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
Now that we’ve equipped you from head to toe with the proper fall attire—the Fall Boot, the Fall Coat, and the Red Shoe—and added to your Fall Fashion Book List, it’s time to venture outdoors all geared up and ready to investigate the incredible lineup of must-see exhibits for the season. By “outdoors,” of course we mean New York City, Boston, London, Madrid, and Paris.
“Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire”
The Metropolitan Museum of Art | New York, NY
This Costume Institute exhibition explores the aesthetic development and cultural implications of mourning fashions of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Approximately 30 ensembles, many of which are being exhibited for the first time, reveal the impact of high-fashion standards on the sartorial dictates of bereavement rituals as they evolved over a century. The thematic exhibition is organized chronologically and features mourning dress from 1815 to 1915, primarily fromthe Costume Institute’s collection, including mourning gowns worn by Queen Victoria and Queen Alexandra. The calendar of bereavement’s evolution and cultural implications is illuminated through women’s clothing and accessories, showing the progression of appropriate fabrics from mourning crape to corded silks, and the later introduction of color with shades of gray and mauve. Through February 1, 2015.
© The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
“Women Fashion Power”
The Design Museum | London, UK
“Women Fashion Power” offers an unprecedented look at how princesses, models, CEOs, Dames, and designers have used fashion to define and enhance their position in the world. Each of the contemporary women featured in the exhibition is contributing an outfit for display as well as sharing her personal style philosophy. Through April 26, 2015.
© The Design Museum.
This exhibition, the first major retrospective to be devoted to Hubert de Givenchy and the museum’s first incursion into the world of fashion, will present a selection of the finest creations by the French fashion designer. Curated by Hubert de Givenchy himself, it will thus offer a unique focus on his collections over the past half century, from the founding of Maison Givenchy in Paris in 1952 to his retirement in 1996. On display will be dresses that he designed for some of the 20th century’s most iconic personalities, including his muse and friend Audrey Hepburn (whom he dressed for films such as Sabrina and Breakfast at Tiffany’s). Through January 18, 2015.
© Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza.
Hollywood Glamour: Fashion and Jewelry from the Silver Screen
Museum of Fine Arts|Boston, MA
“Hollywood Glamour: Fashion and Jewelry from the Silver Screen” presents designer gowns and exquisite jewelry from the 1930s and ’40s—the most glamorous years of Hollywood film. The exhibition focuses on the iconic style of sultry starlets of the period, including Gloria Swanson, Anna May Wong, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Mae West, and Joan Crawford. Hollywood style in this era was a blend of on- and off-screen fashion and accessories, including dramatic costumes created for the screen by famous designers such as Adrian, Travis Banton, and Chanel and dazzling jewelry from makers of the era like Trabert & Hoeffer-Mauboussin and Paul Flato. Through March 8, 2015.
© Museum of Fine Arts.
French Fashion, Foreign Designers
The FASHION MIX exhibition is a tribute to French expertise which Russian, Armenian, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Belgian designers—to name but a few in the field of fashion—help spread worldwide. From Charles Frederick Worth to Azzedine Alaïa, Fortuny to Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto, and from Elsa Schiaparelli to Martin Margiela, not forgetting Cristobal Balenciaga, Robert Piguet, Paco Rabane, and Raf Simons—all of these foreign designers and creative directors have brought about a revolution in French fashion and enriched its history. Drawing on personal journeys and the history of fashion, FASHION MIX tells the story of a different kind of immigration: that of men and women, artisans and designers, who have contributed to the reputation of Paris as the international capital of fashion. December 9, 2014–May 31, 2015.
© PALAIS DE LA PORTE DORÉE, MUSEUM OF THE IMMIGRATION HISTORY
Given the kind of weather we’ve already been having, it looks as if this fall we’ll be zipping into the warmth and security of boots sooner rather than later. No complaints here. And, like the Fall Coat, the Fall Boot has to do a lot, and do it all at once—it has to be, of course, fashionable while also being functional, warm, cool, versatile, color compatible, and able to combat rain, wind, flurries, and possibly snowstorms. From classic flats to the season’s trend-setting over-the-knee boots to the new-found appreciation for suede as a change of pace from leather, and to a refreshing take on fall colors that includes reds and blues, feast your eyes on fall’s five most covetable casual styles.
Felicia by POUR LA VICTOIRE
This classic fall boot in dark brown features a mid-size heel and zippered side closure.
LOWLAND by Stuart Weitzman
Crafted from supple suede, this flat brilliant red boot pairs perfectly with everything from dark denim to a printed dress. Top it off with a dramatic cape for an ultra-luxe take on cool-weather dressing.
Valerie Boots by Kelsi Dagger
Kelsi Dagger consistently breaks down fashion boundaries with unexpected details that appeal to both classic and trendy sensibilities. This over-the-knee suede pairs beautifully with dresses for autumn.
