Jewelry Stylists Pull Together Looks

Untitled-4-01We all know about celebrity stylists — those miracle workers who advise stars and assemble stunning and distinctive looks for them. A great stylist can pick out outfits that reflect your personality and make you look better than you ever thought you could.

My new friend Brianna Miller is like one of those stylists, but she specializes in jewelry. She has what many women would consider a dream job. As a jewelry stylist, she is an artist who works not with paint and brushes, but with gorgeous necklaces, earrings, bracelets and pins. Her canvas is every woman ready to play with new ways of wearing her favorite pieces.

Think about how some talented interior designers can rearrange your own furniture and then add just the right fresh pieces in up-to-date styles and colors. Suddenly your same old, same old space looks new. That is kind of like what happens when a good jewelry stylist like Brianna Miller gets to work on your jewelry wardrobe.

 

While working at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills, Miller discovered –and honed — her gift for styling and selecting the right jewelry for every ensemble. Her creativity and eye for color, textures, and proportions helped her succeed, but she also learned to “read” a woman’s lifestyle and fashion profile.

“For me, styling is all about finding my client’s personal style and drawing it out,” she says. “It’s about elevating her style to make her the best version of yourself.”

She loves hearing women report back to her things like “everyone told me I looked fabulous, but it wasn’t about one specific piece — it was about the entire look!”

 

The flexibility of mixing jewelry drew Miller to Ippolita, the line of distinctive hand-crafted jewelry launched by Italian designer Ippolita Rostagno. She now works at the company, designing jewelry, merchandising, and of course, styling.  A California native, Miller grew up in Malibu and her own personal style combines cool, casual freshness with luxury.

 

The last time I worked with an experienced jewelry stylist, I had a great time. She showed me a bunch of options for putting different necklaces earrings and bracelets with the same outfits. It was amazing how the jewelry completely transformed the look. She used jewelry that I would never have thought of using with some of the casual looks and then with some of the dressy looks.

We were working with some new pieces in the store, but then she helped me with my own personal look. I already mix jewelry styles frequently, but this stylist helped me learn fresh new combinations. For instance, I sometimes wear my mother’s giant sparkling cross with Ippolita long layered necklaces. I would never have thought of that.

They say a great jewelry stylist can open your eyes to new ways of seeing and wearing things. You don’t have to be a movie star to enjoy the benefits of a celebrity jewelry stylist – come meet Brianna Miller at Tres Mariposas Friday, May 10, to see what she suggests to go best with your own necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings. Your new jewelry pieces will feel like old favorites and your old jewelry will gain a new lease on life!

It’s a crazy changing jewelry world in El Paso

It’s was big El Paso news, verging on the excitement level of gossip, when Lacy & Company announced their Going-Out-of-Business Sale in November.

Ellen and Charles Lacy built an amazing jewelry business that had taken care of El Pasoans for over two decades.  But retirement beckoned and they heeded the siren call.

Since then, El Paso jewelry retailers and customers have been atwitter about changes.  Customers immediately began asking us as Tres Mariposas, “What are we going to do?  It won’t be the same.”

Although national jewelry store operator Ben Bridge has taken Lacy’s space, I predict that not one jewelry store will replace them. Different stores are strong in different areas.

So here’s a quick update on how the retail jewelry landscape is changing.  It’s my job to keep you up with the gossip!

