Guest Blogger: Sara Friedlander

Charm & Chain is thrilled to present our new guest blog series, a showcase of fashion essentials and inside tips from exclusive tastemakers that truly know best! Given that so much of our jewelry is wearable art, we thought it only natural to start with Sara Friedlander of Christie’s (and longtime fan of Charm & Chain!). Post-War and Contemporary Art Specialist Sara Friedlander has worked at Christie’s in New York for the past five years and is responsible for securing paintings, works on paper, photography and sculpture from 1950 to today for auction. Sara’s biannual First Open Sale is an auction geared toward a younger audience and those just beginning to build their own collections.

So much of the jewelry that Charm & Chain showcases would look just as stunning displayed on a wall in a gallery as it would on a woman. To draw the obvious comparison of jewelry to art, I selected five of my favorite pieces from the site and compared them to amazing works of Post-War and Contemporary Art.

Window to Wonderland Necklace by frieda&nellie

I love the materials and the execution of this stunning necklace. It reminds me of a Sheila Hicks sculpture, whose recent exhibition at the ICA blew me away. Just like this seminal American artist, frieda&nellie brilliantly combine a crafty sensibility with a fine art technique. I’d wear this with a black pants suit and hope it didn’t detract too much from the art!

Liquid Gold Triangle Ring by Alexis Bittar

Alexis Bittar’s classic Liquid Gold Triangle ring mimics the clean and Modernist lines of a Max Bill sculpture. Max Bill actually apprenticed as a silversmith in the late 1920s before studying at the Bauhhaus under Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee in the early 1930s. On a technical note, both the ring and the sculpture explore central themes of topology and the classification of surfaces and their analogues in higher dimensions.

Parrot Ring by Noir

Oriental, psychedelic, surreal, and decorative, Noir’s addictive line of baubles echos the outrageous phantasmagoria in the surfaces of Calcutta-born, British based Raqib Shaw’s canvases. Like the artist, Noir incorporates a veritable Natural History Museum catalogue of flora and fauna in each and every piece designed. Noir’s distinctive enamel-like surfaces are similar to the jewel-like quality of Shaw’s paintings populated by the flowers, insects, birds, animals, and monsters of the artist’s imaginary universe. Both designer and artist recognize the inherent beauty and decorative qualities that lie beneath the surface of the everyday creature.

Sophie Earrings by DANNIJO

In the mid 1960s, American artist Brice Marden developed a technique of mixing melted beeswax with oil paint in order to reduce the shine of the paint and to increase the tactility of the painted surface. First drawing on a subtle palette of gray and muted tones, and later on stronger richer colors and multi-panel combinations, he established his artistic reputation with this technique. He likened his triptych beeswax paintings, including Red, Yellow, Blue Painting, to musical chords. These Sophie Earrings feel like the wearable incarnation of this Minimalist master. Just perfect.

18k Gold Diamond Number Necklace, Assorted Numbers 5-9 by Lulu Frost CODE

The simplicity and poignancy of the number makes this piece by Lulu Frost CODE so central to my everyday wardrobe. The subject of the number is central to the art of Pop Artist Robert Indiana who sees each number as being both an abstract idea and a representation of the physical presence of numbers in life. Like Indiana, we all associate many significant memories from our own lives with numbers—age, date, apartment number, anniversary. I have a particular affinity for the number five, which, according to Indiana, represents aiming toward the prime of life. Clearly, this one needs to be mine.

-Sara

Highlights from DANNIJO’s SS12 Presentation

One of the highlights of my Fashion Week was the DANNIJO Spring/Summer 2012 presentation. The designers’ inspiration behind this collection was threefold—Indonesian Surf Culture, the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead, and Mark Rothko’s artwork. The effect was trippy with a tribal feel—neons, skulls, Asian coins, and turquoise horns—and was the best DANNIJO collection yet from designers Danielle and Jodie Snyder.

Here I am at the presentation, caught on camera in deep conversation (about jewelry, naturally!).

Erickson Beamon Spring 2012: The Redemption of Eve and the Return to the Garden

Erickson Beamon threw an over-the-top presentation this weekend at Milk Studios to showcase their new Spring 2012 collection. Think dancers in drag, life-size bejeweled statues, oversized plants, bright flowers, tons of feathers, and dramatic live cello music. To get a taste of the crazy, mystical world Erickson Beamon created, where their decadent crystal jewelry still took center stage, watch the video above and see photos here.

