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Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts to Love from The Accessories Council’s 2014 #ACTopPicks

If there is one organization that knows about accessories, it is the Accessories Council, who celebrates their 20th anniversary of highlighting great fashion accessory brands to the consumer. For this very reason, we naturally look to them for great holiday gift ideas for everyone on your list. We hope you’re ready because we’re sharing gifts for every budget, gifts for stockings and under the tree, gifts that will bring you and the recipient joy, and gifts that give back through their charitable connections.

GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK

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  1. Vasi Moda B Scarf, $105.00 – The “B” Square is the quintessential unisex accessory for pocket squares, wrist ties, purses, neck scarves, and hair styling. It is available in 12 different print designs and are each composed of the same precise detail, vibrant colors, and artistic elements of the signature VASI Signature scarf line. Get 30% off with discount code: HOLIDAY2014 on www.vasimoda.com.
  2. Mujus Bam Bracelet, $38.00 – This lightweight bracelet is made from polished, multicolored teardrop-shaped tagua seeds, that are strung together on elastic cord. Available on www.mujus.com.
  3. Mujus Gema Necklace, $69.00 – Named “Gema” because the tagua seed it’s made from gleams like a gemstone, this handcrafted necklace is an eco-friendly way to look glamorous. Available on www.mujus.com.
  4. Easter Seals Gives Back Bracelets by ElyseRyan, $35.00 – These edgy bracelets boasts sleek dangling charms that convey messages of partnership, love, and giving back. They are finished in timeless gold, vintage rose, artisan silver, metallic hematite, and ElyseRyan’s signature design. Available on www.esgivesback.com and www.elyseryan.com.
  5. Leigh Ann Barnes V.I.P Unlimited Bands, $18.00 – 40.00 – Handcrafted and created by survivors of domestic violence, their convertible hair accessories gies women in shelters the chance to earn money. Available on www.vipunlimitedbands.com.

MUST-HAVE JEWELRY

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  1. BeltEnvy Buckle Pendant Necklaces, Leather Wrist Straps or Stretch Belts, $70.00 – $165.00 – Features Belt Envy’s original artwork on a silver or Bronze buckle and embellished with genuine Swarovski® crystals. These interchangeable pieces (pendants come with black or brown suede cord, belt buckles fit 1 1/2″ belt straps, and wrist medallions are changeable with its reversible leather wrist straps (sold separately). Get 50% off at www.BeltEnvy.com with promo code ACC50
  2. Carolee Word Play Double Take Bangle Collection, $45.00 – A series of Double Take Bangles that allows a woman to wear her own personal story. The bangles feature a two-sided, spinning charm with a design on one side and meaningful words on the other. The can be worn in multiples and stacked with other bracelets. Available on www.carolee.com.
  3. Todd Reed Fancy Colored Diamond Earrings in 18k Yellow Gold, $59,400.00 – Stunning raw diamonds give a unique look to these dazzling earring which boasts 18k gold, fancy cut diamonds (50.086ctw), and white brilliant cut diamonds (1.288ctw). Available at Greenwich Jewelers
  4. Zero Rules Blow Harmonicas, $68.00 – High fashion meets rock and roll with these adorable stainless steel harmonica necklaces (and they work). The harmonicas sit on a 27″ ball chain and special engraving is available for $10 as a personalized gift (can include name, quotes, etc). Get yours today on on www.adihitchcock.com.
  5. Anne Klein Watch and Bracelets Set (AK 1462 TOST), $150.00 – The set includes a polished, goldtone watch with a bezel set with dozens of brilliant Swarovski crystals plus two coordinating, independent bracelets, one with Tortoise resin and goldtone accents, and an open link goldtone bracelet which can be worn together or separately. Available at Macy’s, www.macys.com, Lord & Taylor and www.lordandtaylor.com.
  6. Roman & Sunstone Eternally Radiant Sterling Silver Round & Square CZ Stud, $30.00 – These high quality earrings come packaged in a beautiful black velvet gift box. They will dazzle your family and friends, and add some much needed sparkle to any LBD. Available on www.RomanSunstone.com.
  7. Swarovski Pebble Pendant and Pebble Ring, $180.00 Each – This modern, elegant pendant reflects the organic trend. Its smooth, bold silhouette is complemented by sparkling crystal Pointiage®. The ring captures the organic shapes trend; its smooth, domed silhouette is polished rose gold plated metal, complemented by sparkling crystal Pointiage®. Get both on www.swarovski.com, and at all Swarovski boutiques.
  8. Black Lace Skin Jewelry, $15.00-$38.00 – A unique collection of stunning jewelry designed to be worn on the bare skin. The brand boasts temporary tattoos and semi-sheer, lace-heavy, next-to-the-skin fashions that are inspired by striking ornaments, rich velvet fabrics, and gorgeous jewels.

