Archive for May, 2009

Viva Las Vegas!

May 28, 2009

If you weren’t a reader last year, you probably don’t know that every May, Las Vegas plays host to the country’s biggest jewelry show. I’m here to search the trends and bring you the coolest new pieces WAY before they’re ever seen in stores. Interested? Here’s my personal diary from my first day at the Couture show (click on images to enlarge):

If you are a fan of gorgeous jewels worn by lots of A-list celebrities, you’ve probably heard of Los Angeles-based Erica Courtney (above). As usual, her booth bursting with vivid gems and diamonds did not disappoint. Below, check out this spectacular drusy earring and pendant combo. This one-of-a-kind set has a palette of turquoise blue and metallic gold and it is both organic and elegant. Love!

Next, check out these bold, sculptural pieces from Athens, Greece-based Elena Votsi. Her large-scale 18-karat gold rings and earrings felt modern with a playful edge.

I also visited another Greek designer, Lithos, whose rose gold and diamond designs were really stunning. My absolute favorite was this single cuff that looked like stacks of diamond-encrusted bangles. The subtle wave pattern made it feel one-of-a-kind.

Lastly, I stopped by one of the jewelry stores at the Wynn and had to show you this fun take on high-end timepieces. Created by Italian designer Natalia Brilli, here’s a lambskin-covered Rolex skeleton made into a bracelet. I love the cheeky take on a luxe watch made into an accessory that is affordable.

Stay tuned for more designs as I tour the aisles of the show!

Summer Beads

May 27, 2009

I absolutely love beaded jewelry for summer–there’s something about the mix of color and textures that just seems right for warm weather. Maybe it’s because the silhouettes aren’t rigid; the look just feels easy and breezy. If you decide to invest in a piece, Portero has a huge selection of lower-priced jewels as well as splurges that you’ll have in your jewelry box forever. Here are some of my favorite looks that will do well for the upcoming season:


Try a multi-strand necklace like this M+J Savitt Sterling Silver 6-Row Pale Citrine Beaded Necklace. This is a whole lot of look for a very reasonable price tag. The mix of pale yellows will go with nearly anything.


This gorgeous Simon Alcantara Wildflower Vine Gemstone Necklace is a boho beauty. The unusual materials and perfectly imperfect construction make it one-of-a-kind.

Pop of Color:

You can’t go wrong with the simplicity of this 18k White Gold Diamond Smooth Graduated 160 ctw Emerald Bead Necklace. I would personally layer this piece with other necklaces of varying lengths–it would look particularly good with something in a rich gold.

To see our full selection of beaded jewels, click below:

Beaded Necklaces
Beaded Earrings

Gettin’ Stitched

May 20, 2009

This week’s homepage highlights some of our favorite quilted and patchwork bags–and these are not meant for shoppers who only look for a passing fad. Led by the famous quilted design of the original Chanel 2.55, these handbags have that luxury look and feel of something created by an artisan.

Do you know the backstory of the famous Chanel 2.55?

The name was given based on the date the bag was born (February 1955), and hallmarks are the now unmistakable chain shoulder strap and thick quilted leather. Other details are particular to Coco Chanel herself–the dark brown lining was modeled after the uniforms she wore at the orphanage she spent her early years; the outside pocket is where she stored extra money; and the interior zippered compartment hid love letters from the Nazi spy she had an affair with.

But the most luxe feature of the bag, the quilted leather, was inspired by one of the designer’s hobbies. A true fan of horse racing, Mme. Chanel payed tribute to the jockey’s coats with this fabric-like rendering of the leather. This diamond quilt pattern is now used on many of Chanel’s bags, and designers like Marc Jacobs and Chloe have appropriated their own take on the look.

Want to shop some of these stunners? Click right here to shop our selection of quilted/patchwork bags.

Click right here to bid on our featured bag, a Marc Jacobs Limited Edition Multi Grey Patchwork Crocodile Carolyn Tote.

20th Century Icon Timepiece Auction

May 19, 2009

If you want to check out a cool timepiece auction, look no further than Antiquorum‘s “Important Collectors’ Wristwatches…” sale hitting NYC on June 11. In addition to watches worn by FDR, Frank Sinatra and Steve McQueen, there’s a 1987 Cartier Pasha on the block given as a gift from Sinatra to Sammy Davis, Jr. (above).

Even better, the 18-karat gold piece is inscribed with “Sammy, I Luv Ya, F.A.S.” What an amazing collectible! (And with an estimate of $10,000-$20,000, not a bad deal for a true fan.)

If you didn’t know the history of the Pasha, here’s the background:This particular style was created in the 1930s specially for the Pasha of Marrakech who needed a timepiece he could wear while he swam. This makes it one of the earlier water-resistant watches on the market.

Click right here to see Portero’s selection of Pashas. There are so many different models, from automatic to quartz, and from stainless steel to yellow gold.

To take a closer look at the upcoming Antiquorum auction, click right here.

Holy Gold?

May 18, 2009

The follow-up to the enormously popular The Da Vinci Code is now out in theaters, and I just found out that many of the iconic religious jewels on screen were created just for the movie by Italian jeweler Damiani. Angels & Demons, starring Tom Hanks, features a collection by the same name made up of crosses, necklaces and rosary beads worn by various characters (see above for a still from the movie).

