Holiday Collection Style Guide

Andrea LiComment

There is nothing quite like the holidays. The lights, tinsel, glitter and champagne bubbles always add an effervescent sparkle to this special time of year. It's your time to shine - because fabulous is a place you live, not just in this season but all year round. The holidays are just a hall pass for extra shimmer and extra swag. 

This years holiday collection was carefully curated to appeal to the many style palettes of even the most discerning fashionistas, trendsetters, tastemakers and mavens. From Hollywood inspired mega bling with vintage and rhinestones to gorgeous natural stones to keep you grounded.

The styling of these one of a kind jewelry pieces can be as unique as the wearer. Anything from casual chic, perfectly polished to paint the town red ready and more. This is jewelry that allows you to be just as inventive in your outfit choices as you are in your problem solving skills. Now that is a double threat I think we can all get with. 

Don't be afraid to push the boundaries from fierce to "fair lady". These fashion pairings are meant to inspire and think beyond the LBD. These looks can take you well beyond the ball drop and become a trusted jewelry box go-to throughout the entire year. 

Life is too short for boring jewelry. Especially when jewelry is timeless and seasonless. It is deeply rooted into our own personal mythology and traditions. It survives time by becoming an heirloom. It illuminates those around you by displaying and sharing it with the world. 

Most of all it has a powerful transformative effect when you wear it. Whether it is to feel beautiful, powerful, sexy, fashionable, feminine, bold, chic, regal or just plain confident, these pieces enable you to be anyone you want. But we love you just the way you are. 

Herkimer Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend

Andrea Li

One thing I have learned over the years is that there are many reasons why people wear jewelry. Feeling beautiful and confident are among the top. However, meaning and significance reign as the top driving motivation to wear jewelry. While both of these terms can have broad meaning ranging anywhere from a reminder of a special vacation or occasion to an heirloom passed down from generations, some reasons are more mystical in nature. 

Wearing certain stones for personal empowerment has been practiced for centuries. The fact that these stones and minerals come from the earth that is very much alive lends a great deal of credibility to this idea. Being made from energy it only makes sense that they would also give energy.

Herkimer diamonds are particularly strong energy givers. They are not actually diamonds but double-terminated quartz, known for its exceptional clarity. They're called "diamonds" not only because of their clarity, but also because when they are found, they look like someone faceted them. Herkimers are naturally "faceted" with double termination points of 18 total facets, six on each point and six around the center. The geologic history of these beauties began 495 million years ago. Talk about some major history contained in each crystal. No wonder their vibrations are so strong. 

Here are some common uses and meanings according to Crystal Vaults, an authority on stones and their metaphysical properties. For more in depth information regarding Herkimer Diamonds or other stones I highly recommend that you pay them a visit. 

Herkimer diamonds are the most powerful of all quartz crystals and are exceptionally healing. Being doubly terminated, they have the ability to not only transmit their own energies, but to receive, amplify and focus spiritual energy. Harder than all other quartz crystals they have strength and durability to handle difficult challenges beyond the scope of other quartz crystals. 

Now that is adornment with intention. After all, whether we are empowered by a stone's energy or the confidence of looking good it never hurts to have that come in the form of piece of jewelry that we feel deeply connected to.  

The Minimalist Collection Style Guide

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Holiday season is just around the corner. Looking good while the champagne flows makes this party season a favorite time of the year for any fashionista. 

No matter what your style is you can add some sparkle with Herkimer Diamonds and modern crystal points. The best part is that these minimal pieces have a long life after after the ball drops. 

For extra impact layer multiple items and make a necklace party of your own. So indulge. Life begins at night. When darkness falls and the city lights illuminate the shadows all rules are off for it is play time.

The Palms Collection Style Guide

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Here in Colorado we have been experiencing one of the warmest falls in recent memory. The unseasonably mild temperatures have delightfully extended the transitional wardrobe choices. 

Above I have put together looks that embrace the tropical spirit of the Palms Collection and grounds them firmly with Fall styling. As you can see these pieces integrate so effortlessly into your everyday fashion options. Everything from being the boss lady during the week to brunch with friends on the weekend. Whatever the situation you can rest assured that your style quotient is in the top ten percentile. 

Have some fun with your jewelry. After all it is the one thing in your wardrobe that is truly seasonless. 

Photography Perfection for All Hallow's Eve

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In the spirit of the season with changing leaves, pumpkin lattes and ghostly hauntings I wanted to bring into focus the genius captures from Nicole Marcelli. This series is one of her most recent shoots titled 'Dead Girl'.

Nicole is a great friend and creative collaborator of mine for quite some time. Her work exemplifies the qualities of true vision and skill as a photographer. Her seasoned eye behind the lens is just as special as she is and incredibly prolific. Since her start as a professional photographer her images have racked up an impressive twelve terabytes of history. If that doesn't tell a story of dedication than I have no qualified measurement of what is. 

Based off of the research by Anders Ericsson which states that it takes 10,000 hours to master your craft I would say that Nicole is either well on her way or has already surpassed the mark. Regardless of such claims Nicole never stops chasing the perfect shot which makes her an inspiration to me and all of those familiar with her work. With over 50k followers on Instagram I think it is safe to say that her creative mastery is hitting on all chords. 

Be sure to follow her to add a little ethereal beauty to your feed and be part of her photographic journeys. 

Alien Life Fashion Show 2016

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With every show that I do it is a true delight to be part of the Denver fashion community. I am constantly meeting new talent and working alongside regular darlings whose constant involvement make this such a burgeoning scene. This show was no exception. 

This was my first year being part of the Alien Life Fashion Show in their biggest installment yet. When they first started years ago they had only a small handful of designers which has now grown to ten designers with over 30 looks that hit the runway. This years production was hosted at Denver's largest indoor venue The Fillmore and had a sold out audience of over three thousand people. 

