Tag Archives: jewellery

MEET THE YOUNG GUNS OF OPAL HUNTING DOWN UNDER

During the 2yrs of Covid lock-down here in Toronto when there were no film, tv or theatre productions for me to promote, I got hooked watching Outback Opal Hunters on TV’s Discovery Channel. Turns out, that was a good thing ‘coz when travel restrictions were lifted last year, I booked my ticket home to Australia and headed out to the opal fields in Queensland to buy a pair of opal earrings. I’m obsessed with the stunning ancient gems, as well as pearls (yes, I purchased a really big pearl in Broome, WA, too).  For the uninitiated, opal is formed from a solution of silicon dioxide and water. As water runs down through the earth, it picks up silica from sandstone and carries this silica-rich solution into cracks and voids caused by natural faults or decomposing fossils. As the water evaporates, it leaves behind a silica deposit. This cycle repeats over very long periods of time, and eventually opal is formed.  Below is the gorgeous pair of earrings I bought in Winton, Qld, direct from Opal Hunters miners Joe and Tash.Another team of miners from the international hit show is known as “The Young Guns” and they are comprised of 3 mates, young fellas who are not the usual grizzled, snaggle-toothed old miners like most of the other teams featured on the show. In fact they’re really cute and the show has taken viewers from their early days down their mine, learning as they go and discovering all sorts of amazing treasures. We have also witnessed their frustrating days of no finds or machine break-downs that have set them back thousands of dollars. I reached out over the Christmas holidays and spoke with team leader Jaymin Sullivan who kindly shared stories with me of great finds, hopes and dreams for the team…..

Jaymin, what first inspired you to head out to the opal fields with your mates to dig for treasures, fame and fortune?   Honestly I was living a pretty average life working 9-5 at a local hardware store paying rent and mortgage and just felt I was getting nowhere and that there had to be more to life. I remember thinking about dream jobs and what I really wanted to do and that lead me to “treasure hunter”, a job that’s hard to do in Australia as we don’t exactly have Viking hoards of treasure or maps leading to ancient ruins. Luckily however my father was an opal miner and I decided to look at mining in a new light as treasure hunting. And it really is when you uncover something precious that’s been hidden for millions of years and you are the first human being to ever see it and on top of that it can be worth thousands even millions, it is treasure and it is definitely exciting to say the least. There is also something to be said for the fact you can, as an opal miner, be poor in the morning and rich in the afternoon that’s a strong motivator for wanting to do the job!  As for the fame, I didn’t really go there for that hahaha that just sort of happened along the way. Did you recruit your mates Noah and JC once the idea took hold or were they in it with you from the beginning? And what special skills do you each bring to the team?   Noah and JC where in a similar boat to me, JC was working as a lawn mower and Noah worked at a local fast food place. Not, I guess you could say, living life to its full potential. Initially, I invited all of my friend group  to come out and give it a go, of the 8 guys only Noah and JC where willing to make the 14hr drive out to the opal fields and see what I was up to.  I think JC brings to the team a lot of enthusiasm and hard work, Noah has a lot of perseverance and a willingness to learn new skills and me, well I’m obsessed which means I’m pretty full on with every aspect from the work itself to filming and editing for our YouTube channel to opal cutting and marketing.  What was it like the first time you discovered opal? And what was the biggest haul you pulled in?   There’s nothing like your first time, when you uncover opal that’s actually worth money…worth thousands…and that it’s there sitting in your hands; it’s incredible to know your hard work had won something so beautiful and precious is a really cool feeling and when it keeps on coming out of the wall and you’re onto a big find your hands can literally shake.  I think our biggest find in one afternoon was around $80-90k in the rough; we didn’t end up selling rough, we mostly cut it and made it into jewellery which ends up going for around 5-8x the amount. It’s a long game, trying to sell the finished product and we have still got a lot of the material and jewellery, but with all the hard work to find it, it’s important to make as much money off the opal as possible and the best way is to sell direct to the customer and cut out all the middle men.  It is always going to be cheaper purchasing opal direct from the miner whether it be jewellery or rough stones as oppose to buying it in a shop or from resellers.Selling your finds to local specialist buyers can be nerve-racking….do you, as young miners, feel you’re treated fairly or do you think buyers in the big city are a good option? How does it work?  We do some deals of rough opal though that is quite rare, you never get a good price for rough opal so we tend to avoid it…. when we aren’t desperate for rent or food or fuel. We live in the age of technology and we have the ability to reach thousands of people online so we have a pretty good understanding of how to market our opal online and sell direct to the customer which allows us to get a fair price as well as the customer.Do you enjoy cutting/polishing the opals yourselves or do you only deal with rough or partially polished stones?   I love cutting opal – I actually do a cutting demo in White Cliffs (in the state of New South Wales) every morning for tourists who come to town. I take a rough stone and walk them through the whole process until we have a finished polished stone. Cutting opal is super relaxing and it’s amazing to see it go from a rough state to a finished piece, you see it transform in your hands!   On average, how much does it cost to run all the equipment, house, feed and water the team each season?  The costs vary depending on the set-up, but we probably spend anywhere from $20-40k per season which is only 6-8months (in the cooler months) in order to run our mining business.How long have you all been working the opal fields now? Any goals for future explorations – any new claims you have your eyes on?   We have been out here for the last 4 years now and loving every minute! Future goals would be to get an operation set up in Lightning Ridge in NSW, and in the Queensland opal fields. We love White Cliffs but want to do some more work on the other fields we have visited also.
When did you join the cast of Outback Opal Hunters and has the fame brought you more secure income from sales and/or any sponsorships?   Opal Hunters was definitely an experience and was actually a lot of work. We joined the show because we thought it would be fun and for the most part it was. We met some incredible camera men and we learnt a lot watching them film us. The show is great in that it’s helped the opal industry a lot internationally and definitely helped us initially get our name out there.
If you take a look at all the other teams on Opal Hunters none have the same sort of following we do and the simple reason is if you want to be a real presence you have to create your own content and promote yourself. Which is why we started our YouTube channel and why we use Instagram, Facebook and TikTok – these platforms allow us to better connect with our audience and grow a meaningful community. We are super reachable which we pride ourselves on; we reply to 90% of messages sent to us and are more then happy to help serious newcomers to the industry.

