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Tips on how to choose jewellery as a gift

Tips on how to choose jewellery as a gift

 'The best things come in small packages' is certainly true when it comes to Christmas presents. Jewellery is a classic, thoughtful festive gift - but often customers are nervous about 'getting it right' as jewellery is such a personal thing. Here are some pointers to ensuring top brownie points on the 25th...

Make it meaningful - tying your choice of jewellery into something meaningful, be it their birthstone or a shared memory, is a guaranteed way to show thought has gone into a gift. For instance, if you fell in love on a city break in Berlin, our sustainable designers KIMSU are based there and would be a great reminder of your trip. Honeymooned in Africa? Sidai beaded jewellery is handmade by Masai women in Tanzania. Choosing a piece that tells a story, gives your gift extra meaning.

Sidai beaded friendship bracelet, £40

Look at their current jewellery collection - it's tempting to make an overblown gesture, but spend some time looking at the jewellery they wear day-to-day. We have put together a range of collections for different styles to make gifting that little bit easier - shop for the Minimalist, the Ethically Conscious or the Fashion Maven to find a piece that will slot effortlessly into their jewellery style.

Sizing dilemmas - rings are notorious hard to buy online, unless you happen to know someone's ring size. We have a handy ring sizer you can download, or if you want it to be a surprise - our Osylia O rings are great as they have the flexibility to be worn on any finger, or stacked as a midi ring, too.

All our jewellery comes gift wrapped, ready for your to pop under the tree. If you are stuck and need some advice on finding the perfect jewellery gift, just drop us a line and we can share some ideas.


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Mix it up - how to layer and wear mixed metals

Mix it up - how to layer and wear mixed metals

Often when it comes to the jewellery we wear everyday, we are either a 'silver' or a 'gold' person. Yet more and more, people are taking a more eclectic, less rigid approach to their jewellery buying - jewellery designers are diversifying too, using not just traditional yellow gold or silver - but rose gold, antique gold, white gold as well as a rise in black rhodium plated silver jewellery.

As is always our advice when choosing jewellery - pick something that sparks joy, rather than worrying too much if it 'goes' with your other jewellery. Here are some of our style tips for wearing a mix of metals:

Layering up demi-fine jewellery brands like Amarilo is a perfect way to play with different metals, yet keeping a minimal look.

There are no rules! If you want to make an impact, play with different scales and textures when mixing metals to make a statement. Bracelet stacking is a great way to do this, with cuffs, finer friendship bands and chains to build up a curated, yet fun feel.

Our new O rings from Osylia stack beautifully, in a range of silver, rose and yellow gold (main picture). Go for the simple metal band, or the Luce range inlaid with Swarovski crystals.

Earring stacking is a great way to experiment with mixing your metals (read our blog post here). Try keeping to a style or one stone colour to make it feel more considered.



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Statement earrings: the best styles for party season

Statement earrings: the best styles for party season

We are dedicated magpie dressers at The Collective Boutique - we are true believers that an outfit isn't finished without a flourish of jewellery! That said, day-to-day we love the minimal layering pieces of demi-fine jewellery brands like Amarilo and Ellie Air - but when it comes to party season, we are all about statement!

Statement earrings are great for the Christmas party season because unlike necklaces they go with any neckline and are a great way of adding festive sparkle, whilst eschewing the novelty jumper. Although fashion-led, they're not a one-hit wonder and will become a go-to signature that's guaranteed to add personality to any outfit.

Here are 5 of our favourites from our fashion-led independent designers, all £50 or less:

Jennifer Loiselle's tendril earrings (£32) (main pic) are the perfect 'neutral' if you've wearing a bold colour or busy print. The clear perspex tendril is inspired by Matisse's organic sea shapes and it's finished with a Swarovski pearl for a bit of shimmer. Great poking out through wavy hair.

statement gold earrings under £50

Rosita Bonita's All Seeing Eye drop earrings (£36) are a great graphic statement and a nod to the hottest jewellery trend for all things mystical. They would look stunning styled with a sleek, minimal updo to keep these beauties centre stage.

dangly gold earrings

For a completely different look that is equally 'eye-catching', these 'We See You' matte brass earrings from While Odin Sleeps (£52) are a beautiful minimal shape, making them fun yet utterly wearable, whatever your look.

beaded earrings

If you're looking for something elegant, yet still with the wow factor - these beaded beauties from Sidai move beautifully with their delicate hand-beaded tassels. They're also super light-weight, so no sore ears after a long night!

