Archive for January, 2009

SALE: Surprise your Valentine

January 28, 2009


Good news on this cold winter day: Portero is offering a 4-day-only 10% off promotion in honor of Valentine’s Day.

Here are all the details:
Enter Promo Code VDAYTEN at checkout

10% OFF PROMOTION – Offer applies on all auctions and “Buy Now” purchases closed and paid for by Saturday, January 31, 2009, 11:59PM ET. Must use promo code: VDAYTEN at checkout. All Hermes Birkin handbags are excluded from this offer. Cannot be combined with any other promo code.

If you’re a guy looking to scoop up a perfect gift for your lady, I really suggest a pair of stud earrings. These are can’t-miss pieces of jewelry that never go out of style. Here are some of my favorites:

Kwiat 18k White Gold 1.59 ctw Diamond Baby’s Breath Earrings. These uber-sparkly studs have a lot of personality. Perfect for the woman who likes diamonds but doesn’t necessarily need a pair of standard solitaires.

Stephen Webster 18k Rose Gold Pink Opal Faceted Quartz Fringe Stud Earrings. Rose gold looks great on every skin tone, and these earrings have the perfect mix of edgy glamour and classic silhouette.

Chris Correia Brushed Platinum Diamond Tanzanite Shrimp Earrings. Modern and traditional at once, I love the bluish-purple color of Tanzanite mixed with a simple white pearl.

Image via Etsy and sycamorestreetpress

Kielselstein-Cord: Rare, Vintage and Collectible

January 28, 2009


It’s always exciting when Portero acquires a grouping of designer merchandise that doesn’t usually see the light of day. Such is the case with our just-launched selection of collectible Kieselstein-Cord jewelry, accessories and handbags. While we usually have a few pieces from the lauded designer floating around on the site, this particular set contains many hard-to-find and vintage pieces that can’t usually be found for sale.

If you don’t know too much about Barry Kieselstein-Cord, a good place to start may be right here. If you’re one of his many admirers, then you probably already know that BK-C is a New York City born-and-bred artist who started his career in advertising in the 1960s. In the ’70s, he, along with a few other bold-faced names such as Robert Lee Morris and Elsa Peretti, created an entirely new category of jewelry that found its basis in sculpture and armor.

He has always maintained that he doesn’t follow fashion or use it as a guide for creation; in fact, BK-C nearly always finds his inspiration in ancient cultures. In an interview many years ago with Vogue’s André Leon Talley, he said, “I also like things which are sophisticated in an innately primitive way. Things that are transformed into a past and present that you can’t identify. I like some of Miró’s giant sculptures, some by Lipchitz, Noguchi, and Brancusi. The last thing I look at for inspiration is jewelry of any kind or period.”

If you’re looking to get into the collector’s market, this designer auction may well be the place to start. Portero is thrilled to offer some of the very first works in silver by the artist as well as one-of-a-kind accessories. To start shopping, click below to visit our Kieselstein-Cord event:

Jewelry
Accessories
Handbags

More Red Carpet: SAG 2009

January 26, 2009


Actors themselves say they really enjoy the Screen Actors Guild awards because they themselves are voting on the winners, not a group of critics. While I would agree it looks like everyone had fun, it was another play-it-safe red carpet that didn’t get me too excited about new trends or amazing accessories. Don’t get me wrong–most everyone looked lovely, it just doesn’t make for exciting commentary when you see yet another actress in a bold cuff bracelet and oversized bell-shaped diamond drop earrings.

I did want to point out a few of my favorites, though, and talk about what went right (and wrong). Let’s start with Kate Winslet, above, a Best Supporting Actress winner for The Reader. I think she looks fabulous in blue Narcisco Rodriguez and Chopard jewels. No, she’s not making any major style news here, but the dress fit her PERFECTLY (never underestimate the power of tailoring), her jewelry isn’t overdone and the unusual neckline manages to feel modern and old-school glamorous at the same time.


