Friday, June 10, 2016
Whether or not you believe in the power of New Year’s resolutions, it’s always good to set goals, and the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to do it. While you can reinvent yourself anytime, there’s something about seeing January 1 on the calendar that motivates us to make some positive changes. We like to think of them as “anytime intentions.”
Most people make health-related resolutions but fall into the trap of having unrealistic expectations that set themselves up for failure. Why not make your 2016 intentions a little more fun instead? Set style and beauty resolutions you’ll be way too excited about to risk not keeping. If you can’t think of any right away, use these ideas as inspiration.
Shine a little brighter. Take your jewelry up a notch and go for big, bold pieces. Treat yourself to a sparkly cocktail ring or a multi gem bracelet for women and wear a little bling with every outfit. Your confidence will soar.
Learn something new. Take this common New Year’s resolution and apply it to the world of fashion. What trend have you always wanted to try? Why haven’t you attempted it? Learn about it, master it and work it into your wardrobe. If not now, when?
Go there with your hair. Trying a different hairstyle or a new color gives you a new perspective and can really change your outlook on life. Try something a bit out of your comfort zone. Just make sure you’re working with someone you trust, preferably a person who knows what you like or someone with a well-known reputation.
Be kind to your nails. You may not realize it, but nails are very susceptible to the wear and tear of everyday life. Winter can make them especially fragile since we tend to be dehydrated and are exposed to harsh elements. Moisturize your hands daily, pat them dry with towels after you wash them, and wear gloves when you wash your dishes. All of your unique gold rings for women will look better on hydrated hands.
Wash your makeup brushes. Makeup builds up on your brushes. The buildup gets brushed onto your skin. You get the picture. Wash your brushes with warm water, a gentle soap or baby shampoo. Ideally you should clean them twice per month, but once a month will suffice.
Adapt a signature detail. Gwen Stefani has red lipstick. Taylor Swift has the sexy cat-eye. Choose a hair or beauty trend and work it into your daily routine. Think of it as branding yourself.
Make an investment piece game plan. Every wardrobe should have some investment pieces, which are meant to be timeless staples you can wear for years to come. Investment pieces are usually designer items that cost more than your average outfit, so they have to be planned for. Divide your dream item’s price by 12 (or six or fewer if you can afford it) and make sure you save that much money every month. Even if it takes you awhile to save for each piece, you know you’ll be wearing it for a lifetime.
Stock up on the basics. Basics like classic denim, white t-shirts and black or beige sweaters make up the foundation of many an amazing outfit. Make sure yours are in good condition.
Get organized. Clean out your closet once and for all. Donate what you’re not wearing to make room for things you will wear. Untangle your jewelry and get it organized once and for all. There are so many creative ways to arrange your accessories; you should always be able to find what you need.
Get dressed up. You don’t need a reason. What good is the most fancy dress in your closet or the prettiest pumps on your shoe shelf if you’re never going to wear them? When I’m all dressed up and getting my hair done, I’m often asked, where are you going tonight? I like to respond, “The grocery store!” Why not dress up for no occasion and celebrate yourself and the wonderful life you are creating and living each day? Show up and dress up!
Cheers to a stylish 2016!
Have you heard the good news? The Pantone Colors of the Year for 2016 have been released―and this year, for the very first time, there are two! Hearing about the Color of the Year always gets us excited for all upcoming fashion and beauty trends we’ll be seeing. And it looks like there’s a lot to be excited about for the year ahead.
Fashion trends are typically divided into two seasons, fall and spring. Since we’ve already seen spring previews at this year’s Fashion Weeks around the world, we have an idea of what lies ahead for the coming season.
Here are ten fashion, accessory and beauty trends we’re eagerly anticipating:
Rose Quartz and Serenity. For once, there are two beautiful Pantone colors commanding our attention for 2016, and they’re both wonderful. These soft, feminine hues will be weaving their way into contemporary clothing and accessories next year. Rose Quartz, a translucent pink, is the color of a crystal known as the “love stone” and used for its healing and forgiving properties. Serenity is a soft sky blue, offering a soothing sense of well-being. We could all stand to benefit from a more peaceful year, and these relaxing hues will help.
