Baubles and beads
In search of a stand-out necklace and several stacking bracelets, basically in need of an accessories update that wouldn't send the AmEx bill into the stratosphere, I headed recently to á bientot on River Oaks Boulevard.
Shoppers extraordinaire Betty Newton and Cristiana Anderson, proprietors of the boutique, have carved a successful niche for themselves in the arena of incredibly-stylish, affordable fashion. And no where do they excel more than in the realm of costume jewelry.
To say that I was overwhelmed by the selection would be understatement. How could I decided among the nearly 10,000 (yes, they counted them) pieces on display. I really wanted the multi-strand choker that looked like cut rubies. But then the turquoise beads seemed more practical and there were the Ippolita-like earrings that went so well. But maybe the beaded collar necklace that tied with satin ribbons would be a more interesting choice.
"We shop every day of the week," she emailed. "Our jewelry comes from all over the world."
And the bracelets — cuffs, stackables, stand-alone knock-outs — presented a problem of their own. I wanted, oh, say 30 of them. In the end, I picked up the $28 "turquoise and diamond" multi-strand number. That rather worked with the $85 Ippolita-like faux turquoise and gold drops that I purchased. And then I settled on the turquoise-bead necklace.
After making my purchases and dreaming of more, I visited with Newton about the shopping prowess that keeps á bientot brimming with irresistible baubles and beads.
"We shop everyday of the week," she emailed. "Our jewelry comes from all over the world . . . We love exotic jewelry and we have great collections from India Ethiopia, Nepal and Bali." Add Brazil, Turkey and Italy as sources.
Their selection includes pieces by famed knock-off artist Kenneth Jay Lane, A.V. Max and Julie Collection, all from New York. Newton adds that they manufacture quite a bit of their jewelry working with their in-house designer Emily Saathoff. The offerings include Texas lines Leighelena and Wimberly Tribble of Austin and Presmer from Houston.
The price points are easy on the pocketbook starting with items such as a stretchy floral beaded bracelet for $6 and moving up to the most expensive item — a replica pearl multi-strand necklace for $498.