Archive for October, 2009

Gem Love

October 30, 2009

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Earlier this week I had a coveted invite to view all of the entries for the AGTA Spectrum Awards, and believe me, I wouldn’t have missed it. This design competition is for the best in colored gemstones, and there were some real stunners that made me remember just how much I love gems.

One of my favorites was the intense ring above by designer Paul Kleka. Made from 18K green gold and featuring eighteen radiant-cut Zultanites (91.85 ctw.), the three-finger ring may have been dangerous, but I loved the matte finish on the gold and the repeating pattern.

Another favorite is Victor Velyan‘s 24K yellow gold and silver cuff featuring a 20.54 ct oval star Ruby cabochon and natural colored diamonds. These two pieces just go to show you that colored gems don’t necessarily need to be all about the sparkle factor–pattern and texture are also key in finding a good piece of jewelry.

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Did you know you can shop by gemstone on Portero.com? Check out our selection of gorgeous colored stone jewelry now!

Don’t get Tricked! Buy Authentic.

October 28, 2009

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Everyone’s purse strings are a little bit tighter these days, but it doesn’t mean that buying replica designer luxury goods is the smartest choice. Here’s Portero.com‘s top three reasons to buy authentic every time:

Investments will last. Purchasing a replica handbag or watch may seem like an economical way to be fashionable, but your savings may be short-lived. The inexpensive materials and construction of many of these pieces means that they will not stand the test of time. Instead, invest in the real deal and you’ll have a little bit of luxury that will last.

Higher price means higher quality. It’s the little details that make authentic designer handbags and watches so coveted: Supple leather, sturdy hardware, Swiss movements and expert stitching among them. You just can’t replicate the craftsmanship of authentic goods, and replicas usually don’t make the grade. Want one telltale sign of a fake designer handbag? The piping and stitching on real bags is flawless–it’s usually messy and imprecise on replicas.

The ethical question. While buying a replica designer handbag isn’t a crime, selling them is. The first Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting took place in 2004, and since then, the group has found that trade in fake goods supports sweatshops, child labor, terrorism and organized crime.

The Annenberg Diamond

October 23, 2009

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Good news on the auction front: several major jewels recently sold at prices far above their estimates. This is exciting on a couple of levels: First, it means the economy is starting to recover, which is a good thing for everyone. Second, it just shows you that certain brands and classic style never really lose its value.

Point in case: The Annenberg diamond (above), a 32.01-carat D-flawless stone mounted in a ring by Manhattan jeweler David Webb, sold for $7.7 million at Christie’s, much higher than the $3 million to $5 million pre-sale estimate.

Another high point was a diamond and rock crystal bow brooch by Cartier estimated at $200,000 – $300,000 that sold for $1.1 million. These buyers obviously know that if you invest in time-honored brands and spectacular gemstones, there’s an inherent value that will never go away.

If you’re looking for pieces that will last a lifetime, definitely check out our SOLID GOLD curated selection of bags, watches, jewelry and accessories.

Now or Never–Rolex and Cartier sale today!

October 22, 2009

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Hopefully you’ve checked out the sale preview on Facebook because our first Now or Never watch sale is about to begin! Use promo code NNRC at checkout and you’ll get an extra 20% off already reduced Cartier & Rolex watch prices.

Don’t forget: The first shopper to checkout gets the watch, so don’t waste time if you see something you love. Click here to start browsing, but don’t forget, the promo code won’t be active until noon so you’ll need to wait until then to get the extra discount!

Book Club: No Mere Bagatelles

October 21, 2009

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I was excited to read in today’s WWD that there’s a soon-to-be-released biography of handbag maven Judith Leiber. You probably know all about her gorgeous, bejeweled and exotic skin handbags, but you might not know that the 88-year-old designer is also a Holocaust survivor who immigrated to the U.S. in 1947.

In “No More Bagatelles: Telling the Story of Handbag Genius Judith Leiber & Modernist Artist Gerson Leiber”, Jeffrey Sussman explores Leiber’s early life and the start of her company, as well as the relationship with her husband, Garson. It’s perfect timing for the self-published book–the designer is being honored with a retrospective this week at NYC’s Bergdorf Goodman (and later at Neiman Marcus in Dallas and Houston) featuring an exhibit of some of her most iconic bags.

Catch Leiber in person at the Bergdorf flagship this Friday, October 23, or shop our collection of her spectacular handbags and accessories now!

Hip Bags

October 20, 2009

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Choosing a black handbag may not seem like the most unique way to express your style. But, it’s a great way to invest your money in a tote that will go with most everything in your closet. If you want to mix it up a bit, how about trying a mid-sized purse with a long strap that hits you right at the hip?

