A couple times a week I grab Subway for lunch and every time I do it's partially for the excuse to take a stroll by Tabendah Jewelry in the bottom floor of Mazza Gallerie. I'd never heard of Iradj Moini until I started lingering in front of window at Tabendah, utterly captivated by whatever designer was responsible for the bold semiprecious gemstones of varying sizes and shapes sprinkled liberally in one of a kind gold-plated brass settings. It's so striking in person, you can't help but stop and stare!
I did a bit of inquiring and discovered that the designer of this distinctive jewelry is Iradj Moini. He began designing jewelry in 1989 and was formerly the jewelry designer for Oscar de la Renta. Now he runs his own line with a flagship store in Soho. And three of his pieces are in the permanent collection at the Louvre!
Photo via PJ Reilly Design
Iradj Moini isn't a household name like other popular jewelry designers- say, David Yurman, Alexis Bittar, et al. And honestly, I'm not sure why. His designs are luxurious without being flashy; you can see the influence of his Persian roots, but none of the designs look costumey. They're polished yet don't look too perfect and have a touch of haphazardness to them. Each piece is truly spectacular and unique (in fact they are all hand made). You're not going to see every other woman at a cocktail party wearing these baubles.
Freida Pinto in an Iradj Moini necklace on Vogue India
By far, the necklaces provide the most wow factor in the collection. You could get away with wearing the most basic of dresses if you had one of these to set it off with. The price tag for most necklaces is hefty, but it never hurts to daydream a little!
Emerald, Ruby and Topaz Necklace, $3,750
Necklace featured at right in Elle
He uses my two favorite stones quite liberally- amethyst and turquoise- an unexpected combo that happen to look amazing together!
Halle Berry wears in Iradj Moini Ring
Speaking of rings, every girl's favorite things! The cocktail rings are at a much friendlier price point than the necklaces (I believe they range from about $350 and up), and are also big on the wow factor. Usually I don't love asymmetrical jewelry but I love the way that the stones in some of these rings are "haphazardly" clustered together, and the wonderful color contrasts.
Iradj Moini Bracelet
He also makes fantastic earrings. Trust me, they are infinitely more captivating in person!
Ruby and Citrine Earrings, $650
Aventurine and Ruby Earrings; Amethyst, Quartz, and Topaz Earrings
Turquoise and Amethyst Earrings
Iradj Moini necklace on model on left
Multi stone clip earrings, $295
Love the tassel design of these earrings. Freshwater Pearls, Citrine, and Topaz
Store in Soho
Amethyst and turquoise bracelet
If you're ever around the Friendship Heights area and have time to stop into Tabendah I'd highly recommend it, even if it is just for some wistful window shopping. Looking at these pieces is like looking at art (and I've never felt that way about jewelry before). It also appears that Neiman Marcus carries a few Iradj pieces, as do some other independent jewelry stores.
What do you think of this jewelry? Great new find, or a bit over the top for you? We're interested to hear!