Jewelry news – Swarovski Shine, Pandora store expansion, Van Cleef & Arpels and kale jewelry!

  • At the CES Technology conference, Swarovski launched their new Swarovski Shine collection. For this specific collection, Swarovski partnered up with known wearable tech company Misfit. With this release, Swarovski combines two big accessory trends; the wearable tech trend and the longer established jewelry customization trend. The collection features an activity tracking crystal (that measures sleep quality, steps, calories burned etc.) and allows you to combine it with their jewelry. The jewelry, bracelets and necklaces, are reinterpretations of well known Swarovski bestsellers (Slake bracelet, Vio pendant) plus pieces specifically designed for the Shine collection. One of the nine compatible pieces would be a sleek sportsband for working out if bling isn’t exactly your thing. You’re then able to sync wirelessly and read your stats by placing your crystal on your smartphone with the accompanying app. Any time of the day a simple tap of the finger will reveal the time and the status of your currenct activity.

Shine differs from other activity trackers in the simple fact that it’s more jewelry design focused compared to other activity trackers. If you wouldn’t happen to know this specific brand of activity tracker, you would just assume it was a beautiful piece of jewelry. APAC product marketing senior vice president Joan Ng explained “Observing the high tech market, we felt the opportunity to inject an esthetic added-value that would turn useful products into on-trend accessories”. Another refreshing difference is the fact that it’s the first activity tracker that doesn’t come in the clichéd colors we associate with sportsbling. I’m a child from the eighties so I love my neons ;-) , but this is a truly refreshing change. But the biggest innovation has to be the solar powered technology behind the activity tracker. Quoting the Misfit blog the collection includes “Two new, fully waterproof wearables: 1) a clear Swarovski Shine with a brilliant crystal face and 2.) a violet Swarovski Shine which uses a patented “energy crystal” technology to power itself. This is the world’s first wireless activity and sleep monitor that utilizes an energy harvesting technology to enable it to never require charging or replacing of batteries. Simply expose the violet Swarovski Shine to light to keep it charged.”

My favorites are the the Cardoon wristband and the pendants. I haven’t personally tested the usability, but if the usability measures up with the design, I’m quite positive Swarovski and Misfit have a hit. In Europe we will have to wait a bit for Swarovski Shine to become available in stores, but in the USA and China it will be available in select stores in late march. It’s available for pre-order and shipping will proceed in march. Prices start at $99. Later this year, the violet solar powered crystal will be released. Don’t forget to check out the video!

  •  Danish jeweller Pandora continues to expand its jewelry chain in Germany by acquiring 78 store lease holds in favourable locations. Since 2011 they’ve been focusing their retail network in Germany more on its branded concept stores instead of selling via jewellery stores. Germany is one of Pandora’s core markets and with this strategic deal they consolidate their position in one of Europe’s biggest jewelry markets (valued at 3,9 billion Euros/4,3 billion US dollars).
  • Van Cleef & Arpels continues to explore the cosmos and released Sparkles of Luck. The microsite allows its visitors to send a new year’s wish written in the stars to their loved ones.  Not only does the site draw attention to the Poetic Astronomy watch collection, it also makes the smart marketing move to interact with its costumers on a personal level. In my opinion, Van Cleef & Arpels’ middle name is Poetic, and this microsite adds a wonderful whimsical and imaginative touch to their brand.
  • khai khai jewelryEvery Dutch person has a special place in its heart for kale but worldwide, kale couldn’t reserve a special place in many hearts. Kale used to be the basic bitch of vegetables but ever since the health food blogging community embraced the brassica cultivar, the superhealthy leafy green has had an image makeover.  If you still doubted its popularity, Beyoncé sealed the deal by wearing the popular Whole Foods Kale sweatshirt in her 7/11 video. It’s no longer a simple vegetable; it has become an icon, a hipster statement and a meme. Move over Dude, there’s a new cult hero in town.

Kale’s popularity inspired not only many kale adepts, some people even went as far as naming their child Kale. The name has actually risen in popularity since 2005. I’ve been munching on kale chips with a passion for quite some time now (some even call it Kale Krack), but I must admit, I can’t really imagine naming my kid Kale. Can you even imagine the same with other vegetables? “Oh Swiss Chard,  come here my daaahling” ;-) . Uh no!

