Several years ago I found this adorable little jewelry shop in the sweetest limestone townhouse right off Lexington Avenue.
KEP designs is a classic, preppy line of not too pricey baubles – many of which I came to own, one piece at a time. I found myself taking an unplanned detour there after shoe shopping at French Sole, with the destination being Oren’s, for a cup of daily roast. The KEP shop KEPT getting in the way. From the moment I walked into that tiny little jewelry box, I became instantly obsessed with their, oh, so, Nantuckety/Palm Beachy jewels. I am hooked on that style, naturally, it’s bright, cheery, cute, classy – dressy and casual at the very same time. All the features that I look for in anything that I like to wear. Day to Night wearables are really important to me, it makes it easier to manage wardrobe decisions at 6am knowing that I will have to do a quick change for an event at 6pm. It helps when the accessories can remain the same.
I fell for the sweetest tulip clasp on some twisted fresh water pearls, and ran head on into a fun color-scape of all sorts of bangles – all 1/4 of an inch apart in width. A bangle is a bangle right? No, even that small increase in size says so much about what it should be worn with. The big guys stand on their own, while, if you want to make a lot of noise, the skinnier ones are fun to layer. Each item is loaded with hot colors and oodles of personality. I’m always drawn to ornaments with seashells, any and all sorts of pearls and animals – specifically elephants – an emblem of the exotic. Together they play off each other so beautifully and effortlessly.
The success of these fun and feminine pieces inspired KEP to start introducing new cheeky custom designed clasps using precious metals and other interesting stones. And while staying within the original aesthetic of the line, KEP continued to evolve with even bigger statement pieces, quite unusual even.
I stopped into the KEP shop this past Spring to try on some new pieces, (I hadn’t been there in a long time, the internet keeps getting in the way) and when the door opened, the KEP shop was no longer there – in its place was another adorable shop – Elizabeth Mackay, oddly enough a brand that I style quite often. (Their shop had been across Lexington Avenue several streets below, last I looked or shopped.)
Anyhow, I was told that KEP moved on out and Elizabeth Mackay moved in. (More about my love of EM clothing to come.)
And tusk my luck (I simply had to) an enormous gold elephant necklace (that I was in search of) was hanging there, looking at me, on a green silk elephant adorned blouse and there was only one left of each. It was so crazy – I waltzed into a jewelry shop which turned into a clothing shop to find a piece of jewelry that I had been trying to find in the first place. And, a few weeks later each of the elephant items on the website – were sold out, again. Lucky for me I got there in the nick of time.
Case in point, elephants do bring good luck and location is everything!
THE LUCK OF THE IRISH!
Photographs by Viva Violeta Photography