As we begin (hopefully) to pack away the winter wools and fleeces, it’s time to transition to the spring jacket for warmth (and, at times, shelter from the April showers). As the weather warms and the flowers bloom, bid farewell to the multiple layers we’ve been donning all winter (and the exhaustion that came with taking them on and off) and instead opt for a jacket that is simple, elegant, and refined. This is the season for the lightweights!
Leather Cape by Massimo Dutti
This cape, designed with a straight cut, two side pockets, three-quarter sleeves, and decorative stitching, is perfect for both daytime wear and a weekend getaway.
Deep Vine Matka Drawstring High Collar Jacket by Worth New York
Take this deep spring green statement jacket from casual to dressy. The texture and tones of the silk matka give it a look that reminds us of tweed and adds an intriguing artisan feeling.
Quilted Silk-Satin Jacket by Adam Lippes
This collarless jacket, tailored from lustrous quilted black silk-satin, is fully lined for a smooth drape. Cinch yours at the waist with the removable belt, finishing with skinny pants and point-toe pumps.
Matador Embroidered Zip-Front Coat by Nanette Lepore
Nanette Lepore’s “Matador” cotton-blend knit coat with embroidered trim offers a spacious, relaxed fit and large patch pockets for the casual but eccentric look.
Corded Guipure Lace Peplum Jacket by Oscar de la Renta
It may say “jacket” in the title, but it’s really a work of art—round neckline, long sheer sleeves, peplum waist, scalloped hem dips in front, fitted silhouette. Simply a masterpiece.
We couldn’t be happier to see spring. This week we focus on the defining and timeless color of the season—Green. Here are our five must-have statement jewelry pieces for the season. They include a range of shades in the palette of green. Be forewarned, however: These pieces aren’t casual. They also function as works of wearable art. And the greener, the bolder; the more playful, the better!
Alexis Bittar: Gilded Muse d’Ore Blue Sponge Bead Necklace
From the Alexis Bittar “Gilded Muse d’Ore” Collection, this blue sponge coral bead necklace will have you dreaming of the ocean. It has spiky Swarovski crystal detail, amazonite smooth round beads, and aqua crackle-tone nuggets.
Lana Jewelry: Envy Cluster Necklace
Envious indeed. The cluster of green leaves of this 14k gold creation from Lana Jewelry is made of green onyx.
Ippolita: Rock Candy Gelato Single Rectangle Drop Earrings
“Rock Candy” is the perfect name for these treasures, as they are absolutely delectable. Handcrafted and part of the Ippolita Rock Candy® Gelato Collection, this pair features faceted rectangle rutilated quartz and turquoise doublet drops.
Armenta: Chrysoprase Petite Pointed Oval Earrings
These petite oval drop earrings by Armenta are demure but elegant. They feature a sterling silver with matte finish, chrysoprase/rainbow moonstone doublet center, and champagne diamonds and blue sapphires.
Alexis Bittar: Liquid Metal Hinge Bracelet
Release the artist in you with this cuff—polished golden metal and hand-painted, marbleized aqua Lucite.
Last Friday we showed you how to fight the winter blues by adding pops of beautiful color to your outfit. Continuing the same trend, this week we turn our attention to the ultimate feast of colors—the floral print. For those of us still bracing for winter temperatures and snowstorms (as we must in the Northeast), floral prints are just the right thing to usher in our warm-weather escapism. This season, we don’t want you to just walk into spring, we advise you to strut right into it—with style. Nothing says spring more than being draped in flowers. And no, floral prints don’t convey only notes of pretty, delicate, and feminine. They are, as Vogue tells us about Spring 2015 collections, quite perfect for the sophisticated fashion palette: “Floral patterns were everywhere, from the blossoms at Simone Rocha to the muted sixties tan florets at Max Mara to metallic blooms at Louis Vuitton.”
