After seeing so many stunning collections this year, I’ve managed to choose five favorites.
Dana Rebecca Designs. Looking back over 2014, I realized that I featured a number of her pieces on the blog. It’s not hard to fall for Chicago-based Dana Gordon’s work: It’s consistently beautiful! From minimalist pieces at entry-level prices to bigger splurge items loaded with yummy stones, the Dana Rebecca line has something pretty for every person no matter their budget.
Kimberly McDonald. I’ll admit that part of the reason I like McDonald’s work so much is because I like her personally. She has strong convictions—evident in her new Dig Deeper campaign—plus she’s an animal lover (she rescues Chihuahuas and has a menagerie of them at her California home). But with regard to jewelry, she’s got gorgeous down! All her stunning geodes and opals are mixed perfectly with diamonds big and small for emphasis and extra light. Perhaps the ultimate endorsement: The first lady loves her jewelry and wears it often.
Kara Ross. Ross hails from the Philadelphia area, like me, and has a hard-to-forget aesthetic involving Art Deco–inspired silhouettes, organic chunks of stones, and zigzag and mosaic effects. Bold is her forte—a contrast to her humble persona—making her work ideal for use in model photography because it stands out (check out JCK’s upcoming December–January 2015 issue for examples). Like McDonald, Ross is an unassuming rock star in her own right, mingling with the FLOTUS and other high-profile fans who adore her work just as much as the rest of us. P.S.: The upbeat music on her website is an ideal nod to Ross’ can-do, welcome-everyone attitude.
Gabriel & Co. This longtime New York City–based manufacturer has truly stepped up its game! Known for being a maker of many styles—from traditional bridal rings to fashion basics—the firm recently started making more modern pieces (think minimalist-inspired diamond styles like chevron-motif necklaces) to appeal to a younger customer. Plus, it teamed up with onetime InStyle fashion director Hal Rubenstein to serve as its global style director, helping Gabriel & Co. curate and hone looks that will have instant appeal to new customers. The resulting jewels have definitely gotten my attention.
Yoko London. Of course a pearl firm had to appear on this list! (Pearls are my favorite gem.) I love Yoko London’s beautiful natural-color freshwater pearl selections, and appreciate the modern styles they offer, as well as the traditional ones that seem just a bit more modern because of the festive colors they use.
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