Designer Spotlight | Justine Brooks

Justine-Brooks_Jewelry

Photos via Justine Brooks

Blending international intrigue with familiar nature-inspired motifs, Justine Brooks has built a name for herself in Canada and around the world for her eponymous label which combines precious metals with raw stones and ultra-realistic shapes (think anatomically correct hearts, pine cones, cedar leaves and succulents). Justine launched her brand in 2005 after graduating from both the Emily Carr Institute Of Art & Design and Vancouver Community College’s Jewelry Art and Design Program. Beyond her love for design and jewelry, Justine is a passionate traveler and has explored the globe from top to bottom, visiting breathtaking places throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa and more. In fact, this globe-trotter first fell in love with jewelry and design in 2005 while learning traditional jewelry-making techniques in India. This passion for travel is evident in Justine’s designs. Sometimes it’s a stone, sometime’s its a colour combination and sometimes its a shape or technique, but there is always an international feel to Justine’s designs and multiculturalism is woven into the core of her brand and her vision. I have loved her designs since I first discovered her pieces in Forsya (a lovely but now closed boutique that used to reside on Vancouver’s eclectic Main Street. You can still shop them online though!). I loved the way her pendant, earrings and charms resembled items found in nature in such a realistic way. Her itty-bitty silver pinecones and acorns looked just like the ones I would find while walking through Stanley Park. Her pieces have such a stunning simplicity to them and can be worn with anything – from weekend wear to a wedding dress. These are pieces that are meant to be worn and treasured, everyday. While it’s hard to pick favourites, scroll on to see 10 pieces that are on my wish list!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

MY PICKS

1 // Tiny Cedar Earrings

2 // Rose Double Deer Antler Pendant

3 // Hammered Wave Ring

4 // Moonstone Charm Bracelet

5 // Tiny Pinecone Charm Necklace

6 // Fiddlehead Fern Necklace

7 // Anatomical Brain Pendant

8 // Wave & Sunshine Necklace

9 // Raw Opal Studs

10 // Moon + Star Opal Silver Ring

xoxo,

Alicia

Advertisements

Brand Spotlight | Wolf Circus

When it comes to jewelry, how do you like it? Do you prefer bold, in-your-face statement makers or do you lean towards dainty everyday pieces that dazzle you with their itty-bitty details? If the latter sounds like you, then allow me to introduce you to Vancouver’s own minimalist line, Wolf Circus. This west coast jewel was founded by designer Fiona Morrison in 2011. Crafted out of unusual materials and metals sources from across the globe – New York, Brazil, and, of course, beautiful British Columbia, Fiona’s pieces are always utterly unique but united in their signature simplicity. Geometric shapes and cheeky motifs (for example, an outline sketch of a woman’s naked body)  lend a bit of character and humour to her collection of tiny rings, minuscule pendants, and ultra-sleek earrings. Wolf Circus is for the girl who knows what she likes and isn’t afraid to break the fashion mold. She knows that classic doesn’t have to mean boring and that dainty and daring can go hand in hand. Wolf Circus’s Kate’s collection is the stuff that minimalist dreams are made of and I can’t get enough. If you haven’t yet peruse this cool-girl’s collection, scroll on and see what you’ve been missing! 

wolf-circus-jewelrywolf-circus-jewelrywolf-circus-jewelrywolf-circus-jewelrywolf-circus-jewelry

WOLF CIRCUS PICKS


1 // Femme Pendant in Gold


2 // Harris Long Pendant in Silver 


3 // Hayden Cuff in Silver


4 // Assembly Bracelet in Silver 


5 // Mira Art Deco Studs in Gold


6 // Bend Studs in Gold


7 // Calder Earrings in Silver 


8 // Bar Pendant in Sterling Silver 


9 // Matisse Ring in Sterling Silver 


10 // Rose Pendant in Gold 

Photos via Wolf Circus.

xoxo,

Alicia

pamela-love-brand-spotlight

Designer Spotlight | Pamela Love

If you haven’t heard of Pamela Love, well then prepare to fall in love with this Brooklyn designer’s jaw-dropping line of jewelry, made entirely in Manhattan’s artsy garment district. What began in her apartment in 2006 has blossomed into a coveted cool-girl line of jewelry and booming brand. Since her eponymous label’s conception, Pamela has partnered with big names in the fashion industry like Zac Posen, Monique Lhullier, and TopShop. When looking at her collection of edgy everyday pieces and fine jewelry, it’s not hard to see why Pamela Love has become the success that she has. Her pieces are like miniature sculptures crafted out of silver and gold, embedded with stones that often seem to be from another planet. Honestly, her rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings are wearable works of art. Every collection she creates is innovative and unexpected, but they are united in their uniqueness and unmatched quality. Seriously, there’s not one piece that doesn’t make me drool over my credit card.