The concept of the show - hosted by Knew Conscious Gallery - challenges the designers to come up with looks based on Kurt Redeker's original artwork. The artwork assigned to me is Kurt's 'Femalien'.


The exclusive collection of jewelry that paired with Kurt's piece was taken from the 'Unfolding' series. I was fortunate to work with a local designer Maggie Burns who won 303 Magazine's Designer of the Year award this past spring. Known for her couture one-of-a-kind designs, Maggie took to the project like a fish to water. I remember when we first met for coffee to discuss our collaboration, there was an instant connection and a shared vision. Her final looks exceeded expectations and really showed her versatility as a designer.  

My team for this show was hand curated, and allowed an opportunity to work with some new talent that I have never worked with before. I couldn't be more happy with the results of the overall creative vision that they conceived together. KJ Murphy wonderfully handled his experimental looks as lead hair artist. Corrine Lcfg flawlessly executed some incredible detail work including the best braiding I have ever seen. Nicole Marie and Bubz Medina masterfully showed their wizardry with makeup brushes to turn my models into something otherworldly. 

Lastly I have the honor and privilege to work with Denver's best runway talent. These girls always show up for me. As seasoned professionals these ladies always make me look good. They consistently bring excitement and enthusiasm to my shows. Enduring long hours of rehearsals along with grueling hair and makeup sessions during which they never stop smiling. A big thank you to Karly Porter Stephanie Manor Masha Pichugina and Lesia M Bankston for being a part of so many of my productions. 

This recent show reminds me of the joy of teamwork and how progressive the nature of Denver's Fashion industry truly is. 

Photo credits Teddy Gomez of Xposer Magazine 

Fierce In The City Fashion Show

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Fierce in the City meets its second installment of showcasing live musical talent along with a runway experience with Colorado's top designers. 

Produced by Salwa Owens who is a fashion designer first but uses her love of event planning to bring people together to create unique fashion events. Winner of 5280 Magazine's Top Of The Town Top Local Fashion Designer and as a member of Fashion Group International Salwa can tap into her vast network to curate some of the best talent. 

This year was no exception. The music performers this year included Vincent Powell Season 13 top 20 finalist from American idol 2013; Devan Blake Jones Season 11 American Idol Finalist; Denver Violinist Mia Herlinger; pop artist Dorian Phaero and choreographer and dancer Karen Carlson and Suzanne Simone.

The lineup of fashion talent that took to the runway created a nice cross section of all things fabulous and hit nearly every facet of what it takes to be stylish. Everything from jewelry, accessories, ready to wear, evening gowns and furs. 

It was an honor to share the runway with Zofia Wosinska of Estaine who specializes in high end and made in Italy scarves. Each fabric designs are exclusive and one of a kind. Andreas Tsagas Furs also made an appearance in his fun loving way. Always smiling with a mischievous glint in his eye, he almost always brings the party with him. His custom sexy designs are the epitome of glamour while maintaining a playfulness that makes his work anything but staid. Lastly our golden girl and beloved show organizer Salwa Owens brought up the headlining spot to show her ready to wear for real woman line followed up with her incredibly intricate evening wear Gold Label collection. 

The evening festivities gave me the perfect opportunity to debut my new Minimalism Collection. It's always a wonderful challenge to create an entire new line for a live show. Something about looming deadlines that give the design process tremendous focus. Magic moments of productivity and inventiveness often occur under these circumstances.

The line also received a welcome boost of inspiration after I attended a well timed gem show where I picked up some of the best quality Herkimer Diamonds I have ever encountered. These quickly found a home in the new collection and gave the new pieces the perfect punch of additional bling that I was looking for. 

The whole experience reminded me of why I love what I do. Between the community aspect of other fellow designers and live events, to my private time in the studio making pieces. All parts move together to create a flow. After all art should be seen and shared.

Elle Magazine's Style Across America

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Vanessa Barcus Owner LoHi Neighborhood Goldyn Boutique

My friend Vanessa has established herself as a tour de force in the Denver fashion scene with her cool-girl LoHi boutique Goldyn. Originally an online store it has since expanded to brick and mortar with stunning results.

A true 'goldyn' girl of Denver Vanessa's success is partly due to her unique approach in marketing to reach audiences outside the digital realm.  She does this by collaborating tightly with local artists that range from photographers, musicians, illustrators and many more. These collaborations can range anywhere from in store events to store window merchandising. Establishing her brand as something synonymous with all that is new and cool in Denver's cultural arts scene has peaked the interest of the fashion world on a national level. So much so that Elle magazine featured her in their special edition of Style Across America. Click here to read her musings on Denver in Elle's feature of her. 

Vanessa carries a white label line of mine that is exclusive to only her store. A line that we developed and curated together specific to her fashionably conscious clientele. 

Urban Nights 2016

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Urban Nights is known widely to the well heeled scene in Denver as Colorado's largest outdoor fashion extravaganza. The runway itself is the longest constructed for any production of this kind in the Mile High city. 

You can expect red carpet, beautiful people, fancy cars and luxurious auction items like a private jet whisking a lucky couple away to Vegas at evening end. While all of this may seem over the top, it is the underlying reason that truly validates the indulging of so much glamour.

Urban Nights generates financial and educational support for the outstanding work of Urban Peak, a nonprofit organization serving youth experiencing homelessness. The annual event raises hundreds of thousands of dollars that goes to programming to benefit Denver's struggling youth. 

This year Andrea Li designs hit the runway for two segments. One for the opening segment featuring Bikini Luxe and then again for a very Parisian experience with Parasite Eve Designs

Photo credits - Kenneth Hamblin for Westword