Tag Archive: Jewellery

Jun 13 2013

Jewellery Loving: Astley Clarke More Than Just Bracelets

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Jewellery, like handbags is my go-to luxury, I love buying new pieces, wearing hand-me-downs, finding a vintage gem as well as making my own, but most of all I love that each piece holds special memories, so much more than a piece of clothing.

I also love discovering fab brands to obsess over, make wish-lists about and generally plot my next purchase. My latest obsession has to be London-based jeweller Astley Clarke, founded by Bec Astley Clarke in 2006, which has fast become my go-to place to pick up treats for my arm parties, and it seems I am not alone as each time I post on Instagram and Pose everyone seems to love their bracelets.

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A couple of weeks ago I was invited to visit the Astley Clarke showroom in London, located down the prettiest Mew, and was given free rein to check out the gorgeous collections of their famous friendship bracelets, make up my own stackable ring, and gush over their exquisite selection of fine jewellery, which includes gorgeous diamond rings nearly expensive as my new car!!!

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I am also a huge fan of their stackable ranges, including enamel and gemstone stacking rings, which you can have fun with on their website putting together your favourite rings with their Ring Stacker app, and I think I want every single one of the enamel bangles. What I love about Astley Clarke are the options, buy one, buy three, they work on their own and stacked, plus I love finding things to collection.

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What I didn’t realise was that Astley Clarke has an amazing collection of charms, I already have Thomas Sabo, Pandora, and Chamilia, and that I am currently lusting over Dodo, but Astley Clarke delightful collection pays homage to its British heritage, its love of colourful gemstones and charms for good fortune. As with the rings, there is an Charm Building app, which you can totally lose a few hours playing around with the options. I really did fall in love with the animal charms – especially this squirrel – so adorable.

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But as the title states, Astley Clarke is so much more than just bracelets, the jeweller also has a great choice of delicate necklaces, exquisite diamond rings, and a wonderful curated selection of guest designers including Australian brand Stenmark designed by Susie Stenmark, I am in love with her Tanzanite Colourburst Pendant, but at £2,500 it is slightly out of my price range!!!

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I also discovered and fell in love with the gorgeous Solange Azagury-Partridge collection, from the Love ring to the colourful Hotlips rings that have a touch of Lulu Guinness about them, and the adorable 18 carat enamel bee ring, if only I had £1,200 that beauty would be mine in a heartbeat.

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If you aren’t familiar with the brand, do check out its website, get creative with its apps, or why not visit their London boutique at 6 Junction Mews, or check out their collections in Harrods, Selfridges and Liberty London – trust me you will become as obsesses as me.

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Shop some of my favourite Astley Clarke pieces:

Jun 04 2013

Jewellery: Dodo’s City Charm Bracelets

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I make no secret of being a lover of charms, whether it is Thomas Sabo, Astley Clarke, Tiffany’s, or Pandora, I love that they can personalise a look, show off your personality and are perfect to capture a happy memory.

One jewellery charm brand I have had my eye on for a while has to be Italian brand, Dodo, as I love that each charm has a different meaning. For instance did you know their Penguin charm means ‘crazy in love’, that the Butterfly represents ‘I love my freedom’ and the Camel is ‘I’d walk across burning sand for you’, I also love that the D charm is ‘Dear D. You are a Devil, yet Delightful’!!!

As well as animals and letters, Dodo have also put together a series of ‘Souvenir’ charm bracelets for some of my favourite cities – London, Paris and New York, as well as Milan and Roma that are just gorgeous and I want them all!!!

Each of the Dodo loves charm bracelets costs £280, a little pricey, but I love that you get a Dodo bird charm, a love heart and the letters to spell out the city. I think it is hard to choose between London, Paris and New York.

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Apr 06 2013

My Style: Denim & Stripes With Added Arm Candy

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This week has been kind of quiet – with the Bank Holiday I haven’t been into London much, instead I have been baking up a storm for the Great River Bake Off *more to come on this*, but on Thursday night I did venture into the snow storm, I know I thought April was all about the rain showers but apparently Thursday was the coldest April day in Blighty for the past 50 years – seriously crazy weather.

