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Fashion Jewellery: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly—PART II

Fashion Jewellery: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly—PART II

After learning all about cadmium jewellery, I started thinking about why some jewellery makes your skin turn green. After a little digging I learned that the green reaction on your skin from a piece of jewellery is caused by a chemical reaction due to the combination of the metal in the jewellery and the acids in your skin. The most common culprit is copper.

To avoid discolouring of skin, experts say to stick to stainless steel, platinum and rhodium-plated jewellery.

What about allergic reactions? Some people break out into a rash from certain jewellery, this is due to an allergy to nickel. Nickel is often the base metal for a number of jewellery, whether it’s fashion or fine. The only metals that are known not to contain nickel are stainless steel, 18- or 24- carat gold, sterling silver, and pure platinum.

With all this new information under my belt, I went running to our designers to ask them what types of metals our jewellery contains.

I was proud to learn that I work for a company that does not cut corners and has its customers’ best interest at heart.

Here is what I learned:

  • Armoir does not use any copper in any of its jewellery, thus eliminating the chance of skin discolouration = no green skin.
  • Armoir only uses nickel on plating of some chains and clasps, but has a number of pieces that doesn’t contain nickel at all which allows customers with nickel allergies other options that don’t require breaking the bank.

Click here to see our entire collection.

Fashion Jewellery: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly—PART I

Fashion Jewellery: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly—PART I

A few months ago, I got a tip from some friends to turn the television to CBC Marketplace. Marketplace conducted an investigation on low-cost fashion jewellery found in popular fashion chains that contained thousands of times more cadmium than Health Canada deems safe for children.

Marketplace tested over 50 pieces of jewellery, including necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, from various retailers across Canada and found that some of these pieces contained up to 7000 times more cadmium than is allowed. In fact, one of the pieces was found to be almost 100 percent cadmium.

What is cadmium? Apparently, it’s a carcinogen that can lead to kidney failure, bone loss, and other complications over time if it is swallowed or chewed.

Of course, no adult has any need to put jewellery in their mouth, but what about our kids, our nieces and nephews, or our pets who would pretty much put anything in their mouth?

Fashion jewellery – or faux-bijoux as my mother likes to call it—has become more and more popular as fine jewellery loses it appreciation [unless in the form of a diamond ring of course]. Fine Jewellery no longer feels practical on a daily basis and generally speaking, people can’t afford to purchase the collections from Tiffany’s, Cartier, or Lorraine Shwartz. In fact, a Forbes report shows that the demand for gold has dropped 30 percent since last year. People would rather spend money and buy a collection of jewellery than have 1-2 pieces fine pieces.

However, as we’ve learned, more isn’t always better. It’s important to know what your jewellery is made of, that is why Armoir Fashion has always been transparent about the make up of its pieces– vegetable-dyed leather, semi-precious stones, sterling silver, and pure silver– it’s that simple. We only use the highest quality products to ensure your health and safety.

Click here to see our entire collection.

Tales from travelling Merchant

Tales from travelling Merchant

TALES FROM THE TRAVELLING MERCHANT one of our staff members has currently left us for an extended pilgrimage in Armenia.
In an age of statement pieces of faux leather, faux fur, imitation pearls, copper, and fake diamonds, I think it’s very important to know what kind of materials you are placing on your body. Let’s face it, we’ve all owned faux leather jackets that smell like rubber and sound like flatulence when rubbed together, rings that cause your finger to turn green, and earrings that make your ears swell up, or those necklaces that make you break out into a horrible rash. Yes, they say beauty is pain, but why should your accessories be?
My parents’ generation and those before would receive jewellery that was handed down to them from generation to generation. They were regalia pieces of real gold, diamonds, and rubies, and although the people wearing the pieces changed over the years, the pieces remained the same bearing intimate stories of our past and those before us.
The one thing I love most about our jewellery is that we only use natural materials. From our signature genuine cowhide leather, to our pearls, glass beads, stainless steel, and silver—you’ve heard us say this often, but we are proud that each material used to put together your Armoir masterpiece is created by skilled craftsman. Of course, it’s not an accident that we work with leather; handicraft is in our blood. The oldest leather shoe in the world was found in Armenia dating back to 3500 B.C, and despite being hidden for 5000 years, it seems to be in good condition.
Being here in Armenia, I understand more than ever where our craftsman and designers get their inspiration. You can’t help but fall in love with this place, its beauty and richness comes from its natural landscape. It’s mountainous terrain with free-flowing rivers, and its greenery as far as the eye can see hold stories of our past, live in the moment of our present, and hold the key to our future. Just like my family’s heirlooms and the oldest leather shoe, it has stood the test of time and remained relatively unchanged through it all. This is our vision; this is what we want for our pieces.

