Anyone who knows Danielle Rollins knows she is always the life of the party. Whether it is being the ultimate hostess with the mostess—who literally wrote the book on entertaining—or simply making a styling entrance at a soiree dressed in her eponymous collection (danielledrollins.com), Rollins knows how to dress the part. We caught up with the maven for the details on her chic collab with Judith Ripka (judithripka.com) that is sure to add some sparkle to the season.
Clockwise from top left : Ocean Reef sea shell medallion with mother-of-pearl in 18K gold vermeil; drop earrings with green chalcedony in 18K gold vermeil; ring with green chalcedonyin 18K gold vermeil; statement necklace with green chalcedony in 18K gold vermeil; necklace system Anchor medallion with lapis in 18K gold vermeil; Celestial medallion with lapis in 18K gold vermeil
WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION WHEN DESIGNING THIS COLLECTION? I find inspiration anywhere and everywhere, soaking up things that I see, read, hear, feel and touch like a little sponge. Nature almost always tends to inspire my color palettes. I wanted to create a vacation state of mind. You don’t have to travel to always be at the ocean. I am very sentimental about my jewelry and I never really feel dressed without it. It’s my personal talismans and ‘armor,’ clasped safely around my neck or wrists, on my fingers or dangling from my ear. The pieces I’ve collected and the memories I’ve made in them give me a sense of comfort. I love wearing it and layering it. I’m a working woman who needs to look polished, but I don’t want to spend a lot of time thinking about it. I like to have versatile pieces that can be worn in myriad ways, so we really thought through how to design pieces that had an interactive versatility to them.
WHAT DREW YOU TO JEWELRY? ewelry has always been what I build my outfits around rather than just the finishing pieces. I started designing jewelry before I wrote books, designed interiors or created clothing. I’ve loved gemstones since I was a very young girl, collecting and cataloging stones for their beauty and mystical qualities. This collection is full circle for me!
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? My style, in the way I dress, decorate and live, is very classic with a certain casualness mixed in. The focus is always on comfort, not formality, with an irreverent, bohemian flair. I’ve always been someone who never followed other people. I love traditional designs, but I adore color, texture, pattern and whimsy—mixed with structure. I wear what looks good on, not what’s in style. I decorate and design in a way that’s comfortable, inviting and warm, but ultimately gives a sense of joy to a space.
WHAT DOES ALL-AMERICAN STYLE MEAN TO YOU? It means understated classics worn with a studied indifference—where even the most formal of outfits have a casual air. It’s pairing pieces like tomboyish sportswear, oversize fisherman sweaters, denim, a T-shirt or cashmere turtleneck with a ball skirt and jewelry. Think effortless but always elegant and often statement-making. The style begets leisurely weekend getaways, long days spent on the beach, a wholesome contentment with life’s simpler pleasures.
WHAT’S YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO THE OCEAN? I am a triple Pisces, so I’ve always had an affinity for the ocean, and I’m the consummate dreamer. Living in Palm Beach now, I’m just a few steps away from putting my toes in the sand, soaking up the sunshine and feeling the saltwater on my skin. I love spending my summers in other seaside locales and always adore anything with a classic nautical nod.
WHAT DID JEWELRY MEAN TO YOU GROWING UP? AND NOW? I suppose when I was younger, I felt like I had to wait to be given jewelry by someone else, and now that I’m of a certain age I have my own definitive sense of style. I’m more comfortable in my own skin and certainly confident about purchasing pieces that I love and express my personal style.
WHAT DREW YOU TO WORKING WITH JUDITH RIPKA? I wore a lot of Judith Ripka pieces in my younger days, and they were among the first pieces I bought for myself from Tassels in Atlanta. I loved how all the pieces had an interactive multipurpose aspect. I share a similar background as Judith Ripka, a divorced single mother who built her own life in this world; I was also impressed and inspired by her as a businesswoman. It’s always a bit nerve-wracking to work on a collection based on someone you hold in such high esteem. I felt like it should have collections.
HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR JEWELRY BEING WORN? I love how glamorously practical, interchangeable, interactive, easy to wear and easy to layer the pieces are. Almost all the pieces have two or more ways to wear them. The bracelets can be combined to make a necklace; the longer necklace can be worn as is, doubled or as a lariat. The medallions can go on the bracelets as well as the necklace! They are able to be worn all together or as statement-making separates. I wanted to create something that was collectible and gave value to a woman wearing them—giving her the opportunity to wear them any way she wants. The biggest thrill for me will be seeing how women wear them to make them their own.
Photography by: Photos courtesy of Judith Ripka