The occasion was catching up with my good friend and fellow blogger Sherin from HiFashion and also head over to the Kipling x Helena Christensen party at Beach Blanket Babylon – I had planned to wear a new dress I have been dying to wear, but the weather had other ideas so I decided to work my mini flares with a stripy shirt, a classic but an easy style to throw on.

I wasn’t going to do a style post, mainly because I like to take my shots outside and I wasn’t willing to take my coat off in the freezing conditions, but I actually quite liked the moody lighting at Beach Blanket Babylon that I decided what the hell as I really like this look.

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For me this outfit was made fun by my jewellery, which I seem to be obsessed with off late, I just find it the best way to jazz up an outfit or brighten up my mood. This week when mooching around New Look, like you do, I came across this adorable black and white panda watch, I instantly fell in love with it and at £9.99 this watch is the perfect addition to any arm candy party!!!

As I don’t like to mix my metals, I teamed my watch with some of my favourite pieces of silver jewellery – my moo cow necklace that my mum bought me a few years back from Christmas, I literally wear this necklace to death it is so cute, my new ring from & Other Stories, I just love how simple it is, and no jewellery look is complete without a stack of bracelets – I went for these ornate ones, also from New Look. I do love to jingle.

Do you love to jazz up an outfit with your jewellery?

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My Style: Denim jeans, Dorothy Perkins (very old) // Striped three-quarter sleeve shirt, not sure, so old and it doesn’t have a label // Bag, Rebecca Minkoff (c/o) // Panda watch, New Look // Cow necklace, present off my mum // Silver bracelet stack, New Look // Multi-coloured bead bracelet, H&M // Ring, & Other Stories // Glasses, Retro54 // Ankle boots, Topshop // My style denim stripes My Style: Denim & Stripes With Added Arm Candy %tag**Thanks to Sherin for my outfit snaps**

 

 

Apr 02 2013

Jewellery Masterclass With Stephen Einhorn And HTC

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Last week I designed, chiselled, sanded, sawed and buffed my very own ring with the help of jewellery designer Stephen Einhorn in the name of the new HTC One, which FYI is incredible!!!

As always HTC have a unique ability when it comes to creating fabulous events to show off their new handsets – previously I have attended a walk around East London to snap piccies with the HTC One S, I’ve interviewed interesting people on New York’s Skyline in the name of the HTC Rhyme, I even attended a showbiz party with Cheryl Cole and Will.i.am for the launch of HTC Beats and now because the new HTC One boosts an aluminium unibody I was treated along with a small group of online peeps to a jewellery masterclass to design and create my own aluminium ring.

Presented with a bright blue wax block, an empty workbook and a pencil I sketched out what I wanted – a fluttering love heart, which was hard to draw, even harder to explain, but basically I wanted an off-centred heart that looked like it was fluttering like a butterfly – easy, right!!!

Well not quite, having the idea was great but sawing the wax to size, then carving it from square to round, and then drawing and carving the hearts was a lot harder than I thought it would be. But with the help of Stephen and Marco, one of Stephen’s assistants, I finally ended up with a ring that not only looked amazing but fitted perfectly and I can’t wait to see it made in aluminium.

What I loved other the fact it was fun getting creative and hands-on was the fact that we all went for something completely different. Abi engraved lyrics from her favourite song, Kate made the cutest thumb ring, and Emily from Styloko went for a bold statement ring. I really can’t wait to see what they all come out like.

As well as having a fun night making jewellery, visiting Stephen’s shop and studio, sipping tea from adorable bone china cups, and munching on pizza I also got to take away the new HTC One to review.

All I can say is wow, this mobile is incredible, and just from a couple hours of using I can already say that it has a better camera, quicker system, and sleeker finish. A more detailed look at the phone and review to come, but I decided to put my Olympus camera away on the night and all the piccies here were taken and edited on the new HTC One.

If you could design your own ring – what would it look like?

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**Thanks to HTC, Fever PR and Stephen Einhorn for an amazing night** 

Mar 08 2013

Inside ‘& Other Stories’ In London

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So after six months of anticipation speculation, a little confusion, and plenty of hype from the fashion crowd, H&M’s new high-end label, & Other Stories, finally launches in London today and last night I went to the preview, checked out the collections, picked up a few treats and generally became a fan in a matter of minutes.

