Kaleidoscope Spotlight: Lulu Frost’s Chroma Necklace

photos courtesy of lulu frost

We could not be more thrilled to introduce our exclusive Kaleidoscope Collection—a collaboration of color with some of the designers who’ve been with us since the beginning.

In the first of a series of interviews with the talented creators of these special pieces, we sat down with our good friend & Lulu Frost designer Lisa Salzer to find out how our Chroma Necklace came to be.

In your own words, describe the visual & emotional experiences of looking through a kaleidoscope.

I’ve loved kaleidoscopes since I was a little girl but back then I didn’t realize what exactly I was experiencing visually. Now that I’m older I imagine it’s close to the delightful sides of an LSD trip.

In designing for our Kaleidoscope Collection, you were asked to draw inspiration from the visions seen when looking through a kaleidoscope. Which elements of kaleidoscopic imagery did you attempt to capture in this piece?

I attempted to capture the way kaleidoscopes refract, bend and alter visual stimuli. I love how elements are broken up and repeated in unexpected ways, which is what I wanted to embody with this necklace.

Describe the construction & materials used to create your Kaleidoscope Collection piece.

I collaged together an array of delicate crystal components in a geometric configuration to give the feel of how light is reflected in a prismatic way. I then added layers of hand-painted touches to hint at the beautiful colors one can observe through a kaleidoscope.

Which of your own signature elements did you work into your piece?

I worked several signature elements into this exclusive piece; one being my love of vintage inspired crystals and the mixture of brass chain, which is key to the Lulu look.

shop the chroma necklace

How did you choose the colors you’ve incorporated in your piece?

I was inspired to utilize bright neon colors of the rainbow and referenced Charm & Chain founder Ali Galgano’s gorgeous engagement ring with its plethora of precious gemstones in multi hued candy colors.

How do you find that colorful jewelry affects the wearer?

Colorful jewelry can brighten up the wearer’s day and certainly makes an impact on the people around her. I find I receive the most compliments when I wear colored jewelry.

Shop the entire Kaleidoscope Collection here.

April Fool’s Joke or Quirky Jewelry Styling Tip?

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Cupcakes & Cashmere's Emily Schuman apparently loves a good April Fool's joke. Last year's Decorating with Kitty Litter video post was as clever as it was ridiculous. This time around, Schuman attempted to trick us into repurposing our favorite statement necklaces into some serious ankle gear. Maybe it’s just our inclination to adorn our bodies in any and every way possible, but we kind of don’t hate it.

What we really want to know is: would you try this eccentric styling tip?

shop similar here

shop similar here

shop similar here

Exclusive Interview with ShopStyle’s Meg Cuna

Yves Saint-Laurent famously stated: “Fashions fade, style is eternal.”

Such is the case for the five timeless style icons (Josephine Baker, Audrey Hepburn, Jane Birkin, Bianca Jagger and Madonna) who inspired our co-curated shop with ShopStyle, which goes live today. We collaborated with ShopStyle’s fabulous Style Director Meg Cuna to select an assortment of Charm & Chain jewelry plus clothing and accessories from our favorite ShopStyle designers, keeping in mind these five women’s unique signature looks and infectious joie de vivre.

Meg is a style influencer in her own right, having asserted her fashion authority by way of editing, styling and consulting everywhere from glossies to online publications and various e-commerce sites before landing at ShopStyle in 2012.

With the concept of eternal style in mind, we took a moment to chat with Meg about such nostalgic topics as glamorous fashion eras past, vintage jewelry and more. Read on!

Our co-curated shop was inspired by some of the most unforgettable fashion icons of the last century. Which icon inspires you most?

My all-time favorite style icon is Bianca Jagger circa Studio 54. Can you imagine having all of your wild nights out documented by Andy Warhol? It’s my dream to have a closet full of 70s-style sexy wrap and plunging neckline dresses.

We live in an exciting time (e-commerce, iPhones, Instagram!), but the past tends to seem so much more romantic. If you could choose to live in another decade, which would it be and why?

This changes depending on my mood but I would have loved to live in:
The 90s so that I can wear Calvin Kleins under my baggy boyfriend jeans…
The 70s for the most flattering pant silhouette ever made: the leg-lengthening bell bottom jean and platform shoe combo…
And the 60s for the super short and structured mod dresses.

We’re firm believers in cultivating a unique jewelry style. Describe yours.

Minimal. Architectural. Organic. Unpredictable.

Tell us about your most treasured piece of jewelry.

I have a pair of fancy diamond and pearl Chanel earrings that I like to wear with jeans and a white tee shirt. They are the most elegant earrings I own and they always make me feel extra special.

Do you have any pieces that you wear everyday?

I used to wear a vintage mens watch everyday until I started to be known for it. At that point, I decided that I always want to surprise people as my personal style evolves. Now I try to change my jewelry every day. I feel naked without earrings, so I never leave the house without those.

As a style director, your finger is constantly on the pulse of the latest styles in fashion. What is your favorite jewelry trend right now?

Lately I’ve been studying Art Nouveau and Art Deco, so I’ve been drawn to bold geometric shapes, lavish ornamentation and hand crafted pieces. I’m always closely investigating trays of vintage jewels at the local fleas and you would be surprised at all of the treasures you can find. If flea markets aren’t your thing, there are so many designers crafting pieces that are similar, like Ben Amun, Lulu Frost, and Rachel Zoe.

