Blog posts of '2015' 'October'

Do you remember the first piece of jewelry you ever wore? Whether it was a friendship bracelet or a special locket from your family, you were probably a young child the first time you slipped something on. Jewelry has been a part of nearly every culture for centuries. And while trends have come and gone, jewelry itself has never gone out of style. 

Jewels have always been a part of the human experience in some form or another. Remnants of jewelry made from shells, stone and bones from prehistoric times have been discovered as ancient people made adornments from whatever materials they could. As time went on and civilizations advanced, metals were tamed and gemstones were used to make early models of the contemporary pieces we wear today. The fact that jewelry is older than the fashion industry, and even older than language, proves it has a powerful and lasting purpose: self-expression. 

What statement do you like to make with your jewelry? The history of jewelry and it's accessories worn in medieval Europe reflected an intensely hierarchical and status-conscious society. Royalty and the upper class were able to afford precious gems, while more humbler classes wore base metals like copper and pewter. Color was highly valued.

The History of Jewelry

Some jewels held magical inscriptions believed to protect the wearer. In fact, India managed to develop such a connection to jewelry that it became an important part of people’s daily lives and religion. They were the first to conquer the art of gold gathering and processing, and they also developed the art of jewel making much earlier than anyone around them.

The Renaissance era shows how the history of ewelry saw advances in cutting techniques to increase the sparkle of stones. These jewels shared the age’s passion for splendor and the jewelry became more elaborate and colorful. Many large, spectacular pieces were worn as a display of political strength.

Since jewelry has existed for so many centuries, the concept of vintage jewelry has been around almost as long. The 19th century, for example, was a period of huge industrial and social change. But in jewelry design, the focus was often on the past. During this time, jewelry was often inspired by ancient Greece and Rome as goldsmiths attempted to revive ancient techniques. Clearly jewelry designs are recycled over time, just like we see with clothing styles.

The Art Nouveau style began around 1895, causing a dramatic shift in jewelry design. Art Nouveau reached a peak around 1900 when it became popular at the Paris International Exhibition. Though it was short-lived, this style paved the way for some of the modern pieces we see today, including some Camille K jewelry.

Art Nouveau jewelers like Rene Lalique distanced themselves from conventional precious stones and put greater emphasis on the subtle effects of materials like horn, enamel and glass. Its main focus was women and nature, and it was worn by only select members of society. And while similar jewelry was being made in other countries at this time, genuine Art Nouveau jewelry was decidedly French.

In the mid 1920s, the Art Nouveau movement gave way to Art Deco, which was popular throughout the 1930s. Art Deco also had strong roots in France and has been the inspirations for countless contemporary jewelry designs. Browse any Parisian flea market’s jewelry sections and you’re sure to find some Art Deco pieces. Some of Camille K’s fashion earrings for women and unique gold rings for women were Art Deco inspired.

These days, jewelry is worn for many reasons besides accessorizing outfits or advertising a marriage—and none of those reasons are new. Ancient jewelry was worn as a status symbol, and one look at the dazzling diamonds and flashy gemstones on the red carpet will tell you that’s still the case today. Some people wear jewelry as an expression of their religious faith or to remind them of a happy period in their life (or a struggle they’ve overcome). Some wear their friends’ handmade jewelry for support, and some choose to wear jewelry as a nonverbal way to express themselves. Your jewelry should always be an extension of your personal style.

For these reasons, it seems that jewelry is a timeless trend that is here to stay. None of us know what the future will look like in terms of fashion, technology or culture, but we can be fairly certain that jewelry will be a part of it. There’s no telling what it will look like, but it’s bound to be beautiful. 

‘Tis the season to sparkle! As soon as we put away our Halloween costumes, we shift gears to get ready for a month of parties, travel, family get-togethers and charity events. The holiday season is full of festivities and you’ll want to make sure you’re dressed well for them. So while you’re gift shopping for your friends and family, treat yourself to a few new pieces so you’ll be prepared.

Just like snowflakes, no two holiday parties are alike. You probably wouldn’t wear the same outfit to your company’s office party as you would for Christmas dinner at your aunt’s house! This season’s style is about jewel tones, sequins, soft fabrics and festive fashion, so you’ll enjoy putting together different ensembles for each event.

