Thursday, November 29, 2012

Are You Jaded?

No, I don’t mean blasé. I’m referring to one of the chicest jewelry boutiques in Manhattan. Jaded Jewels is a little treasure trove on the upper east side where the discerning shopper will find lots of goodies from high end costume jewelry to semi precious gems at every price range. 

I recently attended an event at the shop whose purpose was to introduce the “Treasures of Umbria”, jewelry designs by ten visionary Italian artisans from that region. The (drool worthy) collections ranged from all out glam, to sophisticated and delicate. Specialized jewelry techniques such as filigree, pave, open lattice work, stone and (my favorite) coral carving was on display throughout the various collections. 

Maybe it was the glass of proseco that clouded my judgment but I was very tempted to buy, buy and buy some more. What struck my fancy was the eye popping aquamarine cocktail ring by Enrico Morbidoni of Spoleto Gioielli. Maurizio Tini of Granduca Gioielli also impressed me with his undulating gold plated sterling ring accented with semi-precious cabochon stones. Very free form and perfect for the woman who wants a more modern, yet timeless design. Perhaps my all -time favorite pieces were crafted by Pietro Cona for Conart. Since I’m a collector of blackamoor jewelry his hand crafted one-of-a-kind carved coral and jeweled blackamoor pendant and the carved turquoise earrings made my mouth water. No description can do these pieces justice. For these and other fabulous pieces by a group of the most talented artisans, you must stop by the boutique at 1048 Madison Avenue at 80th Street and see for yourself. In addition, Jaded just launched its own wholesale division, Jaded Studio above the shop to reach a wider audience. 

Until next time, shop till you drop, C &C.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Reviving a Classic

Once upon a time, every budding fashionista’s wardrobe consisted of Ann Fogarty dresses, Pappagallo shoes, Kimberly knits and Etienne Aigner handbags. The latter, a New York made staple since 1950!

Fast forward many decades ahead and this fashion maven is happy to report that Etienne Aigner is back and better than ever with a classic brand that has a whole new lease on life. Yours truly made the trek to the new showroom to view the gorgeous spring collection. While I have fond memories of my original sporty cordovan leather and linen handbag, the depth and breath of the new stuff took my breath away (translation, I want everything).

Let us start off with the bags. I get palpitations just thinking about Vachetta leather trimmed smooth leather totes, the small epic satchel, a large grain pebble leather satchel and a vintage inspired large gusseted satchel in the classic glazed leather /linen combo. Ah memories!

 Etienne Aigner - His Bags Make C&C's Heart BEAT!

Photo Credit:  M. McKenzie
Moving on to footwear, my eye was immediately struck by a pair of perforated cap toe oxfords in butter soft leather called the “Bedford”. Offered in four color-ways my first choice would be a honeydew/ivory combo followed by a pair in softest blush. For summer I’d opt for the “Tonne” slip-on in coral suede or natural linen trimmed in black cow leather. 

Loving the Shoes, Still Obsessed with the Bags!
Photo Credit:  M. McKenzie

After handbags and shoes what do girls covet most? Jewelry of course and Aigner showed a terrific collection. Top of my fashion chart is the sporty (think very Hermes looking) leather horn closure bracelet, the hinged water snake bangles and a drop dead gorgeous chunky block necklace in oxidized brass with coral vein stones. It’s bold and beautiful, The chunky block ring with white mother of pearl and coral on brass is another striking find.

Last but not least, we come to RTW. And boy does Aigner deliver. From silk crepe to suede and cotton poplin, the look is easy breezy and sophisticated. If I had to narrow it down to my fave pieces, number one would be the button down shirtdress with pleat detailing at the waist, in a tonal marble print (like Florentine marbelized paper) poplin. Over this I’d toss a cropped double breasted cotton/spandex trench jacket in khaki with petal suede trim and I’d be good to go.

 Aigner's Shirtdress - Smooth Classic Style... oh, look another fab BAG!
Photo Credit:  M. McKenzie

My descriptions have just scratched the surface but if you can hold out till early next year, Etienne Aigner’s flagship boutique will make its debut, so start saving those pennies. I adored this brand in the late ‘50s ( I was a mere child) and I’m still a fan!

Crap and Couture, Notes From the Back Row