Perfect Sapphire Jewellery at Angara.com

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had an intense penchant for Sapphires. I think it may be linked to my style crush on Diana, Princess of Wales, who was the epitome of a fairytale princess, and wore an enormous sapphire engagement ring on her finger. My first proper ring was a gift from my grandparents. It was a small blue sapphire that I wore with love until my finger grew big and the the piece was consigned to my jewellery box. Recently I’ve started wearing it on a chain around my neck, and have been looking at some sapphire pendants that are available at Angara.com.

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‘The Gemstone destination’, Angara owns a family history in gemstone cutting, polishing and design. Since 2005 it has been selling jewellery direct to the public, and is now available to the UK. One of the specialities of Angara is sapphires, with a current range of Mother’s Day Sapphire pendants available in different cuts, carat weights, quality of stones and settings.

Solitaire Blue Sapphire Heart Pendant £97.07 click to visit Angara

Solitaire Blue Sapphire Heart Pendant £97.07 click to visit Angara

Oval Blue Sapphire and Diamond Shell Pendant from £103.59 click to visit Angara

Oval Blue Sapphire and Diamond Shell Pendant from £103.59 click to visit Angara

Angara allows you to customise your pendant, according to your taste and budget and helps create a bespoke piece. In addition, you can divide the cost of your item by paying in installments,( maximum three installments available on most items).  You can enjoy buying with Angara as it lets you choose the metal for your chain pendant i.e. silver, white gold, yellow gold and even platinum.

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Diamond Halo Pear Blue Sapphire Vintage Drop Pendant £813.72 click to visit Angara

With Prince William choosing to give Kate Middleton his mother’s sapphire ring, sapphires have earned immense love from young and modern women of today, especially in engagement stunners. Kate has been spotted wearing a beautiful, matching pair of earrings on many occasions, confirming to the timelessness of this royal blue stone.

However, if blue isn’t your colour choice, remember to own sapphires in girly shade of pink.  Pink sapphires look lovely in silver or white gold setting.

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Solitaire Heart Pink Sapphire Bezel Set Pendant from £292.53 click to visit Angara

Solitaire Heart Pink Sapphire Bezel Set Pendant from £292.53 click to visit Angara

Do you love Sapphires? What is your favourite gemstone? Would love to hear your thoughts.

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Naomi Watts recalls the glamour of Diana

During the last week, whilst I was enjoying a family holiday, I have been engrossed on a daily basis with the pictures that have been emerging from the film set of ‘Caught in Flight’. For those unfamiliar with that title, this is the film of the last few years of the life of Diana, Princess of Wales covering the events leading up to her tragic death in that Parisian tunnel in 1997, with thelate Princess being portrayed by a uncannily Diana -Like Naomi Watts.

I was a huge fan of the late Princess of Wales from the day she stepped out of that carriage at St Paul’s cathedral in that crumpled wedding dress, and I adore looking at images of her impeccable style. Some of the images from the 1980s have dated somewhat, but by 1996-1997 Diana was no longer married to Prince Charles and feeling compelled to buy and wear British designers. This was a time when Gianni Versace became a Diana favourite, when Diana auctioned off her dress collection for charity, and embraced a new, younger and far sexier style.

Now. looking at some of the looks recreated for the upcoming film, it is clear that, 15 years on, these styles haven’t dated, they still look chic and fresh, and show that Diana was a woman who had a classic elegance that remains timeless. A particular favourite has to be the totally stunning Versace one shouldered dress in vibrant blue. This was a killer dress 15 years ago, and remains so today.

Other styles have been recreated, including dresses from Catherine Walker, the Panorama suit, and pretty floral shift dresses. Melissa Odabash has been tasked with recreating swimsuits similar to those Diana wore on the Al Fayed yacht in that fateful summer. There is no doubt that the finished movie will be seriously stylish, even if it has the most heartbreaking of endings.

If you are a fan of Diana style, there are some amazing books out there with plenty of pictures for timeless royal inspiration. Here are a few I would definitely recommend.

Diana Fashion and Style [Paperback £9.06 click to visit Amazon

Dressing Diana (Diana Princess of Wales) [Illustrated

Diana Style [Hardcover

This book is also absolutely fabulous, featuring Diana, Kate Middleton, Princess Grace of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock amongst others. I read this recently during a trip to Wales and was totally absorbed by the style of these ladies. High recommended.