One of our biggest goals has always been to promote opal mining as an alternate lifestyle, not everyone is meant to fit into a standard 9-5 work life and we have seen the positive impact it has on your life first hand once you do follow your dreams and work for yourself. We hope more people find in life the thing that makes them happy and can turn it into a job that gets them paid enough to support themselves and family.  As for sponsorships we weren’t really allowed to have them while working on Opal Hunters though we have been pursuing this more now with our YouTube channel, and if all goes well we may have something exciting to share in the future.  As for the impact of Opal Hunters on our sales, the show definitely helped give us credibility and helped customers purchasing opal online feel secure in the fact they’re buying direct from miners and from a source they know.

Discovery Channel is very popular here in N. America, esp. the Outback Opal and Gold Hunters shows – do you have a good fan following home and away? Ever get asked by fans for a “ride along”?   We love that so many people around the world have become so interested in opal and the process of mining it, I was actually a fan of the show before we joined, but since joining, however, I no longer watch it hahaha as it’s too weird seeing yourself on tv. The most common thing people will reach out and ask us for is a job. I would love to say yes but at this point we only really make enough to keep us in the game. One day if we can scale the operation or get really lucky, I hope to open up some more opportunities for those who are really interested.  In the meantime, we’re actually working on setting up a mine where fans will be able to come out and do some mining for a day or so and give it a shot! We hope to have that up and running by 2024.

If you couldn’t mine any more, what profession would you choose to pursue (and JC and Noah)?   I think opal mining is in our blood now forever haha we all do have a taste for adventure and if it wasn’t opal I know we’d love to go for gold and may very well some day. Outside of mining, I’d love to explore creating other YouTube content and we do have some of that in the works.
As for Noah, he’d love to continue exploring/adventuring for a living – I’m not sure what form that would take but there is always a way.
JC recently got himself a new dream job raising baby Ziah his son. He’ll still be mining with us but right now he’s loving every minute of being a dad!Thanks, Jaymin, now I can really appreciate all the hard work & long sweaty hours spent underground as well as the millions of pesky flies and the inherent danger of working in unstable conditions. I will happily spend the $s for a piece of their glory…and so can everyone else. If you love opals, you can purchase rings, pendants or earrings (and even vials of opal chips for your own jewellery making) directly from the Young Guns and they will ship around the world.

