stumbled upon some white silk thread jhumka bases I had bought and wondered if I could use them for something else other than Silk Thread jhumkas. My eyes then slowly wandered to the top shelf of my craft materials cupboard where I keep all my paints and glitter and that was when I knew what I wanted to do with them – make light weight glitter jhumka earrings

DIY Glitter Jhumka Earrings Tutorial
DIY Glitter Jhumka Earrings Tutorial

Materials
– 1 pair jhumka base (acrylic hemispherical dome) – any size
– Silver spray acrylic paint
– Mod Podge sparkle (referred to as MP)
– Iced enamel – Silver Inclusion
– Iced Enamels – Relique Glitz Silver
– silver tone eye pins – 2
– silver tone ear hook – 2
– 10mm Silver crystal Rondells – 2
2 mm Silver crystal Rondells – 2
– Round Faux pearls -2
– 2mm glue on clear rhinestones

Tools – Paint brush, Nose pliers, wire cutter


Method
1. Spray paint both the top and the inside of the jhumka bases ( I have used medium size) with silver paint. If you do not have spray paint use can use acrylic paint from a bottle. Spraying is easier. Do 2 coats and let it dry between each coat and between spraying the top and the bottom. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
2. Apply a coat of modpodge to the inside of the domes to seal the paint and let it dry once again.

DIY Glitter Jhumka Earrings Tutorial
3. Apply a liberal coat of MP on the top of the base with a brush and sprinkle Iced enamel – Silver Inclusion glitter on it. You can use any Silver glitter, I used Silver inclusion as that was what I had in hand. Blow slightly on the glitter so that it sticks on to the MP and add more MP at this stage followed by a sprinkling of the Relique Glitz Silver. Let it dry.
I have used two different silver glitters here for added depth and dimension (and as I find the regular shiny glitter earrings somewhat tacky). Here the glitz silver is white and reflects a lot of light while the inclusions is a gray silver with a lot of depth. I have used MP sparkle to intensify the shine, you could use the matt version if you want less shine.Yes, the earrings do look much better in person and there are not very glittery.
4. Once they are half dry (slightly tacky to touch) add more MP and glue the rhinestones on. Let it dry completely.
DIY Glitter Jhumka Earrings Tutorial
Assembling
1. To a silver tone headpin, add a pearl bead (for weight) and put add the dome on it.
2. Add the larger crystal bead followed by the 2mm bead and using your nose pliers create a loop and Add ear hooks before you close
DIY Glitter Jhumka Earrings Tutorial

Variations:
1. Use different designs of earhooks to change the look and the length (as shown)
2. Use a different color glitter (copper or bronze would be interesting) and other coordinating beads with it
3. Instead of a Jhumka, make tassel earrings using the same idea by adding chains instead of the pearls

Now that 90’s trends like culottes, white sneakers, sailor stripes, and polyester pleated skirts are coming back with a vengeance, I am pretty sure that fine glitter earrings (Gosh I had plenty of them as a kid) are going to come back too. What do you think? Do tell me in the comments if you wear jewelry or accessories that have glitter on them and your reasons for wearing/not wearing glitter.

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Latest Feminine Wedding Accessories – a guest post

Evolving from striking metallic bling to a muted boho feminine soft look, wedding accessories have come a long way in the past few years.

Evolving from striking metallic bling to a muted boho feminine soft look, wedding accessories have come a long way in the past few years. Evoking a softly romantic vintage and boho look, muted tones and softer metallic elements are embellishing the wedding accessories of choice right now. No longer sharp and clear, the jewels of now are muted and soft, the metals are rose gold and antique silver, and the embellishments are pearl, cream and neutral in hue. The softly romantic look is perfect for adding a touch of romance and femininity to the bride and her bridesmaids.

Make a Simple Wedding Gown Gorgeous with Bridal Belts
Taking a simple wedding gown and making it completely unique with elegant touches of color and style is perfect for the boho bride. Allowing brides to choose an unadorned wedding dress and add their own touches of style to make their wedding dress completely theirs without the cost of a couturier is right on trend. The perfect wedding accessory for this look is an embellished bridal belt and boy, is the bridal belt having a big moment right now!

The embellished bridal sash sits around the bride’s waist like a belt would, covered with pearls, Swarovski crystals, metallic thread and colored stones. The bridal belt can be as simple or as over the top as the bride chooses, and they have the choice of the most incredible array of jewels, beads, pearls, threads and sashes to add a complete mix of their own personality to a plain wedding dress. Divine!