As we await (rather impatiently) the new season, we share some serious flower power to inspire your own flourishing wardrobe with pieces that tap into an appreciation for all things blossoming—bouquets, gardens, and new beginnings.
Manolo Blahnik, Floral-print Watercolor Canvas Pump, bergdorfgoodman.com
Worth New York, Purple Moon Floral Chiffon Shawl, worthnewyork.com
Michael Kors, Floral Print Skirt, farfetch.com
Oscar de la Renta, Floral Print Pleated Dress, modaoperandi.com
Dolce & Gabbana, Printed Floral-Brocade Coat, net-a-porter.com
Yes, this winter has been a horrible one. Why not fight the winter blues by adding some great pops of beautiful color to your outfit? From a bright pair of pumps to a gorgeous fun coat to a beautiful sweater, there are dozens of ways to invite color into your outfit and liven your day. We’ve gathered some examples, all from Worth New York (www.worthnewyork.com), to give you an idea of how a little color can transform both your outfit and your mood in these remaining cold winter weeks. Try it, it’s sure to make you feel better!
This blue marine cashmere sweater keeps you warm and cozy, looks beautiful with sweaters or pants, and lets you dream of lazy summers at the beach.
We love how the azalea hue of this turtleneck adds warmth and color to the muted taupe of this cashmere and knit jacket and the ever stylish leather skirt.
This simply red faux curly lamb coat is perfect and will brighten up any outfit from day into night. Wear this one over your basic black and you’ll be the talk of the town!
We love the softness and versatility of this beautiful deep Baltic blue leather topper and can envision it with everything from the rich chocolate-chip=brown and camels of this skirt to black, gray, or white pants. It will carry you right into spring (which isn’t too far away!)
A bright red is flattering to so many women and is NOT just for the holidays! Pull out your red jackets and sweaters and you will immediately feel the glow!
We defy anyone not to smile, looking at the beautiful blue of this sweater. It is reminiscent of the sky on the sunniest and warmest of days!
Finally, the simplest of approaches that you can probably pull off without buying a thing! Go into your closet, pull out your brightest and most beautiful pumps or boots, and pair them with a neutral outfit of any hue!
Editor’s Note: For help in ordering any of these items, please contact Nancy Perez ([email protected]).
We were hoping that by now we could stop talking about winter, how cold it is, blizzards, and snowstorms. We were hoping we could start planning for spring. But as single-digit temperatures seem to be the norm these past few weeks, even thinking about packing away our winter gear seems like a far-off dream. Instead, it looks as if we have to replenish said winter gear instead. But the winter accessories here aren’t your typical list of boots and gloves. We’ve gathered some luxurious ideas for winter-weather gear that will provide warmth, style, and lots of cozy comfort in these unusually frigid days.
Fur Vests by La Fiorentina
We couldn’t choose just one! So here’s a sampling of some of La Fiorentina’s gorgeous creations. Cozy up in these long, sumptuous vests styled with both dramatic flare and simple elegance.
Vesterni Faux Fur Vest by Theory
For those of you who prefer faux fur, this plush, warm vest is minimally styled and can be zipped to a tall stand collar or left open to create a draping shawl collar.
Oversized Cashmere Scarf by Amanda Wakeley
This soft, hand-spun cashmere scarf is a timeless accent. Drape this generously proportioned style over the shoulders of a tailored coat. It’s also a great piece to have on hand during long flights.
Bianca Felt Porkpie Hat by Eugenia Kim
Eugenia Kim believes that fashion and function must coexist. Not only does the soft rabbit felt “Bianca” hat keep you warm, it tops your look with a vintage verve.
If you are a loyal fan of the iconic wrap dress, you’ll have the opportunity to carry the trend into winter with this wrap coat in leopard-print felt with leather trim.
Who should love you more than you?