Etsy – https://etsy.me/3mSG7uI Ebay – https://ebay.com.au/usr/younggunsopal Check out their Shopify store: https://younggunsopal.myshopify.com/  and visit their social media pages, too.
Facebook: Young Guns Opal Hunters
IG: @youngguns_opalhunters
and their YouTube channel @younggunsopalhunters

MY AUSTRALIAN ADVENTURE Pt VII – OPALS, OPALS, OPALS!

Winton in Queensland, is a beautiful little outback town that’s filled with picturesque turn of the last century buildings, sculptures and art installations down the centre of the main street and stores filled with opals and other locally mined gemstones and minerals. My favourite store is run by a couple who have appeared on the hit tv series, Outback Opal Hunters, so it was great to meet Joe Taranto and his jewellery designer wife, Natasha and their doggy mate Duncan, when I walked into their large store, The Opal Miner.  https://www.facebook.com/theopalminerwinton

They told me how hard it was digging for opals out in the heat, dust and flies. They’ve been mining for over 20 years, searching for “boulder opals” which are most sought after and valuable. Their store showcases their efforts in both raw form and stunning jewellery designed and crafted by Natasha.  They also have cool t-shirts, jackets and other logo’d clothing & accessories. And yes, I bought a fab t-shirt. If you visit their Fcbk page (linked in beginning of story) you’ll find examples of Tash’s spectacular, award winning designs such as…

Their new website will launch in the new year so make sure to check it out early 2023 for int’l sales – yes, they will ship to North America.  www.theopalminer.com.au  You, too, could own a gorgeous pair of opal earrings…like mine!My favourite memory of my visit, apart from buying my earrings, was all those doggy kisses from Duncan. Who’s a good boy…yes you are!

 

Stunning, colourful fashions at RÉVEILLER AFRIQ, Yorkville’s newest glam boutique

I’m thrilled to tell you about an exciting new boutique in Yorkville’s Holt Renfrew Centre (lower level) which promotes local African-Canadian designers and entrepreneurs offering clothing for both women and men, jewellery and home accessories.  RÉVEILLER AFRIQ collaborates with quality black-owned brands that not only serve, but exceed, the needs of their loyal shoppers. Since opening her first store in Bramalea City Centre, Founder Juliann offers a genuine love and passion for quality retail and top-notch customer service which defines the store’s mandate.

Juliann’s sister Jade showed me around the Bloor/Bay store this afternoon, introducing me to exquisite fabrics, jewellery, shoes, even home fragrances and skincare, all courtesy of local designers who trace their heritage back to Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and other countries in Africa.  The men’s clothes are colourful and stylish – no boring black, brown or grey suiting here! I was pleased to find one of the represented fashion entrepreneurs was visiting, too. Kisha of KissTheseFeet.com provides elegant sexy shoes for plus sizes, so if you (like me) have wide tootsies, these are the shoes for you! As you walk into the store, you’ll immediately notice the selection of home fragrances and hand-crafted candles handcrafted with organic, chemical-free ingredients…. And there is also an extensive selection of totes and clutches…I particularly like these beaded ones that come with shoulder straps, too.But it’s the amazing fabric earrings that will stop you in your tracks!! So big yet so light to wear…. Speaking of jewellery, there was some gorgeous unique neckwear hanging on display, finely beaded and real show-stoppers!
One very talented artist creates these wall sculptures….         So if you want to add a bold statement to your wardrobe, drop into RÉVEILLER AFRIQ on the lower level of Holts, 50 Bloor St West, Toronto, and browse the racks – I guarantee you’ll find just the right thing! Follow them on IG @reveillerafriq or visit the website to learn about ALL the services they offer their clients: https://www.reveillerafriq.com/

VISITING MY ANCIENT RELATIVES AT THE ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM

