Posts tagged with "jewelry"

Jewelry story illustration by Nicole Salazar for 360 MAGAZINE

Amethyst Stone Meaning, Value & History

Amethysts have been used by humans for millennia as decorative adornments, and this particular example of quartz is widely appreciated for its eye-catching violet hue and its alluring shimmer.

If you are keen to find out more about amethysts, read on for an introduction to everything you could ever want to know about this type of semi precious stone, from its etymology and history to its symbolism and meaning in modern culture.

Creation, location & value

Amethysts are found in several places around the world, sourced from the geodes that are left behind after volcanic activity has occurred.

The largest producer is Brazil, but there are also amethysts mined in places like Madagascar, South Korea, Russia and Canada, to name but a few.

The popularity of amethyst rings for women means that there is always plenty of demand for this gem, and it is the richness of the color which plays the biggest role in determining the value of individual stones. The deep purples of the amethysts mined in Siberia make them amongst the most sought-after and expensive, while also meaning that the carat count is not as relevant to cost as it is with other gems.

Jewelry set with amethysts can still be costly, although this typically comes down to the inclusion of other precious gems and rare metals, rather than the amethyst itself.

History & name explanation

While there is no specific evidence of humanity having interacted with amethysts in the unknowable mists of prehistory, it is safe to assume that any of our ancestors that found it would have been just as enamored with the glittering, shimmering color of these stones.

Thankfully the Ancient Egyptians are well-documented users of amethysts, and would go a step further than 21st century designers by choosing to use them as a medium for engraving. Etching images and symbols into the stones took expert craft skills and is a testament to how advanced this civilization was.

The name itself is actually derived from the language spoken in Ancient Greece, with the literal translation being ‘not drunk’. This entertaining etymology came about because Greeks believed that by wearing an amethyst around their neck, they would be able to stave off the effects of imbibing too much alcohol. Clearly preventing inebriation is not something that amethysts can actually do, but it is intriguing to see what attributes the ancient peoples of the Mediterranean ascribed to these stones.

From these earlier uses, amethysts would continue to spread globally over the course of many centuries, appearing in Britain during the middle ages and even being adopted in the Anglican branch of Christianity specifically because of their alleged anti-intoxication capabilities.

Interpretations & birthstone status

It is not just drunkenness which is legendarily avoided by wearing amethysts; throughout history a number of different capabilities have been associated with these stones.

One claim is that they can be used to ensure that the wearer maintains a level head, even when the circumstances around them might give them cause to go a little haywire.

Others believe that amethyst is packed with healing powers, allowing it to do everything from reducing anxiety and annoyance to pulling people out of pits of despair and grief. It could even improve your memory and make you more ambitious and motivated, if you buy into the more outlandish claims.

Irrespective of your position on the actual abilities amethyst brings to the table, there is no doubting that it is widely known as the birthstone for the month of February. While you do not need to have been born in this window to wear amethyst jewelry, if you are a February baby then it could be the push you need to pick between several precious stones when buying your next piece.

Jewelry uses & synthetic production

We have touched upon the various ways in which amethysts have been harnessed throughout history to enhance and augment jewelry of many types, and it is worth looking at the sheer variety that is on offer today to show how far the industry has come.

It is not common for amethysts to be used in engagement and wedding rings, as well as in everything from necklaces and earrings to bracelets and beyond.

While amethyst is semiprecious in nature, it works well when used alongside diamonds, since the brilliance of the latter’s crisp white reflectivity is a great counterpoint to the deep purples of the former.

Another point to mention is that lab-grown amethysts are a possibility, and are essentially indistinguishable to their naturally-occurring counterparts, without the use of equipment and techniques that are prohibitively expensive for general use. This is less of a problem than in the context of lab-grown diamond detection, for example, since amethysts are not at rare and can be mined with relative ease, as discussed above. Even so, it is worth being aware of this before you buy amethyst jewelry, so that you know exactly what you are getting ahead of committing to an order.

Sister stones

The quartz family of which amethyst is arguably the most famous member is fairly large, and color is the distinguishing factor between the varieties.

If violet is not for you, then yellows of citrine could tick the right boxes instead. The pinky hues of rose quartz is another popular option, while the gothic styling of smoky quartz is an intriguing alternative to the more radiant siblings on show.

Ultimately you need to consider all of your options and use your own aesthetic eye and tastes to determine whether amethyst is the right stone for you. There are also other things to keep in mind, such as the kind of cut that the stone should come in, and the metal in which it should be set to deliver the best results.

There is no wrong choice here, but rather a wonderful world of gemstones to discover, each with its own history, meaning and cultural importance which could sway you if it clicks with your personality.