BAGS AND PURSES

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  1. JGEREN The Cedar, $495.00 – The Cedar, a chic and edgy premium leather clutch, allows you to be “hands-free” with never having to worry about setting your bag down. It boasts a premium leather with a suede and leather interior lining, low-profile magnetic closure, and a distinctive hand-lacing finish. Available on www.jgeren.com or at Paul Miller Boutique in Chicago.
  2. Mary Lai Maeve Mix Tape Wristlet, $108.00 – The Maeve leather pouch/wristlet can be used as a makeup bag, clutch, making it a perfect gift to the beauty lover in your life. Get your name printed on the Mix Tape Wristlet for free with purchase, by emailing info@marylai.com. get this cutie on shop.marylai.com.
  3. Betsey Johnson Be-Mine Overnight Weekend Bag, $158.00 – Light-weight, with lots of great storage, the Be-Mine Overnight Weekend bag is the perfect carry-on for your winter getaway! Available on www.betseyjohnson.com.
  4. Luxchilas Backchila, $250.00 – Made in Colombia, this traditional Wayuu mochila bag is transformed into a comfortable and trendy backpack. It boasts 100% cotton, handwoven in crochet technique, is fully lined with interior pockets, leather flap with fine hardware and adjustable straps. Get this vibrant bags on www.luxchilas.com.
  5. Tika Urbinata Convertible Backpack/ Shoulder Bag & Crossbody, $224.00 – Go from chic backpack to a shoulder bag and crossbody combo. This calfskin and wool combination, with adjustable/removable handles, easily converts into a crossbody or shoulder bag. This trendy and practical bag is available in Black, Yellow, Red, and Blue and can be purchased on www.bagsbytika.eu.
  6. Dolce Vita The Charlotte Crossbody, $108.00 – The Charlotte crossbody features supple leather with embossed lizard trim. It features diagonal zippered pockets with a bold metal puller hardware, interior credit card organization, and a removable crossbody chain strap. Available on www.dolcevitahandbags.com.
  7. Leigh Ann Barnes The Sophisticate Bag, $760.00 – $2,200.00 – A Luxe Doctor’s satchel with a removable and changeable clutch. Change from color block to monochromatic hues, python to fur with the collectible clutches, which interchange with ease. Clutch selections include genuine python, fur, calf hair, cork. Each bag comes with official US currency coin charms for good fortune Available on www.leighannbarnes.com.

GIFTS FOR HIM

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  1. Auburn Jewelry Custom Pendant, & Cufflinks, $45.00 – $115.00 – Auburn Jewelry creates custom sterling silver, 14k gold and enamel pieces individually crafted by hand. These monogram initial cufflinks, featured above in sterling and black, are available in 18 standard colors. Available on www.auburn-jewelry.com.
  2. Ransom Bracelets, $60.00 – $200.00 – Ransom’s Bracelets feature matte black onyx beads, leather, cable chains, etc with Blade pendant and engraved Ransom logo. Available on www.ransomjewels.com.
  3. Ilori Bulgari La Gemma Sunglasses, $1160.00 – The 2014 Limited Edition Bulgari La Gemma sunglasses are ultimate in chic and will frame your face in luxury. They feature Ebony Wood temples, unique use of precious materials with sophisticated craftsmanship and manufacturing techniques. Available on www.iloristyle.com.
  4. Barton Como Ike Behar Cufflinks, $148.00 – $198.00 – These Ike Behar cufflinks will add a bit of classic style to his signature style. Known for their craftsmanship, quality, elegance, and style, these cufflinks pair perfectly with the classic dress shirts, ties, and jackets Ike Behar is known for. Available on www.ikebehar.com and www.macys.com.
  5. Barton Como Robert Graham Cufflinks, $130.00 – $165.00 – Robert Graham was created on the premise of introducing sophisticated, eclectic style to the fashion market. Available on www.robertgraham.us and www.nordstrom.com.

There were just so many wonderful gift options recommended by the Accessories Council, much more than all you see above. We’re sure you’ll see lots of great ideas for your friends and family. Naturally we have our favorites, and items for our wishlists, we want to know, what are yours?

2012 AGTA Spectrum Awards | Exquisite Award-Winning Jewelry

Several weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the 2012 AGTA Spectrum Awards, considered the finest jewelry and gemstone competition in the world. I even got the chance to vote on my three favorites (an amazingly difficult task) and I was trying to wait to find out if any of my choices was voted as Editor’s Pick but I sadly I guess it didn’t. The AGTA Spectrum Awards featured over 500 pieces of jewelry from designers like Erica Courtney, Heather Moore, Katey Brunini and Todd Reed (who I’ve previously featured on this blog) along with museum-quality gemstones. Each piece is examined by hand with an eye for craftsmanship and quality of the materials used.

