Posts Tagged ‘vintage jewelry’

Spain’s Most Famous Fashion Designers

Spain’s Most Famous Fashion Designers

I must admit, people in Spain dress with a certain elegance. They dress up to go out at night, they don’t “flaunt what they have”, they are dignified and slightly conservative. Modesty is still valued in this country. These observations are not to say that the Spaniards’ style of clothing is boring, definitely the opposite holds true.

There are many Spanish designers that have influenced the world with their wonderful renditions of a simpler way to live and wear clothing. I have listed a few of my favorites.

Mariano Fortuny was considered to be a Renaissance Man. Painter, printmaker, lighting designer, textile and fashion designer, he made the most exquisite fabrics. He was known for his pleated fabrics and especially for his Delphos gown, which became a sensation when it was introduced in 1907. It freed up women who wore corsets at the time, as it was an unconstructed, flowing design. He dipped each piece of silk or velvet fabric in dye, and then placed the fabric on porcelain rollers to develop the pleats. The dresses were twisted and then packed in small boxes to maintain their pleats. To wear a Fortuny was to wear a work of art.

Cristobal Balenciaga was born in 1895 in a Basque fishing village in Spain. His mother was a seamstress and he worked by her side, learning much of the basics. He was one of the few designers of his time who could cut, drape and design his own patterns. He was most known for his cocoon coat, the sack dress, the babydoll dress, the bubble skirt and the pillbox hat. His designs made women feel beautiful.

My absolute favorite Spanish designer is Manolo Blahnik. What girl doesn’t love shoes!!! He was born in Spain’s Canary Islands in 1942 and at a young age showed a flair for shoe design, dressing his pet dogs with shoes he designed. His hallmark is a light, feminine touch and he sketches each shoe design and creates the prototype by hand. In describing his shoes, Manolo Blahnik once said, “This is what I try to do, make women feel like princesses.” Wow, has he succeeded!

Madrid Adventure – Sorolla Museum

Madrid Adventure – Sorolla Museum

What a fabulous trip we had to Madrid and Barcelona! Over the next few weeks I will be sharing with you the highlights.

I dragged my husband to many museums in both cities (more about that later), but the Sorolla Museum, a hidden gem, was my favorite.

Joaquin Sorolla (1863-1923), was considered to be one of the major Spanish painters of his time. When he passed away, his widow, Clothilde, bequeathed his estate to the Spanish government and asked them to turn their home into a museum and to feature her husband’s work.

When you arrive, the gardens surrounding the museum are works of art. Surrounding the home are amazing greenery and flowers in the Alhambra style. When you enter the villa, one of the first things you experience is the love that Sorolla had for his wife and muse, Clothilde. Portraits abound of her and their children and there is a special temporary exhibit entitled, “Clothilde” running through October of 2012.

This painting is entitled, “Clothilde Seated on a Sofa.”

As the New York Times mentioned in 1909, during an exhibition in New York where Sorolla exhibited 356 paintings and sold 195 of these paintings before departing the United States, they named him “the Spanish painter of sunlight and color.” This characteristics of his painting style is so true. He continuously looked for new ways to paint people and objects and often painted them outdoors. When his gardens matured, he used them more and more often in his portraits of friends and family.
The following painting is entitled, “My Wife and Daughters in the Garden.”

Joaquin Sorolla ‘s work is represented in museums throughout Spain, Europe and America, including the J. Paul Getty Museum in California. If you have the opportunity, please see his amazing paintings.

This painting is entitled, “Walk on the Beach.”

The Boys and Mother’s Day Sale

The Boys and Mother’s Day Sale

 

How To Have a Great Sense of Style

How To Have a Great Sense of Style

“Fashions fade, style is eternal.” Yves Saint Laurent

Most people feel that style is only about your outward appearance. I disagree. To me, it’s about who you are and what you want to be. It is the inner you that is reflected on the outside. It’s your adventures, your highs, your lows, your life experiences. Are your born with style, or can it be learned?

1) Style is personal. What works for one person, may not work for another.

2) No trends! You don’t want to start looking like everyone else. Where is your individuality? On the other hand, don’t play it safe. Boring!

3) It’s important to buy the basics – a great bag, a little black dress, a trench coat, a great pair of jeans, a white shirt and cashmere, cashmere, cashmere (my fave)!

