Tag Archives: jewelry

When Pigs Fly…

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When I first started my journey to France I got a new piece of jewelry, something that represents my approach to life. It was a signet ring by Retrouvai, a modern heirloom designer based in L.A., with a flying pig engraved in gold in the middle.

I love signet rings with their classic monograms so this was a bit of a departure but the symbolism of the flying pig to “embody strength to overcome life’s greatest obstacles” was exactly the reminder I wanted to give myself to be strong on my new journey in a far off land with a foreign language I did not speak, I was in a town I’d never been and was living in an apartment I’d never seen before, in the middle of nowhere. Fast forward five months and everything worked out.

It wasn’t always easy.

I have cried from frustration, fear, exhaustion, confusion but now I’ve grasped the swing of things. I’m a better person. I’ve learned so much about myself and grown immensely by doing something so completely different than the life I had created in New York. I am stronger. I’m a better photographer, I’m an inspired artist. But perhaps more important than any of it, I took the courage to live one of my dreams.

When you test what you can do you realize that anything is possible. The limits we create in our mind are just that, creations of the mind. Every time I slide this ring on or off or catch glimpses of it reflecting the light I think about that line engraved on the inside, nestled against my skin, a message that is one of the things I most believe about how to live a fulfilling life… “Anything is Possible.”

“A wise man once said anything is possible when you stop believing it is impossible.”

More stories from my life in Provence here.

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Cartier Etourdissant dazzles in Miami

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It was a perfect night. The air, so warm and sticky the way summers on the east coast play back like flickering memories of an old movie scene. Cartier had come to Miami to unveil the newest precious pieces of their high jewelry collection “Cartier Etourdissant” along with priceless vintage creations of years past and dazzling standards of this modern era.

Being invited to galas such as these are always personal princess moments. An armed guard, not unlike a fairy godmother, shows up and adorns you in diamonds for the evening leaving you swanning around the room as if you were floating in a glass of champagne. I don’t know what it is about diamonds at night, which sparkle off our warm bodies so alive with breath and wonderment, but I just always feel as if they look like someone caught the twinkling stars and wrapped them around us in a cloak of fairy dust.

This collection is especially sentimental to me. Not only for the history of Cartier, who most notably made the setting for the Hope Diamond and adorned the heads of Royalty for some of their biggest moments in history, but because it was inspired by the French Riviera, one of my favorite places on earth. There is nothing like the light and artistic inspirations of France and in the designs of these pieces they transform light like a quiet afternoon dancing in the sun along the Côte d’Azur. I could stare into the pieces forever remember the best moments in life and dreaming of all the ones I desire for the future.

It was glamorous. Hosted at the new Faena Saxony Hotel in Miami along the turquoise sea it felt like a modern reenactment of a Jay Gatsby party which must have been the inspiration for director Baz Luhrmann when he designed the interior of the hotel.  Faena Miami has been waiting for this moment to be brought to life, to be filled with the sounds of champagne bottles popping, distant laughter, models poised in priceless jewels, jazz music and the salty taste of caviar. Maybe it was the setting that made me feel so nostalgic or the glittering private crowd there mirroring the moonlight off the ocean but I looked around the room wondered how could anything bad ever happen in a world that can create this much beauty out of human vision and love.

In a red Dior dress I watched the room ebb and flow and thought of that line from The Great Gatsby: “In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.” and smiled, for I can always go back to this memory on a cold winter day and recall that life can really sparkle if we open our eyes.

Below, I invite you to experience some of my favorite moments and unforgettable pieces from the gala by Cartier~

   Cartier_Miami_03 Cartier_Miami_04 (more…)

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L’ÉCOLE Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels is a french jewelry house known for their whimsical designs from florals to fairies and charming ballerinas.  They are also known for is their jewelry making school called L’ÉCOLE which, until recently, was only offered in Paris. Now, L’ÉCOLE has found a temporary new home in New York offering classes until mid-June for people like me that are interested in how things are created and learning by doing. Tucked elegantly into the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, you can’t help but feel like you are transported to Paris in a classroom wrapped in crown molding and french accented teachers who are skilled jewelers guiding you.

The course I took was Savoir-Faire, a four hour class where skilled instructors walk you through the first six steps of jewelry making. I loved learning how to paint a diamond in gouache, and how a little flat butterfly design becomes something you learn how to cut out, shape, hold and glue diamonds (ok, rhinestones) into as they teach you the jeweler’s gestures.

These classes are very intimate, only 12 students, and run from now through June 18th. Other courses include looking into the world of watchmaking, gemstones, and the art history of jewelry

I’ve always appreciated the beauty of high jewelry but until I actually tried my hand at it, I didn’t understand the intense skill it requires to make the charming pieces I am so lucky to get to wear to events like this past year’s School of American Ballet Winter Ball. I wouldn’t exactly say I learned a new skill yesterday (in fact I learned it takes 10-15 years as an apprentice before you can begin to make high jewelry) but I certainly did gain a new level of understanding into a world that makes life sparkle.   

LECOLE_NewYork_004 LECOLE_NewYork_005 LECOLE_NewYork_006 (more…)

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Appreciate the Ones You Love

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Pandora Jewelry is all about appreciating the ones that you love and when they approached me about gifting charms to someone in my life I immediately thought of two of my best friends, Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo, who have impacted my life greatly over the years.

History

We first met back in 2010 at a little coffee shop on the Upper West Side and they told me about their dreams of starting an emerging designers platform called Of a Kind. Not only did I come to learn these were two of the most intelligent, visionary women I have ever met, I would also find out that bonds between women are so important and powerful not only in our personal friendship but in the bond these two share.

We shot together, we shared the original Ann Street Studio in the financial district together, I photographed Erica’s wedding (something I never do – but for her, anything), unofficially Claire’s and even all the way down to Texas for SXSW. We’ve laughed and cried, swapped beauty tips and fashion tricks, and seen each other though relationships and moves, business ups and downs, and endless conversations about that future of our lives. I even bought one of Claire’s Grandmother’s paintings! (more…)



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