Israel is known for its atypical and artful jewelry. With influences from ancient Middle Eastern cultures and impressively detailed craftsmanship, the pieces a traveler finds here in Tel Aviv are often one-of-a-kind.
While running around Neve Tzedek earlier today I stopped by Boaz Kashi, a small jewelry boutique featuring original designs and revamped vintage pieces from all over the world. Kashi is a fourth generation jeweler who travels near and far searching for unusual vintage finds. Every piece in his store stands out in some way: think of brightly colored stones set in darkened metals, unconventional textures and a treasure trove of tribal-inspired creations.
The retrofitted vintage bracelet pictured below is so cool. I love the bright coral against the shadowy, oxidized silver. It’s around 50 or 60 years old and is an authentic Yemenite design. Kashi added the Swarovski crystals to act as the clasp and the contrast of shimmering crystals and darkened silver is wowww…so lovely.
Vintage Yemenite bracelet made of oxidized silver, coral and Swarovski crystals
On my recent trip to Los Angeles I picked up this Vanessa Mooney necklace from Fred Segal in Santa Monica. Mooney is a Hollywood darling – she’s the great-granddaughter of Harry Warner, one of the original Warner Bros. – and she designs funky, handcrafted jewelry in her LA studio. An extensive world traveler, Mooney’s pieces are often characteristic of a place’s culture, natural beauty and tradition.
The necklace pictured above is gold-plated with cubic zirconia and wooden skull beads. It’s nothing fancy, but the contrast of dark wood against CZ creates a little extra sparkle – I’d describe it as delicate and slightly tribal.
I picked this up in Santa Fe, NM, a city that is arguably the jewelry capital of the American southwest.
The ring is silver and holds a rare turquoise stone. I’ve never seen a turquoise stone so unique in color or formation. It’s an antique, circa 1920, and it totally looks like earth from above.
Jewelry designer Lele Sadoughi travels around the world and creates collections by connecting each piece’s design to the place. Her Spring 2013 collection is influenced by Ancient Egypt: scarabs, sundials and scepters. The use of crystals (instead of diamonds) and enamel makes Sadoughi’s jewelry affordable, with most pieces in the $75-$300 range. She writes a blog about how her travels inspire her work – the image below shows her “sundial inspiration.” Pretty cool huh?
Egyptian style is pretty distinct. I bought a necklace in Israel (that conveniently doubles as a headband) and every time I wear the shimmering black and gold dainty piece on my head I hear “Tracey, you look so Egyptian.” Essentially, you know Egyptian style when you see it.
This Scarab Bracelet looks like it’s part of a museum collection.
Designer Jaclyn Mayer creates artful jewelry collections with bungee cord (the same type used for bungee jumping or for securing luggage) and accents each piece with gold and silver-colored metal hardware. The designs are awesome and really intricate; the necklace and cuff below are from Orly Genger by Jaclyn Mayer. Proenza Schouler featured bungee jewelry in their Resort collection a couple of years ago – naturally, Resort collections are always my favorite.;)
Seriously, what a cool idea!
Navan Necklace, rope with metal links and cut out tubes.
I recently discovered Erickson Beamon, a jewelry design duo based in Detroit.
The 27-year-old brand is a fashion industry favorite. Designers collaborate with Erickson Beamon to accessorize their collections for runway shows: Issa, Etro, Anna Sui, Jil Sander and Catherine Malandrino to name a few. Expect bold, tribal designs and lots of color. These are some of my top picks.;)
Nexus Palladium-Plated Swarovski Crystal Drop Earrings, via NET-A-PORTER.com
Rear Window Graduated Bead Necklace, via Barneys.com
Pendant Torque Necklace, via Farfetch.com
Gold Swarovski Crystal Necklace with Lucite Stone, via Lindelepalais.com
Multicolor Crystal Clip Earrings, via Stylebop.com
I thought I’d share a few medieval-style jewels designed by a self-described ‘global nomad’…
Jewelry designer Loree Rodkin creates intricate, artful and medieval inspired pieces. Her current collection looks like sparkly ancient armor. Working with contrasts like rhodium white gold and emeralds, the darkened metal enables precious stones and gems to stand out beautifully. She’s well-known for her elaborate rings that cover the entire finger. Each piece is crazy expensive, but just taking a look can’t hurt.;)
18-karat rhodium white gold diamond armor ring. Photo Credit: NET-A-PORTER.com
Rodkin designed first lady Michelle Obama’s jewelry for the inaugural ball, which put her old world designs on the map. Click here to see her magnificent collection.
Spiderweb 18-karat rhodium white gold, umba sapphire and diamond necklace. Photo Credit: NET-A-PORTER.com
Open Leaf 18-karat rhodium white gold, moonstones and diamond drop earrings. Photo Credit: NET-A-PORTER.com
Introducing Gahaya Links, a Rwandan handicraft company I spotted recently at Anthropologie.
“The Agaseke is Rwanda’s oldest traditional basket now called the ‘Peace Basket’, a symbol of unity. Gahaya Links’ success is based on traditional weaving techniques to empower the women of Rwanda and the country’s socioeconomic development.”
The incredibly detailed and colorful woven baskets, jewelry, home décor and textiles are high quality, sustainable and knitted in authentic, traditional Rwandan patterns.
New York based jewelry designer Halleh Amiralai creates exotic pieces influenced by her Persian background and extensive world travels.
Halleh 18-karat gold, diamond and Persian turquoise necklace. Photo Credit: NET-A-PORTER.com
Referred to as “bohemian chic”, Halleh’s designs are hand-made, and each piece is absolutely stunning. Her contemporary creations are 18-karat gold and delicately crafted with Persian stones, such as turquoise (above) and lapis (below).
Halleh 18-karat gold lapis lazuli drop earrings. Photo Credit: NET-A-PORTER.com