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An Eye for Jewelry

Kara Ross, the designer behind the jewelry and accessories line of the same name, has been honing her craft since she was a teenager.

By Tali Jaffe

Kara Ross, the designer behind the jewelry and accessories line of the same name, has been honing her craft since she was a teenager. When she was just 13 she fashioned herself a ring made from a piece of tourmaline found while on holiday in Africa, and her designs have stayed true to her original aesthetic ever since. These days Ross counts First Lady Michelle Obama among her extensive fan base, and was even asked to design a pair of earrings from wood found on the Whitehouse Lawn.

Ross was recently in town visiting the Bal Harbour Shops for a trunk show and preview of her latest Gemstone II and Handbag Collection at Carolina Herrera. We caught up with the jewelry designer to discuss her new collection, personal style and beauty secrets.

For fans of the first Gemstone Collection, tell us what's new about the Gemstone II Collection.
In Gemstone II, the architectural feel is expanded on, with stones like mother of pearl, chrysoprase, coral and turquoise. It is perfect for spring!

Where did the inspiration for Gemstone II come from?
Similar to Gemstone I, I find the architectural work of Sir Norman Foster and Frank Lloyd Wright to be so inspirational. I reinterpreted the angular feel into a faceted and paneled look.

Do you have a personal favorite for Spring from the collection?
I absolutely love stacking the different styles of the bangles in mother of pearl.

Is there a relationship between your new handbag collection and Gemstone II?
I feel as if the common bond is the use of exotic skin and gemstones in both lines.

Guests attending the trunk show will have the opportunity to custom-design their own bag. What do you think will be some of the most popular combinations?
Python and lizard always seem to do well, as do hematite and rock crystal.

How would you describe your personal style?
Classic with a vintage-inspired twist.

Who are your go-to designers?
I love mixing vintage pieces with high and low. I gravitate towards vintage Geoffrey Beene, Bonnie Cashin, Carolina Herrera, of course and Donna Karan.

You always look flawless. Can you share one of your beauty secrets with us?
Wash your face and moisturize every evening!

What are five things you never travel without?
BlackBerry, i-Pad, a good book, a cashmere blanket and bangles (they go with everything!)

Why did you choose Carolina Herrera to hold your trunk show?
They began carrying our handbag line a few seasons ago, and the Gemstone II collection seemed like a great fit for their customer.

Look for Kara Ross’ Gemstone II and Handbag Collections at Neiman Marcus and Carolina Herrera, Bal Harbour.

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