DepartmentsMust Haves

Must Haves: Special Effects

by David Nash

As we ease into spring, welcome the season with little indulgences of the visual, tactile or olfactory variety.


Sister act. Pratima and Prerna Sethi showed their first jewelry collection for Sethi Couture in San Francisco in 2009, and since then their blingy creations have been worn by A-list celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Halle Berry and Taylor Swift. The sisters’ curated ring combinations, like this Golden Stack ($400–$9,900) in yellow gold with white and colored diamonds, are a statement-making favorite of their devoted clientele. 290 Main Street, Los Altos.

Bag lady. Named for iconic singer, songwriter and activist Nina Simone, the Nina Bag — with its structured handle and distinctive round pouch — was the first handbag designed by Gabriela Hearst for her label’s 2015 launch. And what began seven years ago as a limited edition of 20 has since become a staple accessory for members of the chic set. Shown here in cognaccolored crocodile with rose gold hardware ($16,000), this new classic comes in two sizes and a variety of color and material options.

Webmaster. New York– based designer Rachel Scott launched her ready-to-wear line, Diotima, early on in the pandemic as a way to stay connected to her Jamaican roots. Her collections showcase Caribbean artisanal techniques. Case in point: the intricate Web Crochet Top ($295). Visit Sherri McMullen’s eponymous Oakland boutique to check out the newest pieces, and discover the work of other up-and-coming designers. 2257 Broadway, Oakland.

Mug shot. Sure to become your new favorite vehicle for coffee or tea, these Artist’s Mugs (from $52) by potter Helen Levi are a colorful way to deliver that next caffeine fix. Each rainbow-splattered stoneware mug is made to order within three weeks at her studio in Queens. A variety of plates and bowls in the same pattern are also available, in addition to other hand-crafted vessels — like planters and vases — with equally charming colors and glazes.

Scent and sensibility. Environmental and social responsibility are at the heart of actress (and former Woodside resident) Michelle Pfeiffer’s fragrance brand, Henry Rose. From the ingredients in each bottle to the bottles themselves, every element of her signature scents is held to the highest standards for health, safety and sustainability. They also happen to smell divine — take, for instance, Fog ($120 for 50ml), with its notes of fresh citrus, magnolia, vetiver and sandalwood. Apart from the eau de parfums, there’s a whiff-worthy collection of soaps, lotions and candles to choose from.

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