giovedì 5 maggio 2016

Kate-Inspired Purchase Review: Riva Diamond Cluster Drop Earrings by Monica Vinader

Hello, everyone! The long-promised review post on Catherine's "Riva" earrings is finally here, hot on the heels of the latest wear by the Duchess!

The Duchess of Cambridge first wore these (together with the matching "Riva" Diamond Cluster Bib necklace) on 21 October 2014, to attend a glitzy evening event, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards at the Natural History Museum in London.

Catherine looked fabulous in a baby blue "Half & Half" evening gown by Jenny Packham, powder pink "Agata" strappy sandals by L.K. Bennett, bespoke pink snakeskin Alexander McQueen clutch and sparkly Monica Vinader jewellery (Daily Mail article here). It was the first time the Duchess had worn anything by the brand, launched by Spanish jewellery designer Monica Vinader in 2002, which is popular with royal ladies, including the Countess of Wessex (who owns their aquamarine and rose gold "Siren" Stud earrings) and Princess Eugenie (who was photographed at her graduation wearing the brand's "Fiji" Friendship Bracelets), as well as a number of other celebrities.

Then, earlier this week, the Daily Mail featured an interview with Ms Vinader herself, where the designer discusses, among other things, how the brand was suddenly and quite unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight after the Duchess of Cambridge wore the Riva set. Quoting from the interview:
‘I knew nothing about it as my press team had lent them to her people and they’d told them to tell no one else in the company,’ says Monica.
‘I was on holiday in Florence, sitting outside a café. The friend I was with suddenly looked over at a man reading a newspaper and said, “Isn’t that the Duchess of Cambridge wearing your earrings on the front page?” It was the most surreal moment – I was thrilled.’
So there was a bit of a mystery when the Duchess rewore the set just a few days later, on 4 May, to view the "Vogue 100 - A Century of Style" exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London, of which she is patron. Did she borrow the pieces again? Has she, in fact, purchased them?
My friend Anna of My Small Obsessions thinks the repeat was done on purpose to address those claims, and I agree with her it's probably no coincidence the set resurfaced so soon after that interview.
I'm inclined to think she possibly did buy the set eventually. Just before the royal tour of New Zealand in April 2014, news reports emerged that Kensington Palace staff had selected 4 pieces of jewellery by local brand Tory & Ko. Jewellers for the Duchess to consider wearing. The pieces were sent to the Palace on loan. In fact, Kate didn't end up wearing any of the selected items and all were sent back, but it was reported at the time that, had any been worn, the Duchess would have bought them. Anyway, this is nothing more than speculation and I suspect we'll never know for sure whether the Riva set was loaned again or purchased in the meantime, so now on to the rest of my review!
Both the earrings and necklace feature Riva's signature organic shape and pave set diamonds on rose gold plated vermeil on sterling silver. The earrings total 0.32 carats and retail for £745 (€1,005/$1,190), while the necklace totals 0.84 carats and is currently available for £2,000 (€2,700/$3,200). It was love at first sight with the earrings, so a while ago, at a time when the £/€ exchange rate was slighlty more favourable (about €60 in my favour, so not bad! By the way, the currency converter on the website doesn't appear to be adjusted every day with the stock market fluctuations, so it does pay to wait around a bit for a better rate if you're interested - like I said, there won't be a massive difference with the day's rate, but still I saved €€) I took the plunge and ordered them!

First of all, top marks for packaging and presentation! The earrings came in a branded Monica Vinader carrier bag and box tied with magenta-coloured twine and were accompanied by an envelope containing the certificate of authenticity (Monica Vinader is committed to ensuring ethical sourcing of their products; their diamonds are sourced through suppliers who adhere to the Kimberley Process and the World Diamond Council's System of Warranties, preventing the distribution of conflict diamonds both in rough, cut and polished stones. Conflict diamonds are those smuggled by rebels to finance wars against legitimate governments) and a handy little gadget in the form of a ring sizer.

The four shapes that make up the earrings are delicatly mobile:


The earrings are incredibly elegant: very unique and distinctive. They can be easily dressed up or down. I've been known to wear these in the daytime as well, the diamonds are rather subtle and heck!, with that price tag I want to get maximum wear out of them! :-)

Love the look but not so much the price tag? The Riva mini diamond hoop earrings channel the same style for a fraction of the price.

Has anyone else committed to a really big replikate purchase, or is planning to? I'd love to know! I'm currently saving up in the somewhat futile hope of some day being able to afford a pair of Kiki oval green amethyst earrings, so I need all the motivation I can get!

4 commenti:

  1. Wow, these look so beautiful on you! They look more delicate than I initially thought they were when I saw them on Kate.

    I'm saving up for the Kiki McDonough Citrine Pear Drop earrings. I'm also seriously considering saving up for her Lauren Yellow Gold Leaf Earrings.

    Heck, I kind of want 90% of Kiki's collection. Lol.

  2. Thank you, Kate Middleton Jewelry!

    Lol, I know that feeling! I'm trying to remain focused on saving up for the oval green amethysts, but it's bloody hard work with all the gorgeous stuff at Kiki - the new Apollo collection is to die for!

  3. I can't read Italian, and I pressed a button, not sure if it was the right I'm sending again. I think this was a fabulous splurge!!! The earrings are gorgeous and I love that you purchased them. If I were to splurge, it would definitely be on jewels rather than clothing. Wear them in good health.

    1. Sorry about that, it's supposed to translate automatically but maybe there was a glitch.
      I agree with you, much better to invest in a piece of jewellery in my opinion! It will last forever and you'll never have issues with sizing, fit or whether it's in fashion or not!