Janeos Jewellery

From around the world, Janeo Jewels presents today's hottest celebrities and budding fashion mavens wearing costume jewellery from 925 sterling silver, necklaces, bracelets and earrings with Swarovski crystals. They are setting the standard for fun and affordable fashion jewellery including leather wrist bands, men's stainless steel jewellery and women's charm bracelets. Janeo takes you center-stage to the juiciest news and hottest trends to hit the costume jewellery industry in years.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Las Vegas Auction of Famous Icons' Effects to Include Monroe Items

Auctions play host to some of the seemingly strangest events around the world, from the selling off of iconic scraps of food to forgotten artworks and far beyond into the realm of miscellany. This summer, an auction held in Las Vegas, a town assuredly suffering from the blows gambling has taken at the hands of the global financial crisis, will feature items previously owned or used by two of America's most famous and most tragic starts, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. Some of the pieces are downright strange; an inventory of items being put up on the block includes a "nasal douche" used by the King himself to clear his sinuses prior to performing. We're not entirely sure who would want this particular item nor what they'd do with it (though that is, thankfully, their own business), but with the scores of fans still mourning Elvis' death in the new millennium, it's sure to find a happy owner.
Auction lots tied to Marilyn Monroe are, in some cases, fairly odd in their own right as well. Receipts for alcohol she bought seem slightly frivolous, while the offering of two bricks from her house leaves us wondering what the chimney would fetch. Of course, may fans of Monroe are likely to be much more interested in two items tied to the movie star's sense of fashion. Amidst the bizarre and esoteric pieces offered on the block, bidders will war over Monroe's umbrella and a dressing gown that was supposedly the last piece of clothing she wore before her tragic death.
Swept away from the realm of the living by a drug overdose, Monroe live a short and somewhat bittersweet life that has been chronicled internationally and has inspired everything from films to short stories to fashion revivals. The star's idealized figure and charming disposition catapulted her to fame and led to scores of young women emulating her style and fashion sense. Someone still inspired by Monroe's life and luxurious taste is sure to snap up the gown and umbrella, and we can't help but wonder when we'll get to see it and come up with a perfect accessory accompaniment. It may seem a little morbid to imagine what the beauty wore for jewellery just before she died, but we'd like to think of it as a tribute to her flair for looking flawless.
The extravagant, flowing dressing gowns of the forties and fifties were some of the most elegant yet comfortable fashion pieces the century whipped up. With fabrics ranging from smooth silks and satins to chiffon, brocade, and charmeuse, dressing gowns flittered off the skin and were lightweight, making them comfortable and fashionable for lounging. Able to support a subtle set of costume jewelry or prepare the wearer for a big night on the town or on screen complete with show-stopping jewels, dressing gowns must have seen a lot of rocks and metals in their day. As for Monroe's final fashion piece, it will probably have to settle for being lovingly preserved and reminiscing of fond moments in the service of the star.

Marilyn Monroe on the Beach. AP photo.

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Weekly Winners, Another Edition!

Naming our prize winners is a lot of fun, and we love the feedback and excitement from our customers. Summer is officially in full swing and we have many great seasonal pieces in the prize section right now; check out our offerings and make a comment on this post with your name and a link to your pick.

Our new winners are:

Janet Williams
Mary Skelly
Sophie Fowler
Lisa Hooper
Claire Webster
Amanda Wright
Ursula Lake

