Scroll through Instagram and you’ll see pastel-hued gemstones peppered on feeds and stories alike. Accompanied by a bevy of unique healing properties – from grounding to balancing – they’ve become fast favourites within the fashion and jewellery cohort. Enter Monica Vinader, the veteran jewellery designer whose semi-precious creations have won over the likes of Bella Hadid, Liu Wen and Sophie Turner. Though fans of Vinader’s have fervent house-favourites such as its friendship bracelet – an 18-carat rose gold on sterling silver piece that both Vinader and her daughter wear – the British brand’s sense of innovation and exploration hasn’t slowed down in the least. Case in point: Monica Vinader’s very first collaboration with fashion multi-hyphenate Caroline Issa.
The fashion editor, consultant and director of London’s Tank Magazine is no stranger to trailblazing trends. That Monica Vinader would tap the Montreal-born Issa’s style expertise for this collection – given Issa’s personal affinity for statement earrings and bold colours – only makes sense. With a 202K-strong Instagram following that hangs on just about every one of Issa’s sartorial whims, the perennial style favourite’s eye for beauty, paired with Vinader’s jewellery know-how come seamlessly together.
The collection, which will be available at all Monica Vinader stores – ION, Westgate and Takashimaya –boasts a 16-piece range that includes earrings, bracelets, necklaces and chokers. The result is a cocktail of candy-coloured exotic gemstones, from ametrine and aquamarine to pink quartz and green amethyst, all individually hand-picked by the pair. Below, Issa speaks to us about the inspiration behind the collection and the significance of a woman’s jewellery wardrobe.
There’s been a huge shift in focus towards gemstones over the past few years due to their symbolism, healing properties and of course, beauty. What are some of your favourite gemstones and why?
Amethyst, Citrine, Ametrine, Aquamarine – so many beautiful stones I couldn’t choose. They each have their own unique properties and I always marvel at how mother nature gave us their natural colours to enjoy.
What drew you to creating this gemstone collection with Monica Vinader, the first collaboration for the brand?
I love new challenges and opportunities. I have never designed jewellery before but had so many ideas of things missing from my own jewellery box that could be worn everyday. When Monica asked me to design a capsule with her and her team, we talked through a few different concepts but actually using these beautiful gemstones became so clear so early on. Perhaps more importantly, I want to work with people I love, who inspire me, who are kind, positive people and Monica is all that and more.
What was the process of collaborating on this collection like for you?
It was so fulfilling – I think we’re lucky in life when we can create beautiful things that will stand the test of time (if I can say so myself!) and to add value to a world already so full of things. I think in this day and age of buying less but buying better, it’s important to create collaborations that are both fun and natural that produce things of value and substance and beauty!
What do you personally feel the significance of jewellery is and can be to a woman?
For me, jewellery is so much more than pure decoration. It is the thing that sits in or on our body, so close to our pulse points and vitality and I think jewellery can add so much and be amazing markers of memory. It can be handed down generations and I think that is so powerful to be enjoyed by my Grandmother down to my niece.
How do you feel jewellery is able to elevate or add on to one’s style?
Jewellery has that unique ability of adding sparkle and vibrancy to an outfit – it also lifts it all up. More than just a finishing touch, jewellery adds more personality and more reflection of self.
Could you tell us about your personal relationship with jewellery and how it informs the way you dress and/or accessorise?
I wear pieces my great-grandmother wore – I’m wearing her bracelet as I type. Jewellery is so personal, sometimes I wear pieces when I want to be closer to family members who wore it in the past, just to feel their energy. That’s more powerful than what a pair of jeans can do (at least for me) but I also think you have to have fun with jewellery, to mix and match and not be too precious about it all.
Which is your favourite piece from the collection?
Hard to choose, but I think the cocktail earrings will be pieces that I’ll be wearing constantly – for day to night outfit changes, for the joy the colour and juiciness of the gemstones together and their natural shape and beauty.
You mention positive energy as a factor in choosing these gemstones. Do you feel that gems have a transformative energy when wearing them?
I’ve heard of yoga studios in Los Angeles whose floors are strewn with gemstones and capped with windowpane layer to do the yoga on top of, and I understand why. I do think there is something so naturally organic about the vibrancy of these stones that one can’t argue with the positive feelings and transformative energy you feel when close to them, when wearing them!
Could you tell us how you imagine these pieces being styled and what one would be able to wear with them?
The pieces are so versatile – the little huggy earrings with drop gemstones are daily wear (I like mixing up the pairs so I wear different coloured ones). This is a collection to wear with a T-shirt and jeans or with the most beautiful of cocktail dresses or tuxedoes. I think they are appropriate for a touch of joy in a tailored work outfit in the form of the simple drop charm necklaces or even the charm bracelet peeking out of your blouse and jacket.
Finally, you mention your “fantasy jewellery wardrobe” – tell us a little about this. What were some of the elements you imagined that Monica Vinader and yourself were able to bring to life?
I think with my Cartier vintage watch that I switch up with my Hermes band apple watch, my great-grandmothers bracelet, my MV x CI collab bracelet is a lovely addition for a maximalist wrist! I rotate earrings daily so I love being able to have so many to mix and match. Might need to pierce another hole to accommodate it all.
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