  • Ben Bridge Jeweler, 7040 N. Mesa St.  Ben Bridge is a well-known chain of jewelry stores. Their new El Paso store, which they are calling “Ben Bridge Jeweler, formerly Lacy & Co” is stocked with core Ben Bridge merchandise with the icing sprinkled on top by Ellen Lacy.
  • Deutsche & Deutsche Fine Jewelry and Watches, Fountains at Farah.  With stores in McAllen, Laredo and Houston, Deutsche & Deutsche is taking advantage of the changes in the El Paso market, and taking the leap to the new Fountains mall.  You may have already seen their teaser billboards.  Deutsche & Deutsche is especially known for watches.
  • J. Edwards Diamonds, 7430 N. Mesa St. and 1840 Joe Battle Blvd. These stores are known for their amazing bridal business. Gina Silverman of J. Edwards says they haven’t seen an impact from local changes.  Gina is remodeling the Westside store so watch for a glamorous update.
  • Jewel Gallery, 7134 N. Mesa. Linda Medrano has carved a niche specializing in estate jewelry.
  • Johnson Jewelers, 5860 N. Mesa St. and 1320 N. Zaragoza Rd.  El Pasoans know Randy Johnson from his ad campaigns, “I want to be your jeweler.”
  • Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry and Watches, 5857 N. Mesa St.  Susan is a brilliant master gemologist and artist.  She has created a special niche in helping clients with estate planning and appraisals.
  • Sheldon Jewelry, 5446 N. Mesa St.  One of the oldest businesses in our city, this store was founded in the old Sheldon Hotel in 1912. The well-loved Kligman family has owned the store for decades.
  • Tres Mariposas, 5857 N. Mesa St.  The fine jewelry segment of our business had already grown tremendously over the last five years.  We thought that with this change in the market, why not take our jewelry focus to the next level?  Former Lacy & Company employees Carmen Bagby and Flori Trudeau approached me about bringing their expertise and energy to Tres Mariposas – and I was thrilled.  We are now constructing a new Jewelry Boutique within Tres Mariposas to accommodate more fine jewelry lines with a fashion focus.

So there you have it: a look at El Paso’s jewelry landscape! A rising tide lifts all boats and all of us retailers can benefit from the exciting developments on the horizon.

20th Annual YWCA Luncheon: Better Than Ever

I have two questions. First, how do they do it?  Every year, the women of the YWCA have an incredible speaker at their annual April luncheon – and every year it gets better. I’ve long had a special interest in the YWCA, and I eagerly anticipate this annual event. This year’s guest is world-class financial guru Suze Orman. What a coup for this important fundraiser!

USA Today has called Orman “a force in the world of personal finance” and a “one-woman financial advice powerhouse.” A two-time Emmy Award-winning television host, New York Times bestselling author, magazine and online columnist, and a highly sought-after motivational speakers, Orman has it all: fame AND brains, style AND substance.

As a numbers person, an accountant by training, I’m interested in what she has to say. But as a fan of fashion, my second question is this: What she will wear?

It’s no accident that a dynamo like Suze has an amazing wardrobe and always looks great. However, it’s not just a matter of income: I think that most successful women know the positive impact of personal style.

In my opinion, Suze is a very smart and savvy woman who has made personal style part of her success.  So how does she do it?  And what tips might there be for the rest of us? Let’s think about what we can learn from her.

  • Her style is genuine.  Suze Orman’s style is a reflection of her bright personality and her common sense approach to life.  She hasn’t copied someone else.  She doesn’t flip flop who she is from year to year.
  • Color.  Orman uses the power of color to her advantage and she likes solid colors. She doesn’t get stuck in a black rut like some of us do (who, me?)

    Face framing perfection

    Face framing perfection

Face Framing Take Two!

Face Framing Take Two!

  • The flattering face-framing neckline.  Orman use collars to her advantage.  She often turns up the collar up to frame her face, or wears a neckline designed to illuminate her face.
Relaxed but oh so stylish!

Relaxed but oh so stylish!

  • Sporty-relaxed-modern-classic style.  Orman’s style doesn’t fit in a single category – she picks what works for her across the board. She does not stray into the showy-trendy styles and yet she does not come across as stuffy. On the other hand she uses classic like wonderful woven cotton shirts and tailored pants.
Lengthy aspirations!

Lengthy aspirations!

  • Great Jackets.  Orman knows her body type and knows she looks great in longer length jackets. She’s right.
Luxurious leather.

Leather Jackets are just right!