MELANIE GRIFFITH’S TIFFANY & CO. DIAMOND AND PEARL BRACELETS PHOTO

Kruse GWS Auctions’ World Record

The world-record-breaking auction house, Kruse GWS Auctions, specializing in entertainment memorabilia, fine jewelry, iconic fashion accessories, Royal artifacts, antiques and collectibles, has announced another world record. On Saturday, December 5, 2020, the Oscar-nominated actress Melanie Griffith’s 48.00ctw Diamond, 8.5mm Pearl and Solid Platinum Pair of Antique Bracelets from her mother, Tippi Hedren, sold for $156,250 during the “Billionaire’s Estate & Royal Auction” event. The final bid marks the highest price paid for Tiffany & Co. jewelry at auction.

The pair of solid platinum, diamond and pearl antique bracelets personally owned by film star Melanie Griffith come with quintessential Hollywood provenance of having been gifted to her by her mother, iconic Hollywood actress Tippi Hedren, who famously won a Golden Globe Award for her iconic role in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.” The bracelets are collectively embellished with approximately 48ctw round and old European cut fiery white diamonds and are lined with eight 8.5mm pearls each. The bracelets were sold with a personal letter from Griffith’s famous mother and are housed in a fitted box. The bracelets measure 7” in length and 2.15” wide and are marked Tiffany & Co.

“Melanie Griffith is a true American fashion and film icon. These bracelets are so exquisite, our auction house recognized immediately they are fine art in the form of fine jewelry and we were proud to set a world record with their sale,” said Dame Brigitte Kruse. “They represent the highest level of Americana; being made at the peak of craftsmanship by iconic American jewelry company Tiffany & Co. and being gifted from iconic American actress Tippi Hendren to her daughter, fellow iconic American actress Melanie Griffith. Kruse GWS Auctions was thrilled to be trusted with such a remarkable opportunity. The sale of the beautiful Diamond and Platinum bracelet secured a new world record as well as a placement in a museum.”

ABOUT KRUSE GWS AUCTIONS, INC.

Kruse GWS Auctions is the world-record breaking auction house specializing in Hollywood Memorabilia, Fine Jewelry, Master Timepieces, Royal Artifacts, Luxury Vehicles, Antiques and Collectibles.  Founder Dame Brigitte Kruse is the first auctioneer to be knighted by a Royal Family, the first female auctioneer to be recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records and is a member of the Forbes Los Angeles Business Council.

Fifth-generation auctioneer Kruse recently co-founded iSynergy Network, a group of innovative industry leaders providing a platform and solutions for entrepreneurs within a network of professionals across interconnected industries “for the betterment of all.” The global auction house has been featured around the world for sales of such notable items as Elvis Presley’s personal jet, Marilyn Monroe’s famous black wool dress, Marlon Brando’s historic watch, Italian Renaissance philosopher Machiavelli’s estate in Florence, and the 14th century celadon bowl owned by the last Empress of Vietnam.  www.gwsauctions.com

Katie Commodore x The Untitled Space

The Untitled Space is pleased to present “Katie Commodore: Between Friends and Lovers” solo exhibition opening on November 21st, and on view through December 12, 2020.  Curated by Indira Cesarine, “Katie Commodore: Between Friends and Lovers” debuts a series of large scale erotically charged figurative tapestries, created with detailed adornments and unique embroideries, along with a number of her signature portraits in gouache, miniature watercolor paintings on ivory, as well as works on paper including intaglio etchings, metallic foil cutouts, and photogravure prints. Katie Commodore is an interdisciplinary artist who concentrates on creating intimate portraits of her friends. In 2000 Commodore received her BFA in illustration from Maryland Institute College of Art. In 2004 she obtained her MFA in printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design where she is currently an adjunct professor.

“Katie Commodore: Between Friends and Lovers”

A Solo Exhibition
Presented by The Untitled Space

THE UNTITLED SPACE
45 Lispenard Street, NYC 10013

*RSVP*
Due to COVID, there will be limited capacity inside the gallery, and guests are required to wear masks. RSVP Required via Registration Link. All RSVPs will be confirmed. Thank you in advance.
RSVP REGISTRATION LINK 

