PATRICIA | T. Talks
When you want to be simple yet simply stunning, it's impossible to go astray with minimalist jewelry.
Though I love the bright dash of color a statement piece brings to an outfit, there's something timeless about the elegant lines of my favorite minimalist jewelry pieces. This season is no exception. 2018 is off to an amazing start and Patricia's jewelry case is overflowing with one-of-a-kind pieces sourced from all over the world.
So whether you're dashing out the door for a quick set of errands or dressing up for an evening out, these accessories will be your go-to's again and again.
Or ... stop by the store and try on a few. You'll see what I mean.
With no further ado, here are my top picks for 2018!
There's a magical feeling when you put on a piece like this one. Maybe it's because the designer, Julie Cohn, actually uses old world casting techniques to create modern day works of art (because that's what they are after all ... works of art), but when you wear the Talisman Collar, there is something other-worldly to it. Made from bronze and sterling, it's not a stretch to believe you could conjure forth unknown powers like the name would have you believe.
Each design is carved from wax (can you even imagine?) and then cast in metal. Each piece is then polished by hand. Now that's dedication to your art.
Each piece from Geraldina, founder and leader of Geraldina Jewelry, is both one-of-a-kind and extraordinary. Her background in the fashion industry is readily apparent. Every piece from her collection is exquisite. Geraldina also globetrots, bringing back antique coins and medals, distressed leather, religious icons, semi precious stones and more for her line.
The Horn Squash Blossom Pendant is no exception. No, it's not named after the squash blossom you might sometimes eat. Instead, the name represents the sickle shape - a sacred representation of fertility dating back to the Paleolithic period. It was also thought to ward off the "evil eye." (For more on the history of the squash blossom and it's symbolism, try this article.) Suffice it to say, the version made from dark horn and capped with diamond pave is pretty spectacular.
Dark horn is one of my favorites. Maybe it's the rich, mahogany color or the way it catches the light, but I think it brings an understated elegance to simple neutrals every time.
This pendant is definitely a collector's item. It's one that you'll return to over and over for years (perhaps even decades) to come.
I adore these asymmetrical earrings from designer Heather Benjamin. I know, I know, wearing my earrings at different lengths doesn't make me into a first class rebel but I feel like one. And at the end of the day, isn't that what matters? We accessorize to create an aura of who we want to be. And if I want to be edgy and rebellious by wearing my earrings a little differently from everyone else walking down the street then you better believe I'm going to do it - or at least I am when they're as gorgeous as this pair.
Made from white with just a hint of black, these earrings are actually sterling silver with 22kt vermeil. And the dangles at the bottom (the toothy looking parts that push the edgy factor over the ... well ... edge) are crafted from abalone horn for sheen.
And for the ethically conscious, rest easy knowing Heather Benjamin partners with global organizations committed to social responsibility and sustainable development. So you're not just indulging your fashionista side. You're giving back too.
There's just something about CATHs designs. They're big. They take up space. They say, "I'm here." Maybe it's because as women, we spend so much time with delicate things that we're conditioned to shy away from big, bold, heavy accent pieces, but I adore these. There's a power in claiming that you too take up space that's yours by right.
Made from dark horn and brass, I dare you to wear this piece and not feel empowered. It's the jewelry of warrior women, of queens, and goddesses. For ages, horn was used to symbolize power. It's also imbued with good energy.
CATHs designs are designed in Belgium and handcrafted in India. The horn is sourced from domestic water buffalo.
No jewelry collection would be complete without a recommendation for one of my favorite jewelry designers - Ashley Pittman.
Made from five strands of dark horn with bronze beads, this necklace is a showstopper. Okay, so it might actually be more of a statement piece but I love it too much to leave it off. And since it plays well with every neutral in your closet, it makes the list for 2018's minimalist must-haves.
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Why we believe in a few fine things...and how to choose a wardrobe investment piece.
Clothing isn’t an investment in the traditional sense (it never gains value, and you’ll never sell an item of clothing for more than it was purchased), but it’s good to think of it like a down payment on your daily comfort, your confidence in your appearance, and the utility of your wardrobe.
For example, having a couple pairs of really nice jeans that fit well, make you look good, and last forever is better than having six pairs of jeans that look “okay”, are just kind of comfy, and fall apart after a year.
People come in all shapes and sizes, yet a lot of cheap clothing is mass produced in a “one shape fits all” manner. Low-quality dress shirts, for example, look terrible on people not shaped a specific way. Look for classic pieces that will ride the wave of trends, and fit into your wardrobe year after year. After all, you will want to wear these pieces year after year.
If a shirt is too loose or tight in the wrong places, you feel vulnerable and uncomfortable, and it shows in your body language. If it fits you well and you’re comfortable, however, you can get a nice confidence boost.
Whether we like it or not, clothing is also a part of our identity. Spending money on quality clothes might seem frivolous if you’re a frugal person, but in some cases, you can’t afford to not spend the money, especially if you’re trying to land a job or network with colleagues.
Generally speaking, cheap, throwaway clothes aren’t cheap in the long run. Poorly made clothing with thin material wears out faster and requires you to spend time and money repairing or replacing it. The key isn’t to spend more on clothes across the board, it’s to spend a little more on a few nice items.
When buying high-quality (and sometimes more expensive) clothes, however, you know you’ll be spending a little more, so you’re more inclined to research before you open your wallet. It’s better to have a wardrobe with a few versatile, durable things you love to wear than a wardrobe stuffed with junk. Marc Bain at The Atlantic explains that buying expensive, high-quality clothing forces him to truly consider each one of his purchases:"The point is to make you pause and ask yourself, “How much do I really want this?” …it’s enough that it causes me to seriously hesitate, which is the real point. It forces me to think about just how much I want that item of clothing, how much I’ll wear it, and whether I think the value it offers is worth a significant cost… I can’t make these purchases all the time, at least not without sacrificing elsewhere or going broke. It’s an investment, rather than the cheap buzz of getting something new."
