With Valentine’s Day and the Lunar New Year both having recently taken place, many people likely received some kind of love-laced necklace or gold family heirloom. There was even a proposal on Holy Ship this year (Google that ship if you haven’t already heard about it).
You don’t need a special occasion to whip out those accessories. I have to admit, though: winter makes me lazy. But then I remember my affinity for metal.
It wasn’t the first pair of earrings that I stabbed into my ears when I was eight that unleashed this bond between metal and me, oh no — it was Metalli, a company that carries tarnished bronze, silver and gold accessories of all kinds that add edge to any glamorous outfit. (Plus, they had a perpetual 20 per cent discount on all items.) I must apologize, because this particular line is only available in Singapore, where I was raised. Still, I will share what I’ve found to be worthy accessory replacements since my retreat from the equator.
Victoria – violetteboutique.com and janettheresa.com
I’m sure most ladies have already heard of this store, but for those who haven’t: Violette Boutique (1303 Government Street) has an eclectic line of accessories. My personal favourites are Leah Alexandra’s wishbone necklace (with a touch of turquoise) and basically anything made from Pyrrha’s multifarious wax seal collection. Donning something symbolic of the 18th century would be simply sublime.
Also, if you missed the February Fox Fair at the Fernwood Community Centre on Feb. 11, Google it to check out the artist lineup, which included the wonderful Janet Theresa. You can find her phantasmal jewelry at Janet Theresa Jewelry (588 Pandora Avenue).
Williamsburg, New York – catbirdnyc.com
Now, stepping off the Island and into the States, there’s a gem in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that I must introduce you to. Catbird has everything for your accessorial needs. (Yes, it has stuff for men, too.) Catbird reels in masterpieces from all over the world on top of their locally derived loot. Fear not; there’s an online shop, which has a delightful “Surprise me!” link that will lead you to a randomly selected product. A sailor fancy had me fall for the battle diagram ring Catbird carries that’s designed by Digby + Iona. The knuckle rings trend has sprouted there, too. Rose gold, anyone?
The prices, however, vary widely — from US $14 into the thousands. Now, why would anyone spend so much money on so little metal? Well, it’s not the kind of street stall you’d find in Seoul selling $3 rings. My advice would be to really save it for someone who deserves it, which includes yourself. Keep it for those in your heart.
Philadelphia – bario-neal.com
Bario-Neal jewelry, by Anna Bario and Page Neal, is the perfect combination of precious stones and intricate metal. A popular pick for engagements is the knottedrush ring, a simple metal ring with the kind of knot you tie with a cherry stem. Bario and Neal engrave money clips for those shopping for sophisticated lads and make my favourite kind of bracelet: thin and complicated.
They do custom work, including a filigree ring with a rose-cut diamond that I dearly admire. Their research blog link from the Custom Work page on their website shows readers how to pursue designing a custom piece. The blog is also good for revealing the work that goes on behind the scenes.
New Zealand – iloveugly.net
A special for gentlemen: I Love Ugly from New Zealand sells anything but ugly. Check out their online store, iloveugly.net, created only last year. Their black nut watch could wrap itself around my wrist anytime, but damn; it’s out of stock. The brand is only a few years, old but I must say it looks promising.
I Love Ugly carries an outrageously sweet selection for those with a thing for caps. I have never seen caps quite like these. The crown becomes worthy of its name with the degree of artistry going on up there with prints of everything from foxhunters to tiny watchdogs.
And don’t fret about that little grey out-of-stock box; Deadstock.co.nz, Fallenfront.co.nz and shop.thanksyo.com carry I Love Ugly’s items and then some.
Soon be upon us, spring will. So check out these sites, grab an item (or none) and put some mileage on your accessories — don’t wait ‘til the sun graces us with its warmth.