It doesn't matter how many times I see Iosselliani jewels, they never cease to leave me breathless. Can you blame me? They're nothing short of marvelous. Right now I'm dying to own one of its stacked rings. A little background on the Italian brand: It was started in Rome in '97 by Roberta Paolucci and Paolo Giacomelli. Both designers are strongly influenced by classic Italian jewelry, and use classic ornaments and modern symbols to create contemporary jewelry. Feathers, rhinestones, skulls, and chains are just some of the ways Iosselliani delivers rough-cum-glamorous pieces, ranging from $175 to $735.
I'm all about giving my fancy pieces a casual, understated touch. For example, how rad is it to pair a shimmering waterfall necklace with a plain white tee? That's why I like Sabrina Azadi's jewels. The collection, named Freedom, embodies a beachy yet lavish aura. Stringing beauteous colored crystals on soft leather cords brings a whole new meaning to what she describes as "island style." Interesting fact: Sabrina's love for crystal doorknobs — she liked them so much, she wanted to hang one around her neck — was the inspiration behind her beachy keen jewelry line.
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House of Lavande is a special entity. See, the brand is a collection of vintage adornments hand-picked by jewelry connoisseur Tracy Smith. Her eye for finding the creme de la creme from the likes of Kenneth Jay Lane, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Christian Dior is really a masterpiece within itself. That's why celebs like Evan Rachel Wood, Cameron Diaz, and Kristen Bell are frequent customers of her costume jewelry.
What does it take to locate such divine baubles? Let's see, a day in the life of Tracy Smith includes traveling the world in search of estates sales, Parisian flea markets, and private dealers in hopes of finding that perfect pair of vintage earrings or cocktail ring. Must be nice.
To see House of Lavande's latest collection, read more
Name a celebrity that hasn't worn the gorgeous creations of Brazilian Armenian jewelry designer Jack Vartanian. Gisele Bundchen,Taylor Swift, and Selma Blair have donned his bling to recent events. Ciara stepped onto the MET Gala red carpet wearing Vartanian's 2.8-carat black diamond stud earrings, while Cameron Diaz wore this 18-carat coral and diamond cocktail ring to the Tonight Show With Jay Leno in May.
Gisele has described his goods as "cool and sophisticated at the same time."
Vartanian comes from a family of jewelers who specialize in precious stones. He grew up recognizing the best stones and diamonds throughout the world, and as a teenager started working in the family business. In 1999, he branched out on his own and currently has four stores in Brazil and a US boutique on Madison Avenue in NYC. His pieces don't come cheap, but they're a feast for the eyes nonetheless. To see more beautiful Jack Vartanian jewels, read more
Once a jewelry fanatic, always a jewelry fanatic. This rings so true for Tejani creator Urvi Prunier. The seasoned fashionphile held stints in sales and merchandising at fashion houses like Chanel, YSL, and Nicole Miller, but eventually returned to her true love. The name Tejani, derived from the designer’s family name, means “brightness” and “sparkle.” And that her pieces, made from semi-precious stones, do.
See an Indian flavor? All pieces are handcrafted by artisans in Mumbai, India. Stunning earrings, stacked bangles, and bib necklaces are all part of four Spring collections. Prices are reasonable: earrings begin at $95, bangles hover in the $200 range, necklaces are most expensive — I see nothing over $400. As well, Urvi has tapped into the bridal costume jewelry niche. If you're looking to be an exotic bride, or bridesmaid, look to Tejani.
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After viewing Gorjana's collection of baubles, I've come to the realization that I need some staple jewelry. Simple, elegant, easy to layer — Gorjana has exactly what I'm looking for. Well, maybe not just me. Gorjana's pieces have been spotted on celebs such as Cindy Crawford, Lindsay Lohan, and Mandy Moore to name a few. I like how the Yugoslavian-born designer is able to meld a unique aspect into her necklaces, earrings, rings, and bracelets by adding just the right amount of bling to her creations. And guess what? The line is pretty affordable! Goodies range from $30 to $185 for her main line. Lucky for you, I found a couple of pieces on sale — enjoy.
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Jewelry designer Dana Lorenz decided to start Fallon as a result of the success she had with her main line, Fenton. You know, the one Stephanie Seymour teamed up with. What I particularly fancy about this youthful line is that it has rough designs for hardcore chicks (spikes, chains, studs) and colorful jeweled pieces for those who seek pretty. Barneys currently carries its Spring line, priced from $165 to $285. My feminine and tough sides are both smitten.
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My recent infatuation with rough stones led me to designers Mary, Michelle, and Joanne Stone and their jewelry line, dubbed Citrine by the Stones. Like the name, the mother-and-daughters threesome are all about creating beautiful adornments made out of natural stones and precious metals. I love how each handmade piece looks unique — the Stones utilize a hand-etched and hand-hammered technique — and are one-of-a-kind. The line, ranging from $70 to $250, is not too pricey and will go perfect with my favorite Spring trend, Luxotica. I can see myself rocking these two pieces with light denim jeans and a flirty floral blouse for maximum Bollywood appeal.
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Sonoma County-based jewelry designer Robindira Unsworth practically grew up in the atelier of her clothing designer mom. She would sort buttons, play with fabrics, flip through fashion magazines, and dream of one day wearing runway fashions. Little did she know Bar Refaeli would one day wear her Gypsy Necklace ($413) on SI's steamy swimsuit cover.
It's apparent through Robindira's creations the bohemian lifestyle serves as her muse. In fact, her studio is Moroccan-inspired and one of her collections is deemed Marrakech. Prices start from $100 for her signature collection and $825 for her fine line.
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For having little in its name, LA-based Little Rooms has mighty big designs. And I'm not just talking about size. Though some baubles are oversize, all of designer Ester Delug's creations are characterized by whimsy, femininity, and cheekiness. Entry lock cuffs, scissor rings, and gun pendants are perfect for gals who want to make a statement with their jewels.
This Entry Lock Double Finger Ring ($88) reminds me of a girlie version of a knuckle ring. Prices for gold vermeil aren't cheap — $140 to $450 — but the good news is that there is a sterling silver plating option that will make some pieces under $100. Sweet.
To see more unique jewelry by Little Rooms, read more