Milk Tooth earrings

The Sky earrings from Milk Tooth (£48) are one of our favourite 'go-to' earrings - whether it's to add a bit of polish to our jeans and leather jacket at weekends, or to toughen up a party dress. The blush pink, black and gold palette is actually really versatile - check out our Q&A interview with Milk Tooth designer, Ernestina on the journal.

View the full statement earring collection at The Collective Boutique here

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Designer spotlight: Osylia

Designer spotlight: Osylia

This month's designer spotlight is on Osylia - co-designed by Laura and Cemal - I love their simplistic geometric minimal designs, given a feminine edge with Swarovski crystal embellishment. The new Asymmetry and Cage collection pieces are perfect for that 'demi-fine jewellery' look this autumn and are a great timeless design, ideal for gifting. Here we asked Laura a few questions about her influences as a designer and inspiration behind the latest collections...

What sparked your desire to be a jeweller?
Luxury and art are the main reasons for me to be a jewellery designer. I studied design at university and I always wanted to use my creative side in the luxury world. Jewellery is perfect for this. The sparkling world of different gemstones and the shining structure of precious material give me a great freedom to create.

What do you want Osylia to be known for?
I’d like OSYLIA to be known for the combination of art and design in our brand’s simplicity.

What inspired your latest collection?
Osylia gold necklace

Geometry and modern architecture. We created some designs for our Cage Collection using some gemstones and 3d printing technology (Hexa Necklace pictured, £125). The simple structure of modern buildings around us and the unique geometry in life gave me lots of inspiration. 

Which other jewellery designers do you admire?

Polly Wales jewellery designer

I follow and admire lots of different jewellery designers. Especially in London, you have a chance to see lots of them. I like the Georg Jensen style. They have amazing pieces in silver. Polly Wales is another one; her way of using different colours and unique stone settings are really inspirational (pictured).

Name your favourite gemstone/metal and why
I love all types of gemstones with different colours because it means I am not limited in my design. If I personally buy jewellery pieces with gemstones, I tend to choose the blue ones such as aquamarine, tanzanite and blue topaz.
In terms of the metal, I prefer silver. It is shiny and affordable for everyone. We use recycled silver for our brand because we're conscious of the environmental damage that can be done in the metal mining process.

If you could offer one jewellery style tip, what would it be?
Your personal style is really important when it comes to jewellery pieces. The right jewellery always makes a simple outfit into something special. The jewellery should make the statement. If you wear something really bold then small pieces of jewellery are good as subtle highlights. If you wear something simple, then you can go for bold jewellery to catch the eye.

 Shop the new Osylia Collection online now

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6 trends from the International Jewellery London and how to wear them

6 trends from the International Jewellery London and how to wear them

Last week was the International Jewellery London show, the industry’s annual event to showcase the up and coming designers, trends and forecasts for the year ahead. IJL’s trend editor, Paola de Luca identified 6 trends that she predicts we will be seeing come spring – from quirky single earrings, to a modern update on a vintage era. The looks were showcased on the catwalk during the 3-day event – here The Collective Boutique creative director, Hanna Nicholson gives her take on how to make the latest jewellery trends wearable next season, plus her pick of the ‘designers to watch’:

Industrial Core
Kimsu, epitomise this first trend for architectural and design-inspired jewellery. ‘Simple, minimalist lines in yellow gold from ‘eco-conscious’ designers’ are Kimsu to a tee. 

gold eco conscious jewellery

I'm Perfection
This trend is all about playing with proportions and asymmetry - so wearing one single statement earring (Jennifer Loiselle's drop earrings would be great for this) as well as 'asymmetric rings in yellow and rose gold', which Osylia do so beautifully:

rose gold rings

Neo Classic
This trend is all about the pearl - from peachy tones to the dark silvery-black Taithian. You can go mimimal with Jennifer Loiselle's delicate tendril drop earrings, or statement with her Swarovski pearl glitter eye brooches.

