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Monday, 8 January 2018 8:51:40 AM Australia/Sydney
NAJO’s summer styling tips & trends
The festive season might be behind us, but summer is only now just reaching full swing. Whether you’re packing for your beach getaway or you’re back to work but looking to add a vacation vibe to your wardrobe, here are our top summer styling tips to take you from beach to bar.
Pull your colour cues from the ocean.
Channelling your dream beach destination, whether that’s Tulum or Palm Beach, Montauk or the Med, can only mean one thing: turquoise jewellery. This vivid aqua stone is bigger than ever this season. Paired with gleaming sterling silver, it brings a luxe, global feel that’s perfect for summer jet setters or anyone dreaming of their next balmy getaway. The opaque and matte quality of cabochon turquoise provides an artful contrast to the high polish of sterling silver. Compared with faceted, translucent gemstones, turquoise offers a uniquely casual style along with that unmistakable jolt of colour.
Look to high fashion, and work back.
We’re feeling inspired by the mix of primary blue, yellow and red seen on the catwalk at Etro this season. In its Resort Collection 18, the Italian fashion house showed a boho mix of feminine florals, oriental motifs and paisley prints adorning kaftans, ponchos, palazzo pants and maxi dresses. Already we’ve seen this trend filter through to the high street, with mainstream fashion brands picking up the gauntlet in their affordable take on ethnic chic. Our turquoise and silver jewellery pieces perfectly complement these bold folk-inspired prints, especially when layered with the season’s hottest embellishments such as colourful tassel trims, embroidery and beadwork.
Create value via trans-seasonal fashion, and equally versatile jewellery.
There are no bigger fans of substantial statement jewellery than us at NAJO. Yet we also understand that you might not be able to wear these bigger pieces every day. A large cuff, elaborate necklace or oversized cocktail ring has its place at summer soirees, just maybe not when you’re relaxing at the beach or typing at your desk.
The secret to achieving a look that will take you seamlessly from beach (to desk) to bar is layering. In your wardrobe, that might mean adding a new printed silk scarf or heavily embellished belt to last season’s jeans or a simple maxi dress. These smaller layering pieces will also transition easily from one season to the next, adding even greater value.
In fine jewellery terms, it means stacking your favourite sterling silver pieces with a few new on-trend styles (Mali turquoise drops, we’re looking at you!). For your daytime beachside look, go for a subtle pair of turquoise studs and a barely there sterling silver bracelet or two. For evening, layer in a glamorous turquoise ring and a couple more chunky silver bangles and you’ll have the season’s hottest boho look down pat.
To sum up…
You don’t have to be a slave to fashion to get it right, season after season. Interpreting the catwalk trends to suit your own signature style is achievable and will translate to a more enduring, value-added wardrobe long-term. Let NAJO help you tell your personal style story with timeless, high-quality sterling silver jewellery thoughtfully designed to withstand fashion and crafted to last. Explore.
Tuesday, 2 January 2018 8:13:55 AM Australia/Sydney
When NAJO founder Jo Tory travelled to London recently, she was struck by the renewed vibrancy of the capital’s fashion and art scenes. London, it seems, is well and truly back at the forefront of cool. Here, Jo shows us the best of London via a few of her personal highlights.
The V&A and Balenciaga
London’s V&A Museum has always been one of my favourites – no surprise given that it’s the world’s best repository of decorative art and design. But I was particularly thrilled with the Balenciaga exhibition currently on show.
Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga was considered the master of haute couture in the 1950s and 1960s, even by fashion icons Christian Dior and Coco Chanel. To be able to get up close to the details of his original garments was a treat. He truly understood the architectural potential of a garment to transform women.
My favourite Balenciaga quote says “a woman has no need to be perfect or even beautiful to wear my dresses, the dress will do that for her”. I love this idea. At its heart lies the genius of simplicity in design, part of NAJO’s core ethos. As contemporary UK fashion designer Gareth Pugh puts it: “There was always an assumption that if something is incredibly expensive and very laboured over it needs to be very fussy. And I think that with Balenciaga the most beautiful things that were produced were the things that were the most simple and sublime.”
The Saatchi Gallery
Anyone who finds themselves near Sloane Square should definitely take a little time to explore the area, including the stunning window displays of the design boutiques along Pimlico Road and the contemporary art found at Saatchi Gallery.