EXHIBITION ON VIEW
November 21– December 12, 2020

“Everyone is my friend and they are allowing me to be a witness to their love, which in turn is then celebrated by everyone that sees it.” Over the past few years, Katie Commodore’s artwork has concentrated on depicting real people’s sexuality, although not necessarily their sexual preferences, but rather sexuality in the broader sense. Her intimate portraits address what is it that makes them feel sexy, how they express that physically, and how it evolves over the years for them as individuals. “We change our clothes every season; our physical appearance through body modification, losing weight, gaining weight, tattoos, etc; we change our kinks and sexual preferences partner to partner, year to year.  Our sexuality, and how we feel about it, is in constant flux; the same way that we redecorate our homes, change the wallpaper and curtains, change the sheets.” States the artist on her portraits. Commodore likens this subtle change in how her friends express themselves to the way society also expresses its collective self through decorative patterns. “In a roundabout way, it can be looked at as a meter of a population’s ‘sexuality’ – the public expression of the private. Bright colors, vibrant patterns, clean lines, and minimal decoration all provide a window into the personalities that chose or created them. Historians and anthropologists often use the decorative remnants (pots, jewelry, frescos, etc.) of past cultures to gain valuable insight into the lives of the people that created them, the same sort of cultural portrait can be drawn from our design choices today.”

Throughout the years, she has focused on various mediums including drawing, painting, printmaking, textiles, and scrimshaw. She has often emphasized materials that are not considered “fine art” but were rather thought of as women’s “hobbies” and in so doing highlights their traditional merit. A majority of her artwork is portraits of her friends during their most erotic moments, acting as a celebration of personal power, beauty, and sexuality.  It is a subtle, but often rich moment that shows the kink, sexual fulfillment, and the sexual interests of those closest to her. “Any activity that helps someone express their sexuality is beautiful, to be supported, and worthy of being immortalized in art.” She states of her sexually charged portraits which depict real people in the moment, captured through private photo sessions with the artist which are used as references for her paintings or prints.

Commodore was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2007, which forced her to adjust her artistic practice. Her diagnosis motivated her to explore ways of maintaining the vibrant patterns and detail that she’s known for while not having to rely completely on her super fine motor skills. “Right before I was diagnosed with MS my artwork got much more detailed and pattern-based, and I think that was an unconscious reaction to the fact that I was losing my super-fine motor skills. Since then, I’ve adapted my studio practice to accommodate what I can and cannot do. I don’t draw with a pencil or pen as much anymore, paint brushes are more forgiving when it comes to small hand tremors. I do much more planning and sketching in the computer. Embroidery has been a real change that allows me to maintain the compulsive marking and patterns while there’s no need for perfect hand-eye coordination.”

Her latest series of large-scale figurative tapestries are ripe with intricate details. In a continuation of her signature style she presents bold figures against dramatically complex patterns, pushing the visuals into the realm of surreal erotic fantasies. The sheer scale of the works heightens the drama in a cinematic manner with the life-sized figures taking center stage. “Tandem to creating miniatures and paintings with vivid patterns, I’ve always been interested in creating life-sized portraiture. In grad school I did a series of life-sized relief prints and over the years I’ve done several life-sized drawings that I then spent months filling in with patterns. There was always something about portraying my models in a completely relatable scale that took the image from something precious to something actually more personal, the viewer can feel their gaze and the energy in their pose, feel their weight and almost come away feeling like they know the model in real life. Several years ago, I wanted to have custom tapestries made to reference the historical value of tapestries while giving tribute to the fact that often women were the actual makers of the tapestries which were usually designed by men. My digitally woven textiles start out as drawings in my computer. Like my works on paper, the patterns are historical wallpaper and fabric designs that range from the medieval to contemporary examples. I embroider on them, adding appliques (chine collé, if you will), bejeweling and beading away for hours, turning them into monoprints. I’m creating something new that combines the immediate gratification of print on demand fabricated works with the meditative, time consuming craft of embroidery and fiber arts. I juxtapose mass-produced elements with the uniqueness of each piece, elevating each patch and plastic bead to something more substantial.” She also introduces a number of text works in fiber that complement the series with their adventurously powerful statements.

Katie Commodore has exhibited throughout the United States and Europe, including England, Italy, Germany, and Greece. She has had solo exhibitions at Baby Grand, NYC, and SHAG, Brooklyn. Her work has been previously featured in a number of group shows presented by The Untitled Space including “(Hotel) XX” at Spring/Break Art Show, “IRL: Investigating Reality” and “Secret Garden”. Other notable exhibitions include “FEMME” presented by Spoke Art and Juxtapoz Magazine, SCOPE Art Fair, “StitchFetish 6” at The Hive Gallery, and “Facing the Walls” at The VETs Gallery. Residencies include ChaNorth, Pine Plains, New York; Red Light Design, Amsterdam, Holland; and One Night Residency, London, England. She is currently the Administrative Director of Crux, LCA, a cooperative of Black XR Creatives and Producers that focuses on Black storytelling and creating a foothold in the burgeoning vocabulary of new media of VR and creating Black wealth. Commodore has been featured in a number of publications including The New York Times and Dazed Digital, among others. She currently lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island.