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Thursday, 28 May 2009

Adam Lambert Loses "Idol" Title, But Wins Over Fashion Fans

The latest finale of hit TV show American Idol was a pretty extravagant spectacle; from start to finish, all the elements of the program were as packed as possible with action and extreme suspense as the final two contenders vied for their claim to international fame. Fans of the series were especially rapt this season as they followed the progress of two extraordinary male talents, each of which quickly became hot topics in the entertainment industries for their vocal talent and electrifying presence on stage. Though the competition between Adam Lambert and Kris Allen, the two competitors who battled (and belted) it out 'till the end, was abuzz online and among coffee-shop banter for weeks, Lambert seemed to be emerging as the favorite choice of viewers as the show drew to its end.
But it was not to be; in a pretty major upset, Kris Allen emerged triumphant and will go on to reap the glory and profits of the show's title and prize. But while Lambert may not have received the specific honors so many hoped he would win, he certainly managed to attract an almost cult-like following in the episodes leading up to the finale. With a handsomeness described by many as "dark and intriguing" and a talent that's clearly visible in his stage performances, Lambert has won scores of fans through his stint with the series. And these fans aren't likely to diminish simply because he wasn't handed the ultimate prize. In fact, Lambert's defeat may prove a significant boost for his professional career, helping him to draw new fans and call on the support of old ones to help him launch his own place in the sun.
Great things may still come from this engaging singer, and avid Idol watchers who felt let down by the final decision may find that there's a different kind of winning awaiting those who have the right spirit. In Lambert's case, a great deal of that special spirit may come from his fashion sense, which was often in the entertainment news headlines during the course of the show and helped to define him as a performer. Always provocative without entering the realm of the ridiculous or overdone, Lambert seemed born for dressing like the rock star he had hoped to become. During a performance with legendary band KISS in the show's finale, Lambert donned an awesome leather jacket festooned with cage-work shoulder guards --a garment that might seen outrageous for most people, but looked perfectly in place and full of punch as the singer let loose with some of America's most popular bad boys. Throughout the season, Lambert's fashion choices showed a keen sense of taste and explored the possibilities of modern men's fashion, from costume jewellery to dangerously tight pants and drool-worthy shoe styles. Though he won't be wearing his duds for the show anymore, here's to hoping the entertainment industry adopts him and lets his excellent voice and accessories choice waltz back into the spotlight.

Adam Lambert rocks out in style. AP photo.

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Tuesday, 26 May 2009

A Treasure Trove for Your Favorite Finger

Rings can convey a lot of different things depending on when and how they're given and by whom, as well as how they're worn and matched with a jewelry wardrobe. Many rings enjoy a special status as "occasion" pieces, coming out only for big nights and events, while a good deal are forever tied to the traditions of engagement and marriage. But there's another set that we suspect gets to have all the fun: cocktail rings. Costume jewellery and cocktail rings are instant and classic best buddies, dedicated as they are to fun and affordable designs that catch attention and please the visual palate without taking on any pretentious aires. Cocktail rings are a great match for a number of venues and styles, season-less and ready for just about anything. It's this carefree wearability and universal appeal that make cocktail rings such an essential part of the modern jewelry collection. We've seen many a cocktail ring over the years, and some of our favorites are those that incorporate the sparkle and shine of Swarovski crystals. This Swarovski cocktail ring, decked with glittering jewels in a number of shapes, sizes, and colors, is a beautiful and well-crafted example of the great looks cocktail rings can offer.

Set in antique-look copper that bestows a subtly glowing backdrop of warmth and texture, the ring features a multitude of focal points to catch the eye and play with style and form. The many-faceted Swarovskis featured in the ring are exemplary of Janeo's sparkle-centric collection, and light up the piece with cuts and colors that are truly extraordinary. The ring has as its centerpiece a deliciously large oval shaped crystal, cut with unique angles to create a stone that's constantly on the move with glimmer and depth. The pale pink stone offers a strong, yet sweet and playful base for the dance of crystals that surround it.

Circumnavigating the giant pink stone at the center, a row of Swarovskis that would make any rainbow proud show off their sparkle power in a series of unique formations. Triangles of tiny, hot-pink crystals play off of diamond shapes studded with rose and bright red stones. Substantial crystals in canary yellow, smoky gray, and subtle lilac swirl between these fanciful clusters, tying the design together with creativity. This ring is a Janeo designer exclusive, and is a great catch for your favorite finger, whether it's on the hand of a loved one or it's one of your own. The piece measures three and a half by three centimeters and is presented in a fully adjustable free size. Like many of our pieces, the ring comes supplied in a handsome box complete with gift-wrap, and is sure to light up the eyes and the hand of the recipient. It may not symbolize a marriage vow or steal the show at a diamond convention, but this ring has the looks and the price tag to make great waves anywhere a little bit of style's needed.

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Weekly Winners!

Time for another round of Janeo's special prize winner announcements! If you were emailed and your name appears on this list, post a comment with your name and your choice of prize. Congratulations, and good luck to next week's hopefuls!