As if her beautiful designs weren’t enough to thrust her into the fashion stratosphere, Pamela Love also prides herself on treading as lightly on the environment as possible. The fashion and jewelry industry are often thought of as being wasteful when it comes to manufacturing, but Pamela Love ensures that sustainability and environmentally friendly practices are woven into the fabric of her business. She uses recycled materials and ethically sourced stones when creating her pieces. The fact that everything is made domestically is also a major reason to love this designer. Beautiful design with a conscience? Here’s to that. If you’re the type of girl that likes to make a statement with her jewelry and abhors cookie-cutter design, then scroll on. I challenge you to not become obsessed with all things Pamela Love.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

MY PICKS

1 // Lasso Choker

2 // Large Stratum Pendant

3 // Hydra Collar

4 // Large Lee Pendant

5 // Large Stratum Ring

6 // Agnes Ring

7 // Large Satellite Ear Jacket

8 // Lee Earring

9 // Kendrick Cuff

10 // Mojave Hoops

xoxo,

Alicia

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

mothers-day-gift-guide

It can be tricky to find the perfect Mother’s Day gift. After all, how do you find a gift that is truly worthy of the woman who literally gave you everything? When it comes to this special day, my rule of thumb is to look for indulgent items gifts that she wouldn’t normally get herself – case in point, a luxury bubble bath or a special piece of jewelry. Practicality isn’t a part of the equation here, it’s all about pampering and treating your mom to something special, whether it’s a carefully chosen item or a luxurious experience. Here are a few options that I came up.

1 // Tiffany & Co. – Heart Tag Bracelet

Show a little bit of sparkly love with this sweet charm bracelet. After all, any occasion is made special with a touch of Tiffany blue!

2 // Diptyque – Violette Candle

Sure, this candle is a bit of a splurge but your mama is worth every penny and more. And so is this sweet, powdery aroma of violet, iris, and cedar.

3 // Uma Oils – Absolute Anti-Aging Body Oil

The only thing that can make a hot bath more indulgent? This luxurious body oil. Scented with neroli, rose, and sandalwood, it smells absolutely divine.

4 // Rosanna – ‘Dear Mom I Love You’ Porcelain Coffee Mug

Sweeten up her morning coffee with this cute coffee cup! The white and gold colour combo is almost as lovely as the sentiment.

5 // Tory Burch – Garden Party Silk Square Scarf

Silk scarves instantly add class and polish to an outfit. Whether she prefers to wear it around her neck (classic), in her hair, or tied around the handle of her handbag, she is sure to adore this springy floral print.

6 // Skoah – Hydradew Face Mask

Though it feels lighter than air, this deeply hydrating mask is packed with moisturizing super ingredients like hyaluronic acid, sea kelp, and algae. It’s like a spa appointment in a jar.

7 // Coco – Earl Grey Tea & Bergamot Dark Chocolate

Much like flowers, chocolate is a classic choice when it comes to a Mother’s Day gift. That being said, this gourmet bar is anything but a cliche, and is so chic that it’s almost sad to eat it! The elegant earl grey tea and bergamot flavor is just far too good to resist.

xoxo,

Alicia

made-of-plastic

Made of Plastic

plastic-accessories

Although so many of the products we buy are made of plastic, it’s not very often that we see that as being a plus, especially when it comes to fashion. When I think of plastic, it conjures images of landfills and trash heaps. I don’t associate synthetic materials with luxury or style – instead the words that come to mind are ‘cheap’ and ‘tacky’. And yet some of the most prestigious fashion houses in the world (think Givenchy, Chanel, and Marc Jacobs) love to use it in their collections, crafting clutches out of translucent plastic, heels out of Lucite, and jewelry out of candy-like beads that are so far from the elegant strings of pearls and diamonds that we normally associate with couture, that it’s like the designers are playing a joke on us all. There’s something that is kind of perverse about a plastic bangle costing more than most people’s rent but there is still a certain charm about it. It’s almost so vulgar and tacky that it becomes luxurious and desirable. Although a lot of us turn our nose up at man-made materials, plastic has its merits as well. Because it’s synthetic it can take on textures and finishes that natural materials simply cannot. A lot of the time plastic can be recycled as well, so it’s not the total enemy of the environment that we often think of it as. I have to admit, I am kind of seduced by this season’s love affair with plastic. It pays homage to the bold mod looks of the 60s while also looking ahead with a futuristic, spacey feel – all in all a combination that is refreshing and relevant. This trend is all about contradictions, much like fashion itself. Plastic as a material can be thought of as both old and new, it’s cheap and luxurious, its tacky yet elegant, it’s disposable but is also sustainable. While my heart will always prioritize leather, silk, and real gems over their synthetic substitutes (the real thing is always better in my opinion), plastic definitely has its place in fashion and in my closet.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

1 // Go Jane – Beyond Clear Chunky Lucite Heels

2 // Valley City X – Zero UV Mod Oversize Sunglasses

3 // Alex Bittar – Lucite Faceted Cocktail Ring

4 // JAPONESQUE – Alligator Hair Comb

5 // Moschino – Metal and Lucite Floral Necklace

6 // Go Jane – Call Me Maybe Square Lucite Clutch

7 // Kate Spade New York – Rumsey Plastic Strap Watch

8 // Armani Jeans – Plastic Mesh Shopping Bag

9 // LaVieHippie (Etsy) – Vintage Marbled Lucite Earrings

xoxo,

Alicia

 

