A one-time personal stylist, Jewelry Designer Jennifer Lau puts together a jewelry wardrobe for us
Jennifer Lau prefers jewelry that you can put on and wear for the rest of the day—pieces that you can feel comfortable, dressed and confident in. Although this makes sense for the busy times in which we live, Jennifer’s aesthetic is also defined by her personal lifestyle. She has five children, two of which are twin boys, although you would never believe it if you met the energetic and naturally youthful designer.
Jennifer launched her collection Genevieve Lau five years ago after working as a personal stylist for four years and dressing clients throughout the tri-state area from head to toe. Her first career was, however as a Wall Street trader. Although she loved the energy and buzz of Wall Street, she admits, “It all became too intense after having my children. I didn’t want to give up working altogether so I decided to turn to another world I loved—that of fashion and accessories,” She continues, “While I was working as a stylist, jewelry was always the touch that personalized the outfit and more importantly, brought out the attitude and individuality in all of the women for whom I was creating a wardrobe. They had their basics and their heirlooms and I helped them to mix in the pieces that would be current and relevant to their day to day lives.” Once Jennifer realized how important fine jewelry was becoming to what she was doing during and after work, she began sketching pieces that she considered to be sexy and feminine—pieces woman would respond to on a visceral and emotional level.
Giving back is a big part of how Jennifer defines herself. Before launching her line she was involved with chairing and raising money for many big events for causes she felt strongly about. When she launched her line, she knew how lucky she was to have her dream career and wanted to pay it forward and thank the universe and give back to as many as she could. Jennifer always gives 20% of her profits back to charity and last year she gave 50%. She has two special collections- the LOVED and the CHARMED where for each piece she sells, she donates one LOVED or Lucky charm necklace to a woman or child with cancer.
Her collection is a well-chosen well-edited mix of fluid and geometric pieces that borrow inspiration from ancient and modern architecture and exotic far off lands, rich with color and culture.
Through her styling career, she has formed strong opinions on what a woman needs to wear and own in her jewelry wardrobe, which she shares with us here:
-Everyone needs a long statement chain.
Ours are created from different shapes evocative of the architecture or stain glass and cathedral windows in churches from Marrakesh to Madrid. Our chains are delicate and feminine so as not to be too heavy or overwhelming around the neck. When you purchase any long chain, you should be able to wear it at the longest length and, then if you want, add in layering pendants and medallions that graduate. The chain should also be designed so that it can be worn doubled or clasped to form a sexier Y necklace. This is a piece from which you will get a ton of mileage.
– Charm and medallions are your go-to everyday pieces that you shouldn’t need or want to take off.
You should choose those that are meaningful or have significance to you. I design a variety of different looks that can be mixed-up and worn together. It’s also important to be able to wear my pendants easily with those you own by other designers and/or heirloom or antique pieces. They make such great basics in a jewelry wardrobe. In addition to layering, you can make a charm necklace and wear your favorites all on one chain.
For one stand out layered look, we also love our cut out pedants that take on the same cathedral window shape as the cut outs in the chains but have different colored gemstone surrounds. When worn together, this is a look that is extremely versatile with solid fashion staples.
In my collection, I also offer elongated baguette cut gemstone-set stick necklaces. My advice about these is that they are super easy to wear and sexy on their own—you can just throw one on and go. But don’t hesitate to play around with these or any geometric shape and mix them with more fluid styles of pedants and/or chains.
– If you are just starting your collection, find a pair of earrings that can be worn day or night.
I design most of my earrings that way. We create different styles of pendant drops, which work well on nearly every shaped face and complexion. For a trendier feel, ear climbers in diamonds in irregular shapes are perfect, as are our chain hoops that almost look like they are threaded through the ear. We have medium to large hoops that are unique enough to make your own statement and our more geometric hoops with our long rectangular silhouettes set with baguette cut stones. You can mix linear earrings with fluid necklaces and visa versa, which will offer a nonchalant, yet totally pulled together look.
-Bracelets are made for stacking and piling on.
You can start with one cuff and then get into the thinner cuffs and bangles and keep going up your arm. You could gift yourself a new bracelet style for each special occasion in your life—or just because you love bracelets. Do you ever really need a ‘reason’ to buy jewelry? Mix different shapes and solid gold with gemstone styles. Here is where you can push the envelope and have fun. It’s important to realize that you should stick with your budget and that you can continue to add, as you are able to afford each bracelet. Sometimes one cuff or wide bangle looks as good as five depending on what you are wearing that day.
-We all need every day rings and at least one statement ring.
If you can pull it off and feel comfortable, choosing one gemstone statement ring. for either your pointer or middle finger with a stack of bands and thinner rings worn on your ring finger will make you smile when you look down at your hands.
-Choose one or two places to stack or layer at the most.
You never want to look over jeweled. This can easily happen if you love layering like I do. But decide on one focal point. If it’s your neck, then you will want to wear small earrings and then maybe a stack of bracelets or rings. If you have many piercings in your ears and want to mix and match your earrings –this look works better with one chain or a bare neck and bracelets or rings. You also never want to create a totally symmetrical look so there should be at least one place where you go bare with jewelry and another where you pile it on or at least wear two or three layers or stacks.
After you have built your jewelry wardrobe, the most important thing to remember is that you always want your choices to seem effortless and unstudied and you also want to buy pieces that will allow you to mix, match and combine and make you feel confident. Confidence is beautiful.