Before I arrived I have to be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect, I know there have been a few teasers, but really what did they tell us other than it was quite similar to COS, I pondered the price ranges, which are closer to COS than H&M, and I was even asking myself whether the high street needed another H&M/COS spin-off. Basically, a lot of my hesitation about the brand had to be the name – why ‘& Other Stories’, which for some reason I have a hard time saying it always comes out ‘another stories’ or ‘other stores’ – it just didn’t have a fashion feel about it.

Last night all those hesitations totally went out of the window, H&M can call their stores whatever they want especially when they make make them like this. For me ‘& Other Stories’, which is being billed as a ‘one stop shop’ is more than just clothes, which to be honest wasn’t the main focus when I was looking around, this store is about all the added extras that make up a great look – the bits I love, the handbags, the jewellery, the incredible shoes, and I literally fell in love with the beauty emporium – more than 40 nail varnish colours, gorgeous skincare, cute make-up palettes and a body and bath range that I can’t wait to try.

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As with the branding and the minimalistic approach to the marketing the store itself has a striped back industrial feel that I am calling warehouse chic. I loved the bare floors, the exposed walls, the white finishes, the scaffolding staircase, and the incredible lighting rigs acting as spotlights – as well as the graph paper lined counters, the glass cases and the mannequins.

But what caught my eye walking around were all the postcards featuring the products styled up – it was like one of my favourite fashion magazines had done a shoot with all my favourite pieces. They not only showcased the items in a different light, they inspired me to want to wear something news, and they highlighted the added extras – which for me is the pull of this new store.

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Jewellery & Accessories:

As ‘& Other Stories’ is anchored around personal style rather than trends the jewellery and accessories really do have a prominent position in the store, which for me is amazing as I hate having to find the darkened corner to pick a new sparkle to jazz up an old look. From industrial heavy necklaces to dainty rings and adorable bow cuffs, having the jewellery and accessories dotted around the store mixed in with the ready-to-wear pieces really does help build an outfit.

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Handbags:

As you know I love a good handbag but I find the high street lacks in the quality department, I am drawn to a number of designs in Topshop and Zara but the quality just isn’t up to the standards of my designer varieties, well I think ‘& Other Stories’ is going to become known for the place to buy a leather handbag that is made well, looks different, I loved all the scalloped edging, and is affordable. Bags I loved last night ranged from £55 to £195 – all leather, all beautiful, and all guaranteed to hurt my credit card!!!

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Co-Lab:

So H&M has become known for their designer collaborations with the likes of Versace, Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney, well ‘& Other Stories’ have decided to collaborate with a range of up-and-coming designers to enhance its own brand pieces. You have a gorgeous collection of leather embossed handbags designed by Los Angeles-based designer Clare Vivier (pictured above), I am in love with her yellow cross-body bag, super chic transparent brogues from Abigail Lorick Im, and incredible sexy lingerie from The Lake and Stars.

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Another hot draw to ‘& Other Stories’ is going to be the footwear department on the second floor, filled with edgy sculptural pieces, black mules with chunky heels, vibrant flats, and to-die for wedges and ankle boots. There was so much to choose from – but these were my favourites – I need these bright wedges in my life for summer!!!

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Beauty:

Finally but certainly not least is the beauty department and probably one of my favourite aspects of this new store. It is unusual for a high street brand to place so much on the beauty but ‘& Other Stories’ have put together a beauty section to rival any department store. Centred around the philosophy that ‘every look starts with a healthy skin’ this section has everything you could need make-up, skincare, bath and body products, brushes, nail varnishes, the list is endless and all products are presented in minimal packaging that is just divine.

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Sorry for such a long post but as you can see there is lots to see in the store and if you are interesting in seeing more of the collections head on over to my Facebook page as there are over 100 piccies from last night’s event. Plus head back over the weekend as I will be doing a more detailed review of the beauty offering which I can’t stop gushing about!!!

