Category Archives: Accessories

Pretty Things Thursday: Leah Alexandra Jewellery.

Sometimes there’s just the perfect clash of inspiration: I was pulling pieces for last week’s post on Shopping’s My Cardio, browsing through Magpie Jewellery online for inspiration, and of course multitasking setting up the Anonymouschic Facebook Page.  The result?  Well Magpie Jewllery was having a Leah Alexandra Trunk show, and I found two perfect pieces for the column…but also discovered an utter plethora of pretty things.

{…a sneak peak of the All in the Details post…}

See how easily the pieces work into an outfit?  Positively serendipitous!  Naturally you can see why I was under the impression that the line deserved its own Pretty Things Thursday post.

Inspired by the sandy shores of Cape Cod, this Ryerson-educated designer based out of Vancouver is creating pieces that fit seamlessly into any collection.  In fact the website describes the jewelry as timeless, fresh, and versatile…and I couldn’t agree more.  It’s fairly feminine, but it’s not so dainty that it disappears amongst the other components of an outfit – particularly in the case of those lovely mixed-media tie-back necklaces.

What I also sincerely appreciate is how everything works together building a defined voice and collection.  When browsing through the Leah Alexandra website, I found myself draw towards royal purples and luscious lavenders. Because no single piece is abundantly overbearing, feel free to layer up earrings and a necklace.  Personally I think that the dual-drop earrings wishbone bracelet would make an excellent pairing, but I’m really daydreaming about the grey and cream ribbon necklace paired with a crisp white blouse and black pencil skirt.

{ Celebration Necklace, $210 / Wishbone Bracelet, $128 / Baja Necklace, $98 / Eve Necklace, $84 / Peacock Earrings, $165 / Athena Necklace, $275 }

When browsing the brand on Magpie, I found myself drawn towards pieces that would be veritably versatile – metallic greys, blacks, neutral thin bangles lined with dusky stones.  I’d be inclined to stack all of my picks together, or alternatively focus on the earrings working with my favourite staples like a denim jacket and skinny black pants.

{ Pyrite Social Bracelet, $74 / Erin Bracelet, $74 / Blaire Bracelet, $126 / Eliza Earrings, $118 / Black Garnet Social Bracelet, $74 }

Whatever the source, I’m predicting a seamless transition of Leah Alexandra pieces into any jewelry box.  With prices that speak for quality, but aren’t excessive, I think I’ll be figuring out to how to narrow down my list and see what part of my pre-Christmas pay cheques will be going towards a few new collection additions.  How about it?  Be sure to share what’s catching your eye with the class in the comments.

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Pretty Things Thursday: Alexis Bittar & Magpie Jewellery.

So I decided to get out of the city last weekend, and take a trip to Ottawa to visit a dear friend of mine (the stylish W, who picked up these beautiful Bittars at the Magpie Trunk Show).  There’s a saying in her family (as coined by her sister) that the first piece of jewellery that one gets by the designer Alexis Bittar is referred to as “being Bittarded”.  Well guys and dolls…I suppose that now we can safely say that I’ve been Bittarded, and have found a new jewellery addiction: the Lucite Collection from Alexis Bittar.  This signature collection from Alexis Bittar is hand carved and painted, and described as combining Bittar’s interest in texture, colour, and light.

{…a few of my current covets from Alexis Bittar…}

O’Keeffe Matte Gold Cuff, $138 / Clustered Vine Pendant, $195 / Gunmetal Sophia Hinge, $295 / Golden Splatter Encased Hinge, $173 / Gold Sophia Hinge, $295 / Gold Wafer Earrings, $150 }

While browsing around in the Glebe we popped into Magpie Jewellery…and my oh my am I ever glad we did, as it’s the source of my new Bittars!  The store itself is lovely, with a great mix of items ranging from basic sterling silver that I would have coveted in middle and high school, right through to stunning rings and other such divine discoveries that may stay right on the fringes of the possibilities of my paycheque for a few years.  I can see this store being the source of a number of Pretty Things posts in the future.

{…a few Magpie favourites…}

TeNo Orbit, $250 / Hilary Druxman Sterling & Pearl, $100 / Silver Seasons Geranium, $73 / Alexis Bittar Liquid Gold, $150 }

But back to Bittar.  The Lucite collection is really interesting – very eyecatching in a subtle smokey double take kind of way, mixed with bold statement additions courtesy of gems and hardware.  I’m particularly smitten with the bracelets and bangles.  While perfectly lovely on their own, they also lend themselves well to stacking, taking on different colours and tones depending on the others that you pair them with, and the outfit that they compliment.  And with so many hinged varieties, one really can’t go wrong.  I’m also sufficiently enamoured with the earrings and necklaces which I would generally put in the categories of chic and elegant.  What I also appreciate about the majority of the collection is that it’s not prohibitively expensive.

