how to curate a jewellery uniform
6 influencer-approved jewellery brands to inspire a build-your-own capsule ‘wardrobe’ of statement gold jewellery and heirloom-feel jewels.
Rule #1 Aim for a mix of the high/low
Carrie Bradshaw is the inimitable queen of high/low dressing- case in point ‘I was looking for the perfect $7 dress to go with my $300 shoes’. Well, the same applies to her jewellery collection and the scripted gold ‘Carrie’ necklace she picks up for no more than a few dollars. This school of thought dictates that creating a jewellery uniform needn’t break the bank, it’s all about thoughtful curation and keeping onto pieces that hold sentiment. Opt for trend-led statement pieces from high-street stores each season to pair with an existing collection of staple gold or silver jewellery from independent designers. So think mega-watt chandelier earrings by ASOS Design, paired with Maria Tash Eternity helix earrings.
Rule #2 When in doubt, go for gold
Rule #3 Diamonds are no longer a girl’s best friend
This may sound like sacrilege, but then again Marilyn Monroe wasn’t living with student debt or rising property prices. When buying new jewellery put your money where it counts and invest in the quality of the design rather than the gems. If you’re still yearning for your diamond fix, try cubic zirconia from designers such as Kenneth Jay Lane (available at Net-a-Porter)- all the sparkle of a diamond at a fraction of the price tag.
Rule #4 Your jewellery pieces don’t need to be matchy matchy
Much like a capsule wardrobe, there will be a complex sartorial algorithm at play. There’s no need to wear all your pieces at once (unless you want to of course). Instead aim to mix and match items to suit what you’re wearing and the occasion you are dressing for.
Rule #5 Care for your jewels, they need some TLC
When delicate chain necklaces are placed neatly in a jewellery box, I’m pretty sure as soon as the lid shuts they huddle around and plot some secret vendetta. (Much like the toys in Toy Story) Then you return to open the box and all hell’s broken loose, said necklaces are lying in a tangled mess- requiring 10 mins of serious detangling. And that’s a little something called sod’s law. Storing your jewellery separately so that pieces don’t tangle, rub or scratch against each other is a great way to extend the lifetime of your collection. Then again, I’m really no expert so refer to this handy guide by Astley Clarke.
Now here’s an edit of my favourite up-and-coming designers:
Aesthetic: Guggenheim-worthy sculptural forms with an industrial edge
As seen on: Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi, Charli Howard, Emma Watson.
If the 80s power earring is your thing, then you need to know about Laura Lombardi. Chunky, gold, and oversized, Lombardi’s designs have all the impact of a Pat Butcher ensemble but with the taste-levels of Old Céline. During art school, Lombardi took a part-time job at a jewellers, and eventually found herself bringing the tenants of jewellery design into her three-dimensional artworks. Launched in 2010, her eponymous line of jewellery is handmade in New York from new, recycled, and found materials- giving them eco-friendly credentials.
Brinker & Eliza
Aesthetic: Carrie Bradshaw takes a trip from New York City to the shores of Nantucket
As seen on: Leandra Medine, Pandora Sykes, Aimee Song, Harling Ross.
Brinker & Eliza’s designs do all the talking. From the petrol-hued natural pearls to the casual maximalism of their signature shell earrings, simply style with a plain tee and you’re good to go. The mother-daughter duo, Brinker and Eliza, have been creating jewellery together for the past 15 years. All made by hand in Connecticut, inspiration for their creations comes from the hours they spend hunting for sea glass at the sandy beaches. Their pieces are truly modern antiques, and you need them on your radar.
Aesthetic: Treasures from the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul (only through a Valencia filter)
As seen on: Jenna Coleman, Mimi El-Ashiry.
According to its creator Olivia Cummings, Cleopatra's Bling was “born from an adoration of travel, the etherial, and the symbolic. A fusion of eastern allure and western style.” How dreamy! Drawing upon the ancient jewellery-making traditions she learnt in Turkey, her designs always incorporate hammered metals and sourced stones to give them an authentic bohemian-feel. I’m here for it.
P D PAOLA
Aesthetic: Unleash your inner Madrid street style star in their geometric hoops
As seen in: Vogue Spain, Harpers Bazaar México.
P D PAOLA offers up trend-driven, quality pieces at surprisingly affordable prices. Launching a minimum of eight new collections per year, the brand excels at prêt-à-porter style. For the style-conscious, this is your go-to jewellery for minimalist and timeless design.
Aesthetic: I may be LIL’, but I be fierce
As seen on: Dua Lipa, Chiara Ferragni, Bella Thomas, The Triplets.
This up-and-coming Milanese brand was founded by Veronica Varetta just four years ago. With only baby-sitting money in her pockets, Veronica started making her own jewellery when she couldn’t find any that was to her taste (and more importantly, her price point). She wanted jewellery that was like a tattoo- to wear everyday, anywhere and appear as an extension of herself. Her barely-there jewellery fits the brief, and then some. Remember the name, you heard it here! (PSA there’s 10% off orders with registration)
Aesthetic: Elizabethan heiress gone rogue
As seen on: Monica de La Villardière, the pages of Vogue Paris and Marie Claire.
Fine jeweller Jessie Thomas combines her affinity for contemporary design with the traditional techniques and craftsmanship handed down from her father, Master Goldsmith David Thomas. Her collections (all handmade in her Pimlico workshop) are perfectly situated between everyday pieces and evening glamour, making them a great investment for your jewellery uniform. Her love of gold dipped natural pearls, studded chains and unusual gemstones speak to both the fashion conscious consumer of today and those seeking timeless elegance- giving her designs the status of modern heirlooms.