It’s been a while since I took a spin around the galleries at Toronto’s ROM and as I’d been given a “golden ticket” to view the Treasures of a Desert Kingdom: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India (selected photos at end of blog) exhibition, I decided to capitalize on the all-access pass and take in some of my favourite displays, in particular the Etruscans (from whom I believe I am descended), the ancient Romans & Greeks, followed by the European 15th – 20th centuries for good measure. 20190816_131117 20190816_131354There were some exquisite jewellery displays of Etruscan baubles I’d never previously viewed – now I know from where I get my passion for carnelians & garnets…20190816_131723 20190816_132951 20190816_13294120190816_131423 20190816_131510Moving thru the various centuries of ancient civilization, so many great photo opps presented themselves….20190816_131645 20190816_131225 20190816_132135The Athena Parthenos (above) is recreated here with a model worshiper (bottom right) to show the original scale of this magnificent Greek goddess statue. And I loved the Cypriot busts (below) – the laurel crowned fellow on the right looks like he’s just been told an off-colour joke!20190816_132451Through a set of doors and around a corner, I spied the “In the Age of Rembrandt” exhibition so I flashed my VIP pass and in I went…20190816_133126Such beauty and elegance…several Dutch masters painting during the same era as Rembrandt are featured and as you pass thru the exit of this gallery, you’re bade farewell by a pair of Rembrandt’s stunning portraits…20190816_133253 20190816_13335920190816_133827I then proceeded into more recent centuries and viewed the room-scapes set up so visitors can get a taste of furnishings and lifestyles from the Tudors to the mid-20th century.20190816_134136 20190816_134217 20190816_134402 20190816_134507 20190816_135349Don’t you just love these mid-century modern chairs (above)? And haven’t we all had our bums in some of these seats, too?

Now back to the Indian exhibit – it closes Sept. 2nd and it’s well worth the museum entry fee just to see it. Stunning artworks, furnishings, royal jewellery & costumes…so much to admire and wonder at.20190816_123245 20190816_123306 20190816_123625 20190816_123639 20190816_124832 20190816_12514220190816_125426Check out the Royal Ontario Museum’s website for hours & directions: www.rom.on.ca/en

 

 

get your rocks off at the spring gem expo in toronto!

Here’s the ultimate “rock concert” – if you like gorgeous gems and baubles, then this is the show for you.20180316_144750Big thank you to Salim Moorani, Founder of The Gem Expo, for inviting me to come out to the spring show which opened today at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on King W in Toronto – show runs tomorrow, Saturday Mar.17th  10am-6pm and Sunday Mar.18th 10am-5pm.  www.thegemexpo.com  Salim greeted me at the door along with his charming wife and daughter (below) and then let me wander the aisles, meeting up with vendors and gem ambassadors.20180316_135028I was pleased to run into the lovely folks from Sonatona Natural Gemstones & Minerals (below) who I met last year…they’re always ready with a smile and willing to share their extensive knowledge about their precious and semi-precious stones. www.stores.ebay.com/sonatona20180316_140551 20180316_140636Lots of ready made jewellery as well as loose gems for crafters and home bead-makers….20180316_140802 20180316_14081420180316_14131920180316_14103120180316_141910One new vendor I was delighted to meet was Deb from Karibu Beads, featuring hand-made Kazuri Beads from Kenya. The story of these beads is fascinating so I encourage you to visit www.karibubeads.com to learn more. Here are just some of the gorgeous colourful beads I saw….20180316_142719 20180316_142724 20180316_142745The Gem Expo also features some stunning glass work, too, including these giant “crystal balls” and some spooky stone skulls. Groovy, baby!20180316_135155 20180316_135219How about some fossils? Check out these prehistoric shark teeth…yikes!20180316_135320Meet another new vendor, Ryan Desantos of Laya Skye Jewelry (below).  He brings in handcrafted designs from Bali and I particularly liked the amazing “floating” rings that are all sterling silver with a rotating element so you can fiddle away and calm your nerves with them. One of them almost fit…I was soooo tempted. His new website is currently under construction but do check it out next month: www.LayaSkyeJewelry.com20180316_142957 20180316_143403More fabulous bling…..what’s a girl to do?!20180316_143615 20180316_135642 Lots to see and buy so come on down this weekend – most vendors take credit cards and Debit cards/Interac, plus there are cash machines in the hotel.20180316_141521

DIAMONDS AND EMERALDS AND PEARLS, OH MY! GLORIA BASS BRINGS HER AWARD-WINNING DESIGNS TO YORKVILLE TRUNK SHOW – TODAY IS LAST DAY!