Follow your heart this Valentine’s Day and be generous to your truest love—yourself! Women should absolutely gift themselves on this day of love and the often love-obsessed. We’ve curated a selection of red-inspired accessories from some trendsetters in luxury and decadence—Verdura, Valentino, Louboutin, and others. Obviously, one does not wear ALL of these beautiful Valentine’s Day luxury items at once! Well, privately, maybe . . . you can always go red and over the top.
Wrapped Ruby Heart Brooch by Verdura.
Cabochon ruby, diamond, and 18k yellow gold—need we say more?
Italian Leather Opera Length Gloves by Solo Classe
These suave red leather gloves go all the way to the upper arm, between the elbow and the shoulder. They are wonderful with day and night looks.
Brushed Leather Apple Shaped Clutch by Red Valentino
This Italian-made whimsical beauty features a concealable metal chain shoulder strap and an Alcantara lining.
“Corafront” Pointy Toe Pump and Flat by Christian Louboutin
This delightful “Corafront” collection features a red heart–accented pointy-toe flat that can be worn with black leggings and a long white starched shirt! Simple and chic. And for its glamorous version, the pumps, in black and red patent leather, will brighten up your daytime and evening looks. Just for fun, you might want to think about the Sweety Charity Valentine Bag too.
Calf Tote with Roller Buckle by Calvin Klein
Now this, says Boss Lady. This tote features a roller buckle with an engraved embossed logo, two interior open compartments, and three interior pockets—for from work to play.
They’ve all done it: Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Diane von Furstenberg, Anna Wintour, and Diana Vreeland. They let the cameras into both their public and their private lives to capture their stake in the fashion world. The fashion documentary is quickly becoming the new trend in filmmaking. Retailers are also getting in on the public’s deeply steeped interest in the major players in the fashion industry. In 2013, director Matthew Miele gave us Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf ‘s. This year is no different in terms of buzz on fashion documentaries. Here are our picks of films on fashion that are must-see!
Dior and I
Dior and I brings the viewer inside the world of the Christian Dior fashion house with a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Raf Simons’s first haute couture collection as its new artistic director. [website]
IRIS pairs legendary 87-year-old documentarian Albert Maysles with Iris Apfel, the quick-witted, flamboyantly dressed 93-year-old style maven who has had an outsized presence on the New York fashion scene for decades. More than a fashion film, the documentary is a story about creativity and how, even as a nonagenarian, Iris continues to be an inspiring, soaring free spirit. [website]
Fresh Dressed is a fascinating, fun-to-watch chronicle of hip-hop, urban fashion, and the hustle that brought oversized pants and graffiti-drenched jackets from Orchard Street to high fashion’s catwalks and Middle American shopping malls. [website]
Stanley Marcus (Neiman Marcus)
Stanley Marcus’s long, colorful, multi-faceted life earned him such titles as “America’s Merchant Prince,” “The Melancholy Plato of Retailing,” and international recognition as the arbiter of taste during his lifetime. His genius for marketing Neiman Marcus not only transformed Dallas from a rough-and-tumble cotton-market town into a mecca of high fashion. [website]
Tiffany & Company
Image via Quixotic Endeavors
Tiffany & Co. has captured the aspirational dreams of the world with its legendary jewels, signature blue box, and timeless elegance and sophistication. From past to present, from the behind-the-scenes characters to those clients beholden to the charm of Tiffany & Co., this full authorized documentary seeks to capture how a simple jewelry store dating from 1837 has woven itself into the American culture and consciousness to become an unparalleled global phenomenon. [website]
This time last year, the northeastern part of the country was engulfed in the infamous “polar vortex.” We’re sure many of you would like to forget that. This year, winter has been a bit kinder and warmer to us. Yet, even though we’ve been spared the minus-degree temperatures, most of us are still thinking of winter fashion. So we thought we’d pay tribute to the other winter white—gray!
