That Wynnewood-based designer Jeffrey Levinson takes his aesthetic cues from high-end cars isn’t shocking — he spent three years working at Jaguar. What is surprising is the way this road-tested inspiration works for more scaled-down luxuries, namely Levinson’s line of hard-case clutches. With their high-gloss finishes, polished nickel-chrome hardware and candy-bright colors, the bags could hold their own in a slick showroom, but we think they look best cradled in the palm of your hand. From $1,150 to $2,495 at Jeffreylevinson.com.
Each summer brings with it a sudden yearning for the sea, evidenced by Breton stripes, anchor-adorned jewelry, a surplus of navy. And while going literal can lead to murky waters (twee sailor dresses), there is an exception: Gabriella Kiss’s clipper ship earrings, intricate works of art that somehow manage to be chic, not kitschy. The whimsical earrings are handmade, with delicate horn sails and an 18-karat yellow-gold hull, set adrift on a dangling sapphire sea. Bon voyage! $9,000 at Egan Day, Rittenhouse.
The most lust-worthy bag this season is Valentino’s exotic confection, festooned with feathers and beads, and shot through with gleaming dashes of brand’s now-iconic pyramid studs. It speaks to spring’s luxe bohemia, with funky embellishments that let it fly far above the rest of the flock. Valentino Lock Glam Feather bag, $4,450 by special order at Saks Fifth Avenue, Bala Cynwyd.
If you ask Nate Mell and Wynn Bauer, the best supporting actor in a meal is the plate. They should know: Their Port Richmond-based ceramics line, Felt + Fat, has been the secret of Philly’s top chefs — including Eli Kulp and Nicholas Elmi, both of whom have worked with the duo on custom dishware for their restaurants — since it launched in 2013. Their tonal porcelain, best when rendered in marbleized pastels, is predominantly available by special order, but Mell and Bauer are launching a Kickstarter this month to take the line to retail, so home cooks can serve in style no matter what’s on the menu. From $25 to $64; feltandfat.com.
The best antidote to the dreary stretch of February? A kaleidoscopic burst of greenery, most spectacularly shown in these heels by London designer Sophia Webster. (Think of her as Manolo Blahnik’s irreverent little sister.) The fantasy—a lotus flower snakes around the ankle; pin-thin heels are covered in tiger-striped satin—is grounded with a classic black-patent pointed-toe silhouette. Because sometimes you need to come back to earth, even if you land in a jungle.
This season, Philly’s most au courant shoppers will be abandoning jewelry’s typical splash — glitzy diamonds, spiky crystals, gemstones the size of gumballs — for a far more modern look. The game-changer: Bela Shehu’s “Emily” necklace, the standout piece of the designer’s just-launched accessory collection. The brushed-brass plate, hand-forged by a local artist, is a study in both stark minimalism (it’s strung on a thick utilitarian cord with an unfussy magnetic closure) and over-the-top maximalism (it’s about the size of a small saucer). Consider it the new look of luxury.
Long ago, the pedestrian stud pierced its way into fashion vernacular, dotting everything from leather jackets to heels with a steely gleam. Now the hardware gets the understated treatment thanks to Canadian brand Ela. The studs on this oversize clutch are actually reverse-embossed (and filled with silicone!), for a heavy-metal feel without any of the hard edges — or punk pretenses. Large M.I.L.C.K. clutch, $498 by special order at Saks Fifth Avenue, Bala Cynwyd, or Elabyela.com.
If most oversize baubles are statement pieces, then the colossal collars by Dylanlex are shouted-from-the-rooftop proclamations.
Drew Ginsburg, a 2009 Drexel University grad, first nabbed attention for her handmade jewelry on Instagram. She began creating hefty made-to-orders featuring heaping drapings of Swarovski crystals that have garnered national attention (Rihanna and Rachel Zoe are fans) and now adorn the necks of fashion’s most vocal flock.
For those weary of the watch world’s flashy excess — diamond faces, chunky high-shine links — there’s Analog Watch Co., the Philly-based line from industrial designer Lorenzo Buffa. His watches usher in a more modern luxury, via paper-thin, flexible slices of wood handcrafted into sturdy unisex pieces that also happen to be almost entirely biodegradable.