It’s always good to have a personal “should I buy this?” test for everything you purchase, but it’s especially important when it’s something you spend so much time with, whether it’s expensive or not. As Heather Levin at Money Crashers explains, having quality clothing in your wardrobe is valuable because you spent more money on it, but also because it means something to you. You devoted real thought and consideration to your purchase and didn’t just buy because they looked cool on the mannequin when you walked by.
Approaching minimalist style for the first time can feel daunting.
And that's understandable.
Here's an easy cheat sheet about what minimalist style is, its history, and some quick tips to get you started on your journey.
We live in a world that values rampant consumerism. Every time we turn around we're supposed to buy something else. Something new. Something different. The problem is that we have so many choices that the choice itself becomes stressful.
How many times have you stood in front of an overstuffed closet bristling with clothes, overwhelmed, and you say, I have nothing to wear?
That's the paradox of our modern lives. We have so many choices that it's only in reduction, the lack of choices, that we can find a moment's solace.
Imagine opening that same closet, only this time, instead of exploding outward in hangers and clothes you never wear, you find a handful of carefully selected garments hanging with room to spare. The space between the pieces gives them room to breathe, drape, flow the way the designers intended. And you love each and every piece. You selected each one with care. No matter which piece you choose, you know it fits you perfectly, the construction is the best you can afford, and the quality will make it last for years to come.
Did you breathe a little sigh of relief? This is minimalism.
Choose to fill your space with pieces that you love (we love these bangles by Evocateur), that bring value and joy to your life. The scarf that feels so silky around your neck you imagine you're Katharine Hepburn in an old Hollywood movie. Or the sleek-lined shift dress that fits your body so precisely, that no matter what kind of mood you might be in, just putting it on will lift your spirits. Of course, things can't bring value to your life. Only you can do that.
But by learning to value your space, you're valuing yourself, your time, your body, your own self-awareness. You're giving yourself permission to say no.
And you're making room in your life so when you do find those things that bring you joy- few and far between as they might be - you can say yes.
Let's look at the origins of minimalist style.
Miminimalism began in industry.
German architect Mies Van der Rohe his modern, minimal style aesthetic around the principal assertion "less is more." His buildings, with their back-to-basics functionality, revolutionized post-World War I architecture, and Mies' famous quote is now seen as a cornerstone of the minimalist movement.
An innovative creator, Buckminster Fuller's goal was “doing more with less." Fuller designed and produced multiple lines of technology including modular apartments, a three-wheeled car, and prefabricated bathrooms, all with the purpose of making life simpler and easier for the world around him.
Artistically, minimalism derives from the De Stijl movement with its emphasis on absolute reductionism down to the essentials of style and color. Combined with Mies Van der Rohe's architectural style to include modern materials like plate glass and industrial steel, the result was open space and minimal framework.
Minimalist style is a part of our daily life.
Take a moment to look at the devices around you. Chances are good that your phone is a sleek little device and you're using the internet from another clean lined user interface. There's an excellent chance that the architectural details of your home are minimal as well, not the rococo and gilded flourishes that once characterized affluence.
By the early 1960's, minimalism had spilled over into fashion.
The defining characteristics of minimalist style in fashion:
First let's define emotional design, meaning that a piece is created with the purpose of eliciting an emotional response. A designer can't create an organic emotional response, but she can set the stage for an emotional response to occur. In minimalist designs, simple lines and geometric prints are combined with extreme simplicity. The choice of material is often used to demonstrate minimalism's differences from couture design. Opting for traditionally inexpensive materials like boiled wool or PVC instead of hand sewn feathers, a different statement is made as each piece walks the runway. (Left, Raf Simons for Dior)
Not only are minimalist pieces designed as a blank canvas, but their very construction is deceptively simple. They should appear effortless and often contain invisible seams to maintain the illusion. Balenciaga's 1967 wedding dress is a prime example of the invisible seaming, simple shape, and the way the shape hides the traditional female silhouette.
Rejection of the traditional female body
Like this day dress by Shosh, the shapes in minimalist designs don't conform to the body. Using the principals of space while rejecting "form over function," minimalist style rejects traditional gender roles. The female form is re-created through gender-neutral sculptural details that exist independent of the female body and its traditional silhouette. As such, minimalist style rejects the sexuality inherent in other design styles, allowing the wearer to form their own identity.
Just as minimalist style shuns couture's outrageously expensive, hand sewn details, it also allows for the democratization of style. Rich or poor, young or old, regardless of gender identity or body shape, minimalism is available to all of us.
How to transition your wardrobe into a more minimalist style:
- If you don't love a piece, don't keep it.
- The same idea applies when you're getting dressed. Avoid needless add-ons. Less is more.
- But make the details count.
- Look for pieces that are functional, comfortable, and easy to use. Meaning: it shouldn't take you half an hour to navigate a series of tiny straps.
- Find neutral pieces that allow your personal style to shine through.
- When you do use color, consider the mood created by that color. Is it one that you enjoy? Does it work well with other colors in your wardrobe, outfit, or home? Remeber, details.
- Look for quality construction and materials that are long lasting.
- The less design, the better (at least externally ... remember those invisible seams?).
- Watch for innovative, original pieces.
- White space is vital. It gives you room to breathe whether it's in a room, a closet, or an outfit.
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