Wedding Hair Accessories Go Boho Chic

Brides of now are choosing to bring boho chic to their romantic wedding hair looks too. Romantic wedding hair accessories are most beautifully styled as stunning boho bridal halos embellished to match a bridal belt and add more of a feminine look to bridal hair. A truly wanderlust and bohemian choice, the bridal halo sits firmly as a favorite for brides everywhere right now. Halos embellished with crystals and pearls studded with some fresh flowers to spill over a veil or in place of a traditional wedding veil are the look of choice. Romance is alive and well.

lace hairclip

Add Romance with Vintage Styled Wedding Combs
For the brides, who prefer an antique or a vintage styled wedding, the bridal comb is a must have. Perfectly sitting in either an up-do like a classic French roll or bun, or pushed into the side of a romantic long loose haired look, a wedding comb is an easy way to bring vintage romance to your wedding look. The in-trend bridal combs are hand embellished with pearls, crystals and rose gold to match perfectly with your antique or vintage wedding theme.

Feminine Wedding Accessories
With all the romance of muted undertones and a pop of color overtone, wedding accessories are following the overarching trend of feminine wedding themes. Boho, wanderlust, antique, and vintage have ruled the wedding scene for a couple of years and we’re seeing the muted tones of wedding accessories in blush, pearl, cream, rose gold and ivory to fit.
If you’re looking to bring femininity to your wedding style, choose neutral undertones and overtones in encrusted accessories to your heart’s content to get the look that suits you perfectly, and runs right on trend as feminine and beautiful for your wedding day.

Author Bio:
Kathryn Porritt is the owner of Bridal Style Inc., your feminine online wedding shop filled with a curated collection of bridal accessories, wedding lingerie and wedding gowns to buy online. A celebrated author on all things weddings and parties, and an experienced wedding planner and stylist, Kathryn’s unique feminine wedding style is brought to her customers through her beautiful online wedding collections.

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Ideals of beauty

What is beauty? Who is beautiful?These are questions I ask fashion communication students after they complete my semester and a half long course on Costume Appreciation, where we discuss the aesthetics, beautification processes, and attire worn by people around the globe.

What is beauty? Who is beautiful?
These are questions I ask fashion communication students after they complete my semester and a half long course on Costume Appreciation, where we discuss the aesthetics, beautification processes, and attire worn by people around the globe. For me, it is the single most thought provoking discussion that a fashion school can and must have and after a lot of thought, I am sharing my views on this topic here.

History teaches us that there is no one yardstick for measuring beauty and how Various ideals of beauty have evolved over time. In some cultures, spotless white or black skin is the ideal of beauty while in some other tattooed or painted skin is considered beautiful. Some prefer no accessories while other elongate necks and earlobes with jewelry. Some think anklets indicate slavery while other think they celebrate free-spirited nature. With the passing of time, different cultures have borrowed from each other, amalgamating their ideals with those that contradict them, leading to rich cultural practices.

Photo: Kritarth Ghosh, Model: Adhithi Priya, Headgear: Divya N, Concept: Birth of Colors
When the (Victorian) British came to India, they were shocked to see even women from respectable families without blouses or wearing skirts that reached the knee. It went against their tenets of modesty, respect, and cultural values. However, here, in the hot, humid subcontinent skin show was not just accepted but also appreciated for what it is worth. Slowly, along with their mindset, their clothing process also changed and the west started accepting show of skin (on certain parts of the body) as a sign of beauty. At the same time, Indians, who coveted the high neck, ruffled collared blouses and tweed jackets of the English felt that covering the body made them more beautiful and hence covering the body became the Indian culture while baring skin became western culture.
Image from Basics: Fashion design – Jewellery design by Elizabeth Glaton; book review coming up soon

In the past European women, applied lead powder on their faces as paleness was considered the epitome of beauty and in the process suffered painful cancers. Hindu, Tamil Brahmin women used to apply turmeric on their face and hands as yellow was considered as the auspicious (mangalagaram) mark of a married woman (Sumangali). Marie Antoinette’s powdered hair is legendary along with the staggeringly high fruit and feather coiffures of the18th century noblewomen which would be inhabited by mice and vermin. Until the mid 90’s only curvy women were considered sexy in Indian movies with 2000’s giving way to anorexic models.

Who is to say what is right? In this age of extensive and often extreme grooming does the concept of Saamudrika Lakshanam hold good?

One of the main functions of fashion is gender identification and differentiation but how can we define how a man or woman should look without considering the context of the civilization, the geographics, demographics and the evolutions of the culture?