  • Leather.  She wears leather jackets often. I agree, you can’t beat a leather jacket — versatile, luxurious, and easy.
  • Hair style.  Orman keeps her do smart, short, and casual.  Short hair and highlights, especially for someone with her golden tan, are proven strategies for a more youthful look.
  • Appropriate use of jewelry.  TV personalities know you can’t go on air with giant jewelry and clunky bracelets to jingle into the microphone and flash off the camera. Orman doesn’t go overboard with accessories; she usually accents with earrings and a simple necklace that enhance her style and add to her glow.

Camouflage clothes: In fashion and in real life

Nan and her son Creed in Arizona

Nan and her son Creed in Arizona

Sometimes I write about fashion trends that are on a high. Other times I tell you about a trend that doesn’t really fly. Camouflage prints – those mottled olive green and gray patterns – are one of those trends that work elsewhere, but not here.

On my recent buying trips I saw a lot of camouflage prints trending for fall. I saw all kinds of camouflage prints on shoes, handbags, pants, shirts, and accessories. However, my experience with previous surges in camouflage fashion wear has taught me that this is not a favorite trend of El Paso women. So you won’t be seeing many camo-print items at Tres Mariposas this year.

On the other hand, over the last few years, I have developed a whole other kind of interest in my camouflage clothing, an awareness that was heightened this weekend. Lots of mothers can relate to my reason for this interest: I have a son serving in the military.

My husband and I took a weekend road trip to Tucson, the home of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, to see him and I couldn’t have been more proud. Creed recently returned from Afghanistan, where he flew rescue missions, piloting high-tech Pave Hawk helicopters.

Creed has done an excellent job of trying to protect his mom from fearful thinking. “Oh, Mom, this deployment (his third), I’m pretty bored.  Not so much to do.”  This has fed so nicely into my tendency toward denial!

Now that he is back, I learned that, yes, he was bored some.  But in between the boredom, he and his crew were doing their real job:  flying into the heat of battle, facing enemy fire, and working their high adrenaline butts off to save the critically wounded.

You may have caught the very interesting National Geographic Series “Inside Combat Rescue,” where embedded cameramen followed Creed’s unit for four months. The series premiered in February.

Watching the program, I was keenly aware of how strong my denial had been. I am so relieved that he is back in the States! We had a great weekend, including fine dining at Anthony’s in Tucson and a mind-cleansing hike in the beautiful Sonoran Desert mountains. For a brief while, we were able to put military camouflage out of our minds.

“Now, for the first time in history, the United States Air Force is allowing cameras to follow these highly skilled airmen, with advanced medical training, to war…. With strategically placed cameras on airmen’s helmets and more than 40 cameras mounted both inside and outside of the Air Force’s HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, National Geographic Channel joins more than two dozen active missions, capturing each heart-pounding, unfiltered moment of war as never before. “When a soldier is down and time is running out, an elite unit of Air Force rescue warriors will risk their own lives to rescue those injured and clinging to life. In Afghanistan and around the world, Pararescuemen or PJs; their leaders, Combat Rescue officers; and their PaveHawk helicopter teammates fly into the heat of battle, often facing imminent enemy threats, to save the critically wounded. They’re part warrior, part guardian angel, part medic and ALL hero.” -- from National Geographic Channel’s program notes

“Now, for the first time in history, the United States Air Force is allowing cameras to follow these highly skilled airmen, with advanced medical training, to war…. With strategically placed cameras on airmen’s helmets and more than 40 cameras mounted both inside and outside of the Air Force’s HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, National Geographic Channel joins more than two dozen active missions, capturing each heart-pounding, unfiltered moment of war as never before.
“When a soldier is down and time is running out, an elite unit of Air Force rescue warriors will risk their own lives to rescue those injured and clinging to life. In Afghanistan and around the world, Pararescuemen or PJs; their leaders, Combat Rescue officers; and their PaveHawk helicopter teammates fly into the heat of battle, often facing imminent enemy threats, to save the critically wounded. They’re part warrior, part guardian angel, part medic and ALL hero.”
– from National Geographic Channel’s program notes