Rita Azar illustrates fashion article for 360 MAGAZINE

Tips For Supporting Ethical Fashion 

There is no time like right now to make the switch to ethical fashion, with the report Future of Consumer Demand showing that the vast majority of Americans place a high importance on buying goods that are ethically produced. When it comes to fashion, the exact definition of ‘ethics’ is difficult to provide, since it extends to a wide array of issues – including fair working conditions, sustainability, support for upcoming creators, animal welfare, and fair trade. A recent Futerra survey showed that around 90% of consumers in the U.S. and the U.K. want to make a positive difference with each purchase they make. They feel that their actions can be part of a big wave that reduces pressing problems such as global warming. If you are ready to start supporting companies that are ‘giving back’, what qualities should you look for in your chosen brands?

Ethical Working Conditions

If you are drafting a list of fashion and accessory companies you would like to start supporting, spend time getting to know their policy on working conditions. For instance, if you are buying luxury gems such as diamonds, ensuring they are conflict-free and ethically sourced is key. More than 99% of accessible diamonds meet Kimberley certificate standards. However, this certificate is a logistic document that states a rough diamond was exported from a specific country under the stipulations of the Kimberley process. It does not tell you if the mine a specific diamond was obtained from provides local jobs or funds opportunities for diverse groups such as women. Therefore, inquiring about these matters can help you make a decision when considering various brands or jewelry houses.

A Passion For Sustainability
It is very easy to see which brands are 100% committed to lowering their carbon footprint. Truly green brands such as Stella McCartney have been raising the bar in terms of the use of organic, recycled and upcycled materials practically since their launch. Brands should do more than release the odd sustainable collection. They should have published policies regarding energy use, water saving, ethical sourcing of materials (i.e. materials should not hail from endangered forests), and the establishment of strict quality and sustainability standards. They should also commit to reducing oil-based synthetics during the manufacturing process.

Supporting Innovation

Check out the efforts made by each brand to support the Planet. Some have come up with innovative ways to put an end to problems such as plastics. Pangaia, famed for its über-chic tracksuits, use material obtained from recycled bottles. The fabric obtained is then colored with natural botanical dyes, and ‘freshened up’ with natural peppermint, which battles bacteria. Reformation (which manufactures swimwear) also creates items made with recycled plastic, while Isbjörn of Sweden uses fish trap to create resilient items that are also 100% PFC-free and bluesign certified.

Design For Life

Ethical fashion should also aim to be used by several owners so as to prolong the life cycle of every item and reduce the amount of waste that is overburdening landfills. Essén is one such label; it produces all collections in small batches, moving away from the idea of short-term trends and seasonality. The aim is for every single item to be used throughout the year, with minimalist looks holding sway in the summer and layering being embraced to stay warm and cosy during the winter. Another interesting minimalist brand is Working Title. In order to reduce its carbon footprint, this company only sells made-to-order items, meaning that every single outfit they make is fully desired and cherished. When purchasing items for a new season, go with items you think will stand the test of time. Ensure you have wardrobe essentials such as a ‘little black dress’, a white tailored top, black trousers, and a good coat you can dress up or down. You can still stay in trend, buying a couple of ‘in’ clothing items and accessories but mainly sticking to items you know will look good just as good next year as they do this year.

Choosing Durable Items

Genuinely sustainable items should be able to withstand plenty of wear and tear if it is to stand the test of time and be worn a lifetime or passed down to various users before being thrown away. Isbjörn, mentioned above owing to its innovative spirit, also has a big focus on durability. All items are made with materials built to last, and have sewn-in labels with space for three kids’ names (the aim being that every piece should be used by at least three people). The company goes a step further, offering to replace any items that are broken. Why buy a new coat when your favorite comfy coat can be repaired and look as good as new? Companies should ideally offer customers tips to increase the lifespan of clothing. These can include information on how to repair and wash items. They can also include suggestions on where to donate clothes once customers are done with them. The brand Vaude, for instance, has a free online platform called iFixit, which provides instructions on how to fix various products.

Embracing Diversity

Sustainable companies that truly desire to make a difference should take other ethical considerations into account, one of which involves embracing diversity. The 21st century is arguably the first to embrace different races, body types, and ages in advertising and fashion. Brands should do more than simply market themselves as ethical; they should also put their money where their mouth is, releasing collections in sizes that reflect the diversity of their customer base. Just a few brands that have already done so include Adidas, Apiece Apart, and Diane von Furstenberg. The latter’s iconic wrap dresses are now available in sizes 14 to 24, thanks to its recent partnership with Honoré.