Gone are the days when the color gray was synonymous with the cold season as dull, drab, and dreary. The formerly downplayed hue has, in recent years, made its comeback on runways. In fact, it might be more sophisticated and less severe than black, making it more versatile. Dare we say, gray is the new black? On its own, gray can work as a beautiful solo ensemble. No distractions needed. With other colors, however, it also plays quite nicely, serving as perfect neutral canvas for you to layer on other textures and shades.
There is a shade of gray for everyone. The many shades (not to be confused with 50 Shades of Grey) include silver, platinum, ash gray, charcoal, blue-gray, steel gray, and slate-gray. We share with you our favorite things on the gray scale this winter, which are guaranteed to also keep you warm, cosy and chic.
Ash Grey Cashmere Valentina Jumper
By Rag & Bone
This classic blends British tailoring with a downtown New York edge. Its V-neck and notched sides work perfectly for layering over skinny jeans.
Steel Gray Long Napa Leather Glove with Zipper
By Giorgio Armani
This beauty does not need many words. It speaks for itself. But here are few details either way: made in Italy, lined interior, and diagonal gold zip closure.
Light Gray Helmut Lang Zip Up Sweats Jacket
By Helmut Lang
Speaking of zippers, this Helmut Lang top creates a piece full of casual edge through asymmetric construction. It has a soft jersey lining, and the draped collar leads into an off-center zippered placket.
Gray Coco Coat
This super-luxe Coco Coat in luxurious wool with piping contrast features beautiful draped tailoring and includes patterned lining, deep pockets, and embroidered collar and cuffs. It looks equally chic when thrown over a casual look or over a fancy dress.
O – Louiselle Gray Scarf
This unique scarf is designed in a fine dark gray silk-and-wool-blend weave with a black gradiented edge and a cracked marble print. This moody and edgy style of scarf would can be worn casually or can easily be worn to update an evening look.
In the bleak midwinter, we’re doubly delighted with the no-need-to-venture-out luxury of online shopping. And so we’re reprising our late-spring Fashion Friday post on three online fashion sites for women, run by women: Net-a-Porter (international cutting-age labels!), Polyvore (collage-like “sets” that put together a look by accessorizing the featured dress!), and Rent the Runway (black-tie dresses available for rental!).
For this week’s Fashion Friday we’ve highlighted our top three favorite online fashion sites; most importantly, each has at it helm women whose taste, vision, and business and technological savvy are redefining the industry of online shopping.
Not all of us have the luxury of strolling down New York City’s Madison Avenue at whim. And probably most of us would rather don the little black dress just one more time rather than subject ourselves to the mall. Now, more than ever, online fashion stores, known in the industry as e-tailers, are not only influencing how we buy clothing but influencing the trends in fashion. Given the ever-growing list of online shopping sites that go way beyond the department-store household names we know and rely on—sites that are beautifully curated around various concepts, themes, and personalities—it’s becoming increasingly difficult to settle on just one or two best bets for online shopping. A new crop of e-tailers founded by women entrepreneurs is staking a claim in the $54-billion apparel e-commerce market.
Natalie Massenet, Chairman of the British Fashion Council, launched Net-A-Porter in 2000. The pages are cleverly and beautifully presented in the style of a fashion magazine; the site caters to more than 2.5 million women each month who are style-savvy and expect unprecedented access to international cutting-edge labels.
Co-founder and CEO Jess Lee earned her stripes working on Google Maps before she joined Polyvore. Her stint at Google is clearly reflected in Polyvore’s mission to solve “problems intelligently, in clever, faster ways through technology and creativity.” And, yes, they’re talking about a fashion site, whose global community has created more than 80 million collage-like “sets” that we have come to love. Indeed, we’ve shared plenty of them on Women’s Voices, like the curated collection above on “What to Wear to a Daytime June Wedding.” Of Polyvore’s aesthetic and culture, Lee told The New York Times, “We believe that you have to keep things as simple as possible, edit out the things that are unnecessary or extraneous and focus on polishing the details.” We agree with that kind of fashion policy!