Beverley Cannon
Sonali Batchelor
Marisa Canovas
Tara Wingrave-Newell
Jasper Mehmet
Linda Cooper
Susan Caria

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Saturday, 23 May 2009

Cannes Brings Some Fashionable Vigor to the Scene

The iconic and much-lauded Cannes Film Festival is an event that stirs the hearts and creative minds of film makers and artists worldwide each year. Showcasing scores of films from the relatively unknown to the big-named and high-profiled, the festival has become one of the industry's most important and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. This is great news for film students and professionals as well as movie buffs, as pictures which otherwise might not receive a wide reception compete for the coveted Palm d'or prize and a place in cinematographic history. This year's event, drawing to a close over the weekend, has been collecting accolades from critics and commentaries for its showcase of many excellent films. While famed director Quentin Tarantino's new release has stolen a fair share of the spotlight, pieces by emerging film makers have come together to show a great deal of promise, and speculation over which film will win is rampant.
While he focus of Cannes is undoubtedly on the pictures shown over the course of the event, the presence of silver screen stars and industry professionals means a red carpet is in order, and Cannes doesn't disappoint. Able to rival events such as the Oscars and Emmys in terms of fashion appeal, Cannes brings out some of the best designer pieces and special occasion looks to be glanced at all year. This week has been no exception; though the late spring heat has called for creatively cool cuts and materials, the glamour of the red carpet has been going full-sail as stars show up to grace their premieres with elegance and promote participating films.
While many red carpet events held so far this year have reflected the mood of the financial markets with somewhat subdued tones and a nod to the understated, fashion at Cannes has fully embraced the spirit of the season and hasn't been holding back. Strapless dresses in nearly every color of the rainbow paraded into the premieres, showing off gleaming collarbones perfect for accentuating with fun or refined costume jewelry necklaces. Playing with color and shape, designs ranged from the tailored to the toussled, yet seemed universally free and fluid, evoking a sense of timelessness and prosperity that has been noticably absent from many celebrity shindigs in recent months.
Adding to the vitality of Cannes' incidental fashion showcase was Angelina Jolie, who appeared on the arm of beau Brad Pitt for his premiere of Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds. Exuding grace and motion, the superstar wore a faint pink Versace frock that whispered against the standout-red of her high impact lipstick. Alas, no necklace took part in the ensemble, but dainty earrings set a sweet jewellery tone and let off a bit of sparkle. As the festival prepares to name its winner and pack up the show 'till next year, we're anxiously awaiting the results of the contest -- and any last-chance shows of treasures from the stars' jewellery box troves.

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Thursday, 21 May 2009

The Gift of True Surprise

Holidays seem to take on new meanings and associations as we age, picking up new memories and ideals as one occasion passes to the next, and we rack up experience. From the wondrous days of childhood when Christmas, Hanukah, birthdays, and special graduations or anniversaries held nothing but excitement and fun to the seeming madness of holidays experienced by modern adults, a shift occurs somewhere, and many may feel holidays as more of a burden or responsibility than a cause to celebrate. As if the stress of gift-giving holidays wasn't heavy enough, new holidays crop up from time to time, adding extra sections to the greeting card aisle. Though a lot of people are still able to enjoy the warmth and community spirit of holidays, there are many that grow disillusioned with the onslaught.
Like most children, I had a favorite holiday growing up. It wasn't Christmas, such a popular day among kids eager for the promise of toys, nor Thanksgiving. Easter was close (when else do kids get to wreak havoc indoors with dye?), but not quite; Valentine's Day was ruined by the prospect of chalky conversation hearts, and Halloween was fun but couldn't quite compare. My favorite holiday wasn't even widely celebrated: it was from a book. Like the Mad Hatter and his company of friends in the children's classic Alice in Wonderland, I celebrated "un-birthdays," those 364 days a year when one's not adding another number to their age. To have an un-birthday meant all sorts of tasks and events could be given new meaning; a special outing was more like a party, a dinner was an un-birthday feast, a favor or kind deed a spirited celebration.
As an adult, I've felt some of the sheen on traditional holidays lose a bit of luster over the years, amidst the commercialization and sometimes forced cheer with which they're associated. But un-birthdays seem immune, able to be celebrated any time (well, except of course when my "real" birthday comes along). And I've found that one of the most fun ways to give gifts to other people is to include them in this special holiday. Great for a true surprise, but also for introducing someone special to the concept of celebrating when there's meaningful cause rather than only when the calendar dictates, gift-giving for un-birthdays is a fun way to take up the "just because" gift trend that's becoming more popular around the nation and the world.
Jewelry remains one of the top gifts for special holidays, but it doesn't have to be restricted to those few times a year when the shops put out their prettiest pieces. From charming, sentimental costume jewellery to items that dazzle the eyes with big statements, jewelry makes a wonderful un-birthday present, and a great start to a new tradition, however many times a year you're inspired to note that it's someone's special un-day.