5050 Stretch Suede Boots by Stuart Weitzman
These blue suede Stuart Weitzman boots are a perfect alternative to the traditional black or brown option. Wear them with a simple skirt and white shirt for a minimal look that is equally perfect for the office and for Saturday brunch.
Addison Riding Boot by Trask
Antiqued metal harness straps amplify the equestrian style of a slouchy, tall boot cast in burnished two-tone Italian calfskin.
This fall is gearing up to be an exciting season in the book world—and upcoming books by and about some of the most influential and game-changing women in fashion promise to be especially engrossing. These new releases delve into the complicated lives of women like Diane von Furstenberg, Vivienne Westwood, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Loulou de la Falaise.
The Woman I Wanted to Be
By Diane von Furstenberg
Diane von Furstenberg offers a book simply about becoming the woman she wanted to be—“the kind of woman who is independent and who doesn’t rely on a man to pay her bills.” In The Woman I Wanted to Be, von Furstenberg reflects on her life—from her childhood in Brussels to her days as a young, jet-set princess to creating the dress that came to symbolize independence and power for an entire generation of women. She mines the rich territory of what it means to be a woman, opening up about her family and career, overcoming cancer, building a global brand, and devoting herself to empowering other women. She declares, “I want every woman to know that she can be the woman she wants to be.” (Source: Simon and Schuster)
By Vivienne Westwood, Ian Kelly
Vivienne Westwood: fashion designer, activist, co-creator of punk, global brand, and grandmother. Her career has successfully spanned five decades and her work has influenced millions of people across the world. In her personal memoir, she collaborates with award-winning biographer Ian Kelly to describe the events, people, and ideas that have shaped her extraordinary life. (Source: Pan Macmillan)
Elsa Schiaparelli: A Biography
By Meryle Secrest
Known as the Queen of Fashion, Elsa Shiaparelli was at the helm of a social revolution through clothing. American Vogue, in 1927, presented her entire collection as Works of Art. “Dare to be different,” Schiaparelli advised women, and she lived it to the height as a rebel against convention—social as well as fashion. Meryle Secrest, acclaimed biographer, captures Schiaparelli’s rise to fame, her keen instincts—she was an astute businesswoman—and her incredible journey in launching herself into hats, hose, soaps, shoes, and handbags in the space of a few years. By 1930, her company was grossing millions of francs a year. As Secrest traces the unfolding of this dazzling career, she reveals the spirit that gave shape to this large and extravagant life: a woman—a force—whose artistic vision forever changed the face of fashion and redefined the boundaries of art. (Source: Knopf)
Loulou de la Falaise
Loulou de la Falaise is the first monograph to celebrate the life and work of the style icon. Renowned for her bohemian chic and daring style as well as for her lightness, nonchalance, and humor, Loulou de la Falaise was not only an influential fashion icon but also a breath of fresh air to the world of Parisian haute couture. The Anglo-French beauty modeled briefly for Diana Vreeland’s Vogue before moving to Paris in 1972 to work alongside the iconic designer Yves Saint Laurent. For almost 40 years, de la Falaise would forge her professional reputation designing extraordinary jewelry and accessories both for Yves Saint Laurent and for her own line. This volume is a life in pictures, with more than 400 images by legendary contemporary photographers. (Source: Rizzoli)
The Fall Coat has to do a lot, and do it all at once—it has to be, of course, fashionable while also being functional, warm, cool, versatile, color compatible, and able to combat rain, wind, flurries, and possibly snowstorms. In other words, the Fall Coat is a fashion statement, but it also needs to be taken seriously. This season features an array of stunning trends:
this autumn’s unexpected colors, fabrics, and designs offer a wonderful opportunity to take the Fall Coat to another level. Here we share with you some of our high-caliber favorites.
Wool Coat with Leather Lapels by H&M
This 100% wool coat has its collar and lapels in leather. The concealed metal buckles at the front, tie belt at waist, side pockets, and vent at back add to its sleek elegance. And the combination of dark blue and black makes it an out-of-the-box color choice for fall.
Jacquard Coat with Shimmer by Massimo Dutti
This knit coat in jacquard loom fabric is made in Italy in a wool and shimmer blend. It has a rounded collar, two side pockets, and front concealed press stud fastening. We love that though its rich, autumnal hues are predictable for the season, the added shimmer and sparkle liven up any outfit.
Band-Detail Long Coat, Pale Green by Givenchy
No, this Givenchy coat does not belong in the Spring Collection. The pale green palette is very much meant for fall. Falling below the knees, this longer coat has a banded yoke back, sharp shoulders, long sleeves, and a funky band detail that covers the front closure.