Tales from a travelling merchant

Tales from a travelling merchant

TALES FROM THE TRAVELLING MERCHANT
one of our staff members has currently left us for an extended pilgrimage in Armenia.
My tour across the country has taken me to some pretty spectacular places. One would imagine that places like this could only exist in dreams. From the architecture of the buildings to the natural beauty through the landscape of the country, I am constantly amazed with my surroundings. I have seen an endless number of churches; I have repented all my sins and am probably one church away from joining a convent—light humour as I’m not even catholic. One recurring theme—let’s call it a leitmotif for it’s artistic nature— that follows every church in Armenia is the cross-stone or khachkar.
What each cross-stone shares in similarity is the cross, hence the name, but when you take a closer look, you’ll notice that each stone is very different with its motifs and various ornamentations—it’s quite stunning. The attention to detail is incredible. Having stood the test of time (some date back to the 10th century), these pieces are revered for its craftsmanship. The cross-stone tradition dates back to early Christianity as a way to replace pagan idols, and they told Christian stories through pictures for the illiterate. Over time some cross-stones were believed to be “saints” bearing transcendent power to heal the sick, fulfil a wish, bless lovers, or give strength to warriors before war. I saw one such example at the Noratus Cemetery, shattered glass was scattered around the khachkar of Ter Karapet Hovhanesi Hovakimyan. Legend states that if you break a vessel of water on the cross-stone, you will abandon all your fears.
Some of my friends and I took part in one of these legends on our visit to the Etchmiadzin Cathedral. On the back of one of the khachkars is the Armenian alphabet jumbled up. It is believed that you must close your eyes and point at the letter, that letter reveals the first letter of the name of your true love. I wont reveal the letter just yet—of course I’d like to keep some things secret for now—only time will tell its accuracy.
It is with the same care, patience, and precision that craftsmen today make our products. Those very cross-stones inspired our “stone cross” collection. This collection is made in Armenia so you can rest assured that our craftsmen are familiar with the tradition and utilise their knowledge while making our products. Because each piece is hand-made through meticulous care and attention to detail, it too is meant to stand the test of time. Also, what makes our pieces even more unique is that because it’s hand-made, each piece has its own character with different shades and quirks that make it all the more beautiful. Click on the link to see our “stone cross” collection. That’s it from the Traveling Merchant, stay tuned for more stories in the weeks to come

Behind the scenes POM collection

Behind the scenes POM collection

Behind the Scenes: Summertime photoshoot and a sneak-peek at our new collection
After a long and depressing winter of ice storms and sub-zero temperatures, we’ve finally put away the parkas and the heavy-duty boots, for our chucks and the beautiful weather. Out with the scarves and gloves, and in with the mangles (man bangles) and the boho-chic accessories.
Here at Armoir headquarters, we’ve been working diligently over the past few months to celebrate this happy occasion with new designs and arm candy to make your mittens jealous.
Our new POM collection features, of course, the pomegranate. This ancient fruit holds spiritual power symbolizing fertility, prosperity, and ambition. The made-in-Canada stainless steel pieces with hand-made poms of red glass is sure to be a favourite in your accessories collection and a source of good luck. A special thanks to our beautiful model, our talented photographer Shantimix, and Cyclone Creative team for their careful attention, time, studio space, and expertise to make our vision a reality. Their support and friendship has been invaluable. Stay tuned for the official release of our photos to see how we styled the POM along with some of our favourite pieces from our other collections, but until then, here’s a sneak peek.

Shirts and Skins—Accessories for Men in 2014

Shirts and Skins—Accessories for Men in 2014

What used to be a fashion faux pas is now a major trend in men’s fashion. In 2012, we saw a come back in accessories for men that stayed through to 2013, and doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon in 2014. Gone is the monotony of the cufflinks and timepieces and in come the bracelets and “mangles”. From metal, to beads, to woven, to nautical—we’ve seen it all—accompanied with the rainbow coloured pants and shirts, and schoolboy blazers. But for those who aren’t as bold, there’s always the leather option. What’s great about leather is that men are already accustomed to wearing it on their wrists in the form watchstraps; therefore leather bracelets are an easy and natural progression into the vast world of accessories. Moreover, leather seems to manifest masculinity, its refined structure and versatility makes it easy to be worn both casually and formally.
When choosing pieces, neutral shades like brown and black are best. It can be integrated to add a little personality to a well-tailored suit, or can be incorporated to an everyday white tee and slim-fit jeans for an edgy look. A leather bracelet is also a great foundation piece to create a stacked look (“mangles”) on any wrist. It compliments all timepieces, while pairing well with all other masculine approved accessories.

Fashion- forward on a budget

Fashion- forward on a budget

1. Build a foundation for your Armoir When building your closet, search for staple items that will last you far beyond this season. Be frugal, not cheap. Invest in pieces you know you’ll love forever and wear quite often. Classic boots, black pumps, and ballerina flats are a staple for every closet. An LBD is never out of style. A good, well-fitted pair of jeans is a must-have for every season. To complete your closet, make sure you have a good clutch, and a durable pocketbook. Once you’ve created a foundation for your closet, finish your outfits with fun and flirty, budget-friendly, on-trend pieces from your favourite stores. 2. On-trend and budget-friendly Looking your best this season doesn’t mean you need to break the bank for off-the-runway pieces; take note of the latest trends for inspiration while staying true to you. Mix staples in your closet with on-trend, budget-friendly pieces from your favourite local retailer. 3. Accessorise, Accessorise, Accessorise! Accessories can make or break an outfit. Whether you’re wearing a plain white t- or a simple cocktail dress, choose pieces that are current, as well as those that are timeless and retro. Leather bracelets never really go out-of-style, they last forever, and with the proper thickness, you can share it with your husband, boyfriend, or brother. Leather accessories add a bit of edge to any outfit. If you want to stand out from the norm, look for vintage pieces. Statement necklaces that incorporate coins and medallions are just the ticket for that retro-chic look, and are great conversation starters.