Lord Krishna, the best strategist and one of the most handsome Gods is said to have had radiant blue-black skin, lotus pink lips and he is described in epics as wearing bright yellow silks with pearl and diamond jewelry and sometimes a nose ring. A very famous Cretan sculpture shows a powerful goddess holding up snakes with her breasts spilling over her jacket. In the high Gothic period wearing a hose that came over the mid thigh with velvet breeches was considered as manly perfection. A very famous Cretan sculpture shows a powerful goddess holding up snakes with her breasts spilling over her jacket. On a more relatable level, I remember my grand uncles having long hair (similar to a back oseldet) and wearing chunky diamond studs in both ears as a part of their tradition. I see male traders wearing nail polish and Mehendi even today and I know of women who’ll only wear all black or blue outfits.

Today, our societies, our nations and hence our practices are in a constant flux. Living in this melting pot of cultures, we are racing towards frontiers and embracing technology as our second skin but we are still not open to breaking stereotypes and challenging falsely conceived notions. At a time when leggings are being considered as destructors of culture, are we willing to call a man wearing a pantyhose and gathered velvet shorts as manly? Are we open minded enough to see him wearing yellow silks, a nose ring, flowers and pearls? Should a woman be completely covered up to be a “good, respectable woman”? Can a plus sized or even large women wear short, fitting clothes without being ridiculed? Why is a girl considered feminine only when she wear pinks, pearls or flowers? Why is there is constant debate whether the fair or dark skin is more beautiful?

I understand that this is sensitive (and controversial) topic with exhaustive arguments from either side of the bench. But the fact that there is a discussion itself is a positive development for me. I feel that Fashion brands, designers and enthusiasts have a responsibility to make this society more open minded and aware and accepting of the fact that we are all created equal. No one being should ever be made to feel that they are less than another for looking a particular way. I laud Jabong‘s sequel to their “Be You‘ Campaign that discusses alternative ideals of beauty and questions stereotypes as a positive step in this direction.


Without going into the commercial or strategic aspect of branding, I think this one of the best fashion advertisements of recent times in terms of content – styling and choreography. Controversial as it might be, it is interesting to see the Indian advertising industry transform into this mature, complex visual medium. It makes you sit up, take notice and propels you to discuss real yet scarcely discussed issues like “identity”in a contemporary Indian Context.

Recently, I found this post on Facebook that said “One’s choices may not resonate with you! But that does not make them wrong!”. I don’t think I can sum up this post any better. One does not have to conform to a particular way of looking to be considered beautiful. With a little awareness, acceptance, and kindness everyone can live beautiful lives.

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DIY 4th of July Tasseled Choker necklace

People, who dress up for the holidays often do so for the spirit of the celebration without really being concerned about fashion trends.

People, who dress up for the holidays often do so for the spirit of the celebration without really being concerned about fashion trends. This very same reason, on the other hand also stops people from dressing up, out of fear of looking dated or jaded. In my opinion, the best way to dress up for the holidays would be with accessories that are absolutely in trend. With 4th of July fast approaching, here is a really quick DIY necklace that combines two of this season’s most favourite trends – choker necklace and tassels. This necklace can be made in less than an hour’s time, making it the perfect “day before” project. Here is what you need

Tasseled Choker necklace
Materials
Blue Bernat mega bulky yarn
– red embroidery thread
– white or off white embroidery thread
– blue embroidery thread
– Scissors
– Fabric glue

Method
Make the tassels: These mini tassels are a lot of fun and are very easy to make.
1. Wrap embroidery red around the first and middle finger of your non dominant hand 15-20 (until you get the desired thickness). #Tip: Start wrapping with the end facing downwards, it can be trimmed later.
2. Slide it off your finger and tie a knot about 1 cm from the top.
3. Trim the ends to make them level and flush it out. Repeat steps 1-3 to make 3 more tassels and keep them aside

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DIY Empress Cord necklace

For a while, I was tempted to try my hand at Soutache jewelry. Soutache originated as a flat, narrow braid used to ornament clothing and hide seams.

For a while, I was tempted to try my hand at Soutache jewelry. Soutache originated as a flat, narrow braid used to ornament clothing and hide seams. It was also used to indicate ranks and to monogram clothes and accessories. Over the years, it was adapted as a jewelry making technique, as you could form loops, curls and swirls easily, creating excellent ornamental bezels to hold cabochons and beads over a flat base. Though I am not exceptional at embroidery and a mere novice when it comes to beadwork, I can handle embroidery projects like a yoke or even jewelry. But at the same time, I am impatient; I like projects, that can be done in a matter of minutes, or a couple of hours at the most making soutache less than ideal as a technique that I would enjoy pursuing.