If you are ready to make more eco-conscious fashion choices, a good place to start is by checking out the sustainability policies of your favorite brands. Those that do value ethical working conditions, the environment, and other issues such as animal welfare, will usually share their values with you via their website and social media channels. Be vigilant about shopping for jewelry as well, since truly ethically sourced diamonds have more to them than simply complying with the Kimberley certificate standards. When choosing a brand to support, also think about the extent to which they are truly making an effort to effect change. Efforts can range from choosing innovative materials right through to improving durability and educating customers on how to increase a product’s lifespan. Finally, this millennium is one that is firmly focused on diversity. Ethical companies should support the idea that all human beings have a right to look and feel like their best selves through the clothes they wear. Companies can show their commitment to diversity by employing models with varying ages, races, and body types. They can also make collections in various sizes so that their garments can be worn by a truly representative group of people. One of the best ways to find out more about fashion brands is to check out their websites. If they are truly serious about sustainability and ethics, they will most likely have a sustainability section in which they list the many steps they are taking to change the superficial reputation that fashion can sometimes have.

Kaelen Felix Illustrates a Fundraising Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Gilda’s Club x The Yellow Cab Project

Nov. 12, the Gilda’s Club NYC will host their annual gala, honoring Giovanni Caforio (M.D. Bristol Myers Squibb) and Emma Stone (Actress and Gilda’s Club NYC Ambassador), virtually.

As part of this year’s Gilda’s Club NYC fundraising, Remembering Marco will participate in the virtual auction launched on Nov. 5 with The Yellow Cab Project. The Yellow Cab Project is part of Remembering Marco, a charity initiative started by Annalisa Menin in 2013 to raise funds in memory of her husband, Marco Omiccioli.

Annalisa Menin, an Italian entrepreneur and writer who was originally from Venice, Italy, built her name with her first publishing project “My Last Year in New York,” a blog that then became a book.

It was dedicated to her husband, Marco Omiccioli, who died prematurely at the age of 33 from cancer in Nov. of 2013.

The Yellow Cab Project started when Annalisa stopped in front of the Kendra Scott window in SoHo, located at the intersection of Spring and Greene Streets. Along with jewelry and beautiful handbags, there were a few die-cast model yellow cabs being used as props, a tribute to the city of New York.

Annalisa went inside to ask what would happen to all those models once the window was emptied. Once she discovered that they would be thrown away, she thought, “Oh, no! I want them!”

Two weeks later, she went home in a real life version of those models, driven by a lovely gentleman with a white, cloud-shaped beard. She carried eight boxes containing as many cabs.

Annalisa created The Yellow Cab Project in 2020. It involved five international artists, designers and creatives, giving them the opportunity to “contaminate” the die-cast model cabs in their own way. The five artists were Warø, Jon Koon, Iena Cruz, Marco Gallotta and Clint Henderson.

To remember Marco in this very eventful year, Annalisa chose to support Gilda’s Club NYC. She strongly believes in their mission to “support, educate, and empower cancer patients and their families.”

This year, Gilda’s Club is turning 25 years old, and they will celebrate this important milestone with a virtual gala Nov. 12. It is the perfect occasion for the die-cast models, now precious objects of beauty and art, to be donated and auctioned, raising funds for Gilda’s Club NYC and its community from Nov. 5 to Nov. 16.

“We are so excited to have these one-of-a-kind yellow taxis included in our 25th Anniversary milestone event to benefit our cancer patients and families and are grateful for this generous collaboration with Annalisa and the remembering Marco Omiccioli Charity Initiative,” said Lily Safani, CEO of Gilda’s Club.

In these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gilda’s Club NYC, the cancer support organization founded in memory of Saturday Night Live comedienne, Gilda Radner, transitioned their free cancer support program to a virtual program. They will continue to provide essential support services to cancer patients who are among some of the most vulnerable in this pandemic.

Members have expressed sincere gratitude for their quick transition to virtual programming. Due to the increased demand for this program and an affected donor base, they need additional funds to serve their current and growing community.

Annalisa personally experienced how important it is for grieving individuals to have a support system, especially in a city like New York, where many are far away from loved ones. She joined one of the bereavement group at Gilda’s Club NYC in 2013 after her husband Marco passed away, and it helped her tremendously.

You can find more information about Gilda’s Club by clicking right here.

ICM Virtual Fundraising Banquet

International Care Ministries’ Virtual Fundraising Banquet

Raises US$1.72 million for the Ultra-poor in the Philippines

ICM’s Banquet Proved to be “More than a Dream” as it Exceeded Expectations

International Care Ministries (ICM), a non-profit organization that brings transformation to the ultra-poor, held their annual fundraising banquet in Hong Kong to resounding success. The internationally streamed gala, entitled “More than a Dream” raised HK$13.3 million or US$1.72 million, exceeding the amount raised the year before.