RENT THE RUNWAY
Here’s a concept: Rent the designer gown! Men have been renting tuxedos forever without any scandal. So why shouldn’t women be able to rent their black-tie dresses as well? Co-founders Jenny Fleiss and Jenn Hyman of Rent the Runway say their philosophy is: Borrow, don’t buy. The concept is simple: find your dress, book for a 4-day or 8-day rental period. After your night out, send back your items in the easy pre-paid envelope provided. Dry cleaning all taken care of. We couldn’t think of anything easier.
We love that you love our take on fashion. If you’re like us, you’re tired of seeing clothes and magazines that don’t reflect the women we see in the mirror: smart, accomplished, grown up. As we came to the end of 2014, we combed through the roster of fashion features from our popular weekly series, Fashion Friday, for the five articles that resonated the most with our Women’s Voices audience. We’ve learned a lot about your style index—Paris, Diane Von Fursetenberg, Jewelry and Philanthropy, Summer Indulgences, and NPR’s perspective on what constitutes chic—yes, NPR!
Falling in Love with Paris in the Fall
Who better to write about Paris—in whatever season of the year—than Tish Jett . . . our Tish? More than 25 years ago, she moved to France for work, and stayed for love. Happily for us, she has sent Women’s Voices a stream of engaging “postcards from Paris”; click here to peruse her savvy insider’s takes on the city’s magic, its mores, and, most of all, its admirably sophisticated, disciplined, friend-cherishing, and (needless to say) fashionable women.
And click here for our review of Tish’s book Forever Chic, which lets us all in on “Frenchwomen’s Secrets for Timeless Beauty, Style, and Substance.” Who’s in a better position than fashion journalist Tish Jett, after 25 years in Paris, to pass on to us the secrets of those mysterious, alluring, and seductive women of France?
Read the full story.
Diane Von Furstenberg’s Wrap Dress
After the Little Black Dress, perhaps the next-best fashion invention is the Wrap Dress, made iconic by designer Diane Von Furstenberg. Reflecting on how the creation of the Wrap Dress not only transformed women’s wear but also served as a catalyst in her own life, she says, “That little dress made me independent. That little dress allowed me to be the woman I wanted to be.” She also told Vogue earlier this year, “You launch something and it has a life of its own, independent of me . . . I mean, this dress is in sociology class!”
Life of its own indeed. Furstenberg was her own model for the dress in her first ad for Women’s Wear Daily (pictured left). When she wasn’t moved by the empty white cube in the image, she wrote on it with a blue pen, “Feel like a woman, wear a dress!” A movement was born. Read the full story.
Jewelry and Philanthropy
Whe it comes to swag of the jewelry kind, a notable lot of designers remind us that we don’t have to wait until October of every year to pair philanthropy with jewelry. Neither must our jewelry-for-a-cause purchases be wedded to the color pink. In this week’s Fashion Friday we spotlight four impressive women jewelry designers and women-led jewelry companies that have ongoing initiatives that combine jewelry with philanthropy: either the proceeds go to a specific charitable cause or customers are offered the chance to support their own initiatives. Philanthropy is beautiful indeed. Read the full story.
Favorite Summer Indulgences from Susan Sokol
We asked several accomplished women of style whom we admire to come up with 10 Sweet Indulgences for the season. This week our invitation went to Susan Sokol—a renowned leader in the global fashion industry whose business acumen and exceptional taste have earned her a reputation as one of the fashion industry’s most highly regarded executives. She has partnered with the founders of iconic brands in president and COO positions at Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Michael Kors, Vera Wang, and J. Mendel.
A lifelong New Yorker, Susan is a frequent lecturer on the fashion industry at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business, where she is Executive in Residence. More recently, Ms. Sokol has become a mentor to the CFDA fashion incubator program, where she has mentored three designers. Read the full story.
