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.
THIS SUMMER: OUR WAY WITH PEARLS
Linked by a heavy chain, clasped by crystal-studded claws, or surrounded by roundels, we’re crazy for the new pearl collection by Nathan & Moe.
Pearls have taken 2017 by storm.
The new look of pearls lends itself to heavy layering with our own collection of leather-strung white, peacock, and gray freshwater pearls.
Always a classic.
Though pearls will always be a perennial classic, their popularity has waxed and waned over the decades.
It's part of my personal aesthetic to not chase trends, and maybe this is why I love pearls so much. They're always the go-to accessory that's sure to be on point no matter what the "It" piece of the season is. A gorgeous pair of pearl earrings instantly elevates any outfit.
And a pearl ring? There's a reason we carefully hand down our pearl rings from generation to generation - the pearl is an iconic representation of the timeless, classically well-dressed woman.
Types of pearls:
Pearls are classified by their origin and shape.
Natural pearls are quite rare today and can only be authenticated via X-ray. These are the pearls you probably learned about in school - the ones formed when a grain of sand is trapped in a mollusk and a nacreous coating builds up around it.
Natural pearls are the most expensive and are sold by carat weight.
Though they form by the same mechanism as natural pearls, cultured pearls begin by human intervention. An object is deliberately inserted to cause pearl formation. The shape of that object determines the final pearl shape.
Cultured pearls are sold by their size. The thicker that outer coating is, the more expensive the pearl.
Either natural or cultured, this one is pretty easy to figure out - saltwater pearls are formed in mollusks that live in saltwater.
Almost always cultured, freshwater pearls are grown in a lake or river.
Made of coated plastic or glass, fake pearls are, well, not real pearls. They're lighter, not as smooth, and chip easily. That being said, glass pearls can be difficult to tell from the real thing.
- Spherical: Round pearls. The rounder it is, the more expensive.
- Symmetrical: Pearls that have symmetry but aren't round. (ie. pear shaped or oblong)
- Baroque: Asymmetrical pearls of any shape. They might be the least expensive but are often the most beautiful and unique. Baroque pearls are often found in vintage pieces.
How to layer pearls:
It's easier than you might think. To get the layered effect, vary the lengths and sizes of your pieces. And don't forget to play with colors. Pearls come in a range of shades from black to seashell pink and everything in-between. I'm in love with this baroque pearl with sapphire, diamond, and ruby roundels.
Who says you have to stick with your grandmother's single strand of matched whites?
Try matching dark pearls with lighter pastels for emphasis. Mix your materials.
Mix your materials. Incorporate a different style of necklace, maybe a gold medallion or a turquoise pendant, into a layered set of pearls. Shells, semi-precious stones, and leather cording can all be used to change the look and feel of an outfit.
And don't forget that pearls can be worn almost anywhere. From shoulder-sweeping earrings to cuff bracelets, studded onto clothing or embellishing an evening bag, pearls really are everywhere this season. Find ways to incorporate them into your wardrobe that work with your existing pieces ... and your personality.
Experimentation is key. Play with your favorite pieces until you achieve an effect that you love.
How to take care of pearls:
Because pearls are organic, meaning they're formed from a living organism, they require special care and consideration. If you notice your pearls have lost their luster (or sheen), they've been cleaned too often or too vigorously, and the external coating has been destroyed.
If you notice your pearls have lost their luster (or sheen), they've been cleaned too often or too vigorously, and the external coating has been destroyed.
- Dirty pearls can be cleaned with a small amount of mild soap and water.
- Always take off your pearls before applying lotion or moisturizer.
- Apply your makeup and perfume before you put on your pearls. They'll stay cleaner this way and require less maintenance.
- Never submerge pearls in liquid.
- Wipe pearls clean with a damp lint-free cloth and a mild cleaning solution. Be careful to rinse off the soap and pat dry.
- Never use a harsh cleanser like ammonia.
- Never put pearls in an ultrasonic or vibrating cleaner.
- Never use an abrasive cleaner.
- Store pearls separately, not with other gemstones. Pearls scratch easily and the outer covering can chip.
- Don't clean your pearls too often. Once their outer coating is gone, they'll lose their luster forever.
- Periodically have high-quality pearl necklaces restrung to avoid cord breakage.
- If in doubt about cleaning your pearls, do nothing.
If you love pearls the way I do, this is your season. Embrace it. If you're new to pearls, don't be afraid of their price tag. Pearls are an investment in both your wardrobe and yourself.
Either way, let me know how you wear your pearls and if you have a favorite piece!
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