On Sunday Nov. 27th, Montreal-based award-winning Canadian jewellery designer GLORIA BASS launched her 2-day Christmas trunk show at 24 Bellair St in Yorkville, Toronto, and oh my, what wonderful bright sparkly treasures she showcased! Like the stunning Labradorite necklace above, each piece is unique and hand-crafted by Gloria and her goldsmiths so if you’re looking for a little luxury for this year’s festive season (or any season!), please drop in todayMonday Nov. 28th, between 10am and 5pm to experience the ultimate in bling!  Here’s just a little taste of what you’ll see……20161127_10451620161127_10493320161127_10583120161127_10493820161127_104649Gloria only uses the finest quality gemstones sourced from around the world and works in 18kt gold; she also works with exquisite pearls from the south seas, Tahiti and freshwater or cultured pearls from Japan.  You can see more of her innovative designs on her website:  www.gloriabassdesign.com  She also works on commission, as well as custom bridal pieces.20161127_11010520161127_11012120161127_11043020161127_104535As you can probably tell, I’m a huge fan of pearls and Gloria has created a special “ombre”style design (below) with perfectly matched Tahitian and South Seas pearls….what do you think of these beauties?20161127_110227There are many different pieces featuring South Seas, cultured or fresh water pearls set with precious stones in 18kt gold from which to choose…20161127_11571320161127_105029

20161127_105023You simply MUST come in to see these treasures in person.  You will not find Gloria Bass Design jewellery in any department stores so today is your last chance to view work from one of Canada’s leading designers. Again, 24 Bellair St, Yorkville (close to Bay & Bloor) from 10am until 5pm. Cash, credit card or debit.

Gloria (left) & her assistant Marie-Josee

Gloria (left) & her assistant Marie-Josee

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MEET FLO BARON, FASHION STYLIST TO HOLLYWOOD STARS AND NOW TORONTO’S WOMEN OF DISTINCTION!

A couple of months ago, I was pushing my cart up the aisles of my favourite supermarket and kept running into the same lady reaching for the same products. We both laughed “we gotta stop meeting like this…” then began trading nutrition recommendations and handy menu suggestions as we hit the fruit & veggie dept. together. She was delightful and had a wicked sparkle in her eyes. I had just met fashion powerhouse and stylist to some of Hollywood’s great old-school stars, FLO BARON.  bf1b00_fc6f7ba492fd4571b29f6d13d52d74d3-mv2Flo and exchanged phone numbers and promised to meet for tea, and within the week I found myself sitting in her super glamourous Yorkville condo surrounded by artworks collected over many years and her elegant black and white furnishings. Very Busby Berkley, very Flo Baron! Flo not only loves styling women in fashions that compliment and enhance their body shapes, she also offers opportunities to purchased some pretty stunning designer lines from the States. She has an adjoining private “salon” and holds court each week with an exclusive group of clients, putting together their outfits, accessorizing and offering wardrobe tips.20160819_134852I asked Flo to share a little of her background and fashion career and she revealed some wonderful stories and anecdotes that I’d like to share with you here…..

Although her family wasn’t involved in the fashion industry, Flo Baron always knew she was destined for a life surrounded by beauty, design and creativity. As a young girl in Chicago, she dreamt of fabulous fashions and always appreciated the feel and look of fine fabrics. Flo won a scholarship to secretarial school where she excelled but fashion always beckoned, perhaps she would become a model. Her idol was Jinx Falkenburg (pictured below), one of the highest-paid cover-girl models in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s.Jinx Faulkenburg In the early 50’s, Flo answered a newspaper ad from a modeling school who wanted someone to teach make-up, personal grooming and dress styling to women going into the corporate sector for the first time (yes, these were pre-Mad Men times). She landed the job and taught hundreds of young women how to present themselves in the most fashionable manner for their 9-5 jobs as well as cocktail parties.

