An unparalleled fixture in the fashion world, Rachel Zoe is a distinguished stylist, editor and designer, renowned for her effortless take on glamour. Having immersed herself in fashion and design for nearly two decades, Rachel has been heralded as one of the most influential forces working in fashion today. As a Los Angeles-based stylist, her illustrious career has flourished as she has continually proven herself to be an integral part in shaping fashion and the images of Hollywood celebrities. As well as a style expert and authority in the realms of fashion, beauty and lifestyle, Rachel is respected for her comprehensive knowledge of vintage, haute couture and contemporary design. Today, as a designer, she makes her exceptional taste and expertise accessible to her growing audience.
1. Why are you obsessed with jewelry?
My mother had a major influence on my obsession for everything glamorous, especially jewelry – she has always had the most incredible collection. When I was younger, I would get lost in her closet playing dress up – piling on strands of necklaces and covering my arms with her bangles. She really showed me how to completely change any look with accessories.
2. When people say “accessories” for me it usually means shoes & handbags but not jewelry as I feel they belong in a category on their own…what is your take?
I mean, how can I argue with that? I completely agree. Jewelry, more than any other accessory, has the ability to transform an ensemble – take it from day to night, desk to dinner, work week to weekend, and so on. To me, leaving the house without jewelry would feel like walking out the door naked.
3. Who is the one celebrity past/present who embodies a jewelry goddess and is there an image of this celebrity that says it all?
I would definitely have to say Elizabeth Taylor. Her style is iconic and exudes so much glamour and drama.
4. I love big bold jewelry – does size matter to you?
For me, I love oversized statement pieces – the bigger the better. I see bold accessories as a woman’s armor. If you need to feel confident for a meeting or first date, put on a gold link necklace or a big bold cuff and you’ll feel that instant boost of courage.
5. I never wear anything on my neck that is dainty… if it’s not bold I don’t like it on my neck…what is your “no-no” when it comes to wearing jewelry?
I love layering different mismatched pieces that work together. If you’re wearing a dainty necklace, I would complement it with a cuff or cocktail ring. When choosing something like a statement or pendant necklace, it’s good to balance the look with delicate earrings or a few stacked rings.
6. What is the secret insider tip in buying vintage jewelry?
Always look for a branded signature or stamp on a piece of vintage costume jewelry before making a serious purchase. Investing in special designer jewelry that bears a signature stamp usually means it will appreciate in value.
8. What does “costume” jewelry mean to you?
Costume jewelry is all about the drama – you can achieve so much more glamour without the fuss of diamonds or delicate fine jewelry.
9. Costume jewelry has a come a long way. What is the pro and con of it?
I love the theatrics of costume jewelry – you can achieve an impactful and dramatic look without spending as you would with fine jewelry or diamonds. But there’s something be to said about also investing in the real thing – it’s all about a good balance.
10. Costume jewelry has become very expensive … how do you/ can you justify it?
I always look for a signature stamp or seal no matter how beautiful the costume piece is. This way I know the value will appreciate. Also, much of the higher end costume pieces are gold plated or made with materials that will help them to last a lifetime.
11. When you’re designing your apparel collection is jewelry part of the equation or you design your jewelry separate from the apparel?
Absolutely – I always want my jewelry to complement and accent the looks, never compete. That said, I take inspiration for both apparel and jewelry from fashion icons and music of the 1960s and 70s, to books and art.
12. As a woman with a discerning stylish eye… what is your advice on how to acquire what is the right jewelry for one’s aesthetics and look?
Don’t be afraid to try something new and step outside of your comfort zone. Experiment with bold statements for one occasion, and layers of delicate jewelry on another – figure out what you feel most comfortable and confident in, and just own it.
13. What would you suggest to wear with these holiday looks:
LBD: Every woman should have an LBD in her closet – it’s a wardrobe staple. Make a statement this holiday with the pave love knot earrings from my collection – they add glamour and sophistication to any LBD.
White or red velvet tuxedo: A tuxedo moment is always important, and I’m obsessed with the Kendra mini tux dress from my collection. Dress it up for the holidays by sweeping your hair into a topknot, wearing a red lip in a shade that works for you and adding a bold cocktail ring that makes a statement!
Long boho luxe dress: I love the look of luxurious bohemia during the holiday season. Try pairing a long printed maxi dress with cropped bolero jacket and a long pendant necklace for the perfect touch of added glamour.
Black jumpsuit: A black jumpsuit is just as important to your wardrobe as your favorite little black dress. Effortlessly transform your look by changing up your accessories – sleek pumps, a great clutch and a cuff (or two) is unexpected yet perfectly polished for the holiday season.
14. For a woman who has collected and is synonymous with gorge jewelry pieces…what would you give as a gift to your close friend who is salivating over what u own as a Christmas gift?
Jewelry is one of my favorite gifts to give to friends and family simply because it tells a story. No matter how small or large the budget, it is a gift that will always have sentimental value.
15. Do you buy expensive jewelry for yourself?
I leave that to my husband, Rodger!
16. What is the one piece of jewelry that you’re coveting this Christmas?
I’m obsessing over the Jennifer Meyer Trillion ID Cuff! The 18-karat gold ID bracelet with pave diamonds is so gorgeous, and I love that it also can be engraved.