pearl drop earrings

pearl brooch Jennifer Loiselle

Dark Romantic
Drawing inspiration from dark forests, magic and mysticism, this trend blends Art Nouveau with something altogether darker - yet still remains elegant and romantic. Rosita Bonita's 'All seeing eye' earrings are a great nod to this 'Dark Arts' look -

statement earrings

This look is a marriage of Art Deco styling from the 1920s and Optical Art of the 1960s - think geometric patterns, sharp contrasts and a futuristic edge. Our bestseller, super light-weight 'Deco Wing' earrings from Rosita Bonita would work for an on-trend look, perfectly.

art deco earrings

Constellation Collective
They say 'Three's a trend' and these three 'moon and star' themed earrings are all perfect to get the 'Constellation' look, which is inspired by all things Space. You can read about our designer, Milk Tooth's latest 'Sphere' collection in our Q&A here, which is full of incredible planetry references.

rosita bonita earrings

Rosita Bonita Lone Starlet studs, £15

amarilo star hoop earrings

Amarilo star hoops, £115

milk tooth jewellery

Milk Tooth half-moon earrings, £38

Designers to watch

The two designers that caught my eye this IJL were Hove-based, Helen Rankin - I love her collection and the architectural influences. She uses an exciting mix of high-tech 3D printing with traditional jewellery craftsmanship to create modern, graphic designs.

Zeemou Zeng's fine jewellery really excited me this season - her use of pearls and the Art Deco influences of her Melody Collection feel iconic and timeless.

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How to stack your earrings

How to stack your earrings

Multiple ear piercings were once reserved for the Goths, bikers and rock and rollers amongst us - a 'tough' look that many women shied away from. Not so in 2018, it has firmly gone mainstream, thanks to the likes of celebrity piercer and 'multiple earring' stylist, Maria Tash's concession at Liberty London and many jewellery designers creating mix and match single earring collections designed for stacking. Much like stacking and midi rings, as well as wearing different length necklaces - earring layering is simply a way of pairing different stones, materials and sizes to create an edit of jewellery that sits beautifully together.

Huggies, or cuffs, are a big new earring trend we are seeing adorning more and more lobes. They're great for 'faking' the multiple piercing look (or if you want to road-test it before taking the plunge!) as a lot of designs simply slide on and hug, or cuff, the rim of the ear. I only have 2 piercings but often wear this style of earring when I want to create the 'stacked' look.

A great minimalist way to layer up your earring edit is to stick to one style and play with scale. So a mix of large and small hoops for example.

layering hoop earrings

If you're feeling brave, think about more quirky placements such as the helix (the upper part of the ear), the tragus (the bit that keeps your headphones in) and the newest trend, the conch (the flat inside of the ear).

maria tash piercings Liberty London

Here's our edit of earrings that are perfect to get the layering look:

ellie air earrings

These gorgeous curved, delicate bar studs from Ellie Air follow the natural lines of the lobe perfectly.
Rose Gold Curve Bar Stud, £95, Ellie Air

gold ball stud earrings

These classic gold ball studs from demi-fine jewellery brand, Amarilo are the perfect starting point for any layering look.
Gold ball studs, £80, Amarilo

Maria Francesca Pepe jewellery stockists

Don't be afraid to toughen up your demi fine jewellery with a statement hoop like our best-selling spike hoops from Maria Francesca Pepe. Mixing metals can also add interest, too.
Steel spike hoop earrings, £40, Maria Francesca Pepe

opal hoop earrings

Add some colour and sparkle with semi-precious stones. The mini opal demi-fine hoops from Amarilo hug the ear neatly and shimmer beautifully.
Mini Opal hoops, £75, Amarilo

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5 years of The Collective Boutique: Q&A with founder, Hanna Nicholson

5 years of The Collective Boutique: Q&A with founder, Hanna Nicholson

    How were you introduced to jewellery? Have you always been interested?

      I’ve always had an interest in jewellery and fashion. My grandmother especially loved jewellery and antiques so I think that did influence me when I was younger and, in the same way, my mother collected some beautiful Art Deco pieces which I used to covet. As I got older, my grandmother used to give me little trinkets and pieces of jewellery she’d picked up - they had a definite impact on me and I learnt to appreciate how special they were.

        What was the first piece of jewellery you bought?

          I think it would have been a necklace from a charity shop when I was about 7 or 8 with my pocket money! And then when I got my ears pierced when I was 13, my magpie tendencies really kicked in!

            What did you want to be as an adult?

              I didn’t really know when I was younger what I wanted to be. When I was 15 and doing work experience, I wanted to become a graphic designer and I think that’s where some of the more graphic, artistic influences come in to my curation. I always loved Art at school but couldn’t fit it in as well as my other 3 subjects for A Level so always felt I’d missed out a bit. I ended up working in Marketing, PR and web development after a stint in travel so there wasn’t a clear path to start with, but I’m a firm believer that everything I’ve done or learnt professionally so far has contributed to where I am now.

                Hanna does the styling for all her The Collective Boutique shoots

                What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business?

                  I would say GO FOR IT! Make sure you’ve researched your market and done a proper business plan though, in some ways it’s easy to get started now as there are so many great platforms but having a clear plan of action is so important. Don’t be afraid of the knock backs either, they are part of the journey, it just pushes you to keep going and try different things or innovate.

                    What was your biggest stumbling block to launching your own business?

                      I think it was probably money - I tried to set everything up with £5k I’d saved up. Taking the leap to being self-employed was a no brainer for me, even though it was very daunting.

                        Eye bangle by Jennifer Loiselle, one of eight designers launched in 2013

                        Tell us about the first designer you stocked

                          I launched The Collective with 8 designers in 2013 - this included Jennifer Loiselle, Rosita Bonita and Dark Horse Ornament with whom I still work today. I had admired their work so it was a very exciting moment for me when we started collaborating.

                            Hanna wears Deco Wing earrings by Rosita Bonita

                            How do you choose designers to stock at The Collective Boutique?

                              I think there is a distinctive type of jewellery designer - either statement or demi-fine so I’m always drawn to these styles, I like wearing both and I tend to choose what I personally like, that’s part of my curation. I love building the relationships with designers and working together on exclusives. It’s lovely now after 5 years to be contacted by brands who want to stock with us, and discovering emerging designers I might not usually stumble across. There’s a fun quality to my selection, and also a wearable accessible aspect (I hope). I really believe that jewellery isn’t just for going out or special occasions, it’s an essential everyday accessory.

                              What has become easier over time?

                              The anxiety of making ends meet and having your own business never goes away but I think once you’re really invested emotionally and financially, it’s easier to take the rough with the smooth. I still sometimes lie awake at night worrying but I’ve learnt to trust my convictions, and that there’s nothing wrong in changing things slightly or admitting that one decision or another might not have been right. 

                              How do you balance running The Collective Boutique with motherhood? 

                              Part of the beauty of running my own business means that I can balance motherhood with work although sometimes it’s not really a balance at all! My husband runs his own business too so we both try to be flexible when it comes to family commitments and school runs. When I co-ran a Pop Up on Elizabeth Street in Belgravia last year for 8 weeks, it definitely challenged my work/life balance but having my son, Seb, come up to London with me during his half term and watch while I helped customers was really important to me. I feel he needs to understand the value of working, earning money and how it’s not always plain sailing!  

                              Hanna's son at the Pop Up at 77 Elizabeth Street, Belgravia

                              Proudest moment in the last 5 years? 

                              I do feel proud to have reached the fifth year, I feel like there have been some challenging times to get through to reach this little milestone so I wanted to mark it and to thank my customers and friends and family for all their support. I still look back on my first Pop Up at Boxpark in Shoreditch with a sense of pride and I loved planning the Launch Party with WAH Nails - curating and running the pop up shops is a huge commitment so it’s all worth it when the doors open and we get lovely feedback and returning customers.  

                              The Collective Boutique's first Pop Up at Boxpark, Shoreditch [April 2014]

                              What have you taken away from the first 5 years of business?

