Tag Archives: Michelle Obama

The Jewelry Insider

January 20, 2013

Today’s Swearing-in Ceremony. Dress by Reed Krakoff.

President Obama’s Inauguration Weekend blowout is well underway. It’s historic. It’s inspiring. And SO not what we REALLY care about right now, OK?

What the ‘F’ will Michelle Obama wear on Inauguration Day, people! (excuse my ‘f”rench, but a girl’s gotta know.)

It’s the quintessential day-to-night dilemma with the morning ceremony on tap first ending with the ballroom circuit. Oh..and the entire world as your audience, Mrs. O. No pressure.

Inauguration Ball 2009: Jason Wu dress, Loree Rodkin diamond jewelry

Will it be another Jason Wu white off-the-shoulder number? Will she go bold with Isabel Toledo or Alexander McQueen? OR will she continue in her tradition of giving emerging designers a moment in the sun and choose someone we have yet to hear from on the national stage?

The great thing about this First Lady is it’s likely she will surprise us. And that’s what makes her fashion choices so much more fun to follow than the classic Oscar de la Renta ballgown brigade and pantsuit parades of First Ladies’ past. (Yes, I’m calling you out, Hillary and Laura! Zzzzzzzz).

All frock frothing aside – what can we look for in an Inaugural bauble? While I’ve seen Mrs. O rock a crazy Tom Binns statement necklace and wow us with some non-traditional Kimberly McDonald geodes, the Inaugural Ball is likely to bring out diamond basics (zzzzzzz).

State Dinner, 2012: Dress by Marchesa. Jewelry by Tom Binns
State Dinner, 2011: Dress by Alexander McQueen. Jewelry by Kimberly McDonald

I know, I know. Jewelry hounds won’t be happy with this. But an outrageous jewelry statement is probably not the message our First Family wants to send at this important moment in history.

The morning ceremony, however, may bring us a surprise. She wore (gasp!) diamonds in the daytime last time, so I’ll be looking for another inappropriately awesome display like perhaps a blinged out brooch (great for adding a splash of sparkle to outerwear).

Inauguration Ceremony, 2009. Dress by Isabel Toledo

What I DO know is that I’ll be ready to report on the designer duds that debut tomorrow right here – so stay tuned. I also love the coverage on the blog, Mrs. O, for those die-hards who like to follow her  fashion moves on a daily basis. You know who you are.

What do you think our First Lady will wear tomorrow? And more importantly? Bangs or no bangs.  Discuss.

The Jewelry Insider

March 15, 2012

 

It’s been a while since I’ve felt compelled to write about a Michelle Obama jewelry moment. Sadly, the heady early days of the Mrs. O fashion zeitgeist have faded,  and I’ve frankly stopped my White House-related treasure hunting altogether.

Until last night.

Michelle Obama “brought out the Binns” to light up the State Dinner honoring British Prime Minister, David Cameron and his wife Samantha, and I literally stopped in my tracks when I saw her on the news.

Hallelujah! The Fashionista-in-Chief is back!

 

The Divine Mrs. O set off her stunning teal Marchesa dress with a Tom Binns statement necklace made from a bonanza of teal, blue, silver and white pearls layered over a giant rhinestone piece, according to USMagazine.com.

“I love the addition of texture with the Tom Binns necklace,” Roksanda Ilincic, who dressed Obama for the evening, told reporters.

AND – she topped off the look with geode stud earrings by none other than Kimberly McDonald (another one of my favorites)!!!

 

Big. Deep. Breath.

Tom Binns, for the uninitiated is one of my all time favorite jewelry designers, known for his over-the-top statement pieces that are at once sculptural and whimsical, fashion-forward yet wearable. He designed an entire line around Alice In Wonderland, if that gives you any indication.

The last time Michelle Obama wore a Binns piece, she was on the other side of the pond at a black-tie dinner honoring the British royals.

 

Stunning, right? Perhaps the only thing that could keep my eyes off this exciting new addition to the Mrs. O jewelry hall of fame was this particular name on the guest list…

 

Maybe I’ll gate crash the next State Dinner…Who’s with me?