Profiles in Fashion: ‘The SEAMS’ on NPR
“Clothing Is Our Common Thread: In Every Stitch, a Story.”
What a beautiful philosophy. It’s no surprise that we’re hooked on this series! The SEAMS, an independent project, is the brainchild of veteran journalist, author, and self-described “adventurer” Jacki Lyden. She is an award-winning host and contributing correspondent at NPR News, where she has worked since 1979. She has a portfolio of extensive foreign experience (see Lyden’s contributions to Women’s Voices for Change); her byline has graced stories covering the Middle East, including both Gulf wars. Those experiences, perspectives, and lessons learned have reinforced Lyden’s belief in the intersection of fashion and the human experience.
“I created The SEAMS because I really believe in fashion as a common human experience, a historical reference, and a connective tissue between cultures,” she told us via email. “I’ve been a foreign correspondent for many years, and wherever I was (Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Thailand, Lebanon, Egypt, Iran), I went out into the markets and bought or had clothes made.” Read the full story.
Two good friends—Women’s Voices board members—wearing ‘Maltese Cross Hinged Stone Cuffs’ by Verdura. (Photo by Cheryl Fleming | www.cherylfleming.net)
Priceless and Ageless. After 75 years, this is Verdura.
How fitting that the famed jewelry company celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. Duke Fulco di Verdura, master jewelry designer to Hollywood stars back when Hollywood stars were synonymous with style and elegance—the likes of leading ladies such as Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, and Joan Crawford. He was also the designer for that era’s elegant socialites, women who were known for their beauty and style. For these stunning women Fulco created the fabulous necklaces, brooches, and bracelets they wore in their films, awards ceremonies, and great parties.Nobody did glamour better than the man who started it all in 1939,
To celebrate its 75th, Verdura has launched The Power of Style: Verdura at 75, a rare retrospective exhibition in New York City now open through December 23. The exhibition is curated by three internationally admired style-makers and Verdura aficionados: Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera, longtime friends of Verdura, and their daughter Patricia Lansing. On view are some of Verdura’s most priceless creations: Coco Chanel’s original cuffs and Greta Garbo’s bracelet watch as well as a selection of more than 200 of Duke Fulco di Verdura’s original jewels and objets d’art on loan from collectors around the world, many of which have never before been on public display. There is jewelry from the private collections of modern-day style icons Sofia Coppola, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Brooke Shields. With selections from Verdura’s 10,000 gouache jewelry designs, archival materials, personal miniature paintings, and rare period photographs, the exhibition brings to life Vedura’s inspirations and gives dimension to the social landscape during the six decades he designed.
“Verdura not only defined glamour for generations of women, but continue to influence fashion today,” says Women’s Voices for Change board member Colleen Caslin, COO of Verdura fine jewelry since 2008.
Last Sunday, CBS Sunday Morning featured the company’s storied history and gave viewers a glimpse into the exhibition, revealing how significant both the jeweler and his designs is to contemporary fashion.
Verdura, jeweler to the stars, on CBS Sunday Morning
This holiday season, Verdura has created its 75th Anniversary Collection, inspired by the Power of Style exhibition. The collection draws from designs that date back to the early 1930s and ’40s with gifts like the one-of-a-kind emerald Scarf Necklace.
View the Verdura Holiday 2014 Catalog here.
While many of us are blessed this season, we also know that many are facing tough financial challenges. Our country is still grappling with major problems: poverty, paycheck-to-paycheck living, underemployment, unemployment, and income inequality.
During the Christmas season, particularly as the holidays have become more and more commercialized, the financial stress of gift-giving can eclipse the joy of it. For those of us who are on strict budgets this season, or those seeking to steer clear of a culture of excess and consumerism during the holidays, or those who want to try something different this year, or those who believe in the beauty of simplicity, we asked our Women’s Voices family to create a collection of Five Gifts Under $25. The gifts they came up with are thoughtful, creative, affordable, and—most important—from the heart.