Anyway, I digress, you no longer have to rely on Kale chips or kale sweatshirts to satisfy your kale needs, you can now wear a little kale around your neck. Khai Khai jewelry, a jewelry line founded by Haim Medine (the brother from arm party loving The Man Repeller), now offers this kale necklace. Also check out the Digitally Inspired collection, if you want to score some hash tag earrings. Because you know, you better come  prepared for the next meme dude!

 

 

By |January 11th, 2015|Jewelry News|0 Comments

The Look – A gorgeous dress by Cushnie et Ochs

 

cushnie et ochs fall 2014

 

eindlook 3 cushnie et ochs

 

If there is one current designer label that has a monopoly on va va voom dresses with a signature cool girl edge, it must be Cushnie et Ochs. It’s all too easy when a designer prefers über-feminine, sexy clothing to become stereotypical or downright tacky in terms of style. But with Cushnie et Ochs, a design duo hailing from New York, every look is injected with that confident, cool NY-edge and their clothing line subsequently always feels fresh, modern and never over the top.

Since their spring 2015 collection however, they’ve been trying to expand on their design vocabulary. Don’t worry, they’re not turning their backs on the sexy, they’re just bringing sexy back in new ways. They’re translating it in new silhouettes, materials and details. The Fall 2015 collection still featured a few signature body-con pieces with architectural cutouts, but they’ve evolved their style and added sophisticated knitwear and even some men’s wear inspired details.

Ever since they designed an amazing leather skirt (with a pointed leather hem) a few years ago I’ve been hooked. And this dress is another winner. This black silk draped dress is a bit unusual for Cushnie et Ochs because they’re not exactly known for lace dresses. I styled it with two different jewelry styles; one sleek and sexy, the other sweet and romantic.

On the left from top to bottom:

  1. Kavant and Sharart – Yellow gold and black diamond earring – available at Fragments.com
  2. Kavant and Sharart – Grey diamond ring – available at Fragments.com
  3. Urban expressions – Kym minaudière – available at Nordstrom Rack
  4. Carvela Kurt Geiger – Gemma tassel clutch – available at Kurtgeiger.com

On the right from top to bottom:

  1. Elise Dray – Hirondelle earring in black gold and white diamonds – available at Montaigne Market
  2. Mizuki – Black rhodium branch ear cuff – available at Fragments.com
  3. Elise Dray – Feather ear cuff in black gold and black diamonds – available at Montaigne Market
  4. Elise Dray – Plumette ring in black gold, grey diamonds and pearl –  available at Montaigne Market
  5. Shoe Cult – Adore leather sandal – available at Nasty Gal

And the dress :

By |January 9th, 2015|The Look|0 Comments

Curated – Anita Ko Tri-Point Diamond Ring

 

anita ko 6

 

 

If there is such a thing as love at first sight when it comes to jewelry, then this must be it. I’ve been stalking this ring for quite some time now and it’s still at the top of my jewelry wish list. Unfortunately for me, my undying love remains unanswered because it still hasn’t magically landed in my jewelry box!

Another favorite of mine is one of her most loved pieces. It’s the leaf ring and it’s popularity really made clear to me that the baguette cut, one of my favorite cuts, has finally made a come back. Still, as much as I love other pieces from Anita Ko’s beautiful jewelry collections, this tri-point ring is the one, the primus inter pares, the one ring to rule them all, the… all right now, back to reality! ;-)

This ring is available in yellow, rose and white gold and available at Net-a-Porter.com or Anita Ko’s own website.

By |January 7th, 2015|Curated|0 Comments

Happy New Year!

 

First things first, check out the new header! It’s designed by Johan Krijl, a very talented and experienced graphic designer. I gave him only a few ideas of what I had in mind in terms of header design, and he created this fantastic header. He really translated my wishes into a great design. Thank you Johan :-) .

Secondly, Happy New Year everybody! May 2015 be a happy, healthy, loving and aspirational year for you!

As I’m hearing a lot of New Year’s resolutions, ranging from getting a new job, buying a bigger house, quitting smoking (I’m looking at you, you know who you are! ;-) ) or losing weight, I can’t help but think about my own New Year’s resolution. So I’ve decided that this year, I want to become better at failing.