These days, I think many people wear crosses simply as a fashion statement rather than a religious one. And from that perspective, I really love this unique collection by Damiami: It is streamlined and modern and uses rose and yellow gold paired with onyx and enamel. Really chic, right? (Click on the necklaces above for a closer look.)

But, crosses are definitely not just for fashion. They obviously make great gifts for events like a Communion or a marriage. Portero has a lovely selection in everything from simple gold to encrusted with diamonds and gemstones. I like that there’s a little something for the traditional and those who like a little more flair.

What do you think: Are crosses cool to wear for fashion? Or should they just be a sign of spiritual devotion?

Images courtesy Damiani

Pretty in Platinum

May 12, 2009

I wanted to share some great images of new platinum jewelry. A part of Platinum Guild International‘s editor day 2009, these are four of my favorites:

Erica Courtney platinum, pearl and diamond ring with sapphire claw setting.

Franck Muller platinum watch.

Platt Boutique Jewelry diamond and platinum Art Deco pendant necklace.

Stephen Russell horseshoe hair pins.

To learn more about platinum, click right here.

To see some of Portero’s platinum jewelry selection, click right here.

Grooms, Grads and…Dads?

May 11, 2009

Even though there’s over a month before Father’s Day, you may actually be in the market for a gift for the man in your life before then. This is graduation and wedding season, and that means plenty of reasons to splurge on something that will commemorate these special days for years to come.

With my own impending wedding later this summer, I’m already searching for a gift for my soon-to-be-husband. A watch is a very traditional groom’s gift, especially if your man has never really graduated to a grown up timepiece. This is the perfect opportunity to get him into a sophisticated watch that can take him easily from day to night. Some of my favorite classics?

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Stainless Steel Automatic Men’s 16200 Watch
Cartier Roadster Chronograph Stainless Steel Automatic Men’s W62006X6 Watch
Patek Philippe Calatrava 18k White Gold Manual Winding Men’s 5026G Watch

Watches are also perfect gifts for high school and college graduation, and Portero has a great selection of watches under $1000 that won’t break the bank. Here are some of my top picks:

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Stainless Steel Men’s Quartz 2517.80.00 Watch
Hermes H-Our Stainless Steel Men’s Quartz HH1-710 Watch
Tag Heuer Aquaracer Stainless Steel Automatic Men’s WAB2010 Watch

Also, click here to see a selection of cufflinks and pens.

Steal Her Style: Rihanna

May 8, 2009

I’ll be honest–Rihanna’s been looking a little, well, overdone in the fashion department the last couple of weeks. But I personally think she looks flawless above at the opening of the Derek Lam Boutique launch on May 6 in NYC. The chic ensemble, by Lam of course, looks like an updated version of something Bianca Jagger would have worn in the ’70s and I love it. Then, Rihanna puts her rock-star-stamp on it by sporting highlighted tresses, bright red lipstick and oversized shades.

I also love her jewelry choices. The long 18-karat gold and pearl necklace is by Yvel, and the length perfectly highlights the cut of the jacket. She then wisely opts for discreet diamond cluster studs and a single gold square bangle that won’t overwhelm the outfit.

Luckily, Portero is a one-stop-shop that can recreate this look for less. Here are three great options:

David Yurman 18k Yellow Gold South Sea Pearl Lantana Chain Necklace

M+J Savitt 18k White Gold Pave Diamond Square Stud Earrings

14k Yellow Gold Hinged 0.50 ctw Diamond Bangle Bracelet

Time & The Jeweler’s Art

May 7, 2009

Not many people get to see REALLY spectacular watches on a regular basis. I’m one of the lucky ones, though, and you can be too if you’re in New York City sometime between now and June 27, 2009. I recently attended the opening of “Time & The Jeweler’s Art”, an exhibit currently running at The Forbes Galleries and created by the National Jewelry Institute, and it’s worth a look if you’re in town.

The premise is the intersection of luxury, elegance and wearability–and of course fashion. While timepieces used to be created merely for practicality, today’s coveted models are a distinct blend of utilitarian and aesthetic. There are watches for sport, those for elegant nights on the town, and those for everyday use. The watch above, a Van Cleef & Arpels diamond, mother-of-pearl and platinum “Snowflake” design, is one of my favorite ladies’ evening watches on display, while the rose gold and alligator LUVORENE 1 by Vincent Bérard (below) was my favorite of the men’s.

As an accessory fanatic, I do admit that I have more than one watch. What’s your take–Do you like to wear different watches for different occasions?

See the exhibit at:

The Forbes Galleries
62 Fifth Ave at 12th St.
Tuesday through Saturday, 10-4. FREE.

Wednesday Eye Candy: Met Ball 2009

May 6, 2009

The Metropolitan Costume Ball is really fashion’s biggest night of the year. (No doubt the Oscars dazzle, but this event is for fashion and about fashion.) This year’s NYC event, held Monday night, was hosted by Marc Jacobs, Kate Moss and Justin Timberlake and had a “Models as Muse” theme.

Although there were a lot of nutty outfits (Madonna in a ridiculous Louis Vuitton getup comes to mind), there were some standouts. Here, without further ado, are five images worth taking a look at.

Clare Danes in Armani Privé and Tiffany jewels.

Jessica Stam in Rodarte.

Claudia Schiffer in Versace.

Gisele Bündchen in Atelier Versace.

Alek Wek.