Vintage Redux. In 2016, we’ll be seeing more embellishments on our clothing―feminine necklines, embroidery and retro shapes. Many Camille K pieces will fit right in with this trend, especially the fashion earrings for women and unique gold rings for women that are based on the Art Deco time period in Paris.
Bows. Put a bow on it! 2016 fashion will be full of them, from the neckline to the sleeve. 2016 will be the year to dress with feminine flair. This is partially due to all the Victorian era-inspired clothing seen on the runways last fall.
Orange. Is orange the new black? It very well could be for the coming season! Orange tops, dresses and shoes were spotted on the runways at Fashion Weeks worldwide.
Intricate braids. Thanks to creativity-inspiring sites like Pinterest, women’s braids have gotten more detailed and complex in recent years. 2016 will be no exception. From center part braids to milkmaid braids, braiding has gone to a whole new level. We can’t wait to see what people come up with in the years to come.
1970s style “tropical” eyeshadow. 70s inspired makeup? Yes, please! The tropical eyes seen on the runway recently were created by makeup artist Lloyd Simmonds at Alexis Mabille in Paris. The look involves applying eye makeup in subtle or bold stripes, creating a colorful, retro look. Since 1970s fashion has been back with a vengeance lately, the hair and accessories styles of the past are sure to follow.
Floral jewelry. We’ve seen an abundance of floral prints on clothing lately, and now beautiful floral necklaces, earrings and rings will be in style next spring. If you don’t own any floral jewelry, now is the time to find some. Luckily, it makes a great stocking stuffer. Ourfeatures pieces inspired by the lush flora of Bel-Air, California.
Bangles. Bangles never go out of style, and thank goodness for that. But they’ll be a must-have for the coming year. Modernize the look by layering skinny bangles of different sizes on your wrist with a contrasting wide bracelet.
Bare shoulders. Off-shoulder tops and “X-shaped” silhouettes will be popular next spring. In a world where so many fashion trends recycle, this is an exciting new twist. Better yet, since the X shape will cover the neckline, wearing a bare-shouldered top is a great reason to show off your bangles and earrings.
Lingerie inspired pieces. Pajamas in public? Not quite—but we can expect to see a lot more loungewear-looking clothing next year. Designers like Alexander Wang, Givenchy and Wes Gordon are taking advantage of this trend.
It’s an exciting time in the fashion industry. Old styles from all eras are returning to the forefront, featuring contemporary twists by modern designers. The past is sometimes the best inspiration for creating new pieces, which is evidenced by all the exciting new trends we are beginning to see for the coming year.
If you’re looking to expand your wardrobe be sure to shop for a few pieces featuring the Pantone Colors of the Year, Rose Quartz and Serenity. Colors have a big effect on our moods, and you’ll love starting a new year with some fresh hues in your closet.
The holiday season is in full swing, and that means a lot of well-known brands are showcasing their merchandise at trunk shows across the country. A “trunk show” is an event, usually for select loyal customer or staff members, in which vendors present merchandise at a venue, boutique or hotel suite. Trunk shows allow a brand to gain recognition and shoppers to get some great deals. They have enjoyed an increase in popularity over the years as people have become more brand savvy thanks to social media, blogs and word of mouth.
This has been a very busy time for Camille K as well. We’ve recently participated in several trunk shows, including the recent Yola Colon at the Mark Hotel trunk show in New York City. The ladies in attendance mixed and mingled with other guests in one of the Upper East Side hotel’s signature suites, which overlooks Central Park. They sipped champagne and browsed the designer’s wares, getting a head start on their holiday jewelry season shopping.
It all sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it? Luckily if you’re in the New York area, you can still participate in a Camille K trunk show. We’re currently taking part in the Yildiz & Aylin 2015 Holiday Trunk Show at 188 E 78th Street, where we’ll have jewelry designs for sale through the end of the week. Come try on a gold bracelet for women or some of our more colorful creations.
Of course, not everyone can fly to New York at a moment’s notice (although it would be nice). But fear not, you can enjoy the trunk show experience from the comfort of home thanks to online shopping. Just a few of the Camille K pieces we’ve had for sale at trunk shows include:
From a shopper’s perspective, you really can’t go wrong with a trunk show. Not only can you find great deals and beautiful products, but you’ll have the chance to give the designers feedback through what you buy and what you enjoy. This in turn helps the designers see what is popular. The more we know what you like, the better we will be at creating beautiful styles that you love and will wear for years to come. The brands tend to love trunk shows because the designers get to meet the customers face to face, build brand loyalty and make connections.