In a normal year, ICM’s much anticipated banquet gathers hundreds of Hong Kong’s top executives. But, with COVID-19 putting restrictions on in-person events, ICM’s 2020 banquet went virtual, streaming live from Hong Kong to the world.. The silver lining of online gatherings is that they are open to all; 1600 well-dressed guests from 16 countries participated, including Hong Kong, the Philippines, United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Uganda, and Guatemala. 

With restrictions easing slightly in Hong Kong in early October, several hundred guests were also able to gather at the Aberdeen Marina Club (AMC) to watch the live stream together. In compliance with strict social distancing protocols in Hong Kong, the four-person tables were socially distanced and spread out over multiple rooms within the venue. 

The program, broadcast live from a closed room in the AMC, included the highlights that introduced ICM’s work to those who are only learning about it for the first time—but long-time ICM supporters have come to look forward to every year.

“In the midst of crisis, heroes are everywhere.”

ICM’s CEO David Sutherland began his keynote by acknowledging the impact of the virus on ICM’s many plans for 2020 such as opening a dozen new locations across the Philippines and launching ICM’s first international expansion in Uganda. Just as the pandemic had done across the world, it forced ICM to put aside those plans in the face of a more urgent need as ICM pivoted from development to relief operations almost overnight. 

“For the first time in 30 years, the world is going on the wrong direction in the fight against poverty,” Sutherland said.  The World Bank predicted that an extra 150 million people will fall into poverty because of the pandemic.” ICM’s focus is on the ultra-poor and this has been a devastating year for them. Under lockdowns, many had no work, which meant no money, and no food.

Through personal stories, Sutherland showed the need for the people ICM has been reaching. ICM has identified five million specific Filipinos who were in serious need, and has delivered goods to four million so far. Among other relief goods, ICM has distributed 14 million meals, over 200 million seeds, gave two months’ worth of ready-to-eat-food to 18,000 children suffering from malnutrition.

“We are well aware that virtual is much less engaging than live,” Sutherland admitted. “But the poor can’t wait until we gather again. There is more need now than ever before, and we can’t bring solutions without you. So today we are going to ask you to continue your faithfulness, even when we are virtual.”

A Big Moment of Giving

The silent-auction was also conducted online through OpenHeart’s silent auction and pledge system. Registered guests made their bids on beautiful Filipino and international artwork, jewelry, unique travel packages, and experiences. Despite not being able to include travel prizes this year, the auction still raised HK$1.3 million or over US$166,000.

The Moment of Giving, one of the most thrilling highlights of every ICM banquet was, as before, presided over by US national champion auctioneer Kristine Duininck, who logged on from her home in Minnesota. While she was unable to fly to Hong Kong for this year’s banquet, Duininck’s passion and energy was felt around the world. With her encouragement, donors pledged as much as HK$800,000 online, instantly acknowledged and thanked by Duininck as their bidder numbers flashed on screen. 

The pledges made in these few minutes poured in from all over the world, leaving guests at the AMC and online awestruck by the extravagant display of generosity. Twenty-five donors pledged to give HK$80,000 (US$10,000), and their gifts will be “double-matched” by Find Us Faithful, which unlocks HK$3.9 million (US$500,000) of matching funds. 

The COVID-19 pandemic may have forced people to keep their distance from each other, but this shared global experience has brought humanity closer. In a year of great need, many have risen to the occasion to help their fellow human beings, be it to someone as close as a neighbor or to as far as a family living in ultra-poverty on the other side of the world. ICM’s first-ever virtual fundraising banquet was a testament to that. 

The amount raised that evening surpassed expectations. The banquet has provided ICM with 20% of the funds needed to meet its annual budget, and reach hundreds of thousands of people living in ultra-poverty. “Our team will need to build on this fantastic start during the remainder of our year,” Sutherland said.

ICM’s work continues as the world transitions to the new normal.

To donate and to learn more about ICM’s work, please log on towww.caremin.com

For videos from the event, you can watch them all on YouTube: 

Countdown Show: https://youtu.be/5JWpTnSJI9I

Banquet: https://youtu.be/MT-0mByKkG4

More than a dream song: https://youtu.be/CKefXqviEsc

Rita Azar illustrates fashion article in 360 MAGAZINE

House of Luxury × Harrods

Jewelry connoisseurs are set to have the ultimate pre-Christmas shopping experience as House of Luxury launches their fine and high jewelry pop-up at Harrods‘ renowned Knightsbridge store this October. The special event features new and exclusive jewelry collections by renowned international designer brands, Simone Jewels, Terzihan, YEPREM and Alessa Jewelry. 