Obsession of the Week: Frangos Fringed Bib Necklace

While shopping in one of my favorite mostly-vintage stores, I was lucky enough to discover Frangos, a small jewelry line based out of Athens, Greece. Fast forward three years, and they’ve developed quite a following at Charm & Chain! Our clients go crazy over the brightly colored, crystal-centric crystal pieces with a lot of bling for the buck. 

This necklace, from the new Fall 2011 collection (just arrived!), is my new favorite piece for a night out. Unapologetically bold, with crystals in every color of the rainbow and fringe galore, this is the quintessential statement necklace that only needs a white t-shirt to go along with it.

Obsession of the Week: Frangos Fringed Bib Necklace

While shopping in one of my favorite mostly-vintage stores, I was lucky enough to discover Frangos, a small jewelry line based out of Athens, Greece. Fast forward three years, and they’ve developed quite a following at Charm & Chain! Our clients go crazy over the brightly colored, crystal-centric crystal pieces with a lot of bling for the buck.

This necklace, from the new Fall 2011 collection (just arrived!), is my new favorite piece for a night out. Unapologetically bold, with crystals in every color of the rainbow and fringe galore, this is the quintessential statement necklace that only needs a white t-shirt to go along with it.

Lulu Frost Spring 2012 Presentation

Last Wednesday, Lisa Salzer of Lulu Frost presented her Spring 2012 jewelry collection at her high-ceilinged New York showroom, formerly the original Lord & Taylor store. In line with the collection, called “Endless Summer”, the space was fittingly transformed into a beach scene, with models dripping in gold jewelry and decked in retro swimwear, lounging on beach chairs and blankets. Custom made surfboards hung from the air while the classic ’60s surf flick Endless Summer, an inspiration for the collection, was projected onto the wall.

This Lulu Frost collection was by far my favorite from the designer (maybe because I wanted every single piece for myself?). As the main element in the collection, Lisa used pear and marquise-shaped brass discs that linked together to form different statement necklace and earring silhouettes. The pieces were complemented by chunks of natural stone, vintage findings, and colored strips of suede. There a lot of soft-colored neturals—light pinks, greens, turquoises, and yellows—perfect for spring and summer. Overall, the collection felt very balanced between bold statement jewelry and organic pieces perfect for everyday wear. I particularly loved the the amazingly ornate ankle bracelets and upper-arm cuffs. All the jewelry, most importantly, still had the signature vintage-goes-modern Lulu Frost flair.

Celebrate Fashion’s Night Out with Us!

We know, we know—Fashion’s Night Out is a celebration where, in major cities, people take to the streets and go store hopping all night long for drinks and retail therapy. But if you already have shopping on the brain this morning, we’re giving you 20% off all day long to start stocking up on Fall jewelry essentials. And if you don’t live in a city where you can go out and shop from 6-11PM EST tonight, we’re adding a little fun to your “Fashion’s Night In” and giving live jewelry advice online through our personal shopper requests. Submit any burning jewelry or fashion queries here and I’ll personally be answering with styling advice and jewelry recommendations.

To enjoy our 20% discount (today only!), use code “CCFNO” at checkout. Expires at 11:59 PM EST.

Obsession of the Week: Exclusive Gemma Redux Ombre Bangle Set 

We’re in love with this bangle set by Gemma Redux that has one bracelet for each of the four metal tones—rose gold, gold, silver, and gunmetal. The set, exclusive to Charm & Chain, is perfect to have on hand when you want a casual, just-threw-these-on look, or to select individual bangles for a sleek, minimalist feel. I personally love the combination of all four metals worn at once—it adds a tough edge to any wrist. Plus, these bracelets are incredibly fun to play with—they feel like the jewelry equivalent of a Slinky!

Obsession of the Week: Exclusive Gemma Redux Ombre Bangle Set

We’re in love with this bangle set by Gemma Redux that has one bracelet for each of the four metal tones—rose gold, gold, silver, and gunmetal. The set, exclusive to Charm & Chain, is perfect to have on hand when you want a casual, just-threw-these-on look, or to select individual bangles for a sleek, minimalist feel. I personally love the combination of all four metals worn at once—it adds a tough edge to any wrist. Plus, these bracelets are incredibly fun to play with—they feel like the jewelry equivalent of a Slinky!