The two pieces that caught my eye were this lovely little necklace that has an almost leaf-like motion to it, and a hinged bangle with hammered gold hardware – both in a versatile dusky grey.  I’m already dreaming up a whole slough of outfits to pair them with, and think they’ll be particularly excellent layered up with my Elsa Peretti Pearls by the Yard.

{…my beautiful Bittars…}

Now I know that Alexis Bittar is nothing new (his designs have been donned since the early 1990s, and he paired with Patricia Field for custom Sex & the City pieces)…but considering the infrequency with which I see his lovely works in the jewellery collections of many of my friends, probably worth a mention as I know of more than a few who would become fast fans.

If you happen to be in Ottawa, I must recommend that you go and check out Magpie – particularly the location in the Glebe where you should go and say hi to Kristin, the lovely associate who helped me with my first Bittars.  Magpie is also online, which makes browsing from afar a possibility.  If you’re not quite in that neck of the woods, you can find Bittar stockists on the Alexis Bittar websiteNordstrom, Neiman’s and Holts are a few more mainstream alternatives that I’m aware of.

PS:  The White and Gold Wafer earrings?  You can check out next week’s All in the Details on Shopping’s My Cardio to see how I’d style them!

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Must Have Monday: Summer Scarves.

I must admit, at some point along my journey to adulthood I swapped the security blanket of my youth for a different kind of security blanket…a scarf.  Now in the autumn and winter, these are completely practical.  Even venturing into the early parts of spring they make a lot of sense.  Summer?  Not so much.  That being said, I’m not swayed much from wearing them.  The key is a change of materials, and an alteration of purpose.  No longer is the goal warmth (though they can come in handy on a cool evening), but instead just pure fashion and style.

{Polka Dot & Leopard Scarf, Zara, $40}

What’s spawned this discussion is this particular scarf from Zara.  I swear the thing is stalking me, as I’ve seen it on a phenomenal number of rather stylish individuals, or peeking out of the corner of handbags – stowed away for future use.  I’m having visions of it thrown casually around my neck while wearing a semi-sheer black button down, black tank, and rough denim shorts, hair casually thrown up in a ponytail and sporting a great coral lip.  It’s the combination of the pastel blue and coral with the black accents that I’m particularly enjoying.  That and it has just enough animal print for me to manage (considering it’s something that I’m normally adverse to).

Given that rather extensive outfit description, it’s a wonder that I haven’t added it to my wardrobe yet.  Truth be told, I just haven’t gotten around to getting into Zara.  (Disclaimer…that may all change come Tuesday when I go shopping…but let’s applaud my restraint for now.)  It’s also induced some serious browsing through other options as well, as exhibited below.

A few of my keys for excellent summer scarves is that aside from being lightweight, they also need to be colourful but not excessively bold, and preferably have a touch of cream or white in the mix in order to keep them feeling light and airy.  Those rules could, however, be completely thrown out the window if one paired a bold bright patterned silk with a little denim chambray.  (Anyone else think an All in the Details might be in order along those lines?)

{No. 45, Anthropologie, $58 / Spectacle Storyteller, Madewell, $55 / Drakes London Yellow Paisley, J.Crew, $238 / Collage Print, Tory Burch, $185 / Katrina Striped, Club Monaco, $49 / Ditsy Batick, Anthropologie, $168}

Realistically there’s probably a number of you who think I’m completely off my rocker for suggesting a scarf for the summer…but to each his or her own.  For those of you who don’t think I’m mad as a hatter, do enjoy the selection above (apologies – or not – in advance if they induce retail indulgences), and let me know in the comments if you have any favourites you’d like to share with the class.

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Kind of coveting a boxer…

No, not the athlete.  And no, not the dog.  And well truly, just the handbag.  Is that really any surprise?

The Boxer is a bag, a rather lovely classic bag, from Reed Krakoff.

{Reed Krakoff Boxer, from saksfifthavenue.com}

As I’m sure many of you are already aware of his namesake line, may I take a minute and drag you down memory lane for a minute before I start my impending monologue regarding the Boxer.  A trip down said lane to a time when Mr. Krakoff was a name known to Coach addicts.  Considering I started with my first quasi-designer handbag from Coach when I was 16, it proves perfectly appropriate that I am now consistently intrigued with this line.  Already the proud owner of a black RK Cadet bag, it won out narrowly over a Boxer bag, and shockingly, in leaps and bounds above a maroon PS1 when the debate came down to it in the middle of Union Square in San Francisco.