In regards to the collaboration, Beth Hannaway, Head of Fine Jewelry & Watches at Harrods said, “It is always exciting to offer unique, one-of-a-kind experiences to our luxury jewelry clients, especially during the holiday season. As one of a few pop-ups we have planned this year, we’ve partnered with the House of Luxury to deliver a truly special experience, showcasing a curated edit of exclusive pieces from Simone Jewels and Terzihan. My personal highlight is from Terzihan, with a striking collection of rose gold, diamond and vibrant green malachite, which is a selection I’m sure our clients will love too.” 

There will also be an opportunity to shop virtually through Harrods own super seller team who can set up hyper-customized shopping experiences via Zoom for jewelry and any other high-end accessories. Whether it be through Zoom or in-person, all of the collections are stunningly unique. Simone Jewels’ High Jewelry collection paints from a generous palette of gemstones in vibrant hues. Terzihan’s ‘Neutra’ features bold proportions and a striking mix of colors and textures that provide an interesting contrast to the brilliant serenity of the Simone’s collection. In addition, beginning on November 15th, the beloved Lebanese designer brand YEPREM’s stunning diamond pieces. Lastly, Alessa Jewelry’s highly sought after ‘Unity Stacks’ bracelets offer customers a chance to show solidarity with the cities they love. 

Finding Peace With MantraBand

By Payton Saso

Finding peace of mind in today’s world seems almost impossible. With an election looming, a pandemic still happening and many uncertainties in everyday life, creating a positive outlook can be hard.

One company is working hard to impact peoples everyday lives in order to lead a lifestyle of optimism, positivity, and mindfulness.

MantraBand Bracelets has made it their mission to do just that. They believe that positive thinking and mindfulness can lead to a better life; and they’re not wrong.

Harvard researched the benefits of mindfulness in 2013 and found that “mindfulness also brings about a well-studied physiological change that can help lower your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, oxygen consumption, adrenaline levels, and levels of the stress hormone cortisol.”

But what is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a type of mediation where one focuses vigorously on becoming aware of your senses and feelings in a moment without interpreting these things or feeling judgement, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Positive thinking has its own onslaught of benefits. Research from the Mayo Clinic shows positive thinking can provide: increased lifespan, lower rates of distress and depression, better immune system, better psychological and physical well-being, better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and better coping skills during hardships and times of stress.

Adding this practice into one’s life isn’t just becoming blind to one’s problems and choosing to not acknowledge hardships, but the act of changing the outlook on these situations.

Positive thinking can be achieved through a few different techniques that have been proven effective, such as positive self-talk and positive imagery,” HealthLine explains. “What it will do is make problems seem more manageable and help you approach hardships in a more positive and productive way.”

Focus lies on changing the way you view the world and MantraBand knows having a daily reminder to do so can help this journey. That’s why MantraBand created their bracelets with custom mantras engraved facing the world with you or hidden inside just for you. They also offer an array of different styled bands to find the perfect fit.

If bracelets aren’t your thing, MantraBand has a whole collection that includes necklaces, rings and products made for men. As well as a lifestyle section with t-shirts, mugs, stickers and books to subtly add a mantra into your everyday life.

MantraBand isn’t just dedicated to impact individuals lives that purchase the bracelets, but the global community as well.

They are members of 1% for the Planet, which is an organization where companies donate 1% of their annual sales to non-profit organizations that help the environment. They also have a CharityBands line, in which $5 of each sale is donated to the charity tied to the bracelet.

We could all use a little reminder nowadays to be present and mindful, and Mantraband has created a way we can have that.

Vivienne Hu SS 2021

Vivienne Hu released her Spring/Summer 2021 Working from Home collection, a practical and motivating collection, made its debut in New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, 16th of September.

An expertly designed, fifty pieces ensemble by New York based designer Vivienne Hu focuses on relaxed and feminine comfort without sacrificing style to include homelike garments which can be worn both at home and elsewhere. In addition to original handmade accessories, this collection emphasizes the effortless transition from loungewear to luxury fashion. The Vivienne Hu collection is crafted with fluid fabrics, a joyful color palette, and trouble-free silhouettes.

The collection exhibits a blend of classic European elegance and New York downtown style, where the concept caters to women who have a strong sense of independence and a desire for displaying their femininity and personality in a unique way.