Sneak Peak from our Spring Shoot

Instagram by @CharmandChain

We had an absolute blast Monday shooting our new spring jewelry with our good friend and photographer Kira Luxon. For one day, our office transformed into a full-on jewelry photo studio where the creativity was flowing and the laughs were plenty. (Plus, you can only imagine the tables overflowing with hundreds of sparkly baubles!)

Aside from a minor erupting steamer incident, the shoot went off without a hitch. The team at GLAMSQUAD worked their hair-styling magic on our gorgeous models, who were beyond fabulous themselves. In addition to our on-model product shots, we captured a series of still life photos for each of our jewelry categories, which we are particularly excited to share with you. Stay tuned for the final product, but for now, enjoy the above sneaky peak!

Designer Interview: dalla nonna

As you can probably tell from our extensive assortment of monogrammed jewelry, we love personalized styles. So when we came across dalla nonna’s signature calendar necklace®, the perfect piece for commemorating special dates, we knew it would be an instant favorite.

In addition to the calendar, dalla nonna’s collection includes delicate initials and adorable sapphire clusters—all of which are ideal for collecting, layering and gift-giving. Inspired by a love of family and tradition, the line’s name fittingly means “from the grandmother” in Italian.

We sat down with designers Jessica Bohrer and Rebecca Richards to find out more about the line, their most beloved dalla nonna pieces, and their favorite New York City haunts. Read on!

How did you two find each other?

We met in college at the University of Pennsylvania—Jess from sunny Miami, Florida and Becca from the heartland of Tulsa, Oklahoma—where we bonded over a shared love of all the most important things in life: family, love, laughter and, of course, accessories!

Did you both always want to be jewelry designers?

We’ve always been drawn to the creative worlds, we grew up playing in our grandmothers’ jewelry boxes and we’re crazy detail-oriented, so jewelry design was just the perfect fit. After a few years of brainstorming creative venture ideas over brick-oven pizza, inspiration struck with the idea for the calendar necklace, and dalla nonna was born.

You are both lawyers in addition to jewelry designers. How do you manage to juggle your double lives?

It does sound a little hectic, doesn’t it?! Maintaining the balance can be a challenge, but we love it. Designing allows us to channel our creative energy while “lawyering” helps us to sharpen our best problem-solving skills.

Describe dalla nonna in three words.

Chic. Custom. Vintage-inspired.

Tell us the story behind the calendar.

The calendar necklace®—our signature piece—was derived from an old tie pin of Jess’ Grandpa Howard that her Grandma Rose repurposed into a necklace for Jess and her mother to wear. We fell in love with the idea of taking something vintage and giving it a modern twist- especially something we could hold so close to our hearts.

Which piece do you wear most often?

J: I rarely leave home without my calendar necklace or cuff marking my Grandma Rose’s birthday and a stack of portafortuna rings in rose gold with a mix of sapphire colors.

B: I never ever take off my rose gold little letters—“a” and “d” for my kids—or my anniversary calendar necklace in yellow gold. For a night out, I am usually found in my portafortuna hoops and two (or three) stacking rings with yellow & blue sapphires.

As New Yorkers, what are your favorite New York City activities?

Where to begin! Gallery hopping in Chelsea. Cocktails at ABC Kitchen. Secret shows at the Highline Ballroom. People watching along the Hudson River Park. Manis at TenOverTen. Quirky movies at the Sunshine. Dessert at Big Gay Ice Cream. And of course, J worships in the church of Soul Cycle.

What are your hopes for the future of dalla nonna?

We look forward to expanding our collections, growing the brand, and continuing to create jewels that make our clients sparkle inside and out.

Shop our entire dalla nonna collection here.

Q&A with Ali on the Lyst Blog

Ali in Shourouk and our Lulu Frost Hand-Painted Revolution Necklace

Last week, innovative fashion marketplace Lyst featured Charm & Chain as their go-to for all their jewelry needs. The curation-based shopping platform invites e-commerce sites like us to post our products and enables shoppers to create a personalized feed of their favorite products from the stores they love. Think Pinterest but exclusively for shopping. (Pretty cool, right?)

In our opinion, the most fun feature of the site are the editorialized “Collection” pages, which allow us e-tailers to break down the latest trends by curating themed shopping pages. In honor of our latest SPRING BLING Collection, the Lyst team sat down with our founder, Ali, to pick her brain on everything from spring jewelry trends to her all-time style icon.

Read the Q&A here!

Happy Birthday, March Babies!

Here at Charm & Chain, we take birthstones seriously. Our founder Ali, born in September, grew up wearing a blue sapphire on her finger, while our editorial associate, Marisa, works aquamarines into her daily ring stacks. Like monograms, zodiacs and spiritual symbols, birthstones are a wearable representation of one’s identity. And a fancy one, at that!

March is the month of aquamarine: the serene, pale blue stone commonly confused with blue topaz. Like May’s emerald, aquamarine is actually a form of beryl and means, as you could probably guess, “water of the sea.” Fitting for March’s Pisces!

For all those celebrating a birthday this month, the three styles above are dedicated to you!

Clockwise from left: Wendy Mink Multi-Stone Drop Earrings, Sarah Chloe Eilona Necklace, and Bounkit Moonstone & Aquamarine Studs.

Best Jeweled: Oscar Jewelry 2014

Our favorite night of the year has come and gone, but the jewelry inspiration still remains. Last night’s Oscars saw an abundance of diamond collars, statement earrings, jeweled hair pieces, edgy studs and ear cuffs, and we’re taking notes! Take a jewel queue from these Hollywood stars and shop baubles inspired by their red carpet looks.

Photos from Just Jared.