Q & A: Ippolita, jewelry designer

To be known by only your first name means you've made your mark. Such is the case with Ippolita, whose eponymous fine jewelry line is best known for bangles. Raised in Italy, Ippolita moved to the United States when she was 19 years old. She called us while driving from New York City to her studio in East Hampton.

Q What does your name mean?

A It comes from Greek mythology, for "she who frees the horse."

Q How long have you been designing?

A I've been designing for 15 years, but I am also an artist. I work in many different mediums, including sculpture in bronze and stone and the last several years, I've been working in glass -- doing glass installations with video content.

Q What was your big break?

A I was extremely lucky because my very first collection, which was sculptural and dramatic and not very wearable, was discovered by Bergdorf Goodman in New York, before I understood what that meant.

Q Why are your bangles your signature product?

A You can wear them every day and not wear fancy jewelry.

Q Describe your spring collection.

A I use a very special turquoise that comes from a mine in Arizona. It's such an amazing charismatic color. I use that and shell such as mother of pearl. I'm known for taking undervalued things and trying to revalue them by mixing them with precious metals.

Q What jewelry do you wear?

A. I have a stack of about 15 gold and diamond bangles that I wear every day.

Q Jewelry is playing a larger role in fashion now. What are the trends?

A Layering necklaces is a big trend of the moment. The idea you can wear three or four that don't go together, but you can wear together.

Meet Ippolita from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday at JB Hudson Jewelers, 901 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-338-5950. Gifts with purchase: Spend over $2,500 and get a pair of silver earrings; spend over $5,000 for a free pair of gold earrings.

Manicures get a makeover

The latest in manicure technology has finally arrived in the Twin Cities.

Shellac by Creative Nail Design is classified as a soak-off gel, which is gentler on the nails and easier to apply than its predecessors.

Once applied, it's cured by a UV light. Nails are so hard, that pros, such as Rhonda Hansford, do a moisturizing paraffin dip after polishing.

The finish will last two shiny and chip-free weeks. Shellac is available at a limited number of salons and in limited colors, but proponents say it's a time saver. "It's great for people who are more time-conscious," said Hansford. "They know it's going to last and they won't lose their polish two or three days later."

Shellac is about twice the price of a traditional manicure, but most local salons are offering it at $10 to $15 above the price of a regular manicure. (Shellac has to be professionally removed, and there's usually an additional fee of $10 to $25 for that.)

Available at: Jason Deavalon Salon, 1517 W. Lake St., Mpls, 612-751-9928; LifeSpa and Salon, 18425 Dodd Blvd., Lakeville, 952-985-8800; and the Petite Spa, 600 7th St. W., St Paul, 651-699-4959. See www.cnd.com for more details.

Beauty bargain

At the end of the month, Extrados will be shuttering its South Minneapolis location and consolidating into its larger Salon and Spa in Linden Hills. The Wayzata outpost will remain open. In addition to expert eyebrow shaping and balayage hair color treatment, the merged operations in Linden Hills will feature wellness lectures, seminars and fitness classes such as weekly Yoga Samba.

To celebrate the changes, new clients will receive 50 percent off all salon services at both locations from June 29 to July 31. Existing clients also get a discount when they try a new salon service for the first time.

4279 Sheridan Av. S., Mpls., 612-920-0051, and 824 Lake St. E., Wayzata, 952-473-0423, www.extrados.com.



Alternative Apparel sale: Parc Boutique is offering a temporary buy one, get one 50 percent off sale on all Alternative Apparel attire.

Through June 20, 328 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls., 612-353-4966, www.parcboutique.com.

Peppermint Park open weekly: Discount website Peppermint Park will save you on postage. Its local showroom will be open for shopping every Thursday afternoon with 30 to 80 percent off of prices on designer clothes and accessories.

3 to 6 p.m., Northwind Lofts, 2400 N. 2nd St., Suite 302, Mpls., www.peppermintpark.com. RSVP to RSVP@peppermintpark.com.

Second Debut2 grand opening: Enjoy refreshments and register to win a makeover gift package during the opening celebration of the high-end Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota resale shop. For Father's Day, all ties are 50 percent off.

Through June 20, 1825 University Av. W., St Paul, 651-645-5048, www.seconddebut.org.


Mini-fashion show: Cliché will be hosting an open house featuring new collections from local designers Ivan Idland, Danielle Everine and Elena Mercurio.

7 to 9 p.m., 2403 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-870-0420, free.


Bling Apparel grand opening: Discounts will be available on the sparkling clothing and accessories. Customized rhinestone application is also available on items that you buy in the store, or you can bring in your own.

Through Sunday, the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes, 12273 Elm Creek Blvd. N., Maple Grove, 763-234-5380, www.blingapparel.com.


Oscar & Belle closing: The local line of organic baby clothes and bedding is closing its retail location to focus on its wholesale and online business. Stop by and save 50 to 75 percent on discontinued and out-of-season styles.

Through June 24, 2812 W. 43rd St., Minneapolis, 612-216-3738, www.oscarandbelle.com

Gulf Coast fundraiser: Galen Labs Natural Skincare will donate $5 of each jar of its Shea Cream to the Greater New Orleans Foundation's Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund.

Through June 30, buy online or at participating retailers, www.galenlabs.com.


Nordstrom Designer Preview: Move over Glamorama, there's a new designer fashion show in town. On June 24, Nordstrom Mall of America will present a runway fashion show with looks from the fall collections of Akris, Chanel, Gucci, Lanvin, Michael Kors, Missoni, Oscar de la Renta and Stella McCartney. The event includes cocktails and a reception. Trunk shows of featured designers will follow on June 25.

6:30 p.m., June 24, tickets are $100 and 100 percent of ticket sales will benefit the Starkey Hearing Foundation, 952-947-4700, starkey hearingfoundation.org.

Sara Glassman • 612-673-7177 sglassman@startribune.com