When approaching the big questions of style, it’s important to learn from the best—the very best. We asked Elisabetta Barracchia, the Italian Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Accessory and Vogue Gioiello, for her professional advice on the key style rules—and how to break them.
Swarovski crystals are… a dreamlike must-have.
What’s the golden rule for choosing the right accessories?
The first golden rule is: follow your own style, and stay updated on trends. The second is: stay true to yourself—if we look at the style icons of all time, they have always done this.
What jewelry do we absolutely have to invest in this season, and what are the upcoming trends?
The choice of jewelry, whether precious or non-precious, is increasingly tied to personal choice and not dictated by social status. The motto should be: enjoy it! Current trends suggest two extremes: small pieces made precious by the details, and large pieces—as long as they sparkle!
What accessory designer names should every woman be familiar with?
The best choices are those coming from knowledge and curiosity. Big names who also design for fashion houses can alternate with young designers who experiment with their own styles. Materials are always of secondary importance to style. Check out Facebook, magazines and websites—they all do a lot of research.
We often hear that accessories highlight the outfit, but given the current trends where certain accessories are almost works of art, do you think one can say that in fact it’s the other way around? Is it more a case of outfits highlighting accessories?
The relationship between clothes and accessories is now a consolidated partnership where one enhances the other. What is certain is that accessories have become the protagonists of style and the first thing that one notices. When choosing an accessory, quality is increasingly important. Outfits are often created based on the shoes and bags, as well as jewelry.
How did you come to the realization that you wanted to devote your professional career to accessories?
It has been my passion from an early age, when I used to cut out accessories from newspapers and magazines to dress my dolls—or to wear myself!
What are your personal jewelry staples?
The ring that my husband gave me when our son Pietro was born, and a pair of antique earrings I bought at a flea market.
Let’s talk insider’s tips on how to dress from day to night: What’s the difference between daytime jewelry and jewelry to wear at night?
A combination of white shirt and tuxedo pants is perfect for any occasion: for the day, a pendant on a long chain; for the evening, a large sparkling necklace.
In the world of luxury jewelry, where do you see Swarovski crystals, which are being used more and more by designers?
The endless choices offered by Swarovski make it possible to create easy-to-wear pieces as well as very precious ones. Certainly the trend is towards sparkling objects—a theme so hot that the entire December issue of Vogue Accessory will be dedicated to it.
Finish the sentence: Swarovski crystals are…
a dreamlike must-have.
Who are the absolute style icons of the world of accessories?
There are so many, and they can be seen throughout the centuries. One that stands out is Fulco di Verdura, whose jewelry design career took off when Cole Porter introduced him to Coco Chanel! He opened his famous jewelry shop, Verdura, in 1939, and inspired so many other style icons.
Can you give us a little preview of the September issue of Vogue Accessory?
Gold or silver, or both?
Mix and match them!