I particularly liked Christina Applegate in emerald green Emanuel Ungaro accented with a Daniel Swarovski clutch and Lorraine Schwartz diamonds. She usually dresses a bit too old for my taste, opting for all-over beading and mermaid styles that just feel outdated. But this gown is confident, sexy and perfectly hits on the one-shoulder trend in a fashion-forward way.


Another one-shoulder wearer that wowed me was Evan Rachel Wood, above in a teal Monique Lhuillier with purple Sergio Rossi shoes and clutch. The color–divine, and I like the outside-the-box addition of a bird brooch and unusual bracelet. Plus, this shows you that matchy-matchy is a thing of the past: by pairing her gown with pops of purple, she really makes the ensemble her own.


But my favorite of the night just may have been January Jones (above), a winner for Best Ensemble for Mad Men. Her Luxotica Andrew Gn gown is, well, drool. She wisely opted to stay away from retro glamour (which would have been so Betty Draper) and instead chose an Egyptian-inspired gown that felt so right now. From her soft hair to her makeup to her Ofira yellow gold and diamond hoop earrings, I loved it from head to toe.

Tomorrow I’ll be back to discuss some of the biggest color trends: Red and White.

Images via Just Jared.

First Lady Fashion

January 21, 2009


Today could not be a more perfect day to unveil our “First Lady Fashion” homepage. Everyone was eagerly anticipating Michelle Obama’s clothing choices for both the swearing-in and the Inaugural balls, and she certainly delivered with a high style quotient. I was personally wowed by her daytime choice of Isabel Toledo, a Cuban-born American fashion designer. I loved the lemongrass color (so fresh and optimistic!), the subtle sparkle and the gorgeous shift and matching coat.


Her nighttime choice of Jason Wu, a 26-year-old up-and-comer, was certainly a surprise. Obama usually opts for vivid jewel tones or bright hues, so her decision to wear a winter white was unexpected. Also, the embellishments on the dress step outside of her usual comfort zone: Obama so often picks sleek silhouettes with clean lines, so the gathered skirt and appliques were something a bit different.


But, she did go with one of the most popular necklines around — the asymmetrical. I thought this was very on point for what’s hot today, and I liked how it broke the line of her broad shoulders. (If you were curious, she chose jewelry by California-based Loree Rodkin including Diamond Linear Earrings, a diamond Ring and diamond bangle bracelets.) I thought the ensemble was a lovely choice. There was something light and ethereal about it, and she and her husband looked as if they were floating on air during their first dance. It is definitely wonderful to see a First Lady embracing young, American talent in such a profound way.

I have been consistently impressed with Obama’s smart, chic sense of style throughout the entire campaign process. That’s why we’re celebrating a group of Portero accessories that would fit right into Obama’s wardrobe. From a huge selection of pearl jewelry (some classic and some very fashion-forward) to a bevvy of brooches (an Obama staple) to a stunning selection of Birkins (you can never go wrong with Hermes), the auctions are up and ready for action. Click below to start shopping:

Pretty in Pearls
Bold Brooches
Hermes Birkins

More from Vicenza

January 19, 2009


My favorite thing about trade shows is running into a booth that just unexpectedly wows me. Such was the case at Gorgoglione, an exhibitor from Milan. Now these are red carpet-worthy pieces: Just the type of stunning gemstone jewelry I’d love to see at the upcoming Oscars. Remember how we’ve been talking statement necklaces? Just check out the pieces above crafted from black and white diamonds. (I took these images myself, so my apologies for the less-than-stellar quality.)


I also fell in love with their multi-strand baroque pearl and gemstone necklaces (above). Displayed asymmetrically (just like the hot neckline trend seen at the Golden Globes), I was smitten with the exquisite gem-set clasps that are certainly meant to be worn front-and-center, not at the nape of the neck. (And check out that orchid brooch! By using larger sapphires rather than all-over pave, the effect is modern and not too bling-y.)


Black stones (both high-end diamonds and less expensive onyx) were everywhere, and I particularly liked Gorgoglione’s faceted black diamond necklace and earring set. The length of the necklace is very current, and the understated sparkle from the beads feels totally now.