If you are in London head on over to the store on Regents Street – and don’t forget to let me know what you think of the new brand from H&M.andotherstories 51 Inside & Other Stories In London %tag andotherstories 39 Inside & Other Stories In London %tag andotherstories 50 Inside & Other Stories In London %tag andotherstories 128 Inside & Other Stories In London %tag

**All pictures taken by me, Fashionista Barbie**

 

Feb 12 2013

Arm Candy: Pandora’s Valentine’s Day Collection

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I am a bit of bracelet hoarder, I have lots, whether it is a Thomas Sabo charm bracelet with a tiny Eiffel Tower or an elephant, a Chamilia bracelet filled with cute marble-effect charms, or just plain stacks of silver and gold bangles – I love a little arm candy.

When John Greed Jewellery asked if I had a Pandora bracelet I went through my jewellery box and was surprised I didn’t, basically I had everything but, so they kindly sent me a red leather bracelet and a gorgeous Love Heart charm from Pandora’s Valentine Collection and I just can’t stop wearing it.

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What I love about this bracelet is the simplicity and elegance of it that it is just perfect to wear every day, but what makes it extra special for Valentine’s Day is the Love Heart charm which is just so adorable featuring ‘love’ engraved in six different languages. So you have Liebe, Amore, Koerlighed on one side and Amour, Love and Amor on the other.

I don’t think I have taken this off since I got it and I can’t wait to add more beads to my collection – they literally have one for every occasion and hey if it is good enough for Girls Aloud it is definitely good enough for me!!!

Have you got a Pandora bracelet? Let me know what your favourite charms are as I can’t wait to add more.

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**Thanks to John Greed for sending me this gorgeous Pandora bracelet to review**

Apr 23 2012

Jewellery Loving: My Ernest Jones Wishlist

It is no secret that I love jewellery from the quirky signature Barbie necklaces or the laser-cut animals from Maggie Angus, adorable charms from Thomas Sabo, and even a colourful watch or two from Ice-Watch, so when Ernest Jones sent me over their trends lookbook for spring/summer it was heavenly. Ernest Jones have picked out six trends, from the roaring twenties to the flirty fifties, mighty brights vs sorbet shades,  molten metallics and gorgeous prints, and there really is something from everyone, and if like me you love colour then you’ll be extra happy.

To celebrate the awesome collection they asked me to create my ultimate wishlist, I have to warn you some of the pieces I chose are pretty expensive, but come on what are wishlists for it not to dream, but there is an upside of wishing as Ernest Jones has created a Facebook app where you could win your wishlist, all you have to do is ‘like’ items on their website and it takes them directly to the app.

So here are my five sparkling wishes:

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1. Cacherel sterling silver red enamel poppy bracelet, £75 - I love simple mixed in with cute and these poppy charms are adorable and would work as an everyday bracelet, plus I am starting off small as this beauty is the cheapest on my wishlist!!!

2. Most of my jewellery is either silver or white gold, and this Cacharel sterling silver cubic zirconia leaf necklace, £135 really stood out because of the simple chain teamed with the textured leafs and the drop necklace detail makes it stand out for me.

3. and 4. is the battle of the watches, as basically I couldn’t decide between the soft sorbet purple Michael Kors watch, £195, and the mighty brights Raymond Weil ‘Maestro’ watch with white mother of pearl diamond dot dial and pink leather strap, £1,475. Yep, I am a lover of both extremes – cute vs bright, and affordable vs serious investment!!!

5. Finishing off my wishlist is the most expensive, but also the most divine ring I have ever seen, the Le Vian 14ct white gold and chocolate diamond ring, which retails at £2,699, but what a beauty this statement ring is. It has an old-Hollywood feel to it, the right amount of vintage glamour, and bling with those gorgeous diamonds that you want from a cocktail ring. Now if only I can win the lottery to buy it.

So what will you choose on your Ernest Jones wishlist? Head on over to their Facebook page and check out the app. Also don’t forget to comment below and let me know what you think of my choices.

**I also want to say a big thanks to Ernest Jones for sending me a lovely hinged, silver bangle engraved with my blog name on – I love the classic style of it and I will share to you all soon in a style post.**
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