Moving to California with her husband in the mid 50’s, Flo’s life took an exciting turn when she landed a job in the dress shop at the legendary Beverly Hills Hotel. She helped style Hollywood’s most glamorous stars of the day including dancer and movie star Cyd Charisse, Dorothy Lamour, Elizabeth Taylor and even Zsa Zsa Gabor who would frequently drop in and demand Flo bring her everything on the racks in her size! “Polly Bergen walked in one day wearing a full length mink coat. She put her arm around me, winked and whispered “I did it all by myself!” What a fabulous lady she was.”bh hotelSome years later, after a brief stint as a production secretary on a popular TV show, Flo became intrigued by interior design and decorating. “I love anything with an artistic value, anything that was created by an idea in somebody’s mind.” So along with a friend, she soon launched a home accessories and bathroom design business. Flo loved intricate fixtures and bathroom furnishings so she soon had every garage mechanic in San Fernando Valley working with her to handcraft her metal bathroom, tabletop and furniture designs. After the successful debut of her line at a Los Angeles trade show, she opened her own factory, hiring a workforce of skilled craftspeople to produce her line which was sold in the US,  Canada and internationally. After 40 successful years, Flo sold that business and in 2005, she moved to Toronto to be closer to her daughter.

Over the past ten years she has developed relationships with a number fashion designers from New York, California and Canada. Flo has brought back these lines with her to share with friends and personal styling clients. Due to her background in fashion, décor and design, Flo has developed a loyal following of clients who look to her for guidance with their clothing choices, as well as purchasing unique and affordable fashions that she personally curates for each client’s wardrobe. “I love helping women discover their true inner beauty and elegance by enhancing their appearance with clothing and accessories that are not only timeless but very affordable.”

20160905_144857 20160905_162628When you visit Flo Baron’s style studio, you will enjoy a personalized wardrobe consultation, and get to try on various fashion pieces and accessories to enhance your own personal style.  Whether you need something casual, a business outfit or an elegant ensemble for that swanky soiree, Flo can put together a head-to-toe look that will make you feel like a million dollars…but with a much more affordable price tag. She has also just launched a “young & chic” division catering to the younger fashion followers and coordinated by her assistant Michelle, seen below assisting another client. 20160905_144916One of Flo’s clients is the Canadian actor, playwright and entrepreneur Nonni Griffin seen below getting the full Flo experience!IMG_20161005_162252 IMG_20161005_161907 IMG_20161005_164509If you want to learn more about this wonderful and talented woman of influence, please visit her website: www.flobaroncollection.com

And check out these gorgeous scarves for fall that just arrived in the salon, as well as some great bling to accessorize your own outfits.20161007_130144 20161007_130610 20161007_130622 20161007_130628 20161007_130637

ARCHIVES TORONTO CELEBRATES BRAZILIAN JEWELLERY DESIGNER ANA KHOURI

I spent a lovely time this evening attending the cocktail reception introducing the stunning jewellery from Brazilian designer ANA KHOURI. The ARCHIVES store is located at the n.w. corner of the Four Seasons Hotel in Yorkville (Toronto) and offers other fine jewellery designers as well as fashion & home accessories, fabulous sunglasses, mens’ accessories and even glam tableware. So armed with my trusty flute of bubbly, I strolled thru the store enjoying the precious and semi-precious bling on display so join me for a quick virtual visit to www.archivesltd.com/

Here are some of Ana’s beautiful pieces currently in the store featuring 18ct gold with rubies, emeralds, diamonds, sapphires and other gemstones & pearls.20160331_181203 20160331_181046AK

www.anakhouri.com/

Lots of celebs wear Ana’s designs, esp. her ear cuffs – Jennifer Lawrence, Lupita Nyong’o and Cameron Diaz have all sported Ana’s baubles on Hollywood red carpets….JLaw Lupita CammieArchives represents a number of other int’l designers such as Iradj Moini who designed the fabulous Aventurine brooch worn by one of the lovely sales associates (below).20160331_180948 20160331_18101720160331_182548 20160331_182616…and their fashion accessories are exquisite, too.20160331_182503 20160331_182528 20160331_181518I fell in love with a couple of pairs of sunglasses, both quite outrageous…which pair should I get?20160331_181410 20160331_181322Archives’ designer home accessories would fit perfectly in any chic uptown loft or condo…check these out. Wow!20160331_181500 20160331_181505 20160331_182543So definitely drop in and say hi next time you’re in the Yorkville neighbourhood…the staff will be delighted to show you around and chat about the designers represented in their store.20160331_183140

