Inspirations

The New Bubbles Pearl Jewelry Collection from Assael Is a Whimsical Classic

NEW YORK. By the time Assael’s Bubbles collection debuted at the Couture jewelry show this year, Assael designer Sean Gilson had created many iterations of it. “The most recent pieces are the natural progression of that evolution,” he explains.

While his priorities for the look were beauty and wearability, the inspiration—surprisingly enough—does not originate from light-hearted child’s play. Instead, it hails from a onetime serious conversation about surface tension and bubble formation with Finish-American jewelry master Heikki Seppa, who died in 2010. Pearls by nature have “variation and nuance that fit neatly into simple forms made into complex shapes” explains Gilson. Bubbles pieces also demonstrate the strength of pearls as a “standalone gem” without diamonds (America’s favorite stone), says Peggy Grosz, director of business and product development.

Pieces in the Bubbles collection are crafted in 18k gold with white South Sea and akoya pearls to depict those traditional pearls in a fresh way—“What Coco Chanel might wear today!” Grosz exclaims. “Pearls need a facelift for a modern, confident clientele.”

For sure, Bubbles is a response to dated pearl jewels that should be simple and relevant to style today while also being timeless to eliminate their stodgy perception. “Bubbles are a perfect embodiment of classic but innovative jewelry,” says Gilson. The ultimate challenge was to create a young, sophisticated look with tried-and-true white pearls that have long suffered a Barbara Bush stigma (think grandmother’s pearls). The reaction thus far? Goals accomplished—Bubbles is a hit among many! Next up, Tahitians will join this playful collection. Look for them later this year.

Bubbles cluster earring in 18k white gold with white South Sea and akoya pearls, $8,800
; Assael Purchase online at Neiman Marcus

Bubbles cluster earring in 18k white gold with white South Sea and akoya pearls, $8,800
; Assael
Purchase online at Neiman Marcus

 

Multi-Bubbles ring 18k white gold with white South Sea and akoya pearls, $10,400
; Assael

Multi-Bubbles ring 18k white gold with white South Sea and akoya pearls, $10,400
; Assael
Purchase online at Neiman Marcus

Bubbles bracelet in 18k white gold with white South Sea and akoya pearls, $19,500
; Assael

Bubbles bracelet in 18k white gold with white South Sea and akoya pearls, $19,500
; Assael
Purchase online at Neiman Marcus

 

Jennifer Heebner LLC

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Inspirations

Suzanne Kalan’s Cascade and Rainbow Sapphire Fireworks Collections Are Must-Haves

NEW YORK. Suzanne Kalandjian of Suzanne Kalan knows a good thing when she sees it. So, when the northern California-based designer debuted her Fireworks collection of diamond jewelry (a variant of her Vitrine offerings) six years ago and saw how quickly it accumulated admirers, she decided to keep it going with add-ons. Enter her new Cascade Fireworks and Rainbow Sapphire Fireworks collections.

Both landed in stores this fall, just in time for the holidays. All pieces feature her signature style of scattered-set baguette-cut gems—diamonds in Cascade and multicolored sapphires in Rainbow—that are now the subject of myriad knockoffs, or so-called “inspired” styles. [Note: there’s nothing inspiring about stealing original ideas from an artist, but that’s a topic for another day.]

What’s new in the Cascade version of Fireworks is movement by way of playful dangling charms on layered styles. While the designer “changed the perception of how baguette diamonds were traditionally used” in Fireworks, she explains, she took the idea to another level by making the offset stones mobile. “Baguettes are stunning with movement and can be delicate while making a statement,” she adds.

In Rainbow Sapphire Fireworks, meanwhile, the looks are—as the name suggests—baguette cuts of colored sapphires. Not surprisingly, they, too, are a hit. “Customers love the happy colors,” says Kalandjian. Plus, sapphires are rarer than many other gems (think amethyst) so that equates to pieces with greater inherent value as well as durability—sapphires are a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Pretty, strong, and precious? Sign us up, and keep the designs coming.

Rainbow Fireworks eternity band in 18k rose gold with 4.65 cts. t.w. baguette-cut multicolored sapphires, $3,000; Suzanne Kalan

Rainbow Fireworks eternity band in 18k rose gold with 4.65 cts. t.w. baguette-cut multicolored sapphires, $3,000
Purchase online at Suzanne Kalan

 

Cascade Fireworks Short Fringe necklace in 18k yellow gold with 0.65 ct. t.w. colorless baguette-cut diamonds and 0.4 ct. t.w. round diamonds on a 16-inch adjustable chain, $6,000 Purchase online at Suzanne Kalan

Cascade Fireworks Short Fringe necklace in 18k yellow gold with 0.65 ct. t.w. colorless baguette-cut diamonds and 0.4 ct. t.w. round diamonds on a 16-inch adjustable chain, $6,000
Purchase online at Suzanne Kalan

Rainbow Fireworks Spiral Hoop earrings in 18k yellow gold with 8.2 cts. t.w. baguette-cut multicolored sapphires and 0.44 ct. t.w. round colorless diamonds are 30 mm in size, $7,600 Purchase online at Suzanne Kalan

Rainbow Fireworks Spiral Hoop earrings in 18k yellow gold with 8.2 cts. t.w. baguette-cut multicolored sapphires and 0.44 ct. t.w. round colorless diamonds are 30 mm in size, $7,600
Purchase online at Suzanne Kalan

Jennifer Heebner LLC

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Inspirations

The Mimi So Type Jewelry Collection Is for Font Lovers

NEW YORK. Designer Mimi So gets nostalgic in a newly unveiled jewelry collection that nods to her typography roots. Dubbed Type, the collection of oversize (a little bigger than a quarter) letter pendants in 18k yellow, white, and rose gold speaks to So’s time as a graphic design student at Parsons, where she honed her refined, linear aesthetic.