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Tuesday, 19 May 2009

A Set for All Seasons

A favorite element of costume jewellery is the limitless mixing options for styles, colors, materials, and moods; an ample collection allows a jewellery lover to play with design ideas and put together an endless wardrobe of pretty possibilities. But costume jewellery can pull off fantastic looks in pre-coordinated sets, as well. With a few key elements that echo each other in all the right ways offset with unique aspects that serve to define a theme, costume jewellery sets are a great way to accentuate an outfit keep everything elegantly tied together. We have quite a few sets at Janeo, ranging from the simple to the extravagant, monotone to many-colored, subtle to very bold. Some are great for weddings and other special events, but a few we feature are perfect for year-round wear, and work wonderfully with a variety of fashions. This earring, necklace, and bracelet set in silver-toned rhodium and purple crystal exemplifies the seasonless sensation of our favorite sets, and is ready to find a place of honor among your baubles.

silver and purple jewelry set

This set has several things going for it; a pleasing mix of color, texture, substance, and shine interact between the three pieces and create a sense of artistry, all while remaining understated. The necklace features an interesting pendant which floats on an ample, 26 centimeter flat chain. The pendant is comprised of a carved silver-toned disk, with an appealing surface and formation that suggests the unique look and feel of hand-crafted workmanship. The disk is studded with rich purple Swarovski crystals around its edge, adding color and sparkle to the object, along with an attaching loop the features a single row of the glitzy stones.

Playing off of the pendant's structure, the bracelet in this set features a delicate cross-hatched weave design within a sturdier framework of color-coordinated rhinestone chain. Suggesting substance and weight with the cuff-like composition yet bringing an ethereal airiness to the set with the openwork mesh of the design, the bracelet is a captivating study in harmony and contrast that both draws and pleases the eye. The 14.5 centimeter length, supported by a 6 centimeter extension chain, makes for a comfortable fit for a wide variety of wrists. The earrings in this set bring out the color and shine, creating an overall sense of elegance and delicate beauty. In a classic chandelier shape, Swarovski crystals in dark and light purple play hopscotch with each other as the fall from the base, ending in dangling crystal finials. Picking up even the slightest of movements to show off the famously plentiful facets of the stones, the earrings create immediate visual interest while setting the stage for the stones in the necklace and bracelet.

basketweave bracelet

With its many interactions between elements and universally flattering colors, this set is a superb choice for nearly any occasion, from a night at the opera to a simple afternoon picnic. It's a versatility that only costume jewelry can provide, and it's at its best in this collection of pieces.

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Saturday, 16 May 2009

Rihanna Wants Jewelry Back

The entertainment industry was a bit shaken up a while back when the clash between singer Rihanna and beau Chris Brown erupted into a media circus surrounding alleged physical violence. We imagine, after the incident (which, even if it didn't involve a jail-worthy beating, was quite obviously emotionally disturbing enough to warrant some serious down-time), that Rihanna may wish for plenty of things to be returned to her. A bit of her privacy, perhaps, or maybe just some peace and quiet. But the singer has decided it's time to get her jewelry back --something we weren't aware she'd lost. It stands to reason if examined, though; the couple had attended Clive Davis' ritzy gala prior to the Grammys when the incident occurred, and a famous fashionista without a lot of ice at a big show business shindig is practically unheard of.
Still, the sum is a bit staggering. Rihanna was apparently wearing around 1.4 million worth of jewelry on the night in question. Seriously. As drawn as we are to oversized gems and gobs of glam, we're a bit stumped as to how, short of mummifying yourself in tennis bracelets, you can manage nearly one and a half million bucks of jewellery in a single outfit, but apparently the singer managed. The problem, it would seem, is that the Los Angeles Police Department confiscated the pieces on the scene, collecting the items as evidence. And ever since, they've been hanging out at the LA cop shop, wondering how it came to this.
It's not simply a matter of wanting to wear a certain bauble again. Rihanna may be realizing enough revenue from her record and touring sales to be afford such extravagant items, but she had nevertheless loaned this particular set from four different parties, specifically for the event. And now, it'd seem, these parties are pressing to have their glittering pieces given back. So just what are these contentious items? A rather unimaginative police report describes a set of three rings and a pair of earrings, all in a "yellow metal" and with "white stones," saving one piece. Alas, there are no carat or cut details to divulge, but with such an exorbitant price tag on the lot, we're sure the imagination can conjure up a few ideas.
Rihanna's lawyer has filed a formal request to have the items returned to the singer, noting that should a criminal trial against Brown take shape in the coming months, pictures and recorded descriptions of the jewelry can more than suffice for evidence. As Brown's lawyer allegedly agrees that the physical detainment of the jewelry isn't necessary, it appears that the pieces simply have to wait out a bit of paperwork before they find their way back home. After such an adventure, it remains to be seen if the pieces will enjoy a quiet retirement or go on to tour as the jewels that suffered much drama, but returned to be polished and worn anew.

rihanna, sans jewellery

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Weekly Winners. Comment with Your Jewellery Choice.