Dressing for the festivities doesn’t have to be a rushed panic or mean reaching for the same old LBD. Keep in mind as you’re gathering ideas to get ready for this soirée season that you'll want to feel as comfortable as  you look festive!  Here are some of our ideas:

The Cocktail Party

The sophisticated cocktail party is practically synonymous with the holiday season. Cocktail parties are a happy medium where you can go flashier than at the office party, but don’t have the pressure to dress like you’re at a black tie gala. They don’t call it the “cocktail dress” for nothing—a light, breathable dress with a playful hemline and fitted waist is a flattering option for any figure. If the gathering will be chilly, throw on some tights and a faux fur jacket.

If your dress is patterned or bright, keep accessories minimal. A pair of fashion earrings for women and a Lucky 5 Bangle will suffice. If you have a more subdued outfit, you can be a bit more adventurous with your jewelry. The Olivia Necklace is a versatile, elegant piece that can dress up a casual pantsuit or dress down a fancy outfit.

The Office Party

Your outfit for your work party will depend on the atmosphere. Work in the corporate world? Choose an outfit that will dazzle your co-workers while still maintaining some professionalism. Try a sweater, sequined pencil skirt, a pair of pumps and a Troubadour Necklace. If you wear a dress, show off your curves with the cut, but avoid cleavage.

If you work for a more casual company and the party will be informal, you can keep your look more laid back as well: think dark denim, a sparkly top and a fitted blazer with a pair of gold earrings for women. You could also go for a classic holiday look and sport a pair of black pants, a red sweater, a Biltmore High/Low Cuff and some ankle boots.

The Black Tie Gala

Move over little black dress, theres a new LBD in town — the LONG black dress. If you have the pleasure of attending a black tie event this holiday season, but are fraught with what to wear, fear not. As opposed to the cocktail dress with a shorter hemline, black tie affairs are all about length and formality. But because they are distinctive and recognizable, you can only wear your show stopper once. That is, unless you opt for a classic, long black gown paired with some visually arresting jewelry, like our multi-stand, gold and pearl Lacy Necklace, and gold earrings for women. If you already have a gold chain or choker, you can add a  statement enhancer, like our Miramar Rock Crystal Enhancer or Biltmore Medallion Enhancer Pendant. In the mood for a pop of color? Try our Biltmore Necklace encrusted with jewel-toned gems and bezel-set cabochons. The great thing about a long black dress and some jewels is that they can both be worn again separately, and in different ways, so youll get more mileage out of all the pieces!

New Year’s Eve

Whether you’re going out to a crowded club or enjoying a quiet night at home with your friends, don’t miss out on this chance to sparkle. A sequined shift dress and a blazer will work for practically any party, but if you’re staying in, a more subdued shimmery tunic with leggings and flats would be a more comfortable choice. If your outfit sparkles it’s always best to keep your jewelry simple, but that doesn’t mean you can’t throw on a Beverly Ring.

Giving Back is Glamorous

world renowned stylist Mary Alice Stephenson

Don’t forget about those holiday charity events. There’s something about the holiday season that makes people feel warmer and more generous, and December is packed with silent auctions and benefits to help those in need. This is the time when your classic LBD will come into play―this wardrobe classic can be dressed up with a shimmery clutch, bold heels and gold earrings for women, or it can be dressed down with a pair of flats and a cardigan. Swapping out your accessories can give your little black dress several different looks.

One organization that always gets us into the spirit of giving is GLAM4GOOD, a movement started by world renowned stylist Mary Alice Stephenson. GLAM4GOOD partners with nonprofits, media outlets and fashion and beauty brands to give life-changing makeovers and fashion expertise to everyday heroes and those in need. Recently, Camille K donated several signature pieces to GLAM4GOOD in hopes that we could help make someone’s holiday season a little brighter. We love any nonprofit organization that helps women feel beautiful.

Your time is precious, so surround yourself with the people who make you feel good and see the good in you. As fun as it is to get dressed up for all the events that are on the horizon, it’s more important to focus on catching up with people you don’t get to see as often as you’d like. Eat, drink, laugh, love and enjoy the season. 

A current online search for “jewelry trends” will render pictures of large cocktail rings, dramatic deco earrings and rose unique gold rings women pieces. But just because these trends are modern doesn’t mean they’re new. If there’s one thing people in the industry can agree on, it’s that fashion goes in cycles. Current trends are often recycled or reinvented from past decades, and that includes accessories.