A high point for me was the exhibition Calder on Paper: 1960 – 1976, a presentation of gouaches on paper by the American artist Alexander Calder. I have always loved the whimsy of Calder’s work in his signature sculptures and mobiles, so to see these graphic works on paper was inspiring.
Sculpture was a highlight at the gallery’s exhibition Iconoclasts: Art Out of the Mainstream. For me, the standouts were Echoes of the Kill (2015) by Alexi Williams Wynn, whose intricate wax sculpture was executed with an extraordinary and innovative technique, and Corvid (2011) by Kate MccGwire, a complex twist completely and perfectly covered in black crows’ feathers.
Old hotspots are new again
Regenerated in recent years, London’s traditional hotspots for fashion and art are enjoying a new lease of life. Don’t miss Oxford Circus for an iconic high street experience, Knightsbridge for a taste of London luxury, and Camden for an edgy market scene. First-time visitors will need to check Carnaby Street off their list in the heart of fashionable Soho, home to some of the city’s best dining. Shoreditch, in the city’s arty East End, is also enjoying renewed favour along with the adjacent Spitalfields, bustling with hipster cafes, cool markets and independent boutiques.
Play tourist, wherever you are
Travel reinvigorates creativity and regenerates our spirit for life’s next chapter. Wherever you’re headed this holiday period, even if you’re enjoying a staycation, be sure to include a gallery or museum visit to enrich your perspective. From all of us at NAJO, Happy New Year! Shop our latest collection now >
Monday, 18 December 2017 7:49:58 AM Australia/Sydney
NAJO’s Favourite Mexican Christmas Traditions
It’s our last post for 2017 so from our family to yours, merry Christmas! NAJO is a proudly independent, Australian silver jewellery brand and business, but our spirit will always be tied to Mexico. It’s where our brand began, and it remains the inspiration for so many of our most enduring sterling silver jewellery designs.
So when it comes to celebrating this Christmas, we at NAJO will be taking our cues from the rich traditions of a classic Mexican Christmas. Many of Mexico’s festive customs have their foundations in Spanish Catholicism, but even if you don’t share the same level of religious devotion you can still find inspiration in the beauty of these seasonal rituals, and maybe even reinterpret some of them in your own Christmas traditions.
Mexican iconography & Nativity scenes
One of the most ubiquitous sights in Mexico during December are the Nacimientos or nativity scenes that decorate public spaces on a large scale and people’s homes on a smaller scale. These scenes depicting the birth of baby Jesus are also opportunities to showcase the marvellous folk art and artistry so widespread throughout Mexico. Colourful, stylised scenes handpainted on wood, ceramic, tin and more. Alongside these Nacimientos are the other exquisite examples of Mexican iconography and religious art, especially those crafted by talented silversmiths to represent the Madonna or a Crucifix which are displayed in homes year-round.
Take your cue: Bring a little Mexican flair to your Christmas decorating, NAJO style. Go for bold fiesta colours like hot pink and yellow, display a small folk art nativity, and maybe add your favourite travel souvenirs to your tree this year.
Most of us associate piñatas with Mexican celebrations, but did you know that they were introduced as a Christmas custom? Some have suggested that the traditional star shaped piñata (once made from clay rather than cardboard) seen at Christmastime was originally meant to teach people to maintain ‘blind faith’ (hence the blindfold) in the face of temptation (i.e. the sweet treats inside). Beating down the piñata to win the treats was thought to symbolise the reward for fighting against temptation. Today of course, the piñata is widely regarded as a fun festive exercise, just like a giant shared version of the Christmas cracker.
Take your cue: Hang a piñata, of course!
Christmas Eve & January 6 instead of Christmas Day
An important Mexican custom is Las Posadas, a nine-day celebration starting on December 16 and culminating in a major Christmas Eve feast after midnight mass. Christmas Day itself does not carry the same emphasis in Mexico as it does in Australia. Instead, the traditional day for exchanging and receiving gifts is on January 6, which is known in Mexico as Día de Reyes or “the Day of the Kings” – when the Three Wise Men brought their precious gifts to the baby Jesus.
Take your cue: Extend the season’s fun by hosting parties on Christmas Eve and/or January 6 in addition to the main event. And of course, those Three Wise Men knew the importance of a precious gift, so what could be more fitting than giving the gift of fine jewellery? Shop NAJO’s Mexican-inspired La Luz collection now.