On the busy intersection of Wilshire and Rodeo amidst the mix of celebrities, tourists and cars that bustle by, is the gem of a store, Bvlgari. This mix of passing pedestrians and automotives seem to have polished an architectural diamond in the rough into a multi-dimensional gem in the form of this brilliantly sparkling store. When we were given the opportunity to get a tour of this Los Angeles cultural landmark, intimidation was a word that came to our mind. These diamonds weren’t just diamonds, they were the diamonds that are currently being draped across a naked Julianne Moore and two baby lion cubs in Bvlgari’s current advertising campaign. We’ve seen those pictures, and we do not look like in the nude, and we would not be looking like a red-haired seductress with lions lying across our privates. Intimidation indeed.
But when we stepped inside the store we were instantly at ease in the warmth of arcing blonde wood that enveloped us. The curves in the display cases seem to set in motion that swooping emotion every girl feels in the pit of her stomach when her eyes scan over an expanse of diamonds. The play between the linear and the curvaceous within the architecture seems to mirror the crisp cuts found within a spherical diamond. We happily ogled the diamonds, reclined on the velour sofa, and were even offered water while we waited.
The Bvlgari store is composed of three floors, with a private (fully stocked) bar taking up the upper level, looking over aforementioned intersection. Who doesn’t want a glass of champagne when seated in the lap of luxury? We were happily surprised by the amount of other luxury goods Bvlgari carries, such as handbags, sunglasses, and ties. A trip up to level two met us with all of the above.
Bvlgari is directly associated with luxury, but the best news yet is that you can have a piece of luxury for a fraction of the price with their popular, less expensive yet meticulously designed line, B Zero. Women spend the same amount on shoes these days that they could spend on a Bvlgari ring from B Zero. Even a necklace, or key chain is yours for the taking, with Bvlgari’s name and trademark clean edges stamped across the pieces. B Zero reminds us of the trademark line from that other jewelry store, the one with the robin’s egg blue colored boxes. Those boxes used to drive our jewelry obessions, but now we walk in Manolo’s and have decided our jewelry needs to mirror or shoes, naturally.
The Goddess has spoken and she is in agreement with the rest of us– our girl Nicole Pollard and LalaLuxe are the the premiere shopping services in Los Angeles!
Read on here…
Check this out – tonight from 6pm – 9pm, ZEROMINUSPLUS at Fred Segal Santa Monica will be hosting a launch party with 100% of the proceeds going towards United Nations humanitarian agencies. Patron will be hosting the bar (score!) and Marc Breslaw, Executive Director at USA for UNHCR and Kevin Sturtevant, VP of Development for the Friends of the World Food Program will be hosting the evening…
Eco-sustainability is the new black in the fashion world and we wanted to do our part and alert you to our favorite burgeoning sustainable jewelry line, Kora (www.koradesigns.com). Amy Walker and Maxandra Short are the two bodacious blonde masterminds behinds this emerging line of jewelry, made from African cow horns. Their eco-chic philosophy goes a step further than most, as they not only source their materials from Rwanda and Kenya, but also employ the local artisans to produce their designs. This outsourcing creates jobs and economic opportunities for the workshops and artisans who are employed by Kora, potentially spurring long-term economic success.
Browsing their online store and reading their blog, which chronicles their adventures of traversing across Africa, allows us to indulge or fashion needs without the guilt, much like our newly acquired frozen yogurt habit.
Kora’s jewelry is made from the horns of the indigenous East African Ankole cow. These cow horns are considered waste at local butcheries, allowing Kora to scoop them up and dole them out to local artisans in Rwanda and Kenya, who then diligently craft these organic horns into polished bracelets, faceted rings, necklaces and more. On their last sojourn to Africa, the ladies decided to amp up their designs and are now adding brass studs to horn pieces, and wrapping brass wire around the bangles to give the jewelry even more depth and intricacy. They seem to be most excited about the prospect of recycled aluminum as a new medium, as a pile of bangles will simultaneously feel weightless and look divine on a bronzed summer wrist.
What we love about Kora’s jewelry is how these artisans are able to bring to light the inherently organic and original patterns and markings found within the horns’ surface. The juxtaposition between the variation of pattern yet coherence of material within a gaggle of bangles amuses our eye. As soon as we dredge through June gloom in Southern California and finally get to embrace the summer sun, we cannot wait to adorn ourselves with these beauties, perfectly accenting all summer attire, from white linen shirts to bohemian blouses.
“Kora” translates to “work” in Rwanda’s native language, and that is exactly what Amy and Maxandra have set out to do. We could not be happier supporting their dream of creating a symbiotic relationship between the fashion world and a third world county, eco-sustainability bliss!
Here are some of our favorite designs:
Yesterday in Los Angeles, JulieB.com was first to announce the launch of LalaLuxe Fine Jewelry:
Every girl loves herself a good cocktail dress, and for that matter a good cocktail. The ritual of slowing sipping on a dirty goose while the chilled martini glass delicately floats in your hand seems decadently nostalgic to us, as images of coiffed hair and red lipstick from the 1950’s flash through our minds. We praise those cocktail-sipping ladies for indulging in extravagant baubles to rest on their hands while sipping that goose, as they paved the way for us to incorporate exaggerated cocktail rings into our everyday wardrobe. A statement ring is simply a-must-have, goes-with-everything-piece because it can effortlessly transition from those lived-in ripped jeans and white t-shirt to a favorite corseted cocktail dress, and all while making you look too-cool-for-school.
With that said, we are always on the hunt for that perfect ring, so when we heard of vintage-button-inspired cocktail rings growing out of a garage in Venice, we were intrigued and decide to investigate further. For the past three years, with the help of a grass-roots support crew, Yanique Venezia has been producing the lavish line of Confection Jewels out of her Venice studio. We were lucky enough to get a sneak peek at her line before its big debut at her first Fred Segal trunk show, next Saturday, February 13th.
German Power Crystal- Pink, $225
Golden Flower Patch, $175
Flower Power 2, $180
These rings are meticulously made with love as Yanique has brought her graphic design background into her new burgeoning venture. The dynamic range of vintage buttons from around the world remain the center of the each ring, while Yanique then places them in a hand crafted and polished setting, sometimes adding other adornments that enhance each button’s individual personality. If you think we are talking about them like children it is because to Yanique they are, and she has cleverly named them accordingly, such as The Jolly Stallion or Chocolate Ashtray. What we love most is that the range of buttons from pop-princess-pink to art-deco-vintage, allows everyone to find a ring to suit their personality. Despite this range, there remains continuity throughout Yanique’s line that can only be described as layering pop Warhol on top of an old Victorian soul. The juxtaposition of the two on the surface of a cocktail ring creates a sublime effect that we find fascinating.
As of now, the button rings are in limited quantity as the number of each individual design is determined by the number of buttons that Yanique was able to acquire. These limited edition rings are listed under “One-of-kind” and “Limited Series” on confectionjewels.com. You will also find “Collection Series” on the site, which is the where Yanique hopes to expand production and lower the price to embrace a wide demographic of consumers. We’ll happily sip on our dirty goose martini and cheers to that!
Cocktail Rings ranging from $45 -$250
written by Veronica McCarthy
A unique spin on the classic Valentine’s Day gift – mark your calendars for this event at Krista Everage Studio in the Bergamont Station.