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Andrea Levine, pictured with Lulu,
designs jewelry inspired by animals.
Photograph by Luigi Ciuffetelli
www.luigic.com

 

Andrea Levine’s fashion sense has gone to the dogs.

“My favorite T-shirt reads, ‘My dog can beat up Paris Hilton’s dog,’” she says.

Gucci? No. Pooch-y? Absolutely.

“I bought it through a fundraiser for Much Love Animal Rescue in L.A.,” Levine says. “I donate pieces of my jewelry to their fundraisers.”

Relax, jewelry fiends. She’s not giving away her Tiffany pearls and David Yurman sparkle. Levine donates her own work—jewelry for all dogkind.

It all started when Levine’s treasured Westie, Duffy, won Best of Winners at Montgomery, the national all-terrier show.

“Of course, I had to find a piece of jewelry from the dog show vendors,” Levine says. “But I didn’t like what I saw. Most of the designs were either tacky, poorly made or ridiculously expensive.”

Familiar with the jewelry trade through family connections, Levine took matters into her own hands. The result was a tasteful Westie necklace in pave diamond and gold.

“People started asking me where I got it,” she says. “When I told them I made it, they wanted to know if I could make their breed.”

Thus Andrea Levine Jewelry was born.

Random passers-by weren’t the only people who noticed Levine’s designs.

Actress Maria Menounos left her Harry Winstons on her nightstand on the eve of the Golden Globes. Instead, she complemented her couture gown with Andrea Levine. Levine’s designs have been featured on “The Today Show” and “The Early Show” and in InStyle magazine.

“My motto is, ‘More is more.’ Long necklaces, huge cocktail rings, wide gold diamond cuffs, and great hoops, too,” she gushes. “I love it all.”

But jewelry isn’t the only thing that incites Levine’s Pavlovian fashion response. “My personal style is sophisticated and classic, yet I love cutting-edge clothing,” she says. “I have been told I always know what will be trendy before it becomes mainstream.”

Levine is seen in animal prints, sequins, wide-legged pants, tunics, Lilly Pulitzer, St. John, Escada, cashmere sweaters, Hermes scarves and jewel-encrusted Manolos.

To keep her locks luxe, Levine lives by J of Beverly Hills products. “I love them for shine, volume and defining curls,” she says. She snags them from Cielo Salon and Spa on

Delaware Avenue

.

When it comes to makeup, Levine doesn’t discriminate. “I like Nars and Kiehls products, along with Chanel and drugstore Revlon lipstick and Cover Girl eye shadows,” she says.

But the most important element of Levine’s style is the charitable opportunities she finds via her jewelry. “My signature open paw print in gold and pink sapphires is a tribute to my girlfriends who have survived breast cancer and to my aunt, age 90, who is a 30-year survivor,” she says.

Levine teamed up with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, so a portion of the proceeds from every piece sold benefits the fight for the cure.                            —Amy Kates

 

 

Holiday Jewels

 

Before you blow thousands on a gift, read this.

 

Shopping for a gift of jewelry this holiday season? Remember to look for something in line with the wearer’s sense of style.

“Jewelry is only recommended if you’re sure about the style and it’s not of such great value that you’ll be disappointed if the person doesn’t like it,” says Lizzie Post of the Emily Post Institute, great-great-granddaughter of the etiquette expert. “Consider the person’s taste, what’s appropriate. And stay within your means.”

Shopping for a men’s gift? The consensus is that buying for men is difficult due to limited selection. “Men generally don’t like things that are too flashy,” says Ami Leaming, owner of Forney’s Jewelers in Dover, “which is why chain bracelets with a brushed stainless look and watches are good jewelry choices for guys.” Post says to make sure you pick something he’ll wear.

For women, Leaming recommends classic pieces with clean lines. A sterling silver cuff bracelet, for example, can be worn in different ways by women with different styles. “As long as you put sincere thought into a gift for someone, it doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant,” she says.

Gentlemen, here’s something else for you: “The holiday season is a beautiful time to get engaged,” says Nola Doubét of Carl Doubét Jr. Jewelers in Greenville.

She recalls customers who went to her store together to pick up their ring. He had planned to keep it until he proposed at Christmas. “But when she tried the ring on and looked up at him with those loving eyes, he just melted and gave it to her right then and there,” says Doubet. “It was adorable.”

