Nicole on her way to a shoot in the Tumbled Rose Quartz Necklace by Paige Novick
DAY IN THE LIFE :
PRE-COVID-19 AND POST
As part-two of my very first “edit”, I’d like to explore how editorial life has changed since covid-19. In my role as Fashion Director at Vanity Fair I’ve often had to create something out of nothing.
PART TWO: EDITORIAL LIFE
At Vanity Fair, so much of what we do is reminiscent of what is happening in the moment, so we work, especially with our cover stars, on a much tighter timeline than other publications I have worked with in the past. If you think about our July/ August Issue, for instance, we had Viola Davis on the cover, the concept put forth by the photographer was In response to the social uprising in the States, protests against police brutality and Hollywood’s troubling system.
During a normal cover shoot, you would have three racks of clothes. There is an abundance, so much to choose from. Between CoVid protocols and protests, stores were boarded up. I do believe, however, those restrictions encouraged a creativity, resourcefulness and out-of-the-box thinking that ultimately produced better content. What Viola is wearing is actually a Max Mara piece styled backwards. I can’t help but compare it to the kid that has so many toys that their imagination is stunted. Then, out of a box, that same kid turns it into a rocket ship, a hiding place, a dollhouse. It is this same idea, same sentiment, that is bringing out the best in stylists. Stylists are truly turning something out of nothing.
Here’s an example of a creative way of styling a TJE piece I love : use two of these Hudson Necklaces together to create a chain belt.
Something out of nothing—Nicole would style two of the Hudson Large Gold Necklaces into a belt
The right amount of glitz and glamour with the Crystal Dangle Earrings
You have to constantly explore - and reevaluate - the relevance of content, and how it may be received by your reader. Pre CoVid, Vanity Fair exuded glamour and luxury. We covered the royals, and were unapologetically extravagant in the jewelry we covered. High jewelry is the couture of jewelry, and the perspective is that things can be inspirational and aspirational, strictly eye candy.
During CoVid, we began to more thoughtfully look at smaller brands and covering pieces people could afford. Even so, we aimed to find a balance of glitz and glamour, still allowing the reader a sense of escapism while simultaneously offering realistic options.
I think it’s also important to communicate the investment aspect of jewelry, the idea that it can be passed down and show the breadth of jewelry. Jewelry, even if not fine, is often a mindful purchase. We began showing more pieces you may never take off, like personal diamonds for instance.
My choice for a perfect personal diamond—the Baguette Stud by Jennie Kwon
One thing that has remained for me, pre and post CoVid, is the way I look at the styling of jewelry - on and off set. You can tell the difference between a styled piece of jewelry versus something personally owned. I think we, as normal people, don’t always think of celebrities as real people. But they are. I always ask if they have something that really means something to them, and then listening to them. It is important to let people use what is theirs because it brings more personality into the photo. And usually, celebrity or not, it is not expensive; it is their grandmother’s locket or their grandfather’s watch. I remember AOC keeping on her own jewelry in a shoot we had. It was her aesthetic. Truth in style should always be part of a narrative. Jewelry should feel personal. That should dictate the purchase. Even with trend jewelry, for the right person, it isn’t even a trend, it is their aesthetic. My mom, for instance, has this one ring that I say is so 1992. At the time, it was a trendy piece of jewelry, but for her, it is forever.
If I Was Starting To Build A Personal Collection From The Jewelry Edit, my top choices would be:
Midi Ring with Diamonds
Pearl Magda Necklace
This year has initiated so much reflection. I am fine to talk on Zoom, but I miss the in-personal socialization. The part of my job where I am going to a lunch, a dinner, an event. The energy you feel. The in-person visual of clothes, feeling the fabric, holding the weight is so much more exciting to me. I don’t want to see it digitally. Fashion weeks and showroom visits aside, I miss going outside and seeing everyday people and what they’re wearing. The characters of Penn Station never disappoint.
Only good vibes with Nicole's crystal collection