So where do current jewelry designers get their inspiration? Most likely from ancient beginnings, but for brevity’s sake, we’ll take a look at jewelry styles from the last century.


The 1920s: Art Deco

If you’ve seen The Great Gatsby, you’ve seen the glamorous jewelry of the 1920s. The economic boom after World War I encouraged wealthy people to spend lavishly, and Art Deco style embodied luxury. Geometric pendants, strands of pearls, fashion earrings for women and diamonds were seen on stylish ladies. This is the time when costume jewelry became very popular in the US since women didn’t always want to go out wearing such expensive pieces.


The 1930s: All American

Jewelry was toned down in the 1930s as America went back to war and Art Deco style began to fade. Its influence could still be seen, however, in the clothing and accessories women wore. Since many European jewelers were shut down, jewelry took on a more American look. The fashion industry was influenced by what women wore on the big screen, hence the phrase “Old Hollywood glamour.” A multi gem bracelet for women would have been a popular choice.

In the 1930s, plastic was mixed in with jewelry’s natural materials. Moonstones and other inexpensive gems were popular, and imitation gems were often used.


The 1940s: Shine Bright Like a Diamond

This was an interesting decade. Due to the changing economy and social dynamic, fashion and jewelry trends were constantly changing as well. Then, in the late 1940s, De Beers Diamond Company launched an intensive campaign to sell diamonds. With the slogan “A Diamond is Forever,” they convinced thousands of American women that they needed diamond engagement rings. Hollywood starlets were soon seen dripping with diamonds as well.


The 1950s: Sleek, Slender Elegance

Fashion in the 1950s varied greatly from beginning to end, and that included jewelry. People were beginning to feel a bit more free when it came to their style choices. Women wore outfits that showed off their narrow waistlines, gravitating toward ultra-feminine fashions. While jewelry varied from classic pearls to shimmering brooches, the idea was to add sophistication to every outfit. Many women wore matching jewelry sets in order to look perfectly put together.


The 1960s: Go-Go Chic

Practicality and functionality came into play during this decade. Plastic jewelry became popular because of its low cost and variety of colors and shapes. Streamlined design and bright pops of color became the go-to look. Bold stacks of bangles unique gold rings women and layered necklaces became women’s accessories of choice.

The rise of the hippie movement and the boycott of corporate America brought the rise of homemade and Native American inspired pieces, psychedelic colors and swirls, peace signs, flower jewelry and macramé pieces. Handmade accessories were all the rage, and turquoise beaded pieces were especially popular.


The 1970s: Feelin Groovy

The carefree, lighthearted attitude that swept the 1970s swept the fashion scene as well with bold yet minimal jewelry pieces. Darker, understated colors began to emerge, and beaded jewelry rose to the forefront of fashion. Hemp and leather were mixed in with metals, giving the pieces a more organic and natural look. Large, ornate gold earrings for women were popular, a trend that is being spotted on the runways this year as we see another 70s fashion revival.


The 1980s: Material Girl

During this decade, big was beautiful. From hairstyles to shoulder pads, everything was large and bold. To match the vibrant fashion trends, jewelry was large, bright and distinctive. Jelly bracelets, large earrings and beaded necklaces replaced tiny and discrete necklaces and pendants. Oversized hoop earrings were the most coveted items in a jewelry collection.

The 1980s also saw a return of celebrating individual style. As the DIY punk rock look rose to fame, more women chose to mix and match or go for vintage pieces instead of sporting matching sets.


The 1990s: Girls Just Want to Have Fun

In the era of slap bracelets and butterfly clips, it’s hard to imagine the jewelry industry taking anything seriously during this time. Indeed, the pieces from the 90s had a more fun vibe than other decades―butterfly chokers, yin yang symbols and alien rings dominated the teen scene for the first half of the 90s. Hemp and beads returned from the 1970s, and colorful designs were everywhere. The 1990s was a spirited time for fashion and jewelry trends, and even fancier pieces were adorned with flowers and dragonflies.


The 2000s: The New Millennium

Since the dawn of the new century, we’ve seen a lot of recycled designs and vintage inspired styles. Large hoop earrings, layered necklaces, unique gold rings women, and bling rings were spotted early on with modern day style icons like Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson and Emma Stone, and they continue to be popular today. The last two decades have shown us, perhaps more than any other, that history always repeats itself.