{Reed Krakoff Boxer, from Net-a-Porter.com}

The thing is though, now, I keep finding myself drawn towards his iconic Boxer bag.  The particular object of my affections is the grey felt and brown leather variety, as already seen…although Emily from cupcakesandcashmere.com and her styling have made an excellent case for the black and grey variety.  I’ve noticed the felt/wool and leather mix appearing in a number of places, including recently at Cole Haan, and for quite some time at John and Mary Bags (…which I’m still a little jealous hangs on the arm of a very fashionable friend of mine).  It just seems like a great combination particularly for fall/winter, but perhaps for a very chic and stylish moment in the spring/summer as well.  Given the possible season limitations though, the following option does also seem like a likely selection should I ever cave and purchase as opposed to simply covet (perhaps a little mixed grey with a subtle metallic?).

Hm…decisions, decisions…and realistically just window shopping and dream decisions.  Your input/thoughts/opinions are always welcome of course.

Should you decide to indulge, you can find Reed Krakoff bags at Saks (both on and offline), at the Reed Krakoff website, as well as via Net-a-Porter…and I’m sure a variety of on and offline places that I’ve neglected to mention.

Apologies in advance to anyone who now has a new or renewed obsession with the bag.  Join the club.

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Pretty Things Thursday: Bing Bang NYC.

In flipping through the most recent issue of InStyle, I discovered many a fabulous wearable dainty bit of jewelry that I instantly fell in love with.  In fact there’s an entire handwritten page worth of websites to find these trinkets that I managed to pick out as I riffled through this particular issue.  Enough arsenal to fill a few weeks of Pretty Things Thursday?  Well I should hope so!  Thus I present to you the first of my finds…and a fine find at that…well now what would you say about that?  {I apparently have been reading a little Dr. Seuss as of late, can you tell?}

{Logo, from BingBangNYC.com}

My latest online jewelry obsession comes from a site entitled Bing Bang NYC, and contains the jewelry designs of one Anna Sheffield.  As per the About page on her website {which I might add is directly beside the link to the blog that is kept…bonus points}, it indicates that Bing Bang is a line of haute costume jewelry.  It contains “kind of baubles you might find in an exceptionally well-curated treasure chest.” I absolutely couldn’t have said it better myself.  That description is terribly fitting and music to my ears as the whimsy and dash of play that surrounds the various bits of the lines is exactly the kind of Pretty Things I’ve been drawn to as of late.  Using a mix of metals, Swarovski crystals, and bits of turquoise, pearls and lockets, the line is “Punk Rock sensibility with elegant Victorian femininity” and has most certainly captured my heart.

BingBangNYC Jewelry

With a wide variety of necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings {oh, and gentlemen please do tune in your ears as Anna has whipped up a few pieces for your sort as well}, Bing Bang offers something that can integrate into just about anyone’s jewelry collection…whether it be boxing glove earrings in rose gold, or a gold feather bangle, or perhaps a Victorian key ring.  My problem {as I have a feeling it will be in rapid repetition with many of the things I put on this blog} is that there are just far too many things that I find appealing.  I’ve managed to put a smattering of pieces above for you that I’m positively enthralled with, not the least of which is a pair of caged pearl earrings that take centre stage in that collage.

Anna Sheffield’s Bing Bang jewelry pieces range from $58-325 {for necklaces}, $38-125 {for bracelets}, $30-150 {for earrings}, and $56-148 {for rings}.  This means that regardless of your price range {although granted this is not what I’d deem to be cheap}, if you’re looking for a bit of whimsical minimal investment to round out your current collection or to amp up your costume jewelry drawer, Bing Bang could very well be the line for you.

Now you’ll have to excuse me while I continue to ogle over all of the fantastic bits of treasure that I’ve found on bingbangnyc.com … and make a fleeting attempt to cut my online order down to a more manageable size that doesn’t require Long John Silver’s pirate treasure to foot the bill for the dozens of things I wish to call mine.

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Pretty Things Thursday: Jewelry by Venessa Arizaga.

Hm…so my homepage is DailyCandy.  And DailyCandy has provided me with more than my fair share of pretty things, wonderful ideas, and places I want to visit in various cities, over its reign as my homepage.  Some of these things I have passed along to friends, and some have ended up on the blog, and it is the inspiration for today’s Pretty Thing for Thursday:  the jewelry of Venessa Arizaga.