                              It’s a rollercoaster but you mustn’t ever give up. I was always ready for it to be a journey and I think the last 12 months have been particularly challenging in the current retail climate. I think it’s better to be real about these things, so much is rose-tinted glasses now, and I was close to thinking about closing the business in January this year but I just couldn’t do it. I’ve put so much into it that I had to keep going and try and refine things, even if the future is uncertain. 

                              If you could have any other job for the day, what would it be? 

                              I have been doing some freelance social media and website work for a friend’s amazing luxury travel business, Go Bespoke (check it out!) so travel would definitely be high up on the list! 

                              What are your dreams for The Collective Boutique in the future? 

                              My dream for the business has always been to develop my own collection. Watch this space! 

                              Who is The Collective Boutique woman? 

                              She knows her own style and has a sense of fun about her accessories paired with classic wardrobe staples. I love Lucy Williams’ style (Fashion Me Now) and her recent jewellery collaborations with Missoma - she does effortless daytime jewellery so well. I also love how Liza Urla (Gemologue) styles the jewellery she reviews, I think we have quite similar aesthetics and she looks amazing in the statement pieces, I’d love to work with her! 

                              Who would you love to style? 

                              I would love to meet with Iris Apfel and style her in some of our big statement earrings and brooches, she is amazing! 

                              Iris Apfel, image via Who What Wear

                              What jewellery pieces do you treasure? 

                              Apart from my engagement and wedding rings, I have a few treasured pieces. My grandmother gave me a pearl ring which was given to her when she got married by her mother in law, I still have the envelope she gave it to me in. I wear my Gold Spike Hoops every day and my Maria Tash diamond arrow. I love my Missoma Horn and Gold Leaf necklaces for everyday wear and I don’t travel anywhere without my Rosita Bonita Deco Wing earrings. 

                              Hanna's grandmother's pearl ring

                              What’s your ‘jewellery style’? 

                              I think my jewellery style is a bit of a mash up. I will wear a pair of statement earrings during the day with a sweatshirt or top. I never need an excuse to wear jewellery, it’s part of my routine when I get dressed in the morning. I also love layering up demi-fine necklaces and more delicate earrings and rings.  

                              Hanna's everyday jewels featuring Missoma and MFP

                              Give us one styling tip 

                              Don’t be afraid to wear jewellery during the day! I did have to stop when my son was little but it felt really good when I could wear my earrings and necklaces again without them being pulled and played with. Wear the metal colour you’re most comfortable with and stick to it though also experiment with mixing metals. Don’t think that a statement piece is only for going out - you can transform a simple daytime look with an amazing earring or necklace without it looking over the top. If you’re not sure about wearing something big and bold, try the Demi-fine layering look, if it’s necklaces, make sure they’re different lengths to create the right layering effect and with earrings, combine little hoops and studs if you have multiple piercings. That’s more than one tip isn’t it!! 

                               Hanna's demi-fine jewellery styling featuring Amarilo and Missoma

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                              Designer Spotlight: Milk Tooth

                              Designer Spotlight: Milk Tooth

                              DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: MILK TOOTH

                              London-based Ernestina Potts and her husband Mark set up Milk Tooth jewellery in 2016 in the quest to create distinct, creative, bold statement earrings without the outlandish pricetag. I discovered them at a trade show earlier this year and loved the graphic element of their designs - they're so eye-catching and I felt they were creating something really different in the 'statement' jewellery category that I wanted to offer Collective Boutique clients.

                              This month I grabbed 10 minutes with Ernestina as she launches Milk Tooth's new 'Sphere Collection', to discuss her inspiration as a designer and jewellery style tips...

                              What sparked your desire to be a jeweller?

                              Basically I’m a total magpie and have always loved a big or impactful earring, but found myself struggling to find jewellery that was as exciting as I wanted at a price I could afford, so I decided to make my own! The design ideas come easily but working with makers and learning about different techniques has been the real learning curve.

                              milk tooth jewellery

                              What do you want Milk Tooth to be known for?
                              I want Milk Tooth to be known for stand out fresh and creative designs that will help make anyone who wears them feel amazing. Being accessible and open to all is really important to me. We’re all about celebrating individuality.

                              If you could design for someone in the public eye, who would it be?
                              To be honest I’m probably more interested in designing for everyday people, but some people whose style I love include FKA Twigs (pictured), MIA and Grace Jones. I like the way they experiment with fashion and use it as another part of their art.

