Designer Spotlight: Alberto Parada

The weather is warming up and people are pulling out their most colorful clothes to celebrate the return of spring. This is the perfect time for us to highlight one of our favorite designers, Alberto Parada.

Alberto Parada is a Washington, D.C.-based designer. His family comes from South America and he travels frequently to Paraguay and Uruguay. This background, with a foot in two cultures, is what makes his aesthetic so bold and fashion-forward, without being too over-the-top for daily wear.

Ethical Design

Parada is a leader in the sustainable fine jewelry movement. He uses only fair-trade gems, conflict-free diamonds, and reclaimed gold in his designs.

Widely travelled, he avoids the “in-the-box” thinking of many designers. While sophisticated and attention-getting, his designs have a mysterious, almost exotic allure, because of his unique combinations of shapes and materials.

Original and Innovative

It’s rare to find a jewelry designer who can balance successfully between “attention-getting” and “fine detailing,” but Parada has this skill in spades. You will notice a woman wearing his designs, and then you will catch yourself staring as you examine the workmanship. This is even more apparent when you look at his collections. Most collections are variations on a theme. The same is true of Parada’s collections, but the breadth of his variations are what make him stand out. Signature is a prime example of how creative he is within the theme he is working on.

Floating is another innovative collection. These designs feature stones that are not set, but merely restrained along a track. Garnet, blue topaz, and white quartz are gloriously highlighted in rose or white gold settings.

Perhaps it is his use of color that makes Alberto Parada’s collections so memorable. He uses a wide variety of metals, sometimes in the same piece, sometimes alone. His choice of colors is divine. A particular favorite is the pink sapphire ring in his Modern collection, a thick, solid rose gold with a seductive cutaway bordered with small diamonds. Each of these elements would make for a beautiful ring on its own, but in this combination, the ring is truly memorable.

Aside from pink sapphires, you will find garnet, citrine, topaz, labradorite, carnelian, Brazilian agate, blue chalcedony and more. If you find colorful jewelry hard to wear or hard to find, take a look at Parada’s designs and you’re sure to find something you will fall in love with.

Come down to Midtown Jewelers to check out the Alberto Parada collection and see for yourself how bold, unique and innovative fine jewelry can be!

The Best Jewelry for Your Beach Vacation

It’s the accessories that pull the look together: the necklaces, the belts, the scarves, the shoes. Whether you’re vacationing in the Outer Banks or Tahiti, it doesn’t take much to polish your look from “a set of clothes” to “an outfit.”

Beach vacations rarely take place solely on the beach. There are dinners in out-of-the-way restaurants, shopping in new places and lots of day trips and events. But you don’t want to pack heavy. What you want are a few versatile pieces.

Types Of Jewelry To Pack

First, you must keep in mind the climate you are going into. Sea and sand are notoriously hard on metals, so if you go with metal jewelry, you will want to make sure that you choose the finer metals. Gold, titanium, and platinum are the best choices.

You might reserve the fine jewelry for evening wear, or even just away from the beach, but if you plan to be more casual and active, you have a few other options.

You can bring the bohemian vibe with beaded bracelets and necklaces. This is a timeless, popular summer look. You can also choose jewelry made from wood, semi-precious stone, mother of pearl, or recycled glass. However, you will probably want to avoid most costume jewelry. The metals used in these items are not of the highest quality, and will most likely tarnish quickly.

Instead, look for jewelry held together with natural materials. Hemp and leather are two very good options.

How To Choose What Jewelry To Wear

Casual is the name of the game. With your hat, sunglasses, and coverup, you won’t need much to pull the look together.

If your hair is short, earrings are a great idea. But if your hair is on the longer side, you might quickly lose patience with the ocean wind wrapping your hair around your earrings. Even studs are not a perfect solution in this situation.

Anklets are a very popular choice, as are bracelets. They are the very epitome of no-fuss accoutrements. Put them on, and you can quickly forget they are there. Pendant necklaces are also quite popular. Although the long pendants look very sleek and create a nice effect on casual outfits, if you are planning to be active, it might get in the way. If that is the case, a shorter chain length may be in order. Keep in mind that if you choose corded or leather thongs, these can be temporarily tied shorter than a metal chain.

There you are! With this primer, you’ll be turning heads on the beach this season.

How to Pick the Perfect Jewelry for Your Wedding Day

Most brides spend months searching for the perfect dress. The wedding and engagement ring? They might be planned years in advance. But what about the rest of your look?

In day-to-day life, it’s the accessories that really pull the outfit together, and it’s no less true of your wedding gown. Here are some do’s and don’ts to complete your look:

  • Start with the necklace. This will be the item that’s front and center in most of your pictures. If your gown is very simple, your necklace can be a statement piece. The length and style will depend on the neckline of your gown. A collarbone-length style is the most versatile, but if you have a V-neck dress, a pendant might be better.
  • Earrings next. Most common are diamond studs or pearl drops, but if you won’t be wearing a veil, you can definitely choose graceful pendant earrings. Avoid anything too heavy, since you’ll be wearing them for long hours.
  • To bracelet or not to bracelet.Many outfits benefit from a wrist decoration to round them out. But perhaps not this outfit. It depends on how ornate it already is — sometimes a bracelet just might overdo it. If you do go with a bracelet, do a trial run. You will be busy on your wedding day — if the bracelet is heavy or a distraction, you might want to skip it.
  • You can’t go wrong with pearls. Other traditional choices are gold and platinum, to match the rings.
  • Don’t be afraid to use color. It’s a non-traditional choice, to be sure, but there are many non-traditional brides these days.
  • Get your jewelry cleaned. If you’re not buying pieces especially for the occasion, be sure to have it cleaned before your big day. Although it may look fine at a cocktail party, you’re going to have full-daylight photographs, which may show the little tarnishes you normally wouldn’t notice.
  • Go shopping.Sometimes you just don’t have anything in your collection that fits the occasion. It’s okay! Most of us don’t wear ball-gowns every day, either. so it’s not unreasonable for you to shop for new pieces, or even get them custom made.

Midtown Jewelers has a wide range of pieces for any occasion. You might see something that would be perfect for your special day. We can also clean your heirloom jewelry for you. Just bring your pieces by for fast and meticulous service!