The Five Best Gems I Bought in Phoenix in 2012

Because I hunt for gems every week, I shop what feels like all the damn time. In 2012, I longingly gazed at handmade leather goods at Prada's grand opening, nestled into plush couches at Restoration Hardware's The Gallery, toured the back room at Jewelry by Gauthier, splurged like a good American should on Fashion's Night Out at Neimans, and wrote about more collaborative lines than I could ever buy.

But, for me, shopping rarely equals buying. All right, maybe not rarely, but it's certain that the more time I've spent looking at items, examining pieces, and finding myself in awe or occasional disgust, the less I want to whip out the trusty AMEX. Though, some things I saw I had to have. Here are five.

5. Wonder Woman Cropped Top by Tiffe Fermaint It's been a big year for Tiffe Fermaint. Apart from getting engaged and announcing that she's having a baby, the Phoenix-based designer released a super-cool collection of upcycled clothing called Reincarnation that she released through Buffalo Exchange. I arrived at the release party early because I needed this Wonder Woman top, the perfect combination of local love, Fermaint's edgy style, and comic book nerdiness.

See also: - Jackalope Ranch's Gem Archives - Jackalope Ranch's Gift Guide for Phoenix's Fashionable - Hard Goods: Designs and Concrete Goods by Local Artists in Uptown Phoenix

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski