Friday, February 11, 2011


Unparalleled natural beauty makes the Philippines’ Pamalican Island something like a modern day Garden of Eden.

Coconut trees, clear blue waters, and crisp white sands complete the tropical setting where we can soak up the sun, scuba dive, or swim. The Philippines is also home to featured jewelry designer Nicole Whisenhunt.

Chunky, statement jewelry is one of the top jewelry trends for 2011. It is all about pieces chock full of bold shapes and color; and Whisenhunt’s substantial fashion jewelry is perfect for this head-turning trend.

Like fellow Filipina designer Crystalyn Yason, Whisenhunt taught herself the complex beading techniques and embroidery patterns to build her floral-like bib/choker necklaces.

Her love for elaborate jewelry and clothing designs led her to produce her own jewelry pieces in her spare time; the hobby of course developed into a business.

“I am drawn to embellished jewelry and I love creating things,” she says. “Through research and consultations with a designer friend I explore and experiment with beading techniques. I find it all so fascinating.”

Whisenhunt’s bulky crystal earrings, cuff bracelets, and signature choker necklaces are punctuated by labyrinth-like arrangements of multi-colored crystal and glass beads, and gemstones set in 18-karat gold plated brass.

The designs seem to explode due to their scope, the way they drape as well as the intricate detailing of the muted and dark hues of the Swarovski Crystals. The time consumption to produce such magnificent handmade jewelry designs is clearly evident.

“The creation process involves several stages and it can take anywhere from three to six weeks to create a single piece,” says Whisenhunt. “First we conceptualize the piece, then we source the right materials, and the final stage is production. In some cases, I will travel to various regions to learn specific methods and techniques for a particular bib style.”

This incredible designer jewelry is perfect for the woman who loves something different and theatrical to offset a pair of jeans with a simple tank blouse, or V-neck, button down cardigan.

This stunning crystal jewelry seems to possess a duplicitous underscoring; these powerful arrangements of gemstones and crystals are often suspended from sleek, satin ribbons. It is like a metaphor for a woman; a play of her inherent strength and grace.

“There are no restrictions on how a woman should wear my jewelry. She should dress it up according to her personality,” she says. “She should choose bold pieces that stand out and that will last beyond trends. I value dedication, patience and hard work. I never settle for anything less than perfection with my work.”

A selection of Whisenhunt’s designer jewelry is available for purchase at online jewelry store with her Lucille Ring starting at $290 and a vest encrusted with more than 100 Swarovski Crystals for $2,650!
Photo 1 (top right): Red Coral and Howlite Turquoise Lisa Necklace with Black Satin Ribbon Photo 2 (center): 18-Karat Gold Plated Brass Gabrielle Earrings with Swarovski Crystals
Photo 3 (bottom left): 18-Karat Gold Plated Brass Lucy Cuff Bracelet with Swarovski Crystals and Turquoise
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