By Natalie Schack

Us: “OK, we’re on a budget until rent’s due.”

Also us: *email with new Elizabeth and James comes in* “ALL THE CLOTHES. TAKE OUR MONEY!”

OK, so we're still ironing out the kinks in our adult financial plan. Until the day we figure it out, though, we've got to shop smart—and that means keeping an eye out for steals, but also knowing when it's worth it to splurge. Take local jewelry brand ‘Alohi Kai’s HONOLULU Fashion Week setup, which has the best of both worlds, in one convenient Marketplace booth you won't want to miss.

Scuba-diver/designer Shera Mercer wowed us with her hand-carved, sterling silver, fine jewelry pieces. Inspired by the sea creatures she rubs noses with when diving, the jewelry features little critters such as fierce sharks, elegant octopuses and beloved honu. If you want to pick up some of these ultra-luxe accessories, you're in luck. Head to HONOLULU Fashion Week, where Mercer’s bringing along styles from her Zoanthids, Honu and He‘e collections, as well as some reef fish pieces that are totally on our to-shop list: Think a bevy of silver manini, pāpio, yellow tangs and sergeant majors swimming in and out of delicate fringelike chains that emulate seaweed. Talk about a splurge-worthy necklace.

But, as stoked as we are about Mercer’s high-end masterpieces, our wallets have got us especially excited for her affordable upcoming line, inspired by the colors of the reef. For these sassy, flirty earrings, Mercer chose to go with a timeless hoop style as a nod to her current obsession, what she calls “reef windows,” essentially holes in the reef. She’s always snapping pics of fish swimming through these pukas for beautiful, naturally framed shots. The hoops feature hand-wrapped Swarovski crystals, gemstones and Czech glass, resulting in a dynamic, light-refracting look that's almost as pretty as the ocean itself.

Saving and spending, all at one event? I guess we know how to balance our looks.

$30–$800, at the HONOLULU Fashion Week Marketplace, Thursday, Nov. 10, 5–9 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 11, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.; and Saturday, Nov. 12, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Learn more at honolulufashionweek.com.

Tags:2016 Alohi Kai HONOLULU Fashion Week Hawaiian Airlines Hawaii Convention Center Marketplace

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