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Mannin jewelry’s subtle elegance

September 23, 2010 |  1:10 pm


While most of us have a special place in our hearts reserved for shiny and sparkly jewelry, there’s something to be said about the subtle elegance of classic gold pieces that can be worn every day with ease.

Santa Monica based designer Suzanne Donegan’s 1-year-old jewelry line Mannin has the timeless appeal of Cartier or Bulgari, but without any flashy brand markings. Donegan works with a local L.A craftsman to work a mix of recycled yellow and rose gold into weighty 18-karat signet rings, round disc pendants and sculpted cuffs that look both new and heirloom at the same time.

“I hone in on what’s timeless and what it is about something that makes it classic,” said Donegan, who  spoke to us while she was conducting customer appointments from Jenni Kayne’s West Hollywood boutique, and where Mannin is the store’s best selling jewelry line. “So really this is an exploration in timelessness. And about designing pieces that are comfortable to wear and become part of the person who wears it.”

Originally from Ireland, Donegan moved to Los Angeles 11 years ago after studying decorative arts in Boston. And though this town may not be known for its understated style, Donegan manages to see the beauty in the unbuttoned lifestyle of Southern California living. “L.A. is so compelling to me because there’s a comfort and elegance here. It allows you that ease and grace when getting dressed.”

The newest Mannin pieces are something to be considered for the holiday season –- monogram signet rings, cuffs and pendants that can be customized with initials or a name in a font of your choice. All engraving is built into the retail prices (which can be a little steep, so best to start planning your holiday shopping/saving now). Prices range from $1,000 to $1,850 for a dome ring and $2,200 for the signet ring.

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Mannin jewelry is available at Jenni Kayne in West Hollywood.

Photos: Monogram jewelry from Mannin, left, and a cuff and link necklace. Credit: Melissa Magsaysay