                              FKA Twigs

                              Describe a day in the studio
                              I work full time as well, so the business happens early morning, evenings and weekends, apart from the odd partner or planning meeting that needs to happen in work hours. A big chunk of effort goes into asset creation for the website or social media. We have a small photo studio set up in our spare room at home and also organise regular shoots. Plus of course there’s all the more operational side with customer emails, website stuff and partner liaison. Developing designs and coming up with new ideas is definitely the funnest part. We always have a good few mood boards live and there are sketches of ideas literates all over the house!

                              statement earrings

                              What inspired your latest collection?
                              It’s kind of a comment on how messed up the world is at the moment. We envisaged an alternative world that was more harmonious and egalitarian and then had fun coming up with some of the philosophy behind it and bringing that to life through design. It sounds a bit serious but it’s supposed to be a bit tongue in cheek. Anyone who knows Sun Ra will see he had a big influence, with some counterculture references added in.

                              sphere collection Milk Tooth statement earrings

                              What jewellery pieces do you treasure?
                              My engagement ring which is an antique made in 1914 and a ring that my grandma used to wear every day.

                              Which other jewellery designers do you admire?
                              I don’t follow many other jewellery brands to be honest. I love what Gucci are doing, but wouldn’t actually buy their stuff. It is great to look at though! On the Rocks is an incredible jewellery magazine that is super inspirational. Their art direction is on fire!

                              On the rocks magazine

                              Name your favourite gemstone/metal and why.
                              I’m a massive sucker for gold. More is more in my world. And emeralds are my favourite gems.

                              At the end of a hectic day, how do you unwind?
                              Read a book or watch a good box set episode with a glass of red wine!

                              If you could offer one jewellery style tip, what would it be?
                              Wear it loud, wear it proud and release your inner queen.

                              Explore the Milk Tooth collection now - plus the new Sphere Collection launching soon.



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                              Bridal jewellery inspiration

                              Bridal jewellery inspiration

                              You've said 'Yes', the dress is picked out and the date set. Tick, tick, tick. However, brides often stumble when it comes to picking out their bridal jewellery for the big day. It can feel a bit overwhelming with a lot of factors to consider - the veil, dress neckline, hair do, colour scheme... here are our top tips to finding your perfect wedding jewellery.

                              While 'bridal jewellery' is traditionally classic and minimal, anything goes. Our first and top tip is to choose something that is 'you' rather than because it fits your theme. Also pick something that you will love and wear again.

                              It's often useful to have any earrings chosen before you meet with your hairdresser so you can see how they look with your final 'do.

                              Whatever your style, make sure there is a common theme between all your wedding jewellery so it looks considered - be it gemstone colour, metal or design.

                              Be guided by your dress - if you have elaborate beading or detailing on your dress, perhaps consider paring back your jewellery - or if your dress is a classic silhouette, a statement earring could look stunning.

                              You don't need it all! A veil, tiara, earrings, bracelet, necklace - that's without the dress and flowers! Pick one or two pieces that you love.
                              Here are our top picks for every bridal style...

                              These gorgeous rose gold, geometric earrings and necklace set from London based contemporary jewellery brand, Osylia, will flatter any skin tone and twinkle beautifully come dusk.
                              Ellie Air's delicate pieces are perfect for adding understated elegance to your bridal outfit, or even those of the bridesmaids! These Star Sleeper earrings beautifully combine rose gold and grey diamonds.
                              If you'd like to keep your neckline minimal, why not go for the Russian Bangle, a contemporary, romantic take on the Russian Wedding Ring combining three fine bangles of 9ct yellow gold, rose gold and sterling silver which are twisted together into a bracelet.
                              Amarilo's demi fine jewellery is perfect for classic elegance - the irridescent opal mini hoops would be perfect for a feminine, delicate shimmer of colour.

                              For boho brides, the 'Lovers' earrings from Milk Tooth would be beautiful with loose beach waves.
                              If you have a brief, budget or design in mind, drop us an email at and we'd love to help you find something special from one of our designers!

                              Main pic credit: Elie Saab SS18

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