Michelle Obama’s State Dinner Sparkle

While green was the stand-out color at the Golden Globes, Washington DC was rockin in red as Michelle Obama stepped out at the administration’s third State Dinner (with Chinese president Hu Jintao) in a dream of a dress from Alexander McQueen.

Yes. THE Alexander McQueen – the design house known for reptile shoes, garbage can hats and runway shows that have tongues wagging long after the models go home to nurse their champagne hangovers.

I applaud her decision – not only because it was a risky choice (there were many designers of Chinese descent that could have been selected). But because she looked so darn good!

But enough about the dress (read more excellent McQueen/Michelle analysis here on the Daily Beast). I also loved her jewelry choice – a pair of ruby and geode teardrop earrings in 18kt gold from New York designer, Kimberly McDonald according to the Mrs. O blog.

Geode is having a huge moment, with Kelly Osbourne and Michelle Pfeiffer wearing the stone to the Golden Globes (both by McDonald), and the demand for jewelry made from more ‘natural’ materials still going strong for 2011.

The stone has a science fiction quality to it, I think – which is why it was the perfect compliment to a floor-length red hot Alexander McQueen masterpiece, whose reptile influences we all know and love (especially these shoes from a few seasons ago).

OK. I’ll stop gushing. I’m just so pleased we don’t have to endure another pants-suit-pearl-strand-laden First Lady fashion snoresville. Am I right? Somewhere, Jackie O is smiling….

Pearl Jewelry 101


From Coco Chanel to Michelle Obama, women have always considered pearl jewelry a must-have addition to their jewelry collections.

Ever wondered how those oysters manage to create such a shiny little miracle? Or what about the five most important factors to consider when buying pearls?

Here is a pearl primer from my sugar momma, Jewelry.com, that tells you all the pearls of wisdom you’ll ever need to know! Enjoy!

Pearl Jewelry 101:

Pearl, the birthstone for June, is among the most timeless, classic and treasured of all gems. Throughout history, pearls have been associated with wisdom, wealth, purity, romance and mystery. The ancient Egyptians were buried with them. In Rome, pearls were considered the ultimate symbol of wealth and status. The Greeks prized them for their beauty and association with love and marriage. Medieval knights wore them in battle as a talisman against injury. And during the Renaissance, some European countries banned all but nobility from the right to wear them.


It’s hard to believe that such a luscious, beautiful gem comes from such humble origins. A natural pearl starts out as a grain of sand or microscopic worm that works its way into an oyster and cannot be expelled. To protect its soft body from this irritant, the oyster secretes a smooth, hard crystalline substance called nacre. Layer upon layer of nacre coats the foreign object and hardens, ultimately forming a pearl. In general, the thicker the nacre, the richer the ‘glow’ of the pearl – which can greatly enhance its value.


Although early pearl gathering depended on divers braving the oceans’ depths to retrieve these treasures, the vast majority of pearls today are grown, or cultured, on pearl farms by surgically inserting a small shell bead, or nucleus, into the mantle of an oyster.

Even though pearls are harvested en masse on pearl farms, producing a quality pearl is an extremely rare event. It is estimated that half of all nucleated oysters do not survive – and of those that do, only 20% bear marketable pearls.

When shopping for pearls, the five factors that determine value are luster (surface brilliance); surface cleanliness (absence of spots, bumps or cracks); shape (generally, the rounder the pearl, the higher its value); color (pearls come in virtually every hue of the rainbow, and a few others, too); and size (the average pearl sold is 7-7.5 millimeters, but these gems can be as small as 1 millimeter or as large as 20 millimeters).

Because pearls are soft, ranking only 2.5-4.5 on the Mohs scale for hardness, they require special care. Natural oils from the skin, as well as hair spray, lotions and cosmetics, can dull their luster. Like other jewelry, they should be cleaned with a soft damp cloth and stored in cloth or cotton away from other jewelry to prevent scratching. Also, avoid allowing your pearl to come in contact with harsh chemicals, which can erode its surface. And if worn frequently, pearl necklaces should be brought to a jeweler once a year for re-stringing to prevent strand breakage.

