November 11, 2015 • Allison Bray
When it comes to quirky sophisticates, Zooey Deschanel has got to be number one on our list. We love her in New Girl
, we loved her in (500) Days of Summer
and we just adore her as part of musical duo She & Him.
In fact, we’re such big fans that we gave Zooey a shout out here on the blog just a few weeks ago when we wrote about Jewellery for Nature Lovers
Ms Deschanel rose to fame in the early 2000s thanks to break out hollywood roles in films including Almost Famous, Elf and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In 2011 she came to our TV screens as the much-loved Jessica Day in New Girl. The role was created just for Zooey, which means that the character shares her signature look. Great news for us: we love to see where her quirky style choices take her each episode!
What can we say? There’s just something about Zooey’s kooky style that makes us get excited. She manages to walk the fine line between girly and wacky while still always looking glamorous. Want to be able to do the same? Here’s how we think she does it…
The reason Zooey Deschanel gets it so consistently right is because she knows what suits her. She’s often pictured wearing clothing from a limited colour palette including black, white, silver, red and blue. Much of her clothing and jewellery is vintage themed, and she’s a big fan of prints.
These preferences cross over into her jewellery choices too. We particularly admire her taste for nature themed jewellery: she’s often seen wearing floral and animal styled pieces that make us want to squee in delight! Oh… and of course, no vintage girly jewellery box would be complete without a classic string of pearls and a heavy sprinkling of sparkly bows!
If Zooey was to stop by our contemporary jewellery shop on High Petergate, York, we think she’d find plenty to draw her eye. Our Amanda Colman collection
might be just her thing… and we don’t think she’d be able to pass by our Rachel Elliot Glass hares
without a smile!
October 28, 2015 • Allison Bray
You only have to take a walk in the great outdoors at this time of year to see how beautiful nature can be. The colours are vibrant, the shapes are delightful and the wildlife is out in force. With all this stunning scenery around us, it’s easy to see why fashion has always taken inspiration from nature.
Some of the very earliest jewellery recovered by archeologists has been nature themed. Serpents and snakes were hugely popular in Ancient Egypt, as were scarab beetles and winged birds. The endurance of these designs is incredible and many are still popular 5,000 years later. Although, if we’re honest we can’t say we’ve ever worn a beetle brooch!
One of the reasons we love nature themed jewellery is that it is so versatile. It can be cute, it can be cool, it can be classic… and it can be quirky. (On that note, have you heard that one of our favourite whimsical style icons Zooey Deschanel has named her new daughter Elsie Otter?! Just think of the complementary jewellery options…)
If you’d like to bring nature-inspired pieces into your look, here are a few tips to make sure they work for you:
For a classic look
Keep the rest of your outfit simple and let your jewellery make a statement. This squirrel necklace will say everything you need it to!
For a laid-back look
Avoid theming your outfits around your jewellery. Animal inspired earrings with animal print clothing can quickly feel twee. Simple pieces such as these silver leaf studs
will add texture to your look in a way that looks effortless.
For a subtle look
Choose nature inspired jewellery in monochromatic tones of gold and silver. This Reeves & Reeves Hare Necklace
would be a great choice. Remember: it doesn’t have to be visible from the other side of the room to make an impact.
For a quirky look
Wear bright jewellery that contrasts with the colour of the rest of your outfit. A yellow daisy pendant
on a red blouse would certainly get attention!
October 21, 2015 • Allison Bray
Do you speak necklace?! There are six traditional necklace lengths, each with their own name and history. These were developed in line with strict etiquette rules on when certain styles of necklace could be worn. Of course, we say rules are made to be broken.
If you want to know your princess from your matinee, this is the guide for you.
The length of a collar necklace is typically 12”-13”. These sit snugly on the centre of the neck and are often made up of more than one strand. Collar necklaces grew in popularity during Victorian times and were most commonly worn in pearls or precious gems such as jet.
Chokers are necklaces between 14”-16”. They’re designed to lie at the base of the neck and work well with almost any type of neckline. They can be particularly flattering for women who have rectangular or heart-shaped faces as they do a great job of softening the jawline.
