Lola Rykiel has a warmth and charisma about her that’s magnetic. The Parisian expatriate and former dancer is now a proud New Yorker bringing renewed excitement to the Sonia Rykiel brand as PR Director. Impeccable vision and taste is in her genes: her maternal grandmother is iconic Parisian designer Sonia Rykiel, while her paternal grandmother Joan Burstein founded Browns, a London shopping institution.
A self-confessed jewelry fanatic, Lola invited us into her light and airy home on the Bowery to get up close and personal with her favorite pieces. Her well-curated collection is notable for its balance of color, classics, and dash of humor. Lola remains loyal to the designers she champions, which established an immediate connection between us. We left the shoot with a resolution to embrace more vivid colors, and heading into spring, timing couldn’t be better. -Jenna Fain for The Stone Set
“First, I can’t leave the house without a pair of earrings and a few rings. I love precious and colorful stones, even if they are small and delicate. What I love in jewelry is the drama of it. It is so small, so beautiful and so expensive. It is really not necessary to live. I wouldn’t take my rings to a desert island if I had to bring three things with me. It’s a plus, a passion, a sin, an extravagance, but it brings me a lot of joy and pleasure. My style is like the way I dress according to my mood—feminine and delicate but sometimes whimsical and aggressive.
I like to wear pearls for an important work meeting, even if I work in fashion and it is tolerated to have more eccentricity. Wearing pearls brings me back to the essential and sets the tone. During Fashion Week or for some events, I like to be more eccentric; funny but still feminine. I want my girlfriends to ask if they can try on my stuff and where did I find it.
I was brought up in a matriarchal family where women were so chic and always, always wore jewelry even when they were cooking mousse au chocolat. I remember trying my mum’s jewelry on in secret and putting them back in her safe. I did the same with her earrings, bracelets, necklaces. She probably got her fascination of jewelry from my grandmother Sonia Rykiel who always wore three diamonds rings on the same finger and a pair of earrings. Earrings are important because they bring light to her red hair and are just another detail to stare at when I look at her. It is always fascinating and magical.
My other grandmother Joan Burstein has a very different taste in jewelry and it suits her so magnificently. She is always wearing some Kimberly McDonald, which looks beautiful on her perpetually tan skin. When I was a little girl, I remember knowing she was coming into a room just by the noise that her gold charm bracelets would make (and by the smell of her perfume, Chamade by Guerlain). She is the one who bought me my first diamond, a little necklace from Tiffany. I was nine.
I like to change what I wear every day. Most of the time, I will always wear a diamond ring that my mother found in India for me and pearl earrings for when I stay quite classic. I love my Lorraine Schwartz emoji bracelets in diamond, a licking cameo from Wilfredo Rosado, and I have a pair of long neon pink feather earrings also from Wilfredo Rosado. So crazy. My mum was mad when I bought those. I like my crazy Jack Vartanian panther ring. I always get a red or dark manicure and growl and claw the air when I put it on.
Marie-Helene de Taillac is probably my favorite of them all. I thought about studying gemology when I was leaving in Paris and regularly visited her store on rue de Tournon. Now she has a store in New York where I always go. I stay hours there and have tea with the girls at the shop, Sarah and Maggie. It’s very special to me. Very sentimental. Otherwise, one of my good friend in New York is Sara Beltran, who is the designer of Dezso. Sara is very talented and her craft is so special. I love her and the jewelry she makes. Precious but easy; you can stack all her rings and bracelets on the same arm. It’s both effortless and precious.
The more meaningful pieces are the ones that were given to me by my grandmother. The Trinity ring bracelet from Cartier that she gave me when I was 18, which belonged to her and that she got when she was also 18, or her antique Italian black diamond ring that she got in Venice and my diamond ring from Jaipur that my mum got me for my 21st birthday. As to how I store my pieces, it’s a secret I can’t reveal!
Photography by Emerald Carroll for The Stone Set.