NEW YORK, New York (03/2012)  Designer Clara Kasavina of red-carpet-style evening bags fame has re-imagined a line of her company’s jewelry, first issued in the ’80’s.  The line that was popular then is even more popular now, as the pieces have been tweaked for the new century to be young, stunning and affordable while maintaining the same artisanship Clara Kasavina is known for. The Clara Kasavina Jewelry Collection consists of rings, pendants, earrings, bracelets and necklaces, all of which have a fresh, glamorous look, like the Marquis  earrings shown above.  These earrings are distinguished by the point-to-point marquise-shaped blue Swarovski crystal centers surrounded by diamonté. The pair depicted here is for pierced ears but can be ordered as clip-ons.

The popularity of Clara Kasavina’s, hand-made-in-New-York jewelry is evident in the number of line-for-line copies that have been popping up in the editorial pages of Marie Claire, for instance, as well as in a number of ads placed in fashion and accessories magazines.

The Clara Kasavina Jewelry Collections was originally created in the early ‘80’s by Clara’s husband Misha Berger. Berger, a sculptor who emigrated from the Ukraine in the ‘70’s, is experienced in the art of chikanka, or metal chasing. His work is so fine, it was recognized by museums in the Ukraine, before he came to America and began a collaboration with his wife in their fashion accessories business. Colors and shapes of the re-issued line have been modified to be up-to-the-fashion minute.

Of the flurry of imitations of his and Clara’s designs, Berger says, “I don’t believe this is the sincerest form of flattery. I think it’s more like flummery.” Among the pieces which have been copied are the Infinity Cuff, the Cleo Cuff and the Dome Cuff.

Infinity Cuff in Elle Mag circa 1988

Clara Kasavina is best-known for original, collectible evening bags, clutches, purses and minaudières, many studded with Swarovski crystals or crafted of beautiful skins.

Their bags, belts and jewelry are all made in a factory in New York and are to be seen in leading fashion and lifestyle publications. Many are investment pieces such as “Peter the Great,” an ovoid-shaped entrance bag gleaming with a palette of pastel Swarovski Elements or with the gemstone tones of sapphire blue, peridot green, tourmaline (gray), amethyst, pink and ruby. Fashion arbiter Candy Pratts Price featured “Peter the Great” in Vogue’s 2011 Holiday Gift Guide.

The newest styles of Clara Kasavina bags and jewelry were on display at the Fashion Coterie trade show at the Javits Center in New York in February. Among Clara’s chic and show-stopping evenings bags is “Violeta,” as lovely and as many-splendored as a country garden can be, complete with an “insect” clasp. The flowers in this golden garden are wrought of mauve and garnet-colored Swarovski crystals with sparkling emerald-colored leaves.

Like many of their creations, inspiration derives from the legendary Fabergé eggs, the imperial jeweled eggs commissioned by the Russian Tzars. “Our heritage is Russian,” says Clara, who emigrated from St. Petersburg. “We are obsessed with Fabergé. But we draw inspiration elsewhere, too,” she says, pointing out exquisite red and gold and black and gold bags that evoke Shanghai in this Chinese Year of the Dragon.

The red and gold theme has been brought into the Clara Kasavina Jewelry Collection with the India-spired Sari necklace and matching earrings and the cool Marquis red-stone ring.

For more information, visit:  www.clarakasavina.com