ENJOY A TOUCH OF LUXURY DURING TIFF @ ARCHIVES in YORKVILLE

What a grey, rainy day dawned here on the 4th day of the Toronto Int’l Film Festival (TIFF).  I have no “official” screenings or soirees to attend so what to do…what to do?  Earlier last week, I had received a lovely invitation from ARCHIVES  [ http://www.archivesltd.com/ ] an exclusive concept store located in the new Four Seasons Hotel a few blocks away, so earlier this afternoon, I grabbed my umbrella, put on some bright lipstick and headed out to see their gorgeous new luxury bling… join me now for a virtual visit.20150913_162339

20150913_162154Archives is featuring two hot young jewellery designers, Brazilian Fernando Jorge, and UK-based Lebanese designer Noor Fares – see their showcases below:

Fernando Jorge

Fernando Jorge

Fernando Jorge

Fernando Jorge

Fernando Jorge: the Brazilian-born jewellery designer takes inspiration from the laid back attitude and effortless sensuality of his home country. Fernando’s pieces are imbued with energy and movement – his aesthetic is inherently Brazilian. Having gained an international media following, the designer is widely considered to be amongst the brightest emerging talents in the jewellery and fashion worlds alike. His collections can be found in the most prestigious stores in London, Paris, Beirut, New York, Los Angeles and Dallas, as well as online.

Noor Fares

Noor Fares

Noor Fares

Noor Fares

Noor Fares: the young London-based designer is known for her exotic, mythical, hand-crafted jewellery. Noor’s admiration for beautiful objects started as a young child, obsessed with her mom’s jewelry box. After studying art history and jewellery design, she combined her passion for art with her love of adventure by launching her first line in 2009. Noor fuses modern fashion with old world tradition, using a diverse range of materials like diamonds, sapphires, white gold, and rhodium. Her creative aesthetic is rooted in her Lebanese heritage – most of her pieces are engraved with an eye, the Lebanese tradition that protects the wearer from all things evil.

Archives also carries a number of great purses from Les Petits Joueus, including this awesome black and red piece that would go perfectly with an outfit I’m wearing to one TIFF party this week….20150913_162135Don’t you just LOVE these purple hats from London milliner Philip Treacy  – exclusive in Canada to Archives:20150913_162358I’ve always been partial to fine china and ceramics and Archives has a range of Meissen Couture home decor pieces…I love the birdies (below) that have no function other than to amuse.20150913_162536 20150913_162555 20150913_162850 20150913_162831I also found the Meissen historic “helmets” (below) rather intriguing…looks like another Roman invasion!20150913_162439

20150913_162457I didn’t realize until I was told by the store staff that even the chandelier and wall sconces were Meissen….wow! 20150913_162510They carry some cool men’s accessories, too, although I couldn’t grab a good photo without reflections…but definitely worth a look-see.20150913_162321When the store first opened, I remember seeing this fabulous mannequin that the store staff blinged out with mirror shards…look at her now, all chi-chi poo-poo !20150913_162208In-house designer Jaleh Farhad Pour creates stunning earrings and I have my eye on a number of pairs – guess which ones (below)….pair on bottom row, 3rd from left has my name all over ’em!20150913_162316The store also brings in some natural bling…love these carnations and orchids, all colour-coordinated.20150913_162159

20150913_162912Home decor designer Tom Dixon offers sumptuous home fragrances and accessories like these (below)….20150913_162736 20150913_162757

…and if you’re looking for some great reading specs Archives carries the See Concept glasses in various colours, frames and vision levels, starting at $49…so you can get a two or three pairs! Do you like the blue pair I’m wearing?20150913_163552

20150913_163533They also have cool sunglasses from Illestiva (below) so pick out your fave movie star look and away you go to the red carpet.20150913_162308So much to see, so much to drool over!  And you can enjoy all these in person if you drop in to Archives on Bay Street yourself (the NW corner of the Four Seasons Hotel in Yorkville) between now and Sept. 20th…check out the invitation below.

20150913_165012 TIFFinvite

Thanks to the Archives staff for showing me around…..see you all soon.

http://www.archivesltd.com/