“I’m not a kaleidoscopic-color chaser – I mostly love a neutral palette of gold and diamonds, to which I can add a pop of color,” says Rosanne Karmes, founder of the LA-based jewelry label Sydney Evan. “[But] when I introduced my beaded bracelets and necklaces 20 years ago to complement all my gold and diamond jewelry, color played a major role. It added a fashion feel to my collections and gave our clients the opportunity to play with color; working their bracelets into their daily outfits and mixing and matching [styles]. I think those seeking to embrace color should start by looking at their wardrobe for inspiration and pick out shades that appear the most. Add one color at a time and use different tones of that same hue,” she adds. Most importantly, Karmes suggests having fun with layering – after all, “color is a source of joy”.
“I always try to mix in color with whatever I’m wearing, as it’s a mood enhancer for me,” says Diane Kordas, who launched her brand 12 years ago and now has a cult following for her woven ‘Evil Eye’ bracelets. “My rainbow-bead necklaces and anklets evoke the nostalgia of collecting sea glass on the beach and long summer nights,” she explains, citing the balmy coastline of the Aegean as a frequent source of inspiration for her designs. “While color is fun and can bring light to drab days, my advice is don’t let it dominate. [Instead], try different stone options in rings, bracelets, earrings or necklaces to [establish where you’re] most comfortable wearing color, then pair pieces with a white T-shirt – it’s an excellent canvas for both bright and muted shades.”
Geraldine Clozeau, founder of Gigi Clozeau, describes color as “an essential part of her vision”. Launching her brand with just 15 different shades of her signature beaded chains, she now offers more than 50 hues and is constantly creating more. “Greens and blues inspired by the Mediterranean Sea are the colors that I most instinctively lean towards, but a touch of red, orange and pink always seem to be essentials for me too,” she explains. While verdant emeralds are her favorite gemstone, Clozeau enjoys decoding how color channels each person’s unique emotions and identity. Her top tip for the color shy? “Start with one shade that complements your complexion and go from there.”
“Integrating colorful jewelry into the mix can make jeans and a T-shirt look trendy,” says Tania Nawbar, co-founder of L’Atelier Nawbar. Sisters Tania and Dima Nawbar hail from a family dynasty of jewelers, and their intuitive approach to color is inherent in every piece. “There are as many colors as there are moods and, blended in the right way, there is no right or wrong [when it comes to] color,” says Dima. “We believe different combinations can evoke different things – turquoise and lapis put together, for example, can give a beachy feel; you can pair coral and white mother of pearl for a more feminine look; or marry onyx and agate for a bold, eye-catching statement,” adds Tania. “Color should be an extension of oneself. It’s what adds that je ne sais quoi to life.”
Pascale Monvoisin founded her eponymous brand in 2009, and is renowned for her bold exploration of semi-precious stones. “I am a color lover! When I was a child, I collected papers yellowed by the sun; I had a palette of all shades and I was amazed by the differences in hues,” says the French designer. Monvoisin came to design jewelry via her appreciation of art, painting and collage. “Assembling color and finding the right harmonies is what I love the most in my daily life,” she explains. “Embracing color is like loving an author, or a film or a painting – it is the heart that speaks; it’s all about falling in love with a piece. You shouldn’t ask yourself if it will go well with the rest of your collection, rather: ‘Do I want to wear it? Will it give me pride and strength when I wear it?’”
Storrow’s creations feature a veritable cornucopia of richly hued gemstones and vivid enamel, expertly curated to give the effect of having been collected over time. Designer Jennifer Koche uses complementary color stories to avoid pieces feeling matchy-matchy, but does have her personal favorites. “Growing up, when we were often asked in grade school what our favorite color was, I always said turquoise,” says Koche, who gravitates towards opals and moonstones for their color-shifting qualities. “For those just beginning to embrace color, more muted gems, such as blue sapphires, labradorite and garnets can serve as a stepping stone by introducing color to your collection, but not overwhelmingly so,” she adds. “Color has such a huge range, so [you don’t need to wear] the brightest hues.”