Chic Dallasites are not averse to adorning themselves with traditional gems from de Boulle or Bachendorf’s, but it’s the more unique purveyors of jewelry — from precious to costume — that really define our city’s style tribes. Whether you like your earrings and necklaces bold and blingy, or prefer to pile on the delicate pieces to subtle effect, there’s a gem of a shop just for you.
For the dark glamour girl: Grange Hall
Although its moodily lit environs and antique fixtures may conjure a Gothic feel, the accessories found in Grange Hall are decidedly cutting edge and contemporary. Discover provocative polished creations by the likes of Lynn Bahn, Noor Fares, Gabriella Kiss, and Tejen alongside the occasional vintage treasure picked up by owners Jeffrey Marion Lee and Rajan Patel during their world travels.
Originally begun as an alternative florist 13 years ago, the boutique began curating covetable accessories and housewares when it moved to its current location on Travis Street in 2005, sourcing everything from organic, free-flowing designs that recall the shop’s botanical beginnings to over-the-top styles by Parisian gemologist Lydia Courtielle.
“[Our jewelry] is modern — it’s definitely something you won’t see anywhere else,” says manager Therese McCloskey. “Our client base varies completely, but it’s very art based. They’re not afraid of something different; in fact they prefer that.”
Pieces start at around $320 for a pair of Kiss’ classic antler earrings, but rest assured — however small or large the splurge — you won’t find these treasures on everyone else in town.
For the girly girl: Ylang 23
For over 30 years, Ylang 23 has helped local ladies fill their jewel boxes with gorgeous little things. Originally opened as Ylang Ylang in the Galleria by owners Joanne and Charles Teichman, the shop was the first in America to offer designer jewelry in the mid-80s, and the first to go online with its collections at the turn of the new century.
Rebooted with a higher-end concept 11 years ago as Ylang 23 (the duo’s engagement and wedding date), the boutique moved to Preston Center in 2014, solidifying its reputation of discovering the next big things in the jewelry world.
“Our jewelry is high end, yet still fun and playful,” explains the couple’s daughter, Alysa Teichman, who recently joined the family store as vice president of business development. “We are constantly evolving as a brand but remain rooted in our core value: to offer a mix of collections including lead designers and up-and-coming talent.”
You’ll find the work of boldface names like Jennifer Meyer and Cathy Waterman alongside fresh discoveries like Jade Trau and RedLine, and Ylang’s highly anticipated trunk shows and parties keep its loyal customers coming back for more. Next up? A dual appearance by Raphaele Canot and Yannis Sergakis on November 29 and 30.
For the girl who wants to save the world: Akola Project
When your social consciousness is just as important as your chic wardrobe, then nothing less than Akola Project’s naturally wonderful baubles will do. Founder Brittany Merrill Underwood moved to Uganda post graduation to help construct a local orphanage as well as 20 water wells. Having a light bulb moment, she realized that the female villagers needed both income and confidence to provide a stable foundation for the next generation.
The solution was Akola, which means, “to work” in the local dialect. Launched in 2007, the line of natural glass, cow horn, and African bone styles with a boho bent has been successful enough to merit both a local manufacturing outpost and a new flagship store in Snider Plaza.
“Everything was built on the proposition to offer opportunity to women, and then it grew to Dallas in 2014,” Underwood says. “I met the president of the Dallas Women’s Foundation, and she said, ‘Dallas needs this model.' We’ve had women falling through the cracks, and we partnered with a handful of nonprofits who had women in their program who were ready to work but couldn’t get a job.”
In order to keep both programs going, Akola now offers a more luxurious line with a higher price point sold exclusively at Neiman Marcus that pairs the brand’s signature raw-hewn materials with gemstones and pearls.
“We have something everyone could buy, whether you’re a 20-year-old student at SMU or a 70-year-old woman looking for a special piece,” Underwood says. “Our greatest hope is when [you] wear these pieces, it makes you feel like you're wearing a story, and the necklace you’re wearing is redesigning the story of a woman in need.”
For the Uptown girl: Kendra Scott
Instantly recognizable, Kendra Scott’s bold and bright costume pieces were a runaway success from the moment the Austin-based mogul launched her company with a tiny $500 investment back in 2002.
Now a multimillion-dollar business, the Scott girl keeps coming back for more, and anyone who has created her own vivid earrings and necklaces from the Color Bar customization counter knows the process can be addictive.
Scott’s exclusive shapes in an array of rainbow hues change from season to season, with winter 2016’s palette including crystals and druzy stones inspired by a starry winter’s night. Customers fond of her now-classic bib necklaces and chandelier earrings like to layer their costume finds with more delicate (and pricey) fine jewelry pieces by Scott.
For the vintage vixen: Vintage Martini
When you want to make a statement, sometimes only vintage jewelry will do. And you’ll find every era and style imaginable showcased in the glass cabinets at Vintage Martini.
Started by Ken Weber and Greg Kelly in 2007, the shop added to its accessory collections after relocating to Henderson Avenue two-and-a-half years ago.
“We’ve always dealt in jewelry, but we knew with this location we wanted to amp it up,” Weber says. “Everything here is big and chunky, and that’s why it does well in Dallas. Big and chunky is on trend — nobody wants the cutesy bitsy stuff — they want bold, impactful pieces.”
The duo brought in dealer Erik Yang of Lush Life Antiques (Weber calls him “the best in the South”) to shore up the selection, which also includes pieces from new designers such as Sherri Jennings. You’ll find iconic accents by Kenneth Jay Lane and Miriam Haskell mixed in with looks by Lanvin, Balenciaga, and Louis Vuitton taken on consignment from some of the city’s best-dressed ladies.
Ranging from $75 to $5,000 for a Chanel necklace, the price points assure there’s something for everyone, and Weber says he’s happy to help women mingle eras and styles to discover their own individual look.
“Since we have old and new, I can mix and match with them. Even if it’s something that doesn’t work with what they’re wearing, it gives them an idea of what to look for. The great thing about vintage jewelry is no one is going to have what you have.”