“So much about jewelry now relates to an expression of individuality,” she explains. “And since I have a graphics background that is so ingrained in me, and because I like calligraphy in Chinese culture, I wanted to create my own font that was whimsical and expressive.”

Finished Type styles, with their asymmetrical edginess and clean sans serif lines, hang askew from chains and reference her original Piece collection of graphic, straight-lined shapes. The font in Type, meanwhile, isn’t a clearly recognizable one from a menu of Word options. Instead, it is So’s spin on a “deconstructed version of Helvetica that is reconstructed,” she says. “I wanted to have a disruptive font.” As for the manufacturing process, So’s craftsmen first create models by hand, later giving them a more precise look through finishing with computer-assisted design, or CAD.

While the pendant necklaces, available in one size only, are for sale now in plain gold, with an 0.11 ct. to 0.13 ct. diamond accent, in full pavé, or with a bumblebee accent borrowed from her Wonderland collection, earrings are also in the works. Find styles in her online shop or in select Neiman Marcus stores and at Betteridge in Greenwich, Conn. And, come 2018, more Wonderland-accented Type pieces will be available from one retailer exclusively. Which one? So won’t say—for now. Check back with her in January.

 

 

 

S letter in 18k yellow gold from Type with a 0.11 ct. diamond, $2,400; Mimi So

S letter in 18k white gold from Type with a 0.11 ct. diamond, $2,400; Mimi So
Purchase online at Mimi So

 

D letter in 18k rose gold from Type with 0.39 ct. t.w. diamonds, $3,900; Mimi So

D letter in 18k rose gold from Type with 0.39 ct. t.w. diamonds, $3,900; Mimi So
Purchase online at Mimi So

 

B letter in 18k white gold from Type with a bumblebee accent and 0.52 ct. t.w. diamonds, $4,600; Mimi So

B letter in 18k yellow gold from Type with a bumblebee accent and 0.52 ct. t.w. diamonds, $4,600; Mimi So
Purchase online at Mimi So

 

Jennifer Heebner LLC

This content is copyright protected and may not be reproduced.

Inspirations

Laila Farcas-Ionescu’s Pussy Bites Back Jewelry Collection

NEW YORK. Like many U.S. residents, designer Laila Farcas-Ionescu had strong feelings after last year’s presidential election. And on the eve of the anniversary of it, she decided to unveil her fierce fine jewelry reaction to it, a collection she’d been working on all year: Pussy Bites Back (PBB).

Seeing how the pussy-hat phenomenon took off in response to myriad women’s feelings about the admitted actions of President Trump, she took the kitty imagery idea a step further through her own craft. To wit, PBB offerings include sterling silver rings, earrings, bracelets, tie tacks, and pendants with colorful nano-ceramic coatings with diamonds or white sapphires, or in Lucite in the shape of cat claws or fangs stationed on the heads of snarling felines. (T-shirts, stickers, and temporary tattoos are also available online.) A kick-off party at form & concept in Santa Fe on Halloween helped to celebrate the super-feminist story that aims to make buyers think. “It’s a visceral response to our political situation,” Farcas-Ionescu says. It’s also a little funny.

“There’s something cathartic about Laila’s new line that inspired us,” explained Clara Holiday, sales director at form & concept, to the press about the pieces. “There’s a genuine sense of humor there that’s been missing from much of the national discourse over the past year.”

Two stackable Kitty rings in pink and white Lucite, $39; Laila Farcas-Ionescu

Two stackable Kitty rings in pink and white Lucite, $39; Laila Farcas-Ionescu

 

Pussy pendants in sterling silver with colored nano-ceramic, $85 apiece; Laila Farcas-Ionescu

Pussy pendants in sterling silver with colored nano-ceramic, $85 apiece; Laila Farcas-Ionescu

 

Pussy rings in sterling silver with colored nano-ceramic, $250 apiece; Laila Farcas-Ionescu

Pussy rings in sterling silver with colored nano-ceramic, $250 apiece; Laila Farcas-Ionescu

 

Stackable Kitty bracelet in sterling silver, $700; Laila Farcas-Ionescu at form & concept

Stackable Kitty bracelet in sterling silver, $700; Laila Farcas-Ionescu at form & concept
For purchase: Email formandconcept@gmail.com or call Jordan at 505-982-8111 x1005.

 

Jennifer Heebner LLC

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