Each day we select a new prize winner from our customer and reader base, and each week our winners can select which jewellery piece they'd like delivered. Here are our weekly winners; those named can check out our prizes section and comment on this post with a link to the item they'd like to receive. Congratulations all and good luck everybody in the coming week!

Christina Curtis
P. Porney
Louisa Froggatt
Angela Dodds
Traci Hill
C Chweidan

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Thursday, 14 May 2009

TV's "The Fashion Show" Kicks Off New Season

The explosion of reality television shows over the past decade or so has seen the creation of a handful of poorly-received duds. Though the premises may seem interesting on paper, it's not always the case that people are captivated by ho-hum interactions between characters that aren't actually characters, but everyday people. Of course, a number of such shows have been remarkably successful, too, leading to the question of just what makes a reality television show worth watching. We're inclined, as you might have suspected, to point to good choices in terms of wardrobe, but when pressed we might admit that there's something more involved. "The Fashion Show," which debuted recently on the Bravo network, may just have this certain je ne sais quoi, and the central theme of style, design, and flair can't hurt.
The show, run and figure-headed by bubbly designer Isaac Mizrahi, revolves around the idea of fashion as created by the country's most aspiring amateur designers. In a similar vein to other profession-related reality television programs, "The Fashion Show" makes an attempt at opening the doors of fame, fortune, and ultimate career success to whoever shows they most deserve it. Fans of this particular niche may harbor a fondness for Heidi Klum's "Project Runway," an enormously successful show of similar structure which will move from Bravo to the Lifetime network this season. But while Mizrahi's program may steal a few steps from its well-received predecessor, it takes a decidedly different stance on the meaningful moments in fashion design.
Each episode will focus on the behind-the-scenes aspects of fashion design, taking an intimate look at not only the complicated creative processes involved but at the human drama that develops under the pressure and competition laid out by the show's premise. In an interview with PopEater, Mizrahi reveals that it is this personal, involved focus on toil, challenge, and competition which can make "The Fashion Show" truly distinct from other programs in the genre. After all, the show's tagline is "competition is the new black," hinting at the attraction to hard work, upsets, and shining moments that is respectably magnetic among most audiences.
So far, the designs featured on the show haven't been too extravagant, but we might be persuaded to wait patiently if the apparent trend of subtly inserting jewelry designs continues. Though the show is decidedly slanted towards garments, we watched with interest as a number of eye-catching accessories made their way onto the camera, including brooches, cufflinks, and even an outrageous feathered hat worn by the contestants. As Spring is in full bloom and the breezy summer months ahead, costume jewelry necklaces in layers of color and substance seem inevitable, as do more dramatic choices for evening wear. With baubles and finishing touches in sparkling metals and gems promising a bright season, we'll be checking out designers' choices --both big-names and rising stars-- as the weeks progress.

Designer and host Isaac Mizrahi
Designer and host Isaac Mizrahi.

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Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Flowery Feature: Sweet Swarovski Chandelier Earrings

One quick look at costume jewelry on the modern market and it's plain to see that elegant looks are a popular theme. With large-crystal brooches or intricate filigrees, simple strands of gold or silver or necklaces that sweep over the collarbones, costume jewellery can evoke all the glamour of the red carpet or a special night out. But not every piece is completely devoted to seriousness and making a bold impression. In fact, the unique format and materials of costume jewelry allow an array of playful, whimsical pieces to shine their way through the designing process and onto a delighted ear, wrist, finger, or neck. While we're all for pieces with a modern, understated feel, sometimes a jewelry wardrobe needs something decidedly girly --and Janeo has a collection of items that's sure to hit the spot. Case in point, these wonderful rose-hued Swarovski crystal chandelier earrings.

