THE ALLURE OF A GRAND ENTRANCE: FOUR JEWELRY DESIGNERS YOU NEED TO KNOW

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By Gayle Theodora Drake

 Dear DREAMS Readers,

Imagine you’re at the elegant Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo for the Monaco Grand Prix and the drama begins to unfold as attendees arrive in stunning cars with an array of beautiful and celebrated hood ornaments: Rolls-Royce, Maybach, Bentley, Bugatti, and Mercedes-Benz. These symbols of luxury and prestige make a grand entrance and have endured the test of time.

Our Summer issue of DREAMS focuses on admired and sought-after cars. As an image consultant with an eye for the finer things, I have always appreciated an expertly designed car with a dashboard encased in cognac colored poplar wood, the subtle contrast stitching in leather seats, the progression and transformations in body shape along with the power behind a car’s engine that gets your heart pumping and adrenaline rushing. The gleam of a hood ornament is one of my favorite aspects of cars as they serve as storied emblems which honor their commitment to luxury and attention to detail.

Master craftsmanship and high-quality design is not only found in the cars we drive, but also in the statement jewelry we wear. We can all remember the famous shots of when Elizabeth Taylor made a grand entrance wearing Cartier’s Taylor-Burton 69.42 carat diamond necklace when meeting Grace Kelly at her 40th birthday or more recently, on the MET Gala red carpet, celebrities were dripping with jewels as they ascended the staircase.

We may not have access to Elizabeth Taylor’s treasure trove of jewels, but I highly recommend the following four jewelers whose designs will take you from the race track to the red carpet. These designers are people whom I admire for their dedication to creating stunning custom pieces, for clients.

After all, is there anything more fun than cruising through Malibu or Beverly Hills with lots of horsepower and made-to-order bling?

 

Left: Christi Schimpke, owner and designer of CRASH Jewelry. Top Right: A pair of cufflinks fashioned from a Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale in rosso corsa and from a white Ferrari 458. Bottom Right & Hero Image: Cuff made from two Bentley Continental GTs – one painted a light Windsor Blue and another in a rich white. All images are courtesy of CRASH Jewelry.

CRASH Jewelry

The idea for CRASH materialized when Christi Schimpke, a Masters of Art History and trained silversmith, first moved her studio into her husband’s Los Angeles based luxury body shop, Beverly Coachcraft, in 2013. Christi saw beauty in the discarded pieces of car metal, and discovered that the original factory paint reminded her of enameled jewelry and objets d’art. This inspired her to reclaim the discarded car metal and give it new life in the form of vibrant cuffs, earrings, necklaces, and cufflinks.

Christi designs and handcrafts the CRASH line of sustainable accessories using the metal from luxury vehicles. Her collections include jewelry from prestigious vehicles such as Mercedes-Benz, BMWs, Porsches, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Audis, Aston Martins, Rolls- Royce, Maseratis, and more.

CRASH Jewelry has an online store and also accepts custom commissions. Contact by email: info@crashjewelry.com; By phone: (310) 415-6064; or visit www.crashjewelry.com.

 

Images are courtesy of Marina Diamond & Watch.

Marina Diamond & Watch

Marina Diamond & Watch offers a unique approach to designing custom jewelry. Owner/CEO Patrick Kennedy began with a passion for diamonds and a love for reconnecting people with their most treasured memories. He believes in partnering with his clients in the design process to create timeless jewelry that honors a cherished memory. Patrick and I worked together on redesigning a diamond necklace, for a client of mine, transforming it into a pair of more versatile and on-trend earrings. Patrick also purchases estate jewelry for the purpose of recreating one-of-a-kind pieces into new modern designs, from gold, platinum, diamonds and gemstones.

Marina Diamond & Watch has an online store and also accepts custom commissions. Contact by email: Patrick@marinadiamondandwatch.com; By phone: (833) 832-6589; or visit www.marinadiamondandwatch.com.

 

Images courtesy of Gail Jewelers

Gail Jewelers

Gail Jewelers has been creating custom jewelry since 1949. For three generations, Gail Jewelers has made thousands of pieces for the most discerning customers. They are committed to designing each piece to fit perfectly, whether it is a necklace that flips or an earring that turns, they take the time and care to ensure it is perfect for their clients. When looking for something unique and not found elsewhere, Gail Jewelers is the one to call. With Gail, her husband Barry and their daughter Ruthie, you can trust that the design is timeless, classic and impeccable.

Gail Jewelers has 2 retail stores, an online store and accepts custom commissions. Contact by email: gail@gailjewelers.com; By phone – Newport Beach (949) 386-7688, Palm Desert (760) 656-6350; or visit www.gailjewelers.com.

 

Left: Headshot of Rosalina Lydster, designer and partner of VAKANZA. Photography by Alex Drachnik. Top and Bottomw Right: Photography by Dante.

VAKANZA Jewelry

Jewelry designer Rosalina Lydster and business partner Kimber Frankel, recently launched a couture costume jewelry line, VAKANZA, which delivers timeless and exclusive elegance.

Each piece is designed with the same amazing craftsmanship as those in her fine jewelry line (see inset). Rosalina is best known for her collection sold through Neiman Marcus, and her design and production of the 2008 Miss Universe crown, which showcased her dedication to individuality, creativity and perfection.

Rosalina is a third-generation jeweler and inherited her love and knowledge of design from her mother, who dressed socialites and dignitaries in Saigon throughout the 1960s. The designer’s lifelong exposure to the jewelry business and the various metals and stones educated her as an expert in identifying quality gems, and the combining of certain precious and intricate works of art.

Rosalina is currently a very sought-after designer by celebrities such as Gisele Bündchen, Jessica Alba, Dakota Fanning, Orlando Bloom, Elton John and many others.

Vakanza Jewelry has an online store and accepts custom commissions. Contact by email: vakanzaus.@gmail.com; By phone: (650) 680-5150; or visit www.vakanza.us.

Gayle Theodora Drake is the Contributing Fashion Editor for DREAMS Magazine. To learn more about Gayle visit  www.GayleTheodoraDrake.com or contact Gayle directly by phone: (310) 612-8095 or email: Gayle@GayleTheodoraDrake.com.

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