From above left, Rachel Bilson, Kate Bosworth and Ashlee Simpson are all wearing this trend with a lot of success. Kate and Ashlee’s straps are even long enough to wear it cross-body, which is not only comfortable but a good way to keep your bag safe and sound.

Want to see some great examples? Here’s a few of my favorites:

Kieselstein-Cord Black Suede Frog and Ladybug Shoulder Bag

Judith Leiber Vintage Black Lizard Clutch Shoulder Bag

Bottega Veneta Black Leather Shoulder Bag

Posh Birkin

October 19, 2009

Victoria Beckham Birkin

If you follow Victoria Beckham at all, you’ll know she’s on the absolute cutting edge of fashion–sometimes choosing to wear things that most of us would never consider a “real life” wardrobe. But just as she has you feeling completely befuddled by her choice of footwear or handbag, she goes and totes a totally classic Hermès Birkin around town.

Here she is just yesterday at London’s Heathrow airport looking travel chic. You can never go wrong with a black Birkin, and she pairs it with another favorite accessory of mine–a bold, oversized yellow gold watch. This just goes to show you that while a Birkin may be a big investment, it is an ultimate classic that straddles the line of fashion and function perfectly.

Want in on her look? Shop our collection of Hermes bags now, or check out a few of my favorite bold gold timepieces:

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day Date President 18k Yellow Gold Men’s Automatic 18038 Watch

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 18k Yellow Gold Diamond Automatic 2164.75.00 Watch

Cartier Cougar 18k Yellow Gold Quartz Unisex Watch

Behind the Sale: Temple St. Clair

October 14, 2009

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Tomorrow’s Temple St. Clair NOW OR NEVER sale is the perfect excuse to give you a behind-the-scenes look at how and why we choose our fine jewelry for Portero.com. Our fabulous jewelry curator, Jennie, has tons of experience: She studied jewelry in college, is a Graduate Gemologist, has worked for several prominent designers, and now even designs her own collection. I sat down with Jennie to ask her a few question about the baubles in tomorrow’s sale:

1. Why is Temple St. Clair great investment jewelry?
First of all,  it’s made of 18-karat or 22-karat gold, and we all know that is a safe investment. Each piece is hand crafted with fine workmanship that is not easy to come by today, but more importantly, her gemstones are really magnificent. They are picked for their unique and rare colors and are the of the finest quality.

2. Tell us a little bit more about the gemstones Temple uses in her jewelry.
She uses a wide variety of semiprecious and precious stones. For example, there is a green tourmaline bracelet with flawless stones with ideal color and a one-of-a-kind 22-karat gold cross with intense blue aquamarines. These pieces are indicative of the careful selection process used in creating each piece of Temple St. Clair jewelry.

3. What are some of your favorite pieces in the sale? Why?
The green tourmaline bracelet, aquamarine cross and black opal ring because they just make you want to stare at them. These are not piecesyou can find in a mall jewelry store!

4. Where can you wear this jewelry?                                                                                                                The pieces are great because you can really wear them from day into evening and make a t-shirt and jeans look fantastic, or add some magic to a cocktail dress.

5. Any last thoughts?                                                                                                                                                A lot of items in this particular sale are one-of-a-kind or were produced in limited quantities. These pieces function as not only accessories that give the wearer some extra sparkle, but also as vessels to hold the most beautiful stones out there. Truly an investment for the wallet and the wearers beauty.

Make sure you’re registered for Portero‘s emails to get a promo code for an EXTRA 10% OFF tomorrow’s sale. Shop from 10-5 PM ET only–this is your last chance!

Unusual Jewelry Storage

October 13, 2009

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I love this fun post on Apartment Therapy today about unusual storage for your jewelry. I must admit, I have always had to come up with inventive ways to store my rather large collection of fine and costume jewelry. Most of my collection is currently housed in the top drawer of my large dresser, separated into compartments and various boxes.

I also have a small collection of hand sculptures made from wood, glass and resin that I hang rings and necklaces from. But the post’s idea of using a nuts and bolts organizer (above) is something I never thought of. The metallic finish is great for a more industrial decor, or you could spray paint it to match your room. Fun! Do you have any great ways to display/store your jewelry collection?

Boot Envy

October 12, 2009

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I just had to point out one of our newest scores in the Accessory category: These gorgeous Sergio Rossi Black Crocodile Over The Knee Flat Boots (sz 37). Talk about a showstopper for fall! The over-the-knee silhouette is hotter than ever right now, and the 1 inch heel means complete comfort. In pristine condition, these boots are super rare, are priced at 62% off, and will definitely go with so much in your closet–from jeans to skirts to dresses.

If you’re looking for a pair of fantastic boots, definitely check out our selection. From exotic skins to unusual materials like cork, we have fashion standards as well as standouts.

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