3) Be confident. How you feel on the inside will reflect how you look on the outside. For example, Rooney Mara dresses in a minimalist, sometimes severe way, but it works for her. Sara Jessica Parker has great style and her looks are considered striking, not pretty. She is an icon in the fashion world because she wears what she feel looks good on her and pulls it off. Remember how Manolo Blahnik shoes took off because SJP wore them on “Sex and the City.”

4) Mix it up. Blend high and low. Mix different types of styles together, such as classic with modern. Be imperfect.

5) Don’t forget to accessorize. A lovely pair of earrings or a chunky bracelet, something vintage perhaps.

6) Find clothes that make you feel elegant and effortless.

7) Above all else, show your spirit!

Arm Candy

Arm Candy

Spring is supposedly around the corner (not in Massachusetts, but who am I to complain about a little snow). With spring comes sleeveless attire, or 3/4 length sleeves or short sleeves, or anything but heavy sweaters, and of course, lots of skin!

I am ready. Ready for Arm Candy! Big chunky bracelets, small, delicate bracelets, cuffs, clampers, charm bracelets, bangle bracelets, snake bracelets, cameo bracelets, scarab bracelets, pearl bracelets. Vintage, modernist, antique – you name it and it’s going to be on my arm this spring.

The fun part of arm candy is the stacking and mixing. Don’t be afraid ladies! Remember, pop on a dress, add a pair of strappy sandals and don’t forget the arm candy.

A Little Bit Deco Part Two – Elsa Schiaparelli

A Little Bit Deco Part Two – Elsa Schiaparelli

Elsa Schiaparelli, along with her biggest rival, Coco Chanel, made costume jewelry all the rage in the Art Deco period of the 1920s and 1930s. Schiaparelli, best known for her sportswear and knitted clothes, was closely involved with the design of costume jewelry to complement her high fashion collections. An elementary form of branding, these jewels (called “Junk Jewelry” because they were fake) were able to reach more of a mass market, while also promoting Schiaparelli’s designs and aesthetics. She was eccentric, flamboyant and fabulous at featuring costume jewelry in artful and imaginative ways.

A Little Bit Deco

A Little Bit Deco

The most recognizable artist of the 1920s, Erte (Romain de Tirtoff), was a favorite fashion illustrator of Harper’s Bazaar. Creating stage costumes, jewelry, sculpture and fashion apparel for over eighty years, he influenced an entire art movement, the Art Deco era. His fluid and elegant style still plays a huge role in the design world today.

As I was reading the December/January 2012 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, I noticed that one of the top trends for the Spring of 2012 is Art Deco. Drop-waists, sequins and silk were all featured in the 1920s inspired looks. Glam and elegance is back!

An Art Deco inspired outfit would not be complete without some fabulous jewels. I have just added some wonderful pieces from the 1920s that would work quite well with your Spring 2012 wardrobe!

Hunting For That Special Something

Hunting For That Special Something

This photo of Travis, our dog, was taken this morning. I thought you would like to see how Travis occupies his day. He is a Brittany Spaniel, a warm, loving, adventurous dog. Brittany Spaniels are hunting dogs and as you can see, his nose is up our drain pipe, probably tracking a creature. He has been part of our family for 9 1/2 years and we love him dearly. He did not find his special something this morning.

It is the season for you to find that special something, whether it be a gift for a loved one or yourself. I am here to help. I will be posting many more new items and I hope that you have a chance to look at my website. Please remember that everything is 15% off. Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays Sale!

Happy Holidays Sale!

Thank you all for a fabulous year! For our annual holiday sale, please use coupon code SAVE15 and take 15% off any order of our entire collection of vintage and antique jewelry. The sale begins Friday, November 25th and I will be adding new pieces throughout the holiday season.

If you have a special request, please use our Personal Shopper form or e-mail me directly at: jaynee@graciousgems.com. Remember – indulge in a timeless piece of jewelry, get your sparkle on and have a wonderful, happy holiday season!
.

Vintage & Antique Jewelry Show

Vintage & Antique Jewelry Show

Please join us at Beacon Hill Athletic Club in Wellesley, MA on Thursday, November 17th between 8am and 1pm. We will showcasing fabulous vintage and antique jewelry.

Hope to see you there!