In engagement jewelry, “Victorian looks, channel and micro pave settings are very popular,” says Ron Sayers of Sayers Jewelers in Smyrna. He emphasizes the importance of working with a reputable jeweler and certified gemologist.

“Anywhere you go, the jeweler should be willing to show you what you’re buying under a microscope and be able to put it in writing,” says Sayers, who offers a diamond room where customers can examine loose stones and mountings in private.      —Susan Oates

 

 

Slopestyle

 

When you head for the hills for snow fun, make sure your threads look as good as your skills.

 

If you’re gearing up for snow days in the Pokies, local outfitters have duds that will make a bigger style statement than a perfect turn.

Skiers will appreciate the classic look of Spyder’s Alpha component jacket for men ($275) at the Ski Bum (

218 E. Main St., Newark

, 454-9829; 481 Wilmington Pike, Glen Mills, Pa., 610-459-4778). A zip-in fleece jacket keeps you warm. The outer shell, equipped with an interior key clasp and a special pocket for your MP3 player, fends off the elements. Spyder’s matching Deck pant ($200) features an adjustable waist, multiple zippers near the thigh for venting, and fully taped seams to prevent water penetration.

Also at Ski Bum, Orage’s Mantra jacket ($379.99) for women features a splash of swoopy striping that looks better than 8 inches of fresh powder. Better yet, the water-proof breathable outer stretches with you. It’s fully insulated, and there are two inside and outside pockets to hold your gloves or cell phone while heading down the hill. We like the dark chocolate-aqua color combo. Orage’s Chica pant ($179.99) is strategically seam sealed, with an adjustable waist and pre-formed knees for mobility.

Boarders and skiers will appreciate the value of the EMS Program jacket ($169) and pants ($79) for men at Eastern Mountain Sports (

1297 New Churchmans Road, Newark

, 266-0144; Concord Mall, Wilmington, 477-0859). The waterproof-breathable jacket allows room to move while riding, and the pants come equipped with plenty of cargo pockets to keep your valuables safe when you huck off that monster kicker in the terrain park. Solid colors bespeak your solid skills.

Lady boarders will dig Bonfire’s Radiant jacket ($189.99), also at Ski Bum. A full fleece lining and ear toasters in the detachable hood keep you plenty warm. Bold colors such as poppy keep you stylin’. Bonfire’s Particle pant ($109.99) offers inseam venting, and the Snap-Tite system keeps them connected to your jacket so no snow sneaks in. Insulation in the bum and knees helps, and heel dragger protection prevents any unwanted snags when you’re dragging knuckles through a hard turn.       —Deanna Candeloro

 

 

For Members Only

 

Go to Trolleywood. Have a drink. Buy an exclusive T-shirt. Welcome to the state’s newest club.

 

You don’t have to down fifths of Jack Daniels regularly to earn a Delaware Drinking Club T-shirt. But you do have to be a team drinker. Or a Trolley Square regular, like Mike Dodson, who created the shirts.

Dodson, owner of Dodson Designs in Wilmington, is known for creating women’s tees that combine tie-dye effects with clever wordplay. His patented airbrush technique, called “busTEEs,” accentuate the bust and are touted as “the world’s most flattering T-shirt.”

Cameron Diaz and Helen Hunt own his tees. But until they bust out on the E! Network wearing them, Dodson will have to supplement his income by tending bar. Which is how the Delaware Drinking Team shirts and the marTEEni mikes brand were born.

“I’ve lived in Trolleywood for seven years now,” Dodson says, “so I can safely say that drinking is the main attraction, followed closely by watching sports broadcasts.”

By combining the two, he unwittingly inspired a local phenomenon.

“It occurred to me that the black-and- white license plate exclusive to Delaware would be an interesting way to customize and individually number the shirts,” he says.

When you buy a shirt, you become a club member. The first and second shirts, labeled Member No. 1 and Member No. 2, went for $100 and $99, respectively. Anything below No. 70 costs $30. The low numbers are the most sought, just as with the license plates, says Dodson, “but people are also ordering their lucky numbers, birth dates or statement numbers like, bad boy 666 or lucky 7.”

The designer is planning two bashes in Wilmington this month: at Salon Pasca on December 3 and at Bistro 1717 on December 11. Both parties will feature adult themed drinking games and gags, and a chance to win a T-shirt.

For more information, contact Dodson at 652-5832 or dodsondesign.wetpaint.com.

Bottoms up.                            —Maria Hess

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