Tuesday, July 14, 2009

beach elegance! Beach Bride Jewelry and Jewels by Michele

by frédérik sisa

Barefoot sandals are a bit of an oddity in that, even as ornaments go, they aren’t especially practical. You can’t wear them with shoes (which is the point, but more on that in a bit) and going barefoot is a pleasure limited to foot-friendly environments. (You can wear them at home, of course, were there are no sharp objects or gunky residues to deal with, but what’s the point of being ornamented if you can’t show off the bling?) In other words, these are not a universal accessory. One of the most innovative work-arounds was the topic of a past blog post: barefoot jewels paired with topless sandals, soles that adhere to the bottom of the foot, to achieve a distinctive look.

However, artisan Michele Roberts takes a different, simple, and elegant approach with Beach Bride Jewelry: barefoot sandals as the ultimate accessory for a beach wedding. It’s inspired, really. A romantic setting, warm sand between the toes –why not dress up the footsies with beautiful jewelry, especially for a special occasion like a wedding? Barefoot sandals are not only lovely for the bride, but could make for nice gifts for the bridesmaids. At the least, it’s the sort of accessory that will tie and ensemble closer to the wedding’s beach setting.

With prices ranging from $50 to $200, these are not the $10 cheapies you can get at other stores – the kind better suited, in some ways, to casual wear since you can beat them up and replace them as necessary. Michele’s elaborate wedding-oriented pieces are wearable art crafted from a variety of materials including Swarovski crystals and pearls, freshwater pearls, sea glass, fossil coral, lava, and the quintessential gold and silver. The cords are either Soft Flex, which consists of woven stainless steel wires that resist wear, or the elastic Stretch Magic. From the Monaco sample I examined – the piece Michele sent me featured a custom jonquil color – the construction is just as robust as the design is lovely.

Truly a unique, stylish touch for a wedding.

But of course my eye caught on to the men’s collection as very ably represented by Sumatra:

This handsome piece is made of black lava and natural coco beads, with black seed beads forming the toe loop. It’s solid and masculine, and feels hefty to the touch without being heavy. A great idea for the groom, in that it’s an unusual and classy accessory that will add spice to an ensemble – I can picture this with an ensemble of neutral to nature-inspired colours and relaxed cottons or lines. And maybe a nice gift for groomsmen too?

There are three other barefoot sandals styles available for men, along with necklaces and anklets. The women’s collection also features more than the sandals, from anklets and bracelets to earrings, hair pins and brooches. All are available in a range of colours…and Michele does custom work as well if you have something specific in mind.

As an attractive alternative to the Beach Bride Jewelry, Michele also offers a collection of lovely lower-priced jewels at Jewels by Michele. And there you have it: something for everyone, something for every barefoot occasion...and more.

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