Tomorrow! Yaaaaaaaay! We’ll be at Single Stone on Mission Street in San Marino, CA. See you there!
It’s the 143rd annual running of the Kentucky Derby today, which means today we get to celebrate two of our favorite things: horses and Victorian traditions.
It’s the longest-running American sporting event –– dating back to 1875 –– and we are so pleased that it still involves sipping mint juleps and wearing your festive finery. I can only imagine the looks I’d get if I wore my fascinator and best tea-length spring dress to any other sporting event (though it would certainly make me the belle of the Super Bowl party).
This antique Victorian horseshoe pendant, “Grace,” dates back to the early days of the Derby. It’s set in sterling with paste diamonds and sapphire, paired with a new chain of fine, oxidized silver. It’s perfect for the contemporary equestrian any day of the year (though today is Grace’s favorite holiday).
Over the weekend, we went to see Terence Davies’ new Emily Dickinson biopic, A Quiet Passion. The film stars Cynthia Nixon as Emily and Jennifer Ehle (of the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice miniseries fame — always a winning credential here) as her sister, Vinnie. Being who we are, we were enthralled by the beautiful art direction, the period costumes, and — of course — the Victorian jewelry.
We’ve long admired Emily Dickinson. It took courage to be a woman working against society’s values in the Victorian era, and Emily was transgressive both by being a female poet and by embracing a view of religion that was radical when compared to the strict traditions of her Puritan heritage.
This haunting photo of the 16-year-old Emily, taken either in 1846 or early 1847, is the only authenticated image of the author. (Other photographs of her may exist, but in everything discovered so far, there’s debate about whether the sitter is truly Dickinson.) That lovely ribbon necklace she wears here was reimagined strikingly on Cynthia Nixon as Emily Dickinson in A Quiet Passion, sometimes as the only piece on the simply-attired woman, and sometimes as part of a more elaborate look.
Annie has gone on record as saying that she isn’t a fan of velvet, except in one very particular circumstance: As a choker with with a Victorian-style pendant. In that case, bring on the velvet! (And the jewels that go with it!) We’ve styled several of our pieces with velvet chokers in the past, and this week we’re inspired to bust out some braided up-dos, hoop skirts and bodices to complete the look. But we have to draw the line somewhere, so we’ll stick with the hair and jewelry! Also, we don’t have any hoop skirts…
We love the look of our Camilla pendant with this velvet chord choker (above) to bring a Victorian sensibility to modern life.
The piece above is a Victorian seed-pearl pendant set in 14k gold (Adele). Here, we’ve paired it with a purple satin ribbon as a choker for a bridal look.
Above, the Duncan pendant is styled with a red velvet choker. This pendant is antique Scottish gold and turquoise pavé with a paste diamond.
Above, our Liberty Lock lockets (who we call Lulu and Lucky) look festive with burgundy velvet chokers. Below, our Vivian antique citrine pendant on a new, 18k yellow gold and diamond pavé bale would be right at home in any Victorian poet’s jewelry box.
We love looking to literature and history for style inspiration, and A Quiet Passion and Emily Dickinson give us much to be inspired by. Though she had fewer than a dozen items published in her lifetime, Emily Dickinson’s body of known work now includes over 1,800 poems. She is widely considered one of the greatest American writers.
“Hope” is the thing with feathers––
That perches in the soul––
And sings the tune without the words––
And never stops––at all––
Emily Dickinson, 1830 - 1886. Excerpt from poem #254
Annie found this vintage piece recently and turned it into a pendant. Curious about its origins, she investigated this society of odd fellows (pendant reads: Grand United Lodge of Odd Fellows).
Turns out, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows began in 18th Century England and came to North America in 1819. The people of the organization were considered “odd” because at the time it was deemed strange to be charitable without pursuit of recognition. The organization stands for friendship, love, and truth and still exists today.
This piece can be special ordered through Anabel Higgins.
Who doesn’t want beauty and brains? Well AH fan Simone has them in spades. Havard bound this fall, Simon gives us a glimpse at what she would like to see in her future and how she styles her favorite pendants!
What are some of your hobbies, what do you look forward to?
I love anything that is a result of inspiration, ranging from the art world - including, but not limited to, photography, fashion, and slam poetry - to the athletic arena - such as soccer, track, and basketball. When I am not fulfilling these passions, I also enjoy reading, going on adventures, and spending quality time with my family and close friends.
What are your aspirations? You must have some big goals set?
As an internationally aware global citizen, my future aspirations involve becoming a major player on the world’s stage, whether that is becoming Secretary of State or the CEO of an international consulting firm.
Wow! What are you planning on majoring in at Harvard?
I plan on studying International Relations.
Do you have a philosophy on life?
Yes, “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
What are some of your favorite places to visit?