Need some tips for navigating trunk shows? Here’s how to make sure you have the best possible experience:
First, narrow down some designers you’re especially fond of (this is the fun part!). It’s easier to find the best trunk shows if you have an idea of which brands you’re looking for.
Have a good idea of your taste and styles that suit you—or, if you’re holiday shopping for others, get a feel for what they’d like. This will save you a lot of time in the long run.
Get there early if you can. If you’ve ever been to a wedding dress trunk show, you’ve seen the madness that can result. Women’s apparel and accessories trunk shows are typically less chaotic, but if you beat the rush, you’ll find the best jewelry season pieces.
Do your research. Find out about the boutique that will be hosting the trunk show and research every brand that will have products there, even if you’re not necessarily interested in what you’re selling. You just might be pleasantly surprised!
Come prepared with questions. If the designers themselves aren’t there, there will still be reps who should be able to answer any questions you might have about the brand or the designs.
Don’t bring a large entourage. A trunk show is usually a more intimate affair. Bring a friend or two, grab a mimosa and take your time admiring the designs.
Have fun! Trunk shows are meant to feel like exclusive parties where designers can showcase their talents. Be prepared to talk to them and to mingle with the other shoppers. You might even make some new friends!
Check out a few snaps from our recent trunk shows!
In an ideal world, we’d all be able to shop for an entirely new wardrobe at the turn of every season. But that’s not a reality for most of us, nor is it practical. The good news is, it’s also unnecessary. With a few simple swaps and tips, you can winterize your current wardrobe and keep the same key pieces to use all year round. We’ll show you how to maximize your clothing, shoes and accessories and prepare for the colder months.
Getting maximum use out of your clothing is easier than ever right now. Since it has been deemed acceptable to wear white during winter and fall florals are in style this year, there’s no need to put away your flowery dresses until spring. Just add tights, ankle boots and a jacket for warmth.
Layering is the key for transitioning your wardrobe from summer to winter. Never underestimate the power of a blazer, a sweater or a chunky cardigan. A shirt with a low neckline can be made cozier by adding a scarf, and trendy faux fur vests will make any outfit warmer. You can even wear your shorts in the winter as long as you have thick tights to go underneath them.
Here are a few ideas for turning warm weather staples into a winter wardrobe:
What about your shoes? While it’s true that you’ll have to retire some of your strappy sandals until next spring, you don’t have to resign yourself to only wearing closed-toed shoes for the time being. Some of your open-toed shoes can be worn with colorful tights. Just try them on and use your best judgment. Peep-toed shoes can also be worn anytime.
Winter also has its own set of jewelry trends. While summertime means breaking out the turquoise accessories and delicate pieces, winter is all about the sparkle. Light blues and rich red and greens are all great options, not to mention and gold earrings for women.
Here’s how to wear this winter’s top jewelry trends:
Never assume that you have to sacrifice wearing jewelry in order to stay warm. This is not the case, but you might have to choose your pieces wisely. For example, unless you’re going to a holiday party or somewhere equally as elegant, skip the long, dangling earrings in favor of more simple styles.
Fashion tape can be used to keep a necklace in place while you layer a scarf over it for the walk or drive to your destination. Instead of skinny bracelets that you won’t be able to slide over your gloves, look for bigger cuffs to wear on your wrists that won’t get lost under your jacket, like the . Fingerless gloves are great because not only do they make an edgy fashion statement, but you don’t have to remove them – or your rings.
With a few, simple adjustments, your winter wardrobe will be ready in no time!
This year, Camille K celebrates its 20th birthday! In 1995, we began creating one-of-a-kind jewelry designed around the treasures we discovered in the Paris flea markets. Over the years, our inspiration list has grown to include New York and it’s Art Deco buildings as well as the gorgeous jewel-toned colors of Santa Barbara. Since it’s fun to reminisce, we’re taking a look at some of the things we found to inspire our jewelry and some of our favorite pieces, past and present.
Browsing the Paris flea markets in the 1990s provided us with plenty of inspiration. This is a salesman sample card featuring some of the treasures we found.
