March of the Art Jewelry, Part I

Greetings, Directorate! I hope you can excuse my silence, but I’ve been very busy with a major life transition.

No, not menopause — though that is loitering in the background. This is work news. I am leaving my unnamed firm to join a non-profit organization that I shall also not name!

We’ll discuss this life development further, but first let’s attend to the business of this blog.

You may remember that earlier this year I confessed to a rapturous spree of art jewelry acquisition that took place in December 2022/January 2023?

Greed Giant bought some things

Technically, the spree is open-ended

I’ve been wearing and enjoying the spoils, but slow to blog about them.

Behold this asymmetrical glass bubble necklace from Karen Gilbert! It’s just the thing to finish a simple summer outfit of white top, tan pants, and black sandals.

Perhaps I should say, “deceptively simply outfit” because the details are rather extravagant
Perhaps, then, you want to highlight the extravagant details?

A crisp white top is always a good choice. This one has several special features: black top-stitching to define its lines; a kick-pleated peplum with oversized ties defining the waist, and; a giant ornamental button that can stand in for a piece of jewelry on days when one doesn’t want to bother.

Winsome top could be part of Miss Norcross-Stokes’s calisthenics kit

Big Button

If all the designers consulted me before putting their plans into mass production, I would have offered some advice about this button. It’s a little heavy for the fabric and causes the hook-and-eyes that hold the shoulder of this top closed to come undone. I am going to ask the neighborhood tailor (at the drycleaner) to replace the hook-and-eyes with snaps.+

Come closer and adore the necklace.

This oxydized sterling silver and glass necklace has a look that is both industrial and ethereal. The glass orbs look like soap bubbles that have been caught on a line and the articulated links, varying in length, allow the necklace to arrange itself in different postures. The overall effect is very subtle, but striking for those who notice.

Ahhh; so lovely, so graceful

Take a good look. Linger as long as you like.

Come closer, my darlings

And now, a dress that may be too sophisticated to capture on film. Brace yourself, Directorate.

I decided last year that my new summer work look would be “cotton poplin solid color dresses of directional and vaguely European cut.” Nothing too fitted or traditional. Some of you might remember this proclamation in weirdy green. Or a much earlier effort in melon pink.

The Photographer and I agreed that this photo (best of the bunch) doesn’t do the dress justice. Perhaps the dress needs to be starched? Maybe I need to have Fatima tighten the bodice? Or maybe the dress is simply conceptual and must be enjoyed as such rather than forced to flatter the wearer.* Regardless, I love it.

Official European Union Response: Don’t pin this mess on us, Directrice

I bought the dress at a Proenza Schouler end-of-season sale. It featured three rows of elasticized gathering — below the bust, at the waist, and at the hip — but I removed the elastic at the waist and hip and then had Fatima narrow the skirt a little. Too much gathering, too much fabric. The back is also vented at the waist. For work, I wore an orange camisole underneath it, showing just a hint of color when I am in motion.

Setting aside questions of fit and flattery, for our purposes today, the dress is a great backdrop for this tremendous necklace by Lynn Latta.

Wearing this necklace, I feel that I could be taken for a professor of art history or even a gallery owner, no?

I’ve shown and discussed Lynn Latta’s work previously (also, see above — Miss Norcross-Stokes is a fan) and reached out to Jenna Shaifer at Ombre Gallery about creating a special piece. With some vague input from me, Lynn created this beautiful pendant.

The end result of my forays into the world of art jewelry is not simply that I now possess many interesting and beautiful pieces to play with and wear, but that I have met wonderful gallerists like Jenna and many artists of extraordinary vision and skill.

Their passion — in creating beautiful works and forming an accessible community for the decorative arts — is a gift to all of us.

A mix of textures: ceramic pendant on a rubber cord

Back to my career. I’ve been at my firm 23 years and over that time have always had new challenges and responsibilities. But I realized during the pandemic that I would like to do something not simply new, but different, and that I wanted to do it sooner rather than later. So I am wrapping things up in July, heading to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands in August, taking off September and October, and then beginning my new job later this year. I’ll still be litigating but applying those skills to a broader range of social issues.  I am incredibly excited about the organization I am joining and the work that’s ahead.