Now I do realise how this may sound, but bare with me. You see, I’m a perfectionist, always have been, always will be. There are some good aspects of that character trait. Every creative person knows “love is in the details” and perfectionists excel in that regard. I also tend to overdo preparations when I’m nervous doing something, like a job interview or a presentation. In turn, it gives me confidence, something to hold onto and it helps to make a good first impression. I remember the time my partner and I were renovating our house and I was scared spending this much money on a new kitchen. When it was time to visit the kitchen dealer, I came prepared with a drawn layout, a moodboard of what I wanted and images of material options. I also made a detailed excel sheet of pricings of every fixture possible of their competitors so I could compare. The kitchen dealer thought at first I was an undercover competitor doing research and doing a bad job at being undercover. I’m not quite sure yet how this specific aspect of perfectionism is going to be an advantage in my future life :-) , but it was… interesting. I’ll let you know!

There are also some negative aspects to being a perfectionist. Every family member of a perfectionist can tell you that he/she can be a royal pain in the ass when anxious, and alas, I’m no exception in that regard. If the kitchen story wasn’t clue enough that I can also be exhausting at times, you should really ask my father ;-) . Another bad aspect is that you can become so overly perfectionist that you no longer try anything new in fear of failing. When a new situation arises, perfectionists always want to be assured beforehand every condition is going to be perfect before venturing forth. That there is absolutely no chance of failing. It’s that all-or-nothing mentality that causes us to overthink issues and procrastinate. Perfectionism in its most negative form, can be extremely paralizing. The great irony is that the perfectionism that pushes us to succeed, ends up being the same sabotager of that success.

Another more lighthearted way of looking at perfectionists is to imagine them as slightly spoiled brats. Now if you’re a perfectionist reading this, and feel offended, let me tell you that you shouldn’t hold it against me because I self-identified as a perfectionist. Sort of. Is it working? Anway, perfectionists in some regards really act as spoiled brats sometimes. Honestly, we’re really good at organizing the greatest self-pity party with the world’s smallest violin playing “The Nitpicking Concerto no 4”. Sometimes I think perfectionists just had the wrong teacher in kindergarten that said “you’re really good at that” instead of “you’ve worked really hard for that”.  Just because you were born with a few natural talents doesn’t mean you don’t need to work for it like every other person does. Jeez, who died and made you a modern day Renaissance woman? Talent is overrated anyway. Now I’m not trying to deter from the lighthearted tone of this paragraph, but to be real, the graveyard is filled with talented people with broken dreams. Many successful people will tell you, that they are not nearly as talented as some of their competitors, but they managed to excel and outdo them with sheer determination and unwavering focus. To sum it up and quote Britney, “you better work b***h!” ;-) .

 

Pig

“I dare you to say one more bad thing about my hair m**********r! And what do you mean ‘pigs can’t fly’ ? Sometimes they do, I promise!”

As a child I used to pray for courage. Like I would wake up one day and by magical reasons unknown to mankind I would feel courageous enough to do the things I was dreading. I imagined snapping my fingers, the heaven would open up, angels would be singing hallelujah and an angel would come flying down to present me with The Gift of Courage. Courage, not unlike discipline, doesn’t work that way. You don’t get to snap your fingers and order it. You do it and in doing so you build and internalize courage. You can only truly be courageous, if you do something despite of being scared. Bertrand Russel said: “The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt”. Now I’m really not trying to give myself a compliment in a sneaky way, I’m just trying to say that sometimes you need to stop overthinking things, realise that absolute control is a self-appeasing illusion and just dive in.

When you’re a perfectionist and having a particularly bad and stressful day, every failure, even the tiniest one, can be a confirmation of what you secretly already “knew”: that it’s going to be a failure. And even if it is, so what?! You need to fail sometimes in order to succeed. An obvious message, I know, but like most people we are governed more by emotions than logic than we like to admit. Stephen McCranie said “The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried”. So that’s what I, in the best way possible of course, wish for you. Perfectionist or not. That you become better at failing and end up succeeding gloriously even more. That’s also what I want to experience with this blog; learning new things in the hopes of pleasantly surprising myself. I’m sure I will fail sometimes. And that’s okay too. It took me a long time but I’m starting to learn that.

I’d like to end this post with a quote by writer Neil Gaiman:

 “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something. So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

 

Source image: http://instagram.com/northstarballoons

 

By |January 1st, 2015|Blog News|0 Comments