This is a gorgeous brooch made from 18th century gold bullion trim and embellished with a vintage rhinestone bird from the 1950’s. This is a special piece we made early on.
Couture Bullion Necklace
Our goal has always been to combine the old with the new, creating a vintage look perfect for the contemporary woman. This statement necklace is handmade from many vintage gold bullion balls combined with modern brass chain.
Couture Butterfly Cuff
This is one of the pieces that started it all: a vintage 1950s rhinestone butterfly mounted on a brass cuff. The couture cuff could have sold many times over and inspired the official launch into manufacturing for Camille K.
Couture Earrings in Progress
These couture earrings were created from the gorgeous findings of the Paris Flea Market.
Carla Before A Show Begins
In the beginning, we sold our jewelry only during private showings. Promoted mainly by word of mouth, the small groups of friends and acquaintances started our tradition of informal modeling to present our one-of-a-kind collections. We called our collections, Mademoiselle Camille.
Couture Portrait Collar
The portrait collar is both serious and playful and happens to be a personal favorite of Carla, Camille K’s designer. The focus, a child’s black and white appliqué, is framed by vintage 19th century gold bullion trim from France. Carla keeps one of these handmade couture collars for herself, but there is one more available for the right person!
You’ve got to love a bow that was made for Chanel! This appliqué was created by a company that originated in the late 1800’s and that furnished trims to many Parisian Haute Couture houses.
White Couture Beaded Collar
This sophisticated collar was sold to a very elegant customer. It consists of layers of a very special French beaded trim.
Couture Statement Necklace
This necklace is composed of many hand-beaded medallions. It remains in the archives and ventures out for parties from time to time!
Couture Rock Crystal Necklace
We have a special source for vintage rock chandelier crystals in Paris and spend hours going through the cache of the most beautiful crystals to create one-of-a-kind statement pieces like this.
Handmade Couture Crosses
We once had an artisan working for us who made these bold and beautiful crosses from our exclusive patterns. The bezels were filled with vintage rhinestone paste buttons.
Before the Runway Show Begins
As our audience began to grow, we started doing runway shows. This shot is from one of our first shows. Camille K jewelry was paired with clothing from New York City’s Albright Fashion Library.
Camille Katherine is the daughter of our founder and designer, Carla. It is her name that graces our brand.
In 2010, Camille K began manufacturing for the first time in Los Angeles. It was a big step for us, but we jumped in and learned as we went. When you are passionate about something, you’re much more willing to go for it without knowing where you’re headed.
This was one of our first statement collars, cast from a vintage Parisian flower appliqué. We tied it with a grosgrain ribbon to keep the look fresh.
After a couple of years of hard work, a few mistakes, a lot of research and a little bit of luck, we found the right manufacturer in New York City. This cuff, named after the Santa Barbara Biltmore, was one of the first pieces manufactured in NYC.
Confession: we are really, really into rings! These are a few of our favorites from our current collection. Carla is very proud of them and loves to wear them all (just not at the same time)!
In our couture collection, we created a series of cuffs and neckpieces incorporating real turban shells. The Miramar series was born from Carla’s love of shells—having been born in a beach town, that love was a given.
Named after Lucky’s Restaurant in Montecito, California, this cuff has seven Swarovski pearls in its design—and we all know about the lucky number seven! Anyone who wants to feel lucky needs this cuff!
We are so grateful to our Camille K Family for the past 20 years and can’t wait to see where the next 20 take us!
With the 2015 holiday shopping season in full swing, finding the perfect gifts for friends and loved ones is a full time job. If you’re hoping to win the award for “most creative gift”, nothing beats a boutique. Boutiques tend to offer more individuality and diversity since their products are hand-selected by the owners or a small team. Plus, it’s always lovely to give a gift with a backstory.
Our country is home to some of the most beautiful boutiques that carry exclusive merchandise from hard to find designers and brands. The shops on our list make us wish teleportation were possible so we could browse them all in one day.
1530 Montana Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Moondance was voted one of America’s Coolest Stores by InStore Magazine for a reason. Inside you’ll find one of the most comprehensive selections of accessories, including modern staples, classic favorites and some affordable stylish pieces. The accessories-only store attracts everyone from tourists to locals and celebrities.