Last but certainly not least was this to-die-for necklace and bracelet set with multi-colored diamond and gemstone slices. I loved the mix of natural colors, and I especially loved how all of the imperfections and inclusions in the stones were highlighted and not hidden.

Golden Globes part 2

January 15, 2009


Although statement necklaces were bigger and better than ever this year, there’s also no way I could ignore the amazing number of asymmetrical necklines at the Golden Globes. I’m a sucker for this silhouette–I think it’s really flattering and is much more comfortable to wear than strapless. Three of the looks are here, and I’m happy to say that they accessorized with interesting jewelry (rather than just your run-of-the-mill diamond looks).

My absolute favorite, Sandra Bullock (above), looked fabulous in a pale Christian Dior ruffled flamenco-style gown. I was possibly even more enamored with her yellow gold Bochic snake bracelets and Amrapali earrings. The pops of turquoise (in both the jewels and the handbag) were the perfect compliment to the ensemble.


Isla Fisher (above) shimmered in a light bronze/gold Carlos Miele gown that was just the right shade for her auburn hair. She chose jewels in the same shades, including pearl and champagne diamond earrings by Yvel and a chocolate diamond ring and bracelet by Le Vian.


Lastly, Maria Menounos wore a frilly Ina Soltani in a gorgeous shade of purple. I thought the ruffles on the bodice were a bit oversized, but the color was wonderful on her. I was really pleased with her choice of an Amrapali elephant cuff–thankfully, actresses are going for unusual pieces these days.

So what’s the point? If you’re going asymmetrical, definitely invest in some beautiful statement bracelets. Here are a few of my favorites now up for auction on Portero:

Vintage 81.9 Grams 18k Yellow Gold Bamboo Link Chain Bracelet
Andy Gotz 18k White Gold Diamond Floral Botanical Hinged Bangle Bracelet
Ewa Solarska 18k Yellow Gold Diamond Pillow Bracelet

Images courtesy D’Orazio and Associates.

Time for Change

January 13, 2009

There aren’t really too many stories about timepieces and Presidents, but one that comse to mind involves President Bush (the second) and a stolen wristwatch in Albania last year. While wading through a very excited crowd, somehow his watch was taken by an excited admirer. Although it was only a $50 Timex (apparently sporting a stars and stripes motif), it still grabbed international headlines.

There are a few interesting anecdotes about our leaders and their timepieces. President Dwight D. Eisenhower marked a special timepiece moment in 1956, when Rolex presented him with a Day-Date watch. The piece quickly became known as the “Presidential,” and the nickname stuck.

French watchmaker LIP (pronounced “leep”) also gained attention through Ike when it presented him with its famed Electronique in 1958. A LIP watch was also given to President Clinton in 1994, on the 50th anniversary of D-Day.

Omega honored President John F.Kennedy in 2008 with the launch of a limited-edition timepiece. The original is currently housed in the Omega Museum in Biel, Switzerland. It served as a model for the special release and will be virtually identical to the “Ultra Thin” Omega that Kennedy wore during his January 20, 1961 inauguration and throughout much of his presidency.

In fact, here’s an interesting slideshow from the National Watch and Clock Museum from a Presidential Timepieces exhibit:

Uploaded on authorSTREAM by nwcm

Regardless of what our leaders have worn, a new year might be a great time for a new timepiece. We’ve culled some of our favorites for all occasions, whether in the office, on vacation or on the town. Click below to shop a great selection of both men’s and women’s watches:

At the Office:

On Vacation:

On the Town:

Golden Globes

January 13, 2009


As you know, I’m in Italy, which means that I had to miss the live telecast of the Golden Globes. But that doesn’t mean I’m not paying attention, and I wanted to bring you some of the important red carpet trends. As I said yesterday, statement necklaces are back in vogue and bigger than ever, and I saw a few great ones from Sunday night.

