mercoledì 11 febbraio 2015

Kate-Inspired Puraches Review: CZ by Kenneth Jay Lane The Duchess Clover Earring

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to my latest repli-kate purchase review! This time we're talking about the goregous CZ by Kenneth Jay Lane The Duchess Clover Earring:
From the CZ by Kenneth Jay Lane Facebook page: "designed in NYC and sold globally, "CZ by Kenneth Jay Lane" designs runway-ready jewelry for a discerning clientele, based on styles by fashion icon, Kenneth Jay Lane".

The Duchess debuted these earrings on 7 December 2014, the first night of her and William's New York City visit, for a private reception and dinner hosted by Sir Martin Sorrell to honour the charitable work of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

The Duchess wore the stunning Amara fit and flare black lace dress, from Beulah London spring/summer 2015 collection (still available and retailing for £650, or approximately €876 or $990) and a pair of fabulous, large sparkly earrings. It's not everyday the Duchess wears statement earrings, and being a bit (okay, a lot...) the magpie myself, it was love at first sight with these!

The earrings looked like proper diamond jewellery at first (a bit in the style of Cartier, I'd say), so imagine my delight when they were identified as a relatively affordable pair by US costume jewellery brand Kenneth Jay Lane.

Already sold out at the time of Kate's appearance, the company (wisely, I may say...) put them on back order, to the sheer delight of us repli-katers the world over! Finally, they were again available to buy on the KJL website early last week.
At $175 a pair (approximately £115, or €155), plus $30 (£20, or €27) DHL shipping, these are firmly at the top end of the costume jewellery scale - and the burning question of course is, are they worth it?
I ordered mine on a Monday evening, 2 February. There were some technical issues placing the order through the website, but a couple of emails put everything right (special thanks go to the brilliant Liz in Sales and PR who assisted me). Dispatched on 4 February, my parcel eventually arrived on 9 February (should have been a couple of days earlier but the snow and generally rubbish winter weather were I live delayed it).

First thought as I opened the parcel was "Oh, my...What a disappointment packaging is!".
The earrings came in a black velvet unbranded pouch with organza strings, attached to a CZ by Kenneth Jay Lane piece of card wrapped in transparent cellophane. The sort of packaging you expect from inexpensive store-bought costume jewellery, in other words. The ear posts had pierced the velvet pouch and were protruding outside. First impression was overall a bit...meh!
I'm definitely not in a position to spend $205 on costume earrings every day (or even every month), and these are among the most expensive pieces of non-real jewellery in my collection, so for the sort of money I paid for them I was really, really expecting a nice (branded) box to come with them. Insted they came in the sort of packaging you expect for a cheap and cheerful pair of earrings from Accessorize or the like, and I thought this was significantly underwhelming.

 Back view.

Anyway, back to the actual earrings: very, very pretty! Set in rhodium-plated brass, they're 6.8 cm long and the main clover element is 3.3 cm in diameter.The JKL logo is engraved on the back of the ear posts. They are, and feel, rather heavy weighing about 10 g each, which is quite a bit for an earring.

They're large, but not huge, and most importantly, in my opinion, not so very sparkly, which makes wearing them during the day a definite possibility, especially if you, like me, like big statement pieces and have long hair, which tends to mask them somewhat.

The earrings tried on:

The lowdown: yes, I like them, very much. I probably don't love them as I expected I would, and I believe a big part of this is due to my being distinctly unimpressed with the way they were packaged. I had set my expectations high for these, and was, not exactly disappointed, just not as enthusiastic as I thought I'd be. Glad I added them to my collection of repli-kate jewellery, though.

P.S.: KJL stocks the same model with sapphire-coloured CZ crystal accents (available here).

While I was not prepared to fork out another $200+ for these, I do think they're a pretty, versatile alternative for the ones Kate wore, and I've treated myself to this cheaper repli-kate found on eBay (not available now, but they do restock quite often, plus it's a seller I've already done business with in the past and been happy, so definitely recommended) :

I think the two are reasonably similar, I'll update you with details when they arrive.