Vivienne Hu’s relaxed and practical collection pair modern silhouettes with interesting details. Her softened structures are strongly inspired by empowering oneself to get through the situation through the whole world. Her collections have been gracing New York Fashion week since 2014, and today, the brand includes womenswear, handbags, shoes, accessories, and cosmetics.

Vivienne Hu is a designer based in New York City. Before pursuing fashion, she received her bachelor’s degree in Finance from University of Hohenheim in Germany. She then worked in the Investment Banking industry in New York for several years. She eventually decided to change careers due to her zeal for fashion and her love of creativity and the arts.

After obtaining a fashion degree from Parsons School of Design, Vivienne Hu established her brand, and debuted her Spring/Summer collection in 2012. Quickly, she gained industry experience working at Oscar de la Renta and Yigal Azrouel. Hu formally launched her flagship store in Soho, New York in 2013. In 2016, she launched her second store at 107 Mercer Street, also in the heart of Soho, New York. Her designs have been featured in fashion magazines including WWD, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Bazaar, Art and Designs, and Elegant.

On her design philosophy and personal vision, Hu says “In the corporate world I see women lose their personal style for the sake of professionalism…forced to follow dress code and as a result being ‘uniform.’ Women should never be forced to give up something so personal …My vision is to break open this forced box by bridging the gap between personality and professionalism.”

Runway Video

Front Looks

Detail Looks

Rita Azar illustrates fashion article in 360 MAGAZINE

The Forging of Silver Jewelry

Human beings have been adorning themselves with jewels for thousands of years. Jewelry is one of the eldest archeological artifacts. Ancient Egypt is where it all began thousands of years ago. Since then, so much has changed, but some practices remain the same.

Jewelry makes a statement, highlights status, and indicates personal style. Silver, for instance, is used in making these pieces. It is highly malleable and reflective as well, which makes it an ideal raw material for making designer silver jewelry. This includes rings, anklets, bracelets, earrings, and plenty more besides.

Jewelry can be mass-produced in a plant, but it can also be forged from the comfort of your home. Below, we will look at the various kinds of silver that are used in the manufacture of jewelry pieces.

Types of Silver Used in Jewelry Making

Fine .999 Silver

Fine .999 Silver is the nearest metal to the unadulterated silver element. It is described as .999, representing 99.9% purity. Fine silver appears duller in comparison to the bright polish of sterling silver.

Fine silver is lax and will scratch, dent and bend shape reasonably easy. This is why fine silver jewelry is not as common as sterling silver jewelry since the pieces are not durable. The advantage of fine silver is that it is easy to forge, and it is highly impervious to tarnish.

Sterling .925 Silver

Sterling silver is the quality standard of jewelry in most world markets, making it the most known of the kinds of Silver used in jewelry. Sterling silver is an alloy consisting of 92.5% pure silver. The residual 7.5% usually is copper, though other elements such as nickel are at times used as well.

The other elements add strength, durability, and shine to the silver. Sterling silver is shiny but very prone to tarnish. Although sterling silver is tougher than fine silver, it is still reasonably lax compared to many other metals.

Nickel Silver

With regard to this type, silver defines the color of the metal and not the content. Nickel silver is a base metal alloy entailing of mostly copper coupled with nickel and/or zinc.

It is a cheap base metal that is comparable in appearance to sterling silver. Nickel silver is used in clothing jewelry but should be evidently marked and labeled as a nickel alloy since many individuals are allergic to nickel.

Tibetan Silver

Tibetan silver is also known as Tribal Silver, is a base metal alloy that has a silver appearance. The insides of this alloy tremendously vary and may lack silver entirely.

Some of these come from mysterious lands and can contain hazardous metals such as lead, so be careful when purchasing. However, the pieces can be attractive, so buy for the design and not for the quality of the metal.

Argentium Silver

Argentium silver comprises much cleaner than sterling and is available in two grades: 93.2% or 96% purity.  This is coupled with copper and germanium, which makes the metal more robust, more resistant to discolor, easier to clean and maintain.

Because this is a brand, only sanctioned jewelers can use the Argentium stamp, which features a flying unicorn. Argentium silver is nickel-free and hypoallergenic, but it also costs more than most other silver alloys.

Silver-Filled

Silver-filled is parallel in features to gold-filled metals. In terms of worth, it sits somewhere between sterling and Silver coated.

Silver-filled is not an alloy but rather a kind of coating that contains a denser layer of silver. Silver-filled jewelry is difficult to preserve as it discolors quickly. However, on the bright side, it’s cheaper than sterling silver.

Conclusion

To sum it all up, silver jewelry can be forged from various types of silver. The wearer is the one who decides the kind of silver they want on their jewelry, depending on their price point and the type of shine they wish for their pieces.