Tom Binns Gets Real

Jewelry designer, Tom Binns, is having a good run. He’s Michelle Obama’s go-to guy for big statement pieces and he’s been tapped as one of the designers of the upcoming Alice In Wonderland jewelry line to debut when the film opens in the spring.


And while I love to drool over his over-the-top creations (he started his career working for fashion icon, Vivienne Westwood, to give you an idea) there’s the small matter of ‘price’ when it comes to owning a little Binns beauty of your own.

Until now.

I just discovered the Binns ‘Get Real’ jewelry line set to debut in Paris next month is a response to the troubled economic times that cramp a jewelry hound’s style. His solution? Cut out big jewelry from magazines, laminate it, wear it and call ‘er good.


Yup. The tongue-in-cheek ‘Get Real’ collection is made from photographs of rings, necklaces, earrings and watches clipped from glossy magazines that Binns reassembles, laminates and affixes with safety pin closures to add the final touch.

If it seems a little like cheating, think again. I kindof love the idea, and with the Tom Binns name, well, you’ve got a great conversation piece as well as a collectible statement jewel to throw in the mix.

What do you guys think? Would you buy laminated paper jewelry? Would the Tom Binns name a factor in your decision? Would you make your own? Weigh in!

The Jewelry Insider

December 8, 2009


Update: Rumor has it the necklace SJP is wearing here is a diamond snake from the Brangelina Asprey jewelry collection. To be continued…

Three leading ladies stole my heart recently with their icy jewelry fashion choices. It’s the holiday season after all – time to bring out the big guns.And while I certainly don’t have the budget to bling out like these fabulous females, it doesn’t hurt to break your lower jaw just lookin’ at ‘em, right?So.Here goes.

First up is Sarah Jessica Parker in a stunning wrap-around diamond creation worn to the UK premiere of her latest romantic comedy, Did You Hear About the Morgans? Hard to tell if the movie will be any better than her previous rom com outings post SATC (we’ll just call Failure to Launch a ‘minor’ misstep), but this diamond doozy more than makes up for her collecting the proverbial paycheck.

Next up is the leading lady who gives the term ‘family jewels’ new meaning. Queen Elizabeth stepped out this weekend in more carats than a bunny convention – giving her royal subjects and eyeful of ice just in time for the holiday season. Cherrio, mortals!

And finally – I just have to drool like the rest of the world over Michelle Obama’s Kennedy Center Honors ensemble.Purple is ‘her’ color, and she knocked it out of the park in a strapless Peter Soronen number with a Tom Binns gemstone statement necklace that couldn’t be more perfect (um, yeah, that lower jaw thing is happening).

What do you guys think of this triumvirate of taste? Am I scoring some good looks to satisfy your inner jewelry hound? Weigh in!

Michelle Obama’s Jewelry Statement


Statement necklaces are the perfect way to work that holiday party outfit this season, and I just discovered a fab way to wear them on none other than Michelle Obama.

It’s been a while since I’ve featured our First Lady’s fashion choices, but the thorough Mrs. O blog seems to have all that covered for those of us who are curious. That’s where I found this great holiday look that Obama wears on the cover of Glamour magazine this month. Jason Wu is credited with the fun and flirty red dress (apparently from Obama’s own closest – not a stylist) and the amazing statement necklace is Fenton by Dana Lorenz.

The Fashionista-in Chief has worn Fenton before, but this piece is simply bananas in my book – the ideal inspiration for our own holiday accessory selects. And everyone from department stores and flea markets to high-end boutiques are teeming with statement necklace styles this season after the runways indicated the category was here to stay.

What do you guys think of this look? Classic holiday chic? Or too over-the-top for your taste? Weigh in!

The Jewelry Insider

September 30, 2009

 


If Michelle Obama is ushering in a new era of power brooch diplomacy, she wouldn’t be the first. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a tenacious negotiator, loved to communicate her mood and intentions through her brooches, and now the Museum of Arts & Design in New York will exhibit 200 of her favorites.