It was easy to make the decision to leave, harder to execute.  Anyone seeking help with her resume or guidance in envisioning a career shift, send me an email (c/o and I am happy to share resources.  To my surprise, once my plans were set, it felt hard to announce them. All of my previous jobs had had defined terms (fellowship) or obvious end-dates (summer, graduation), so I had to script and practice my leave-taking.  Special thanks to Pere-Directrice (for his excellent advice), The Photographer (for role-playing departure conversations), and my firm colleagues (for receiving my unexpected news so graciously and showing so much enthusiasm for my next act).

You may be wondering how The Directrice fits into my future plans.  We shall march forward together, tackling work attire in the staid professions and at NGOs!

White top: Marni; Pants: Prana Halle II; Dress: Proenza Schouler (from SS 2022, may pop up on The RealReal); Shoes: JCrew Fisherman Lug Sole Sandal; Glass necklace: Karen Gilbert purchased at Jewelers’ Werk Galerie; Ceramic necklace: Lynn Latta from Ombre Gallery

+ Hooks-to-snaps is too simple to call upon Fatima.

* I once saw a photo of a brooch in a book and tracked down the artist in Israel (the internet is so powerful). I was utterly nonplussed when she advised me that the brooch was purely conceptual and likely to fall apart if worn.

16 thoughts on “March of the Art Jewelry, Part I”

  1. Hey, congratulations on your new job! I can’t wait to hear about it. In the meantime, I’ll look forward to Action Pants Photo Shoots from the Galapagos Islands. 🙂 Your captions are as funny as ever — I live for them.

  2. Congratulations on this exciting change! Non-profit organizations really need excellent attorneys. My library’s director is a former attorney, and she brings so much EXTRA to the job. I hope you find the new position completely satisfying.

    When I announced my retirement, it was in a zoom meeting. I made a mini slideshow to introduce them to the fact. I was able to see all of their faces at once, making a perfect surprised Emoji.

  3. So excited and proud about the job change! And since the Directrice will be at a nonprofit, I expect you/she (is she you or an alter-ego??) will become even more creative, if that’s possible! Love the imagined European Union response, but they would be wise to claim you now, before Ecuador and the Galapagos beat them to it.

  4. As ever, you are inspiring and brave. Please keep delighting us with your sartorial choices Directrice!

    Love the necklaces. I’m a huge fan of the poplin dress idea as well. Those shoes are darling.

  5. Fantastic news, congratulations! And both necklaces (as well as the garments they adorn) are phenomenal works of art.

  6. Love the eye-catching button pin – as you say ‘a stand in for a piece of jewelry on days when one doesn’t want to bother’ – a frequent occurrence in my accessorizing routine 🙂
    Congrats on the career change and new paths in the Fall. November is a good month for new beginnings…..

  7. Congratulations on your exciting job change! I hope you find your new work fulfilling. It’s tough to leave someplace you’ve felt comfortable and strike out on a new path, and I commend your bravery. Looking forward to hearing about your travel adventures and your sartorial choices for your new job.

  8. Congratulations, you are awesome! Thank you for blogging, your posts and quips are a delight. I appreciate your wry wit.

  9. Congratulations on this new chapter. That Lynn Latta pendant is marvelous. Hope all is well and love to the Photographer, too!

  10. Congratulations on the new gig! Too bad you will join Unnamed Non-Profit too late for them to enjoy the summer directional poplin + art jewelry wardrobe, because it is fab

  11. Thanks for the inspiring art jewelry post, and congratulations on your next act! Very much looking forward to the travel stories!

  12. I’m a huge fan of the jewelry, the clothing, Fatima, the photographer, pere Directrice, the kitties, the job change, the wit (as always), the trip to Ecuador & The Galapagos (can I fit in your suitcase? I promise not to make it weird), and am thrilled that you keep choosing to bring us along for the ride. Yay!

  13. Congratulations on the transition, and the well-earned break in between! We should always be challenging ourselves and growing!


Leave a Comment