pink swarovski chandelier earrings

Detailed, dangling drops twinkling here and there with color and sparkle are a hot trend in earrings, and this pair delivers in all the right places. The complex, rhodium-plated bases form darkly sparkling crosses, affixed with deep pink crystal gems that draw the eyes with captivating light and geometry. Leading towards the top, a metal double-chain creates balance and is joined in a delicious cluster of candy-pink, smaller Swarovskis, which form together in the shape of a daisy and play up the flowery theme that flutters throughout.
The true centerpieces of these cheery earrings consist of four enamel-coated flowers surrounding the central stone. These dainty jewels have iridescent Swarovski crystal pistils, and branching from these tiny bits of glimmer are wonderfully-toned, fancy-shaped petals, gradating from deep magenta to the airiest of pinks at the very edge. Falling from this central whirl of girlish glee, delicate strands of metal, crystal, and beads create a dramatic note with length and offset the weight and substance of the rest of the structure. Alternating single chain-link strands, light pink beads with darker pink Swarovskis, double chain-links, and a single, lengthy crystal-adorned drop with a dreamy clear-pink glass teardrop at the very end, these elements dance with the wearer during movement.

pink swarovski chandelier earrings

The total length of the earrings is 10cm, just the right length for getting the most out of the chandelier look without incurring too much weight or becoming overbearing. The findings and pierced hardware is of a complementary tone, and wearers are likely to find these an exceptionally comfortable style, even during extended use. Perfect for gift-giving as well as celebrating the warmer days of Spring and Summer, this pair exemplifies the possibilities of costume jewelry when stretched to meet the tastes of modern jewellery lovers. With just the right amount of shine and shades of pink that will tickle the senses, these earrings are a perfect marriage of girly and glamour --a marriage we hope will last long into the future and continue to turn out pretty baubles.

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Saturday, 9 May 2009

Los Angeles Jewellery Outlet Takes a Bold Approach to Business

Anyone with a bit of a fanatical taste for the twinkle and shine of jewelry is likely to be melted on the spot by the prospect of shopping in Los Angeles' historic jewelry district. Lined with rustic buildings that stretch toward the sky, Hill Street and nearby avenues beckon to jewelry lovers with promises of sparkling treasures and elegant designs awaiting wrists, fingers, necks, and ears, tucked away inside the labyrinthine stores and mini-malls on the ground floor. These days, however, the swooning customers have been trickling into the jewellery district in smaller and smaller numbers, with most local business owners pointing to the global economic downturn as a source of declining activity.
The mood throughout the shops and behind the display counters may be turning slightly sour as profits drop and owners struggle to reach their customer base to make ends meet. But at least one business in the district is taking advantage of the lull to set itself apart from competitors and prepare for customers to come, both in the short term and in anticipation of more prosperous times to come. Mitaa Wilshire Investments, which owns the Hill Street property Jewelry Design Center (now the Mitaa Design Center), has decided to leave fretting to its neighbors and take on the challenge of reinventing its image during the tumult of the recession.
The main weapon in Mitaa's arsenal? Renovation. Though it seems a huge and costly undertaking in any period, not to mention one in which financial resources are strained, the jewellery outfit is planning a major overhaul of the look and feel of their interior. Hoping to draw and delight a more diverse clientele, the company is set to get started this week on a substantial renovation effort with a price tag of about four million dollars.
The plans include an "opening-up" of shopping space, interspersing stores' and departments' display cases with kiosks and marble facades. The new interior will serve no less than sixty-two tenant jewelers, located on two tile-finished floors. Sketches of the completed space call to mind a fun yet refined jewellery "palace" whose furnishings and finishes are almost as captivating as the myriad diamond earrings, bib necklaces, cocktail rings, and gemstone bracelets dangling from mannequins and on velvet boxes.
And if this doesn't seem enough, Mitaa has revealed that it plans a further development for the building in early 2010, when the business --as well as the consumer climate-- is back on track. The third floor of the space will be converted to a food court and serve as a convenient and classy spot for grabbing a snack or snagging a meal in between shopping sprees. A jewellery mall that anticipates long days spent perusing shelves and cases punctuated with delicious bites and fresh coffee to keep the bargain senses alert? We couldn't be more delighted by this apparent match made in heaven.
There's no definitive word yet on whether certain themes or kinds of jewelry will take precedence in the revitalized mall, but you can bet we're rooting for an ample representation of costume jewelry pieces. With colors, shapes, and textures that can pop against nearly any background and grab the attention of style-conscious shoppers, costume jewellery is rich in the re-inventive and creative spirit that Mitaa seems to have taken to heart.