15 East Hurron Street
Chicago, IL 60611
This windy city boutique may have been put on the map in 2008 when Michelle Obama turned to owner Ikram Goldman as her personal (albeit unofficial) fashion advisor, but Chicago fashionistas have long relied on this high end women’s boutique for a tightly edited selection of American, European and Japanese designers juxtaposed with vintage clothing and accessories handpicked by Goldman herself.
Maryam Nassir Zadeh
123 Norfolk St.
New York, NY 10002
New York is such an incredible shopping mecca, especially for indie boutiques. Maryam Nassir Zadeh is on the Lower East Side and features avant-garde pieces selected with a gallerist’s attention to detail. This is where you come when you want to find something truly unique.
1109 Lincoln Rd
Miami Beach, FL 33139
This stunning luxury boutique has a minimalist vibe and embodies art, fashion, architecture and culture. Alchemist carries the finer things in life, and it’s worth going for the visual appeal alone—it won an award for Best Interior Space in the Country from the American Institute of Architecture.
477 Broome Street
New York, NY 10013
Described as “The high-fashion equivalent of a candy store—colorful, tempting and addictive.” by T Magazine, Kirna Zabete is a “must see” when in the big apple. Founded 15 years ago by Sarah Easley (nickname Kirna) and Beth Buccini (nickname Zabete) the Soho boutique has been hailed by every major magazine and it’s no wonder why. Their roster of designer is both impressive and eclectic. Mainstays include Celine, Saint Laurent and Stella McCartney. Fresh faces such as Shrimps and Racil are interspersed through the racks and jewelry brands such as Tatiana Verstraeten and Elsie Dray perfectly accessorize any look. They even offer paintings by artist Ashley Longshore.
5375 Landmark Place
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
This fashion-forward Colorado boutique has been acknowledged by the likes of Lucky and Elle Magazine for its fabulous outfits and accessories. Owner Karmen Berensten and her team specialize in creating a red carpet experience. Whether that be personal styling, free tailoring or opening the store at midnight, they’ll do just about anything for their busy clientele.
900 North Point Suite E101
San Francisco, CA 94109
It was only one a little over a year ago that owners Delores Arabian, Ashley Arabian and Kathleen Ensign came up with the vision (and name) for Les Mechantes at Paris Fashion Week. Within a year’s time, the store that started strictly as an e-tailer opened its brick and mortar doors at The Yard at Mission Rock. Both the store and website sell the brand’s namesake collection of caftans, as well as a curated collection of ethical brands, with an emphasis on local designers.
Forty Five Ten
4510 McKinney Ave
Dallas, TX 75205
Named after its McKinney Avenue address, Forty Five Ten has become the shopping destination for Dallas’ best dressed. The one stop shop carries all the best, from Pierre Hardy to Proenza Schouler and Azzedine Alaia to Jil Sander. The 8,000 square foot store is a work of art in it of itself—it’s housed in a historic building.
449 W 14th St
New York, NY 10014
Don’t let this showroom-style boutique fool you. Housed in an old loft warehouse, this mini department store is happy to have its customer use the space as a place to hang out. While Jeffrey New York carries staple luxury designers, such as Prada and Saint Lauren, the store also encourages clients to take a walk on the wild side and step outside their comfort zone with labels like Coperni and Paskal. Getting married? Make sure to check out their bridal-only shoe section.
2241 West Coast Hwy
Newport Beach, CA 92663
Newport Beach is home to Haute Couture in a relaxed, no-pressure, no-pretense setting. Just like the power fashion families of Europe and Italy, the family behind A’MAREE’S has built the tiny boutique into a high fashion force unparalleled in America. A West Coast institution since the early 1970’s, Mother Nancy, daughters Apryl, Denise and Dawn approach high fashion buying with one unifying mission…you.
Allora by Laura
1269 Coast Village Rd
Montecito, CA 93108
The former Creative Director for Antoinette in Montecito began her career in 1984 where she honed her skills merchandising and selling European designer clothing including the most important collections of the day. Working with the Versace and Dolce & Gabbana collections of the 1980's to the current fashion houses of Etro, Yohji Yamamoto, Martin Margiela and more, Laura has been dressing stylish women, and introducing premier designers to Santa Barbara for over 25 years.