Luckily, when it comes to jewelry, this is a good thing. 


When it comes to your jewelry, what’s your style? Just like our clothing preferences, our taste in accessories says a lot about us. And they’re not always the same. We can stick to classic clothing silhouettes but gravitate toward eclectic, bold jewelry, or we can dress ourselves in the latest trends but wear timeless necklaces and earrings.

Knowing your preferred jewelry styles can help you choose the best accessories to complement your wardrobe, and it can help others get you beautiful gifts they know you’ll wear. If you’d rather sport a large multi gem bracelet for women than a more petite piece, your significant other or close friends will want to know.

If you’re unsure of how to define your jewelry style, take this brief quiz to help you narrow it down:


Describe your current job:

A.    A lot of travel

B.    Formal meetings and powerhouse presentations

C.    Working with your hands

D.    Collaborating with other creative types


What is your go-to jacket?

A.    A classic trench

B.    A wool coat

C.    A cashmere wrap

D.    Leather


What do you most enjoy during your downtime?

A.    Hiking or walking outdoors

B.    Watching a good movie or getting lost in a book

C.    Painting or creative writing

D.    Exploring the latest restaurants, going out on the town


If you were to remodel your bedroom right now, you’d go for:

A.    Calm and peaceful

B.    Cheery, light and colorful

C.    Dark and moody

D.    Glamorous and chic


When you go out, you like to wear:

A.    Something slimming and tailored

B.    A cocktail dress

C.    Soft colors and flowy fabrics

D.    Something sexy!


If you answered mostly A’s, your jewelry style is modern.


If you answered mostly B’s, your style is classic.


If you answered mostly C’s, you’re a romantic with a touch of Bohemian.


If you answered mostly D’s, you can call your jewelry style trendy and edgy.

So what does that mean, exactly? Read on to learn more about your jewelry styles.

If you chose modern, this word probably describes your views on life and the way you live. You enjoy clean lines and minimalism, and you’re not afraid to be a little edgy, both with your style and the way you live your life. You may be quite the jetsetter, but even if you rarely travel, you enjoy learning about other people, places and cultures.

You prefer your jewelry to be iconic, just like you. Unique gold rings for women are right up your alley, and you probably rejoiced when the statement necklace became acceptable for everyday wear. While you may not go for anything too eccentric, you’ll always dare to wear colorful pieces.

Do you consider your style classic? Some people might confuse that word with traditional or even boring, but a classic woman is neither of those things (though she can gravitate toward traditional silhouettes at times). You like things to be timeless―films, music, fashion and accessories. It’s not that you shun current trend entirely, you just prefer to stock up on investment pieces you can wear for years to come. A perfect piece for you would be a Signature Cuff―you can sport it solo or add one of our many beautiful Signature Cuffs or Rings.

If your jewelry style is romantic, you enjoy a sweet, feminine style. Light colors, flowing fabrics and lace can all be found in your closet. You may look to the past,  to nature or to feminine style icons for your fashion inspiration. And when it comes to your jewelry, the prettier your pieces, the better. You may shop for vintage or antique jewelry in your spare time, going for romantic styles with embellishments and colors.

But that doesn’t mean you always pick delicate and demure pieces. You’d probably love a nice pair of gold earrings for women, and a perfect Camille K piece for you would be the romantic but edgy Bel-Air Estate Cuff.

If your jewelry style is trendy, you probably have a Pinterest board dedicated to New York Fashion Week and a copy of Vogue on your nightstand. You see a person’s style as an art form and you’re always ready to work on your self-expression. Take your cues from celebrities and style icons, but don’t be afraid to go with your gut and go for what you love.

Right now, statement necklaces and unique gold rings for women are trendy, with yellow and rose gold making a strong comeback. With something like the Empire Ring in your jewelry box, you’ll always have an elegant outfit enhancer at your fingertips. Pay careful attention when picking out your jewelry―the pieces don’t have to match, but they should complement each other.

The best news? Just like your personal style, your jewelry styles doesn’t have to be locked into one of these categories. It’s tough to change your hair color or wardrobe based on the way you’re feeling every day, but with jewelry, it’s a breeze. Decide what you love and what you’re not crazy about. The rest will fall into place.