THE FASHIONABLE LADIES OF PALM BEACH wear some of the most exquisite and expensive clothing and accessories around, but there’s no reason to feel less than equal to their style and flair. Anyone can get the look and feel of Palm Beach just by paying attention to what is being worn and well, shall we say…copying it?
It’s The Look, after all, that we want; it doesn’t require a line-for-line hit on any one item. Don’t forget: What is being worn in Palm Beach today (and on Rodeo Drive and Park Avenue) will be on Main Street tomorrow. Maybe even sooner. Trends move fast. Fashion moves fast. That’s part of the excitement!
Speaking to the Palm Beach Post, Rachel Clark, a former Palm Beach resident and now a New York high fashion model, says whenever she thinks of Palm Beach, “A vacation feel always comes to mind.”
- n She thinks of the town’s fashion as “a bit more relaxed and a lot less black.”
Among her favorite accessories: a single long necklace and diamond stud earrings. Her favorite designers are John Galliano for his eccentric personal style and Alexander Wang, “A very cool and laid-back guy.”
–Clark may wear diamonds, but you don’t need them with these fabulous fakes: Choose between large emerald cut Cubic Zirconia earrings or equally large oval CZs. Set in silver-tone metal, they have the look of platinum, the style of the very rich.
–For a more conservative approach to the world of wealth, try petite CZ earrings. Sized at 3.5 mm with silver-tone Tiffany setting, these USA-made beauties guarantee immediate acceptance at any social soiree.
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DOUGLAS HANNANT, A MAJOR DESIGNER on the New York-to-Palm Beach circuit, sees Palm Beach as “very easy, casual elegance by day. By night, it’s very extravagant; it’s really the last place you can go where people still dress for dinner.” His latest resort collection has an Eastern influence – the whole region, Asian, Indian – done in a very subtle way. Hannant says he uses a lot of bright colors, but slightly off. He also uses a lot of texture, which is especially hot this season.
As featured in the Post, Hannant’s colors show the “idea of nuances, very definite mixes of textures, very subtle colors, somewhat pastel but not your typical pastel, muted, more washed-out and matte.”
- n Hannant says that when you work with such subtleties in color, the texture really comes out and you see it.”
–You can make use of color for a rich yet casual Palm Beach look with a handsome 4 strand floating bead necklace set in fabulous colors of amber, beige, and turquoise. The beading is spaced on wire for a very updated look and runs a fashionable 19-inches long.
–Taking inspiration from Hannant’s latest collection, look for jewelry with a global impact, such as a striking necklace featuring a large enameled India-Indian style pendant hanging from a colorful Lucite chain of deep baroque amber and turquoise beads set apart by tiny copper spacers. This is dramatic!
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“EVERYONE IN PALM BEACH IS FASHIONABLE” says Jordann Miller, “but there are the people who are really trendy, and the people who are in couture, and then there’s the beach chic.” She caters to the beach people, the ones who wear “dresses and sandals all year long.”
After several years apprenticeship at Mimi Su and Cartier in New York City, Miller is returning to Palm Beach and launching her own jewelry collection. Inspired by her favorite flowers – magnolias – the new jewelry features necklaces, rings and earrings in 14K gold, turquoise, silver, diamonds, and sterling silver.
- n Prices go up to $3,000, not exactly what you’d think of as “beach casual,” but then, this is Palm Beach.
Miller plans to eventually become a gemologist, and to be known for fine jewelry design.
–Few themes give more refinement to jewelry than flowers. You can achieve the look with a floral motif rhinestone necklace featuring delicate, sparkling blossoms branching out from a center cascade. The necklace runs 17″ and is adjustable. Matching earrings are available in gold or silver plate.
–A rich necklace in elegant floral vine motif is also ideal for comfortable Palm Beach dinners. It’s fashionably floral, not too dressy, but not at all casual.
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PALM BEACH NATIVE SASAHA LICKLE is in love with shells. Her own line of jewelry uses shells from all over the world. Necklaces, bracelets, and earrings feature gold plating on sand dollars, red delphinium shells, pink coral, and turquoise. Lickle thinks of her line as “inexpensive,” or what we might call “Palm Beach cheap.” Items are priced mostly under $200.
Among her latest pieces: Green limpet and green tusk earrings, a gold plated charm bracelet featuring nautical themes, like starfish, and a moderate-length green limpet and plated gold chain necklace.
- n Shells and sea life naturally go together for a great beach look.
–Easy elegance is expressed with a long necklace set with shell. The 40-inch long double layer necklace features shell beading spaced along a luxurious-looking silver-tone chain. Also available: matching drop earrings in handsome mother-of-pearl ovals.
–Just right for society hob-nobbing is a black lip mother-of-pearl necklace. Spans of black Bohemian glass and tiny faceted crystals space out iridescent grey freshwater pearls to form the basic necklace featuring a beautiful 2″ mother-of-pearl pendant. Spectacular!
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VINTAGE JEWELRY IS HOT IN PALM BEACH! The guru of vintage here is Tracy Smith, “so glamorously Palm Beach,” as the Post puts it, and owner of the House of Lavande, a vintage costume jewelry boutique with a host of international celebrities as clients. “People love the idea of connecting vintage with Palm Beach,” she says. Her store carries vintage pieces from all the top designers, from Kenneth Jay Lane to Schiaparelli and Yves St. Laurent.
A fascinating new collection started by Smith this year is called Remnants, and is made up of pieces she creates by grouping several vintage necklaces together and attaching a single clasp to them. Prices for this dynamic grouping start at $1,200.
Among Smith’s favorite pieces with that super-rich Palm Beach feel: A 1970’s Christian Lacroix cuff (her price: $900). Smith sees the cuff elegantly paired to gold earrings; A 1950s Henry Schreiner brooch (her price ($850). She says you can stitch it to a barrette and wear it in your hair; A butterfly necklace ($850) by Rafael. It “just makes me happy.”
- n Among her special store items are vintage Czech glass and crystal beaded necklaces from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.
–For a truly monied vintage look, consider a choker of square acrylic stones set in antique silver-plate, the stones barely distinguishable from crystal. The necklace comes in a choice of four colors and has a remarkably real Victorian appearance.
–A gorgeous jet black beaded necklace looks like a treasured estate find. This handsome piece features a square filigree beaded drop in antique silver plating hanging off rich black beads. The necklace is available with matching earrings for a very updated vintage “set.”
–A multi-strand tiny Bohemian glass necklace in amber, gold and white mixed with bronze beads gives a dazzling, sophisticated and dressy look just right for winter celebrations in Palm Beach or New York.