Forward by Elyse Walker is a partnership between e-tail giant Revolve Clothing and Los Angeles boutique owner, Elyse Walker that has been described as an edgier Netaporter. For years, a “who’s who” of clientele have flocked to Walker’s Pacific Palisades boutique for her racks of carefully curated merchandise that is both classic and edgy with an LA twist. The site features the world’s most illustrious designers, such as Givenchy and Balenciaga, juxtaposed with up and comers such as Carisa Rene and The Perfext, which also happens to be Walker’s own line.
In the fashion jewelry industry, everyone has their sources of inspiration, and many times it comes from other designers. With the abundance of current fashion and accessories blogs, we don’t have to look far! While there are many wonderful style blogs to choose from, today we’d like to recognize a few of our favorites. Whether you’re looking to launch your own company, a personal blog or you just enjoy keeping up on current trends, these sites have everything you need to be inspired.
Between its clean, beautiful layout and easy to read side menu, you won’t have any trouble navigating around this site. Stephanie Mark, Jake Rosenburg and Erin Kleinburg launched The Coveteur in 2011 and now have an entire team dedicated to keeping it running. We love The Coveteur’s ability to blend style, travel ,health and wellness and arts and culture.
Tip: Keep checking the right sidebar of the homepage for a beautiful list of “What We Want Right Now.”
Cat-loving, LA-living new mother Emily Schuman has great style and excellent taste. After a rewarding career in media, she launched Cupcakes and Cashmere as a way to document the things she loves. Seven years and one book later, the site is going strong. This blog is your “one-stop-shopping” access to fashion finds, beauty tips, recipes and DIY projects. She’ll even show you how to decorate for the holidays and shop estate sales.
Tip: Hit thesection for more personal posts and links to her favorite things.
This classic style blog is easy to navigate and updated often. Better yet, it’s broken down into types of fashion, allowing you to narrow your search options. With categories like Celebrity Style, Outfit Ideas and How To, this site is a good basic option for anyone wanting to learn more about the fashion industry.
Tip: Explore the Accessories section for the latest trends and inspiration for new ways to wear your favorite Camille K gold earrings for women and unique gold rings for women.
No distress here! Damsel in Dior was created by editor Jacey Duprie and combines all of her passions: style, travel, interior design and more personal lifestyle posts. There’s even a Shop section where readers can purchase clothing and accessories they’ve seen on the site.
Tip: One of our favorite posts is titledfor obvious reasons.
“Snob” is not necessarily a negative word, at least not here. This site has a whole team of “snobs” who comb the world for the best bags, shoes, beauty products, jewelry, wine, and anything else you can think of that may require a connoisseur. This is an excellent resource if you’re shopping for something new and want credible reviews and recommendations.
Tip: Anyone with little ones (or anyone who shops for them) should check out the Tot Snob section. From nursery decor to party ideas, they’ve got a great selection of posts.
It’s no secret that we love Paris and Parisian things. Many Camille K pieces were inspired by trips to the City of Lights. The editor, Daphne, is a 26-year-old Paris transplant with an eye for style, beauty and sweet and savory food. The blog is in French, but Google easily translates it.
Tip: Check out the weekly post “Five Small Things” for a more personal look into Daphne’s preferences. It’s a great way to discover new brands, trip ideas and decorative items.
It’s tough not to be a little envious of Christina Caradona’s life. From her modeling work with Target to her striking personal style, she seems to have it made, especially online. This is a great go-to guide for outfit inspiration.
Tip: Follow Trop Rouge onfor some behind-the-scenes photos of Christina’s cosmopolitan life.
Brooklyn Blonde is Helena Glazer’s baby, and it’s entirely too easy to spend several hours browsing her posts. From outfit inspiration to beauty tips to special moments from her own wedding, the images alone are enough to keep anyone coming back. But don’t get so lost in the photos that you skip the written content, because Helena is a great writer.
Tip: Before your next trip to NYC, check out hersection for recommendations on places to eat, drink and be merry.
You have to respect and admire someone who turned her passion for decorating and Parisian flea markets into an East Village store and a. For anyone who loves Parisian style, Claudia’s blog is a must-read.
Tip: Visitand take a look at some of the beautiful things found in Claudia’s boutique.
We simply can’t get enough of French fashion. Barock’saccount is filled with travel photos and food, and her blog is all about outfit inspiration.
Tip: Look carefully at Barock’s photos on the blog—she is outstanding at accessorizing.
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.
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.