Mr. Chu in front of the Mitaa Design Center / Gary Leonard

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Weekly Winners! A Toast to this Week's Lucky Draws!

If you've received a winning notification via email or you find yourself listed below, please take a look at our prize jewelry section here (roll your cursor over the "prizes for 2009" tab) and post a link to the item of your choice in a comment. Congratulations all!

Ioana Tinca
Suzanne Wilson
Andrew Murchison
Emma McMillan
Tina Andrews
Delores Kelly
Simone McCarthy

More next week, as always!

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Thursday, 7 May 2009

The Stars Shine Bright at NY Met Gala

The fashion world has been abuzz this week with news of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute's annual gala, which this year celebrated the role of the model as muse throughout the American fashion landscape. Long considered one of the most important and certainly most talked-about fashion events of the year, the gala attracts both modern and veteran celebrities of a wide variety of talents. Monday night's extravaganza drew memorable faces from Marissa Tomei to Kate Hudson to Rihanna, with scores of big names sweeping the cameras off their feet in between. Though the costumes at this venerable masquerade are historically a bit ostentatious and fully indulgent in all the frills and fancy cuts that can be stirred into an outfit, this year's focus on models seems to have brought the procession of fashion statements into outright overdrive (and you can check out paparazzi pics to your heart's content here).
Colors were free and vibrant, representing all shades of the rainbow and bursting from the seams with tailoring that spanned from sleek and subtle to truly outrageous. As is to be expected with an event so highly anticipated by fashion designers and the famous women who love to parade in their imaginative duds, evening gowns were aplenty. The red carpet positively swirled with designs that would melt the heart of any little girl and catch the eye of anyone with an appreciation for the beauty of the female form. Highlights included a dreamy, whipped-up ball gown in champagne tones of silk, tulle, and organza, with a fully-trained skirt fluttering with whimsical flowers, shown off by Elizabeth Hurley's ever-enrapturing figure. Singer Madonna caused quite the commotion in her teal and indigo affair, sporting a playful short dress and matching rabbit ears, offset by killer thigh-high heels.

Madonna at NY Met Gala

Elizabeth Hurley at NY Met Gala

Victoria Beckham, a favorite of British fashion, showed up in a short silk affair of faint pink with black polka dots, culminating in a sweeping train over her right shoulder. The same structure, made truly marvelous in a silvery, flowing fabric, enrobed supermodel Kate Moss as she posed with designer Marc Jacobs; her look was completed with a matching turban. And speaking of accessories, the night's glimpses of costume jewelry were just as spectacular as the clothes themselves. In contrast with many recent fashion events around the globe, including seasonal fashion weeks, the Met's big night held nothing back in terms of size, color, and quantity. Jessica Alba's enormous and lovely emerald diamond drop earrings got cameras clicking, as did Eva Longoria's substantial diamond-studded chain necklace, creating some visual interest with the negative spaces of her slinky black dress.

Eva Longoria at NY Met Gala

Kate Moss and Marc Jacobs at NYC Met Gala

Jessica Alba at NY Met Gala

Victoria Beckham at NY Met Gala

The official title of the event, “Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion,” was certainly echoed in the expressions of the designers and guests at Monday night's affair. Suggesting that the fashion industry is just as creative and full of classic charm as ever, the gala is ripe for inspiring new generations.

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Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Simple Statements: A Keyring with Class

When most people think about costume jewelry, the first things that come to mind usually involve lots of sparkle, glamour, and color. Big stones, many-faceted jewels, and glittering metals dance through the mind, coalescing in bright varieties of clustered beauty to lay and strand and snap on here and there. But not all costume jewelry must be quite so forward and glitzy. Though we're normally at least a little loathe to leave the realm of all that shines and pops with color, we can spare the occasional moment for the kind of costume jewelry that doesn't have to steal the show.
Leather goods have been a hot commodity for centuries; one of the world's most prized and perfected mediums, leather accessories have come quite a long way since the days of tanned-hide bags and straps. One of the nicest things about quality leather goods is the material's ability to break through the realm of the visually pleasing and into the world of the tactile. A well-worked piece of leather imparts a smooth yet sturdy feel, with a satisfying weight and temperature that's instantly recognizable. That essential feel is at the heart of Janeo's fine leather key rings, and serves as the foundation for the enjoyment to be experienced with these pieces.