Royal Style: A History of Aristocratic Fashion Icons £17.49 click to visit Amazon

 

 

An evening with Amanda Wakeley

A few weeks ago I was invited to one of the most exciting experiences of my life, the chance to meet a real fashion legend, a woman whose designs have been worn by the likes of Diana, Princess of Wales and Kate Middleton, and whose career is full of amazing highs and horrifying lows, the fabulous Amanda Wakeley.

I was invited by Fiona Gandy from the digital media agency 7thingsmedia, along with a small group of bloggers to spend an evening with Amanda at her flagship store on the Fulham Road, London. On arrival we were greeted with Pink Champagne and canapés, and had chance to marvel at the beautiful clothes that were surrounding us. There was a lot of excitement in the studio at the news that Venus Williams was going to be wearing an Amanda design at the Pre Wimbledon party at Kensington Roof Gardens the following evening, and this general air just added to the glamour of the evening.

Venus Williams wearing Amanda Wakeley

 

Amanda circulated amongst the audience before the start of the talk, and was warm and very friendly. She was really interested in talking about my blog and was interested to find out the origins of Fashion-Mommy and how I was using this to forge a career and make some sort of living from it.   We also had an interesting chat about the situation with fashion interns and the problems that this has created.

Amanda then gave us a potted history of the Amanda Wakeley line. We heard about the origins of the original designs from the early 1990s, when Amanda found it difficult to find the cool, clean lines and understated garments that she had enjoyed wearing in New York in the late 1980s, how she had often been asked about her handmade clothing(particularly a black suede duster coat) whilst out shopping in London in stores like Browns and Harvey Nichols, and how she had realised there was a real gap in the market for well made, understated clothing in the UK.

Amanda explained how she had started in a very small studio, but that the label had taken off so that soon Diana, Princess of Wales was wearing the label. Amanda explained ‘Back then, the power of dressing a royal was huge, the same as dressing Angelina Jolie, or Kate Middleton today.’

However the success of the 1990s was followed by the dark times of the millennium. Many problems with the ownership of the company and the company name saw Amanda Wakeley hit her lowest point in December 2008, with the company sold from beneath her to a restructuring company. She says ‘I didn’t even own Amanda Wakeley – the name, my name.’

However Amanda bounced back and registered the name AW Atelier, and by the end of January 2009 she was able to buy back the Amanda Wakeley name and Amanda Wakeley Bridal. The new flagship store was opened in 2009, with the website launched in the same year. The very successful jewellery line was launched in 2010, and is now highly acclaimed, and much sort after. Amanda’s story is a real cautionary tale, but one that has a really positive ending.

I asked Amanda the question – Did you ever feel like giving up?

AW: For about 3 weeks in Christmas 2008 – I felt really bad about what had happened with the company being sold beneath me. I thought how could someone I had known socially do that to me? But after that three weeks – no. Still as passionate as ever.

Another question – How important do you think online influence, marketing is?

AW: So important – generating both sales and brand awareness, taping into different markets. As little as 5 years ago print was way more important than online, but you couldn’t say that now. What Natalie Massenet has done with Net-A-Porter is amazing. What vision!

What is your proudest moment?

AW: Probably my OBE. But it is also rewarding when a women wears your clothes and feels empowered, as rewarding as when celebs wear my clothes?

I did try to find a little about Kate Middleton, but…

AW: I have to sign a confidentiality clause…but I can say she is a fan of the brand….

What keeps you up at night?

AW: Everything – My dog! Sales figures, all aspects of the job. Always things to think about – always the next collection.

Who would you like to dress?

AW: I love Emily Blunt, and Rachel Weiss, they both have great style, they’re both cool.

And the new, Pre-Fall collection…?

Lots of corsetry. Scuba jersey – 1950s inspired. Kaftans in beautifully embellished Japanese silk. Clothing that is soft on the outside but structured on the inside. Leather is very popular in the collection – Nappa leather in particular feels gorgeous. Calf skin dresses with exposed zips – something of a signiature. A little bit of Mad Men styling.

 

With many thanks to Amanda Wakeley, 7thingsmedia and Fiona Gandy.