Albright “found that what she wore and how she presented herself had a lot of interpretive meaning to those she was with,” said Holly Hotchner, the museum’s director. “The pins became an added way that she communicated as secretary of state.”

“Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection,” scheduled to open today, comes 10 years after the museum presented “Brooching It Diplomatically,” a show of pins created by contemporary artists inspired by the ones Albright wore.

“She started acquiring pins because of their inherent messages, their whimsical and pictorial quality,” said David Revere McFadden, the museum’s chief curator. “It’s not about jewels and gems, it’s about jewelry as a communication device.”

The collection is diverse, ranging from Americana styles — including flags and eagles — to ones with flora, fauna and insect themes. She always brought a selection with her on her travels so she could be ready for any situation.

For instance, Albright chose to wear a bee pinwhenever she felt talks amounted to “something like a sting,” McFadden said.

“It’s a very gentle way of saying to whomever she is speaking to: ‘Listen carefully because I’m kind of telling you where I think this conversation is going,”‘ he said.

When she thought negotiations would likely go well, she would wear a balloon pin. Another pin, made of stainless steel, shows the head of Lady Liberty with two watch faces for eyes, one of which is upside down. The pin allows both her and others to check the time.

I wonder how many times Albright said the word ‘pinhead’ during the Bush administration?

The exhibition, running from Sept. 30 though Jan. 31, 2010, will be accompanied by a book, “Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box,” written by Albright.

 

The Jewelry Insider

June 25, 2009


From blingy brooch jewelry to gardening and upper arm workouts, our nation’s First Lady is setting trends all over the place. The latest look that has Obamaphiles drooling is a bright lavendar watch she wore in Paris while sightseeing with her daughters.

The watch is from Toywatch and as soon as the style hit the airwaves the watchmaker had the style on backorder. Well, I’ve been doing some digging in the Jewelry.com treasure chest and just happened to find it offered from their brand new Diamond Partner, Nordstrom.


Priced reasonably at $195, the purple timepiece from the Plasteramic Collection is perfect for casual daytime use or could cause a stir if paired with a fun cocktail dress.

If Michelle can bare her arms in the halls of Congress and sport blingy diamonds in the daytime, you can wear a purple watch to a formal. Go for it.

And if purple isn’t your style, they have an array of colorful options – from bright green and orange to pretty in pink.

So check out the Nordies Toywatch collection on Jewelry.com by clicking right here, and be sure to browse through their other hot jewelry styles.

Designer names like Dolce & Gabbana, Juicy Couture, Betsy Johnson, Marc Jacobs, Kate Spade and more are all there for the taking – all at prices that will make your frugalista side smile wide.

What do you guys think of the watch style? Perfectly purple or a plastic poser?

The Jewelry Insider

May 11, 2009


The diamond divas came out to shine at the Washington Correspondents Dinner this weekend, but no one glam-ed it up more than the Divine Mrs. O in a shock of color and a hunk of jewels.

Gone are the pearls and pant suits of First Ladies past. Obama is bringing in bright colors, brooch bling and bare arms that have the fashion world buzzing – including her own husband, who poked fun at his wife’s toned appendages during his side-splitting dinner speech.

“She’s even begun to bridge the differences that have divided us for so long, because no matter which party you belong to we can all agree that Michelle has the right to bare arms.”

Who doesn’t love a Presidential pun, right?

While I know that Michael Kors is responsible for Michelle’s pretty-in-pink floor-length dress, I’m still on the look-out for the designer of her flowery statement necklace (Twitterers, any hints?).

There are two jewelry designers the First Lady has often leaned on to make her look pop: Loree Rodkin, who supplied the diamonds for the Inauguration Festivities, and the eccentric California artist, Tom Binns, who designed the huge pearl and crystal look she dazzled us with at the first formal White House dinner in February.

What do you guys think of her sense of style? Shiny and bright? Or too over-the-top?