Thursday, April 26, 2012

NATHALIE SHERMAN | SOPHIA & CHLOE

14-Karat Gold Vermeil Anne's Lalique
Cameo Necklace
The picturesque city of Asilah, located in the African country of Morocco, is one of Morocco’s oldest cities.

Centuries-old gateworks, towers and ramparts still stand in peak condition; acting as an ancient backdrop for cultural festivals.  Morocco is also the birthplace of Nathalie Sherman.

Although I appreciate the underlying message of charm jewelry—to empower and encourage—in all frankness I think the market is over-saturated with the usual suspects of wishbones, hearts and four-leaf clovers.

Through her sixteen-year-old brand, Sophia & Chloe, named for her two daughters, Sherman brings what I feel is a breath of fresh air to this tried-and-true yet rather stagnant design trend.  

Symbols like the peace sign, Om and Buddha are reimagined into patterns that are subtle references of the original symbol.  Sherman also reinterprets the intricacies of Moroccan Henna tattoos such as her 14-karat yellow gold plated bronze French Buddha’s Kiss Earrings.

“Each tiny arabesque detail has a distinct meaning.  The design repeats the Henna symbol for the word “kiss” that forms a happy little Buddha,” says the California-based designer. 

“Instead of using a standard symbol, like the peace sign, I make my pieces so that the symbol isn’t completely obvious.  I create something I think is a little more poetic, a little more lyrical.”
14-Karat Gold Luxe Chalcedony Link Bracelet

The former paralegal embarked on a career in jewelry design in 1996 after the birth of her first child, Sophia.  “I began compulsively designing jewelry and learning everything I could about manufacturing my design ideas,” she says.  “I am completely self-taught and my work has evolved over the years from fashion-oriented collections to bolder, more evocative designs.”

Keeping in line with her other charm jewelry collections, Oh So Charming, and Signs of a Good Life, Sherman’s collection of bangle bracelets, Language of Bangles, is an assortment of several different bracelets that hold a very special place with the designer.  They are inspired by a tradition within her family.

“On my 10th birthday, I was given my very first bangle by my mother.  I remember how special I felt every time I looked at that gleaming band of gold on my wrist.  I was gifted with more beautiful bracelets, some several generations old to mark special occasions in my life.

The bangle bracelets in the Language of Bangles Collection each has its own distinctive shape and texture and can be worn together.  The Home Bangle Bracelet is inspired by a bird’s nest and symbolizes home; while the Courage Bangle Bracelet features a glammed up symbol for strength--the diamond shape-- that is duplicated within the design.”

I think anyone who appreciates Sherman’s deviation from the standard type of charm jewelry will find her collections very appealing; her blend of Moroccan flair and California casual make for ethereal, glamourous jewelry items.

14-Karat Gold Om Large Dangle Earrings
“Quality of service and craftsmanship are of utmost importance to me because jewelry should feel special.

Each piece is handmade by an experienced and talented staff committed to creating pieces made with great attention to detail.”
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