Beyonce, above, was stunning in a diamond fringe necklace by Lorraine Schwartz. It’s hard to pull off such a dramatic necklace with a gown, but a black-tie affair is the perfect place to really go for it. The trick is to keep the gown’s embellishments to a minimum, and to make sure that there’s a good deal of skin between the bodice and the necklace so the overall effect isn’t too busy.


Elizabeth Banks also went for neckline sparkle with another diamond collar from Schwartz (above). This piece was similar to the bib design I showed you yesterday by Marco Bicego because it is also made up of conjoined circles. (I was also smitten with the detail on her pale pink dress–the pintucking and fraying was both sweet and a bit avant garde.)


Lastly, I absolutely loved this Amrapali ruby and gold necklace worn by Catt Sadler, a correspondent for E! It’s rare that women choose intense colored gemstone necklaces for the red carpet, so I definitely appreciate the outside the box thinking.

Stay tuned for more red carpet trends, including a ubiquitous neckline and a dominant color palette.

Images courtesy Diamond Information Center and D’Orazio & Associates

Monday Eye Candy: From Italy!

January 12, 2009


I’m coming to you live from Vicenza, Italy, the site of the year’s first international jewelry trade fair. With over 1,700 exhibitors, the sheer amount of beautiful baubles on site is literally staggering. It’s always exciting to just get down to the business of design, and this particular trade show is particularly known for Italian innovation and the art of goldsmithing.

After gazing into countless cases along the bustling aisles, I’ve noted a few trends that are certain to trickle down within the next year or two. Below, a few standouts and how to get ahead of the curve:

1. Black and White. There’s an absolute abundance of bold black and white gem-set jewelry. Special notice goes to dramatic faceted onyx and white agate, which I’ve seen in oversized cocktail rings and large medallions. Black diamonds are also everywhere, especially small points set into all-over pavé.

2. Alternative materials. With the price of metal skyrocketing, jewelers are trying to find innovative ways to cut costs. One of the answers is a wide range of semi-precious materials like bone, wood, resin and glass. The mix of high and low together in one piece makes for a modern juxtaposition.

3. Bib necklaces. Just as we saw in the most recent New York Fashion Week, statement necklaces are back and bigger than ever. I am gravitating towards versions with conjoined circles (like the Marco Bicego standout above) that dip deep into the decolletage.

Stay tuned for more trends tomorrow!

People’s Choice

January 8, 2009

I didn’t get a chance to watch the People’s Choice awards last night, but I definitely took a few minutes to click through the pictures this morning. First thought? There weren’t too many looks I was absolutely loving. This particular show can be fun because it’s a dressed-down version of the red carpet, and there are usually a lot of accessible looks that translate easily to real life.

That being said, there were a few standouts, and I figured I’d use these looks as a starting point for your own at-home wardrobes. See how you can recreate a couple of the stars’ choices through Portero below…


I found Marisa Tomei just about perfect last night. I love the simplicity of her red Donna Karan dress, tousled hair and gold accessories. I am actually swooning over that necklace with its bold scale, faceted crystal (I assume) and high-karat gold. (Closeup below.)


Recreate this look with a simple strapless silhouette and a dramatic gold necklace like this Carreras Ltd 18k Yellow Gold 2.9 ctw Diamond Bib Necklace or this JewelMak 18k Yellow Gold 1.20 ctw Diamond 8-Row Cable Necklace.


I also liked this sexy boho Gucci outfit worn by Kate Hudson. The color is lovely on her, the asymmetrical neckline adds interest, and the shoes (oh the shoes!) are fabulous. Instead of blinging it up with diamonds, she wisely chose graphic black and white accessories that fit the easygoing vibe of the dress.

To try the look, grab a couple of cocktail rings like this JewelMak 14k Yellow Gold Diamond Milk Chalcedony Cocktail Ring and this 18k White Gold Diamond Onyx Cabochon Cocktail Ring.


Truth be told, though, my favorite red carpet celebrity look of entire evening wore absolutely no jewelry. Dakota Fanning, above, was absolutely beautiful in a teal cocktail dress and minimal makeup. Finally, a teenager that dresses like a teenager!

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