As a mixed media artist, whenever I come across a labor intensive technique exclusive to a particular medium, I look for ways to simplify the process by which I can combine it with another material or technique. I try to come up with alternate methods that might imitate or bring about the concept or simply the look of the piece but from a different perspective. By doing this, I mean no offense to the original craft, artisan or the process. Instead, I try to establish a new, previously unsought route to practicing a familiar craft. In this case, I thought, why not adapt the concept of ‘capturing a focal using a cord bezel’ from Soutache jewelry and morph it into something modern by using round cords and wire wrapping. Copy and adapt, as they say in Marketing – Simple!
While I was mulling over this idea, I came across these beautiful fine silk twisted cords at Endless Leather and thought that they would be perfect to create quick and easy jewelry that was fit for an Empress. Check the tutorial below to see how I made this beautiful necklace in 10 minutes, excluding drying time.

DIY Empress Cord necklace

Materials
1.Silk Cord 4mm – beige
2. Silk Cord 4mm – gray taupe

3. 1.5″ long Maroon Crystal Focal with brass setting
4. Champagne gold rhinestone shank button
5. 26g brass wire
6. Jewelry findings (gold plated) – 6mm End caps – 1 pair, 1 lobster clasp, and 2 jump rings
7. 2 part epoxy resin or any strong glue
Tools – Nose pliers, wire cutter, scissors and clear tape

Method
1. Cut the cords to size (mine are 25″ and 24″) leaving 1 cm extra on each end. Tape the end to stop the yarns from untwisting and fraying
2. Bend the cords in half to find the middle point. Make a little loop and place your rhinestone focal in the center to mark the required length. This is the point where you would be wire wrapping the button. Remember to keep both cords, flat and parallel to one another while measuring.
3. Cut about 8″ of wire (more or less depending on the no. of wraps that you want) and insert it into the shank of the rhinestone button. Place the button at the marked point.


4. Making sure that the cords are flat, start wrapping by coming to the center and feeding the wire into the loop before coming out the other side. Repeat 2-3 times until secure and do not cut the wire.You can use 28g wire if your shank hole is very small.
5. Cut about 10″-12″ of wire ( you can take more and cut away the excess), make a “U loop” and insert it at the bottom (center) of the focal*.
6. Push the focal into the loop pushing the wire behind
*My focal was back open with gaps all around its circumference making it ideal for this design. You can also pick a focal with multiple holes or channels.


7. Starting from the back, wrap the focal to both cords, keeping them flat, one side at a time.
8. Repeat the wrap on the other side
9. Insert the ends of this wire into the previous (horizontal wrap) and secure
# Optional – Wrap around cords once again before you tuck the ends into the horizontal wrap
10. Finish the ends of the horizontal wrap wire by twisting and tucking them into the center gap. Press all wire ends down to smoothen them and eliminate pokey ends.

11. Cut away the individual clear tape bindings and carefully wrap both cords together with the same piece of tape. Cut away the excess tape and repeat on the other side. Instead of tape, you can also use sewing thread to bind the cords
12. Glue the end caps on and let dry (depending on instructions on the glue) and add the clasp and rings once dried.


#Tip 1 – Wire Wrapping- make a small loop at the end of the wire that you are tucking in. Even if it gets out of the nest it will blunt and will not poke
# Tip 2 While using resin to glue the cords to the caps, apply glue on the inside of the caps, push the cords in and hold. The tape on the cord might make it slippery, so it’s necessary to bind the cords until they dry
#Tip 3 For a more Soutache flavour, add seed beads on the outer cord or create beaded wire wraps

Once upon a time, fine jewelry was the prerogative of just the rich and royals folks. Master craftsmen would spend multiple hours, days or sometimes even weeks perfecting a single piece by hand in a manner that would be worth presenting to an emperor or an empress. Any and all surrogate procedures were considered shortcuts and were severely condoned as they brought down the value or the “fineness” of the product. Over a period of time, with fashion as the epicenter of change, costume jewelry came to the forefront and alternate materials were accepted. Now simplification, abstraction, reduction and morphing of procedures are not just allowed, they are in fact encouraged in the same way as fine jewelry practices.
So do not shy away from morphing traditional techniques and ideas to create new forms and if you try my tutorial do share your pictures on my Facebook page or tag my Instagram profile.

I hope you found it interesting

Cheers

[||||Thanks to:jewelsofsayuri blog|Special thanks to:jewelsofsayuri blog|Greetings to:jewelsofsayuri blog |Source: jewelsofsayuri|More at:jewelsofsayuri blog|

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