The AGTA Spectrum Awards features various categories like Bridal Wear, Business/Day wear, Classical, Evening Wear, Mens Wear, etc. Once you see some of these pieces, you will see why it was so difficult to select just three. Below are just a few of my favorites. If I had to post all of my favorites, this would be an extremely long post (and yes, I had to choose only three out of all of these). To see more exquisite jewelry and designers, click on each bold /red title category below

Bridal Wear

18K white and rose gold “Mimosa” pendant by Yehouda Saketkhou

18K white and rose gold ring featuring two half-moon Diamonds by Alan Friedman (my dream engagement ring)

Business/Daywear

Platinum pin/pendant featuring carved black Onyx with Emerald cabochons by Mark Schneider

18K white gold brooch carved Aquamarine accented with Diamonds by Naomi Sarna


18K white gold ring featuring black and white pave Diamonds by Lawrence Gordon

Classical

Art Deco Platinum and 18K yellow gold necklace by Ricardo Basta (he actually had several pieces I absolutely loved)

18K white gold “Wheel of Fortune” pendant by Sean Ryan

Evening Wear (I must admit, most of my favorite pieces are from this category)

18K yellow gold ring featuring a carved black Jade fish with fire Opals by Manya Tessler

I love this statement piece – Palladium and 22K yellow gold locket featuring blue Moonstones, grey and white Diamonds, blue Sapphires opening to reveal a Moldavite Buddha by Todd Reed (this amazing wearable art won Best in Show)

18K rose, white and yellow gold Flamingo brooch by Wilfried Kowollik

Now that I’ve showed you a few of my favorites, what are yours?

About the AGTA Spectrum Awards


The AGTA Spectrum Awards™ is considered the most respected and prestigious creative award for the design industry. Launched in 1984, the AGTA Spectrum Awards™ honors, recognizes and promotes designers whose work utilizes natural colored gemstones and cultured pearls in finished fine jewelry design. It has become the benchmark for jewelry designers striving to gain recognition for their work. In 1991, the AGTA created the Cutting Edge Awards to honor creativity in lapidary arts, including faceted gems and pearls, carvings, and objects of art. Both are a true contest of workmanship, creativity and innovation. Winners set the standards of excellence for our entire industry. The Spectrum Awards competition has launched trends, increased visibility for designer jewelry, and inspired great innovation in use of color and materials.

Todd Reed’s Exquisite Raw Diamond Jewelry

For centuries, the term diamond had been associated with brilliance and clarity until Todd Reed redefined this thought to celebrate the “perfect geometry” found in the natural rawness of the uncut diamond. Todd Reed’s jewelry evokes an intimate connection between art and an individual’s self-expression. If you’re not into the traditional C’s (Cut, Color, Clarity, etc) and want diamond jewelry that’s a bit more special, then Todd Reed’s exquisite jewelry is for you. Mr. Reed showcased his latest enchanting pieces to a semi-intimate crowd. Some of my favorite pieces (and there were many) include this modern Cuff made with 18k gold, sterling silver with patina, natural colored rose cut diamonds (6.79 ctw), raw diamond cubes (5.73 ctw), hand forged and fabricated

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This other modern cuff (which Mr. Reed told me was his favorite) in Palladium, sterling silver, aquamarine (22.345 ctw), gray brilliant cut diamonds (6.82 ctw), white brilliant cut diamonds (1.195 ctw) white princess cut diamonds (1.1 ctw), hand forged and fabricated.

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What I hope will be my future engagement ring and the beauty I called the galaxy ring because (although you can’t really see it in this photo), it contains a cluster of mesmerizing lights in various shades that looks like a galaxy a la the first Men in Black’s “Galaxy in a marble” – a palladium, black pear-shaped fancy cut diamond (1.67ctw), white brilliant cut diamonds (.08 ctw), hand forged and fabricated.
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and this very artistic and avant-garde pave ring

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I had a chance to speak one on one with Todd Reed about his collection and introducing the natural beauty of raw, uncut diamonds.

Later that evening, Todd Reed had a cocktail party featuring absolutely delicious noshes from celebrity Chefs Hosea Rosenberg and Lee Ann Wong on Top Chef fame. So if you are looking for more unconventional jewelry, feast your eyes on a few more of Todd Reed’s genius designs featuring all raw and uncut diamonds of various colors, shapes and sizes:

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