Chain Trim Coat by Moschino
Yes, those are chains. This black wool-cashmere blend coat from Moschino features notched lapels, a concealed front fastening, a flared style, long sleeves and an eclectic gold-tone chain trim.
October ushers in the very important National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It also ushers in the “Buy Pink” consumer phenomenon. This month, women’s magazines and e-zines produce beautiful editorial spreads showcasing lots of glitzy swag that comes with extra benefits: all (or some) of the proceeds generated goes to breast cancer research and charities. A noble endeavor indeed.
However, when 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.
Jewelry for a Cause was founded in 2008 by a former lawyer and mother of two, Jessica Mindich. From the beginning, the concept was unique yet simple: design and create inexpensive yet fashionable pieces of jewelry that can be sold at a profit to raise money for various schools and charity organizations. The company now works with artisans from all over the world, helping them to create sustainable lives for their families through their crafts. The company is already responsible for providing more than $400,000 to worthy causes.
Carolyn Rafaelian, the CEO, Founder, and Creative Director of Alex and Ani, created Charity by Design, which serves as a unique division of the company that focuses solely on giving to charitable organizations. Rafaelian creates customized symbolic charms (pictured left) that capture the essence of a charity. Proceeds are donated directly to the nonprofit organization.
In 2002, with just $500, Kendra Scott launched a mini-jewelry collection that has grown today into a global brand. Scott has stayed committed to the company’s founding philosophies— “Family, Fashion & Philanthropy.” With three staples of her collection—Issie Hearts, Seton Lolley Necklace, and Susan G. Komen Austin (pictured left)—Scott donates 20 percent of the profits to specific causes. You can read more about the inspiration for her pieces here.
The Brave Collection is a line of jewelry handmade in Cambodia by talented artisans who come from underprivileged backgrounds or suffer from disabilities. Each piece in the collection is carved and woven entirely by hand. The company was founded by Jessica Hendricks, who spent time as an English teacher in Thailand and is using Brave as a platform to provide job opportunities to women in Cambodia.
In fashion and beyond, the color red always stands out. No matter what color you’re wearing—black, tan, navy, chartreuse, or pink—add a pair of classic red shoes as a perfect final touch and you let the world know that you know how to step out in style. Even adding a simple pair of red loafers can elevate the weekend denim and T-shirt uniform we all find ourselves in. Trust us, red is a new neutral—and it has been for years! Even more, red is back for the Fall season. And as a Fall statement color, it just might be the queen! Here are some of our favorites to help you reboot this fall and amplify your dress code.
Designer: Stuart Weitzman
Details: Crafted from supple suede, the flat incarnation of the iconic HIGHLAND pairs perfectly with everything from dark denim to a printed dress. Top it off with a dramatic cape for an ultra-luxe take on cool-weather dressing.
The Modesto Bootie
Designer: Stuart Weitzman
Details: We couldn’t help ourselves. We had to share another Stuart Weitzman. Two words: razor-sharp. This super-sleek ankle boot looks just as fab teamed with opaque tights as it does with skinny pants.
Scani Suede Button Red Pump
Designer: Manolo Blahnik
Details: In this Manolo Blahnik kitten heel red pump, you get a pointed toe, single sole, leather lining, and a grosgrain button strap. Pure elegance.
Sabrina Suede Kiltie Moc
Details: The feminine silhouette, suede details, and on-trend colors showcase autumn style. Features whip-stitch and tassel detailing and leather-lined footbed for added comfort under the foot.
Tizzy Pointed Toe Flat
Designer: Ivanka Trump
Details: Pointedly perfect, this is a must for every work and play wardrobe. It features a suede upper, manmade lining and sole, medium heel, and pointed toe.
We all know how to dress for work, a meeting, or lunch with our most fashionable friends. The question, however, is what to wear when you’re running errands, popping out for breakfast, or just waiting to see what the weekend brings. Fortunately, we are living in a time when women on the go don’t need to look like women whose sense of style is long gone.
Here are some alternatives to what used to be called slacks—a downer of a name if there ever was one. A pair of any of these will make you look forward to walking out the door.
‘Uovo’ Tie Front Cuff Ankle Pants, by Weekend Max Mara
Precise tailoring shapes this wool pair, finished with front pleats and a self-tie belt.
- Self-tie belt with belt loop
- Zip fly
- Front pleats
- Side slash pockets
- Cuffed leg
- Back button welt pockets
The Jersey Slouchy, by Eileen Fisher
This slouchy pant has a tapered leg. According to Eileen Fisher, it’s “too chic to be this comfortable.”
- Front pleats, 1 1/2-inch waist with elastic in back, dropped angle pockets
- Light and lustrous, with just the right amount of stretch
- Approximately 27 1/2″ inseam
Flying Monkey Jeans, by Buckle
Don’t let the model scare you away. These jeans work on mature women. They are truly high-waisted, they stretch, and they fit.