Teavana PerfecTea Maker—A beautiful and simple vessel to enjoy tea and witness the tea leaves as they brew. $19.95 at Teavana.
Bonus: See Teavana’s full list of tea gifts under $25.
City Map Glasses—Here’s a modern glass etched with a snippet of a favorite city’s distinct grid. The intricate city maps are interspersed with street names and sights worth seeing, and along the side of the glass are the geographic coordinates so one can raise a toast to the memory of an unforgettable urban destination or the city your loved one calls home. $12.50 at Uncommon Goods.
Bonus: See Uncommon Goods’ full list of uncommon gifts under $25.
Saddle Leather Monogrammed Eye Glass Case—Compact and stylish, this chocolate leather eyeglass case has a decidedly vintage look and feel, and also keeps favorite eyewear protected. $24.50 at Pottery Barn.
Women in Clothes—A book unlike any other. It is essentially a conversation among hundreds of women of all nationalities—famous, anonymous, religious, secular, married, single, young, old—on the subject of clothing and how the garments we put on every day define and shape our lives. $18.98 on Amazon.
Bonus: Click here to purchase on Amazon.com. Proceeds from your purchase help fund Women’s Voices‘ nonprofit mission.
Stone Boxes—Set in soapstone, these boxes, inspired by an object found in India, are just right for storing away small knickknacks while keeping a desk or vanity looking neat. $14 at West Elm.
’Tis the season for holiday dinners, cocktail parties, and festive gatherings. We hope you get to take a break from being the graceful hostess and relish the moments to be a gracious guest. When you do play the role of the guest, use it as an opportunity to show your hostess that you understand just how (behind the glitz and glamour, of course) hectic and stressful hosting duties can be. Here are our favorite hostess gifts guaranteed to reflect your thoughtfulness and express your gratitude for a well-executed gathering. They are all meant to give your hostess some much-deserved moments of indulgence.
ELEGANT FLOWER BOUQUET
Photo by Bloom Nation
Gift a beautiful bouquet of flowers that are already in a vase and ready to be displayed. It frees up your host from having to find a vase and complete another to-do. Choose a monochromatic palette that is simple and elegant and won’t clash with your hostess’s decor. And, for an added touch, have them delivered with a lovely note of thanks. It sets a beautiful tone even before you arrive.
Photo by Teavana
When the last guest has departed, give your hostess a moment of quiet and serenity with a luxurious Japanese tea gift set. This Matcha collection from Teavana is a homage to the traditional Japanese tea ceremony known as the ‘Way of Tea.’
Photo by Williams-Sonoma
Keeping with a trend of gifting your hostess moments of serenity, nothing complements a well-done evening better than a long, hot soak in the tub. This Essential Oils Collection from Williams-Sonoma is a perfect way to energize and refresh.
Photo by Le Caprice DC
The morning after is probably the last thing on your hostess’s mind, including what to do for breakfast (if she’s not sleeping in, of course). Gift a hearty breakfast basket with everything she might need to start the day off right.
For most of us, our phones have become essential to our work life and our play life. The new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are, we think, much more women-friendly. Most of us carry our phones in purses, anyway—so all the chatter about the iPhone’s larger size being incompatible with jean and pant pockets is meant for the guys. And why would anyone think sticking a $500 piece of equipment into a back pocket is a smart idea anyway? Moving on. . . With the new iPhone came new cases and wallets to adorn them with. Here are our favorite picks for iPhone cases and wallets that are just as functional as they are fashionable.
This case features signature genuine leather and is fused to a metalized frame for a classic and sophisticated look. The durable leather and impact-resistant frame keep the case looking great even through heavy use.
This elegantly crafted frame of Eastern Hardrock Maple is joined with a supple cover of premium London-tanned leather that gives this case an undeniable allure. And the case beautifully doubles as a stand.