Bare Minimum

When it comes to jewelry, I tend to reach for simple and dainty pieces without a lot of fuss or hoopla. There are a few items I never take off ( the Elsa Peretti heart necklace my boyfriend gave me for our two year anniversary and my great grandmother’s engagement ring) but I like the pieces I invest in to be timeless. I want to be able to put on jewelry without thinking about whether or not it goes with my outfit. Luckily for me, minimalist jewelry is really popular right now and designers seem to be eschewing the obnoxious, in your face statement styles of seasons past in favour for streamlined styles that are perfect for everyday. Whether or not this is your style, every girl needs a few of these sleek staples in her jewelry arsenal. Here are 8 of my favorite pieces from cool girl designers such as Catbird and Fallon. 

1 // Catbird – Opal Teardrop 14 Carat Gold Ring

I have always loved opals so I was immediately sold on this ring. I also love how thin the band is. This dainty ring would look great on its own or stacked with a knuckle ring or bands in contrasting metals. 

2 // Romwe – Silver Open Cuff

This minimalist cuff will add some instant architectural flair to your outfit in seconds. I love the open style and it’s understated yet eye catching. Plus the silver hue will go with everything. 

3 // Madewell – Circle Hair Clip

I have a serious thing for hair clips. I have quite a few vintage clips in my jewelry box and wear them on constant rotation. This sweet circle style instantly caught my attention. Keep your hair out of your face in style with this sleek and simple clip!

4 // Dutch Basics – Ruit Gold Plated Silver Hexagonal Creol Loop Earrings 

Geometric shapes are huge in fashion right now, much to my delight! It’s artsy yet timeless and the rose gold hue is feminine without be overly girl. These earrings are just enough of everything pretty without being saccharinely sweet.

5 // South Mood Under – Minimalist Bar Stud Earrings 

You know the old adage ‘less is more’? These straightforward bar studs prove just how true that sentiment is. This minimalist style manages to be both trendy and timeless which is as rare in fashion as finding a unicorn (it never happens). These babies are sure-fire compliment getters and are perfect for everyday wear.

6 // Kozminka – Minimalist Ear Cuff

The ear cuff is one of my favorite jewelry trends. It’s edgy and never looks like it’s trying too hard. This ear cuff reminds me of a girl who rolled out of bed, threw on a wrinkled t-shirt dress, finger combed her hair, pulled on her doc martens and couldn’t be bothered to put both of her earrings on because she was too tired from the crazy night she had before. This is the perfect lazy-girl accessory and adds an effortless sense of cool to any outfit.

7 // Fallon – Rotation Double Wire Choker 

Pearls – check. Choker – check. Think gold wire – check. This regal choker has a million trends covered but is undeniably elegant. Chokers are having a huge moment right now because of fashion’s obsession with all things 90s. I’m not complaining and have loved this accessory since I was in the 4th grade singing “Say You’ll Be There” by the Spice Girls. I’d pair this badboy with a cozy turtleneck and plaid skirt, or I would juxtapose it against a loose, off-the-shoulder tee and pair of joggers. Why? Because rules are for rookies. 

8 // Vogue – Gold Cuff Bracelet

While normally I am not crazy about gold, this architectural piece is anything but gaudy. It’s statement making but it isn’t loud or obnoxious. It’s not slapping you in the face and demanding your attention. This cuff’s sleek shape and minimalist aesthetic negates any of the cheesiness that yellow gold usually brings to the table. It’s just the thing to toss on as you run out the door and it will take your look from okay to OMG in mere seconds. Love. It.

xoxo,

Alicia

Designer Spotlight | Venessa Arizaga

Remember those chunky little plastic friendship bracelets we would all give our besties in elementary school? Made out of rainbow colored beads and letters that spelled out ‘best friends forever (or 4ever), at that time of our lives they were as precious as if they were made of gold and diamonds. Flash forward ten-plus years and I still have a soft spot in my heart for those tacky beaded bracelets. Designer Venessa Arizaga essentially creates those friendship bracelets we loved so much as children, but with an elevated twist – think gold plated charms, artfully woven cords, semi-precious stones and crystals. Based in Brooklyn, every single item is made lovingly and locally in her studio. Because each charm she uses is special and not always available in large quantities, her pieces are always unique in subtle ways. I’ve had my eye on this designer for ages and am so in love with her playful, almost child-like aesthetic. Vibrant, cheerful and always with a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, Venessa Arizaga’s line is everything that has been missing from your jewelry box.

Designer Vanessa Arizaga.

VENESSA ARIZAGA PICKS

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

1 //  Desert Nights Bracelet

2 // Mermaid Lagoon Necklace

3 // Pretty Pearl Choker (Rainbow Cloud)

4 // Junk Food Pin Set

5 // Kiss The Cook Earrings

6 // Have a Pizza My Heart Bracelet

7 // Brunch Time Bobby Pins

8 // Ca$$h Leather Pouch

9 // Don’t Worry Bee Happy Pearl Necklace

10 // Summer Vacation Bracelet

xoxo,

Alicia