{Logo from VenessaArizaga.com}

Made from found the found treasures of a creative traveller, Venessa’s jewelry is eclectic, entertaining, and the ultimate results are fantastic statement pieces.  Colourful silks, smiling skulls, bits of coloured stones and bright charms all make up the kinds of pieces that suddenly transform an otherwise basic black outfit or the quintessential jeans and a t-shirt combination.  What I enjoy about this line is that it focuses on collections, allowing for the bracelet and necklace combinations to work equally well on their own, but without seeming too over the top when worn together.  That being said, it would take a bit of daring to pull off wearing it all at once.  Venessa does also does a remarkable job of ensuring that you know just how the pieces look – with a wide variety of views and modelling photos so that you understand the pieces…which makes online ordering significantly less unnerving.

{Necklace design in Peru Peru, from VenessaArizaga.com}

Being the person who loves a solid dose of colour in her wardrobe, but who normally goes for simple jewelry, this line may actually be the one to turn that fashion philosophy on its head.  The necklace that’s above is “Peru Peru”, which definitely holds a place as one of my more out-there favourites from the Fall 2011 collection, yet still strikes me as completely wearable {although I’m a sucker for anything that can tone down the preppy in my otherwise vast cardigan collection}.  A few of my favourites follow…

So I can still gravitate towards my neutral jewelry…with a twist.

{Night Moonlight, from VenessaArizaga.com}

{Friendship in the Moonlight and Found Jewels, Bracelets, VenessaArizaga.com}

Or a statement for a t-shirt and jeans.

{Those were the Days, from VenessaArizaga.com}

Although to balance this with my inner prepster…this is the bracelet I covet.

{Time at Sea, from VenessaArizaga.com}

Pieces range in price with the necklaces between $150-$395, and the bracelets ranging from $55-$275.  For lost treasure, that certainly seems like quite the find.  I found that the easiest way to really get a feel for what pieces I loved best was by browsing the online catalogue which you can find on the Collections tab of her website.

So enjoy!  The pretty and playful, yet with enough of an edge to keep from being whimsically girly…be sure to check out the jewelry of Venessa Arizaga as your pretty thing for Thursday.

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Desperately seeking a diary.

Daytimer, dayplanner, journal, whichever name you so choose to use, I’m in the market for one.  Since I was 14 I’ve had the same plain black leather diary from Coach, but alas it’s now the time to perhaps consider replacing the poor thing.

I’ve tried the whole “just using a plain Molskine notepad to jot down notes and dates” type thing, but it just doesn’t quite fulfil the requirements.  I need specific dates, I need space to write lists, and I need it to hopefully be something that isn’t heinous to look at.  That last bit seems to be the absolute worst at trying to fulfil.  And the inserts!  Goodness gracious, I positively swear finding the right layout for the pages of the week is an absolute nightmare.

Therefore, I’ve decided to share my search, and what I’ve found thus far in terms of possible solutions.  For all I know there are more than a few who refuse to cave into the “paperless, please attach me to my PDA/Blackberry/iPhone/Android even more because my schedule is on here” and need a new hard-copy diary and may or may not actually appreciate the information.  Search results thus far then, follow.

{Image from Filofax.com}

Filofax – Standard issue.  I swear these are the “default diary” for those who are looking to invest in something more long term.  Variety of sizes, variety of shapes and inserts, variety of die-hard fans.  Enough of a choice, and yet I still feel that these scream practical through their otherwise “attempting to be fashionable” exteriors.

{Image from Hermes.com}

Hermes – Considering I don’t see a Kelly or a Birkin anywhere in my near future, I figure a little indulgence in this brand will have to be reserved to breaking the bank for one of their to-die-for scarves…or perhaps a daytimer.  Raved about on some of the forums I frequent, the Globe-Trotter has somehow managed to work its way onto my list of potential candidates.  Colour?  Why a classic Hermes orange of course!

{Image from Smythson.com}

Smythson – Colour:  Red.  Not just because it seems to be the only colour available online…but because I require something to sit in my purse and positively SCREAM at me that I need to check it or attach myself to it.  I’m seriously considering a temporary year-to-year disposable version from them…but it seems like such a waste.  A friend got one as a gift and now I’m secretly coveting one.

{Image from Mulberry.com}

Mulberry – For some reason I’ve been drawn towards this brand as of late, and in all honesty the gorgeous aesthetic of their diaries is no exception.  I’m particularly enjoying the embossed versions in the Oak printed leather.  Dimensions are still a little tricky…but I think I’m going to like the smaller size {in comparison to what I’m used to using}.

{Image from Longchamp.com}

Longchamp – The brand that reminded me that I need a new diary.  The location in San Francisco in Union Square in particular, but that’s beside the point.  I really just love the leather and the style of these – good and basic.  Still having some issues with the format of their inserts…but perhaps I’ll get over it.  And could even get a pink one to match my Longchamp laptop cover! {Wow I’m a girl…}

The search is on…enjoy the results!  Oh, and suggestions always appreciated.

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