- High rise
- Zip fly
- Stretch jean
- Slimming through hip and thigh
Beaded Cropped Pant, by J. Crew
J. Crew says about these pants, “. . . it’s the trim—hand-beaded in an angular pattern from the pockets to the side seams—that makes them so bewitching. They say the devil is in the details, after all.”
- Sits above hip
- Fitted through hip and thigh, with a slim, ankle-length leg
- Off-seam pockets, back welt pockets
- Dry clean
Cashmere Sweats, by 10 Crosby Derek Lam
Yes, these are investment pants, but in midnight blue cashmere you won’t see yourself coming and going, and you will have them forever.
- Elastic drawstring waistband
- Two pockets
- Ribbed cuffs. In midnight blue
- 100% cashmere
It’s Fashion Week in New York City (well, we’d like to think it’s always Fashion Week in some part of the world!). As the fashion community salivates over next spring’s attractions, we’re continuing our focus this September on Jewelry. We believe that one of the easiest and most adventurous ways in which you can discover the power of your individual style is with lush jewels. Last week we paid homage to The Cuff—as a bold statement, a minimalist layer, a work of art, an architectural marvel. (See The Jewelry Edition—Cuff Love.) This week, we urge you to feast your eyes on another fabulous piece of statement jewelry: The Necklace.
Like the cuff, a stunning statement necklace (and by “statement necklace” we mean oversize, decadent, and unmistakeable) can add an instant zsa zsa zsu to an ensemble and re-energize even the simplest of day or evening outfits. It can also provide the most elegant finishing touch.
Here are our five must-have statement necklaces for the fall season. They include palettes for all tastes—neutral, red, gold, smoky blue, and classic black. Be forewarned, however: like the cuff, the statement necklace also functions as a work of wearable art. And remember, the bolder and more playful, the better!
Designer: Kate Spade
Details: A pale palette with gold tones softens the striking silhouette of this necklace featuring a mix of clear and opaque crystals, mother-of-pearl details, a 14-karat yellow gold plate, and a lobster clasp.
Beaded Chain Mesh Bib
Designer: ABS by Allen Schwartz Jewelry
Details: This colorful rondelle, in neutrals of gray and copper spanning to vivid yellow, blue, and red, is strung in a wide sweep within a rose gold-tone mesh, for playful statement style.
Rock Candy Gelato Pendant Necklace
Details: Features 18-karat yellow gold, five-tiered pendant with cognac citrine/red agate/cognac citrine triplet, orange citrine/brown shell doublet, orange citrine, clear quartz/black shell doublet, and green gold citrine.
Phoenix Smoky Blue Tressage Necklace
Designer: Alexis Bittar
Details: Smoky blue strands of labradorite, aventurine, sodalite, pyrite form this tressage necklace with crystal embellished vine accents. A lux side clasp is set with clusters of jasper, labradorite and pyrite in textured gold tone bezels.
Black Horn Collar Necklace
Details: A cluster of rich, African brass beads, with a statement collar style and gorgeously earthen appearance.
As a piece of jewelry there’s probably nothing more classic and timeless than The Cuff. It can serve in many ways to complement a woman’s multidimensional style—as a bold statement, a minimalist layer, a work of art, an architectural marvel.
Although the fashion blogs might tell us that cuff bracelets are the hottest trend for the fall season, the fact is, they have never gone out of style. Fashion legends Diana Vreeland and Coco Chanel, for example, always considered the cuff a staple because it can easily transition through the seasons and it adds an unmistakable elegance and class to an outfit. Case in point, our own Women’s Voices for Change board member Colleen Caslin’s beautiful handling of a Verdura cuff (featured below) as she was recently profiled and photographed in 1010ParkPlace.
As we wind down the summer and transition into a new season, here are the five pieces, carefully vetted (hard work for us!) from the designers’ brand-new fall/winter 2014 collection, for which we’re feeling some serious cuff love. Be forewarned, however: these pieces function as works of wearable art.
Gold Liquid Metal Edged Cuff
Designer: Alexis Bittar
Details: Hand-carved and hand-painted Lucite cuff with an edge of liquid gold tone metalwork.
Melted Geometric Cuff
Designer: Anndra Neen
Details: Polished gold-tone bangle with textured accents.
Maltese Cross Hinged Stone Cuffs
Details: Amethyst, peridot, diamond, pearl, mammoth ivory, and gold (left). Ruby, sapphire, diamond, pearl, black jade, and gold (right).
Wings of Desire Cuff
Designer: Michele Lerner
Details: Silver crafted in the image of enveloping wings that are stitched onto black leather.
Green Jeweled Cuff Bracelet
Designer: Oscar de la Renta
Details: A sculptural, leafy cuff with 24-karat gold plated brass and faceted crystals.