men's celtic leather key ring

This scrolling heart design is a perennial favorite. The thick and ample buffalo leather piece is embossed with an antiqued pattern that evokes the swirling lines and whimsical artistry of Celtic decorations. A geometrical masterpiece, the design is unique in its unisex appeal; the pattern is equally suited for women's and men's fashion accessories. The key ring is sure to be a welcome and warm gift for someone special, and its specific utility allows it to be seen and felt from time to time each day, reminding the recipient of the gift-giver's sentiment.
Stitched around the borders in a lightly contrasting, warm-hued thread, the leather keyring is finished off with two subtle beaded tassles in natural cord, echoing the lightly beaded ornament at the base of the attached metal ring. Sturdy and stylish, this piece can be trusted to last for generations, and can truly take a beating, making it perfect for everyday use. Unlike many modern key rings that seem to only add to the clutter of a collection, this piece is an unobtrusive six by four centimeters, just the right size for providing a pleasant grip and fashionable flourish while still slipping easily into a pocket or purse.
This embossed leather keyring is a seasonless hit and brings out the beauty of natural hide. A celebration of humanity's timeless exploration of accessorizing and embellishing, the ring is an essential staple of any serious costume jewellery collection. With a nice selection of other designs available in the same theme, there's a ring for every sensibility and style to be enjoyed for a lifetime in quality leather.

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Saturday, 2 May 2009

Australia's Fashion Week Dampened by Blues

Sadly, we're not talking about the sorts of blues that come stonewashed, riveted, and ready to wear. Rather, Australia's dear old institution of Fashion Week --usually so full of life and gaiety, especially for the Spring and Summer seasons-- has shown that the country's clothing industry is feeling the crunch of the worldwide economic downturn. Australia has refined and revolutionized over the years to become one of the world's front-runners when it comes to fashion. Several luxury boutiques and famous brand-name designers have opened up shop in Sydney and Melbourne, and many cities feature dedicated districts with all manner of chic modern fashion stores.
Experiencing a surge in popularity as well as the development of a national identity, Australian fashion is today able to contend with other world-class clothing destinations such as New York, Paris, Milan, and Tokyo. Naturally, the national fashion week, a spin-off of similar week-long events held in other clothing capitals, has likewise gained quite the cult following. In recent years, Australia's Fashion Week has featured scores of enthusiastic and well-dressed patrons, plenty of media coverage, and a generous amount of energy and spunk. Designs have been fresh, interesting, bold --the full range of everything modern dressers want in their wardrobes.
But fashion, like so many industries have been proving lately, is not immune to what has become a global financial tumult of staggering scale. There are a number of ways in which the global credit crisis presents the fashion industry with hurdles. One of the most pressing factors in the mix is the fact that many consumers aren't spending as much on clothes as they were during more prosperous days. The occasional splurge on a designer dress, suit, or bag (bought with that now-haunting phrase, “I'll charge it!”) has become a remnant of the past for scores of people around the world, in Australia and abroad. As demand for couture realizes a steep decline, the costs of materials and services are up; suddenly all that charmeuse and calfskin is creating a price tag that would have been shockingly high before the crisis hit, and which is now, for the most part, laughable.
Of course, fashion is all about creativity and invention, the putting together and fine-tuning of what's available to present the best aesthetic picture possible. As a result, the fashion industry in general, and Australia's market in particular, are showing that they're capable of adaptation, even if the adjustment is a little rocky at first. Australia's fashion week took the hint from its accounting books as well as the ambient mood to make its show strong, but more subdued than recent years. While many pieces still showed off the vibrancy and flights of fancy associated with the Spring and Summer seasons, there was a distinct presence of neutral, subtle designs, making well-crafted yet humble statements about the state of the industry and of the fashion-loving heart inextricably tied to it. Accessories and jewelry offered the brightest and best glimpses of hope among the various shows, presenting both bold and beautiful ideas that hint of the reinvention and invigoration to come, both for the industry and for its fans. In the meantime, sunnier days can be prophesized with affordable, elegant, and definitely Spring-ready costume jewellery.

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Weekly Winners, Claim Your Prizes!

It's that time again - winners have been drawn, and can claim their prizes by checking out our prize section and letting us know which piece they'd like. Just post a comment on this entry with a link to the item you'd like us to put in the mail, and feel free to sound off on jewellery, fashion, our blog, or anything else that comes to mind!

The winners are:

Adijatu Mohammed
Rose Melia
Elna Cifra
Val Robinson
Marion Smith
Thierry Junca


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