When it comes to jewelry, curating an everyday “wardrobe” is something that usually ends up happening naturally. Perhaps it’s the ring you feel naked without, the everyday huggie hoops you even sleep in, or the classic watch that’s always on your wrist. But when it comes to accessorizing for a more formal event, even the most style savvy of us can be thrown for a loop. After all, invites to black-tie events aren’t exactly filling our calendar. So when we got the chance to speak to fine jewelry designer Sarah Hendler, who just attended the Oscars, we took the opportunity to learn more about her jewelry strategy and tips for crafting your own formal look. You know, just in case you don’t have a stylist on speed dial with access to Cartier or Bvlgari vaults. It turns out mixing in vintage is a choice move, but do read on for more of Hendler’s notes on accessorizing for the Oscars.
Tell me about what you wore to the Oscars.
I wore vintage ruby and diamond rings and three rings from my own collection. The earrings were also my MQ Collection, which is repurposed. They're 18-karat white gold with black enamel and diamonds and are mismatched. For my dress, I rented a Prabal Gurung dress from Armarium. The shoes were black Prada mules with big grosgrain bow that I own.
What role does jewelry play in your overall look?
Jewelry is a huge part for many reasons. First being that it is my job and my passion, so when looking at a dress, I always think of the jewels.
I love to mix and match color and texture and play with different shapes and stones. You can also pick a theme. For the vintage pieces, I went with the overall theme of rubies and diamonds by mixing art deco with a traditional gypsy set cabochon ruby stone and chunky old diamonds.
For more formal occasions, are there any jewelry guidelines to follow?
I think it's a tough call on people's personal taste and style. Some people like the dress to only shine, but I think jewels can be such a highlighter for a wonderful gown or dress.