Penelope’s Collection: Jewelry with a Story


Whenever any woman chooses to put on a piece of jewelry, she’s making a statement of some kind. It might be a statement dictated by situation: it’s not the day for anything too flamboyant; it’s important to express some of that joie-de-vivre; what if it gets lost or damaged? It might be driven by the practical: gold goes better with the outfit than silver; red is better than blue; snug-fitting is more appropriate than dangly. It might be emotional: remembering someone important; needing good luck; looking for strength. It might be tactical: this says something important about me; he needs to remember what day it is (and there we should remember that tactical is just as much in the not wearing as the wearing!). Or it might just be because she knows it looks great and she feels great wearing it.

Jewelry is a beautiful, complicated thing, capable of carrying and communicating all sorts of associations. We have only to look at history to see the breadth and depth of its role in societies around the world and across generations: we are far more closely linked than we think with the women of thousands of years ago through the types of jewelry we wear today. And while everyone has their own style and preference, most of us are aware of the expectations of our environments and what is and isn’t appropriate. Sometimes we need the extra zing that wearing something special can provide. But we also recognize that there are staples on which we can depend in almost any situation—like the little black dress and the perfect white tee—and without which we might feel rather naked.

 As well as working with an outstanding group of highly talented and inspiring designers whose lines I am proud to carry, I have put together a signature collection that represents what I consider to be the foundations of any jewelry wardrobe. Long layering necklaces that offer the flexibility of doubling up as something shorter; discreet gold bangles that look as appropriate in the boardroom as they do in a lamp-lit restaurant; statement pieces that lend personality to a business suit and flourish to an evening outfit: these are all pieces that cross borders and occasions. Our signature collection contains some of our favorites—jewelry that stands out for its timeless elegance, enduring relevance and sense of occasion. They are must-have classics. They are also bold, fun, and colorful.

 

Over the years I spent in fashion, I was exposed to an enormous variety of jewelry and accessories. I learned what makes a classic piece classic, and a trend item something that is hot property one season, and pretty much forgotten the next. There’s a big difference between trend and style. While trends will come and go, style spins around a fixed axis, governed by a set of constant principles but confident of a certain flexibility. While a trend can be deliberately subversive, style is more elastic. Hence, while color in a seasonal trend may be shockingly provocative, in style, it asserts itself more subtly. It may be more assertive than usual, but it won’t be out of place next year. It’s the difference between screaming and stating.

 This is one of the principles that has governed how I’ve shaped Penelope’s Collection. It salutes the classics, but is animated with enough of the flavor of the moment to be contemporary now, without being dated tomorrow. The infinity symbol that is part of our identity captures some of that sense of timelessness that I look for when making choices about what should be part of this collection: pieces that are essential, enduring, and versatile; pieces that allude to your personality, without overpowering or pigeonholing you; pieces that help you tell your story, without giving away too many details. After all, that’s what we’re doing here. Telling our stories.