Princess length necklaces are usually between 17”-19”. Most pendants are worn on chains of this length. They tend to be the most flattering length for this purpose as the base of the chain sits just below the collarbone. Many jewellery experts consider 18” the perfect necklace length!
Matinee length necklaces are between 20”-24”. They can also be worn with pendants, though this can be less flattering as base of the chain usually ends at the cleavage. This length is designed to be more formal than princess length but not quite as extravagant as longer opera or rope styles.
A necklace is described as opera length at anything from 25”-38”. This is a versatile length as it can be worn long, doubled over or knotted. This length would traditionally have been worn with evening wear, perhaps for a trip to the opera.
Rope necklaces are anything over 38”. This is a super-luxurious length and would once have been a signal that you, or your beau, were rich enough to afford it. Just like opera length necklaces, ropes can be worn long and proud, doubled or tripled over, or knotted. They’re also popularly worn as a choker at the front and long and knotted at the back to accentuate a backless gown.
October 14, 2015 • Allison Bray
Layering has long been a fashion trend loved by sophisticates. In recent times the look has been developing: it’s no longer just for clothing, it’s now for jewellery too. This season the layered look has made it to our fingertips in a big way.
Ring layering is by no means a new concept. Those of us who wear a traditional engagement and wedding ring set will be well aware of what it’s like to wear more than one ring on a finger. The difference between this and the newer stackable ring trend is that there are no rules: ring stacks can be worn on any finger in any number.
It’s often said that less is more in jewellery and it can be tricky to wear stackable rings without looking like a child who’s been let loose in mum’s jewellery box! Luckily, we’re here to help.
Here’s our advice on how to wear stackable rings and still look elegant.
Think cohesive, not matching
For best results you’ll want your rings to go together without being matchy-matchy. Variety can really make this look, so you’ll want to bring in diversity. Make this work by choosing rings that share one common element: either rings that are all in one metal, are all the same width or are all the same style. Once you’ve done this, play about with the other elements to create a fun look.
We think the most sophisticated way to carry off the stacked look is to err on the delicate side. Thin, dainty rings stack together beautifully and will keep your look light and attractive. If you do want to add in some chunkier rings, your stack will look better balanced if you wear them at the bottom.
Add ‘white space’
In design, the concept of ‘white space’ is used to refer to the empty space around a design element. Empty space is needed to balance out the detail and give the eye time to take it all in. You can use this same principle when it comes to stackable rings. Leaving a few fingers bare will give your ring stacks more space to shine.
October 07, 2015 • Allison Bray
Opals are a precious gemstone that seem to shine from within. They’re formed in a way that makes them diffract light and gives them a beautiful airy quality. The most common colours for opals are white and green, but they can also be found in all shades of the rainbow and, more rarely, in black.
In Roman times opals were valued above all other gemstones. They were brought to the Romans by traders claiming they were from India and their name is believed to have developed from the Sanskrit word úpala which means, quite simply, ‘precious jewel’.
Opals were once considered to be very lucky as it was believed that each colour within them represented another precious gemstone. An old wives’ tale even claimed that if you wrapped an opal in a bay leaf and held it in your hand you would be given the power of invisibility!
Worn best with…
We believe that opals command attention! Show them off with classic neutral clothing… or go all out and attempt to match your outfit to the colours in your gem.
Best suited to…
Opals are a stone well suited to powerful women. The gems were favoured by both Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, so they have a fantastically royal pedigree. If that’s not quite powerful enough for you, perhaps a black opal would be more your style. These rare gems were historically associated with sorceresses.
Napoleon gave his wife Empress Josephine a stunning red opal that was known as the ‘Burning of Troy’. He’s said to have chosen it for her because she was his Helen of Troy! At the time the opal was the largest and most valuable in the world.
A Roman senator by the name of Nonius owned a beautiful opal that was known throughout the world. It was set in a ring and is recorded to have been the size of a hazelnut. General Marc Antony became very taken with the gem and wanted to give it as a gift to Cleopatra, his lover. He offered to buy the opal at a price well above its worth, but Nonius refused. Marc Antony threatened to banish Nonius from Rome and so Nonius left, leaving behind his wife and family but taking his famous opal with him!
Turquoise Bead Necklace with Silver Inlaid Pendant, A Spiny Oyster Necklet, A Multi Coloured Necklet.