The epitome of understated chic, the Robinson Pebbled Convertible Wristlet pulls double duty: It’s the all-in-one for your mobile and your cash and cards. Made of super-soft, richly textured leather, it has a zip closure and a wrist strap—a must for multi-taskers.
This simple stylish iPhone sleeve is 100% handmade. The size can be customized for any kind of iPhone. And, it is soft to carry around and touch but extremely durable.
Although it’s nowhere near Mother’s Day, mothers have been on our minds a lot. And, of course, we don’t need Mother’s Day to honor our mothers: That ought to be an everyday commitment. So, with mothers on our minds, we are re-sharing an article we featured last year on the jewelry designer Janet Hill Talbert. Her Bible-scripture-inspired designs serve as the perfect gift idea.
As our readers learned about Janet’s story, they shared with us that this was a story of transformation as well. One reader remarked, “Janet Hill embodies the concept of reinvention and living one’s best life. That she followed her inspiration into a new career makes her an exemplary model.”—Eds.
This past Mother’s Day, we shared with you the gifts we gave our mothers that, often to our great surprise (and relief), lit up their world. One of those featured gifts, given by Grace Ali to her mother, was a gorgeous cuff engraved with one of her mother’s favorite Bible scriptures: “His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 136). Well, not only did our readers really love the cuff, our own Dr. Patricia Allen, too, fell in love with it and thought it would make the perfect gift for a dear friend. Many of you begged to know more about the jewelry designer, Janet Hill Talbert, and her line, On This Rock Jewelry. Here, we share with you her story and our favorite picks from her collection.
About the Designer Janet Hill Talbert did not start out as a jewelry designer—far from it. In her first life, in the world of book publishing, she spent 22 years as a successful editor in New York City at Doubleday, working her way up to executive editor and vice president at Doubleday and Harlem Moon, an African-American book imprint she founded. In 1998, a simple walk on the beach changed the course of her life. “During the summer of 1998, while on the beach in Nantucket I gathered several smooth stones that were precious in their simplicity,” she shares on her website. “As I continued to walk, feeling the warm weight of the stones in my hands, I was overcome by a sense that one day I would make jewelry using these stones.”
And she has made good on her promise to herself. Those first steps on the beach led to courses at the Jewelry Arts Institute in Manhattan and training at the Bianca Lopez Studio and the Fred de Vos Wax Workshop. Janet took what she learned from those courses and began wearing the jewelry she made—initially, just for herself—embracing the world as her own jewelry model. But it wasn’t just a newfound passion for jewelry-making that was fueling Janet. She wanted to infuse her designs with another lifelong passion, as she puts it: “God’s love.” How does one accomplish something so monumental? For Janet, it was as simple as reminding people of the words or symbols of that universal love.
And so she married her newfound skills as a jewelry designer with Scripture passages that inspire, encourage, and uplift her—words that she had grown up with in her own Christian family as well as lessons she was discovering as she studied the Old Testament of the Bible with more depth and a new pair of eyes. “As people put on my jewelry and contemplate the scripture or symbol it carries,” says Janet, “I literally want them to feel they are arming themselves with the power of God’s love.” It is this love that is the essence of her vision and that sets her apart from other jewelry lines and designers.
In 2008, Janet officially walked away from Doubleday to focus on the work of building her company, On This Rock Jewelry, and now, some five years later, that “classic leap of faith,” as she calls it, continues to pay dividends. Kathie Lee Gifford has mentioned her “23rd Psalm Cuff” as her “favorite thing” on Today with Kathie Lee and Hoda. Aretha Franklin, Whoopi Goldberg, CeCe Winans, and Natalie Cole have worn her pieces, and countless mothers, daughters, and best friends have shown their love for the women in their lives with Janet’s designs.
Janet’s story on CBN.com
Cuff Love Here are our favorites from the Cuff line of Janet’s On this Rock collection.
Decorative Loved Cuff.
Lord’s Prayer Cuff