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Star stylist Micaela Erlanger wrote the how-to book on accessorizing, called How to Accessorize: A Perfect Finish to Every Outfit.
Now she’s pulling from her years of style experience to step into the role of designer for the first time. On Monday, Erlanger, who styles Constance Wu and Lupita Nyong’o, released her first jewelry collection. The capsule with BaubleBar features earrings, necklaces, rings, headbands and hair clips using stones and sparkle.
“Designing a collection of jewelry has been on my mind for a while,” says Erlanger, adding it was “on the bucket list” because jewelry is a “transformative tool when getting dressed.”
All priced less than $60, Erlanger’s creations include colorful stones, turquoise and tortoiseshell inspired by everyday glamour. It’s all statement jewelry, with the approach that it can be worn anywhere, whether with jeans or on a red carpet (like client Liza Koshy, who wore her Sunday Funday tassel earrings to Elle‘s Women in Hollywood event last week). The designer was inspired by another client’s red carpet moment: Nyong’o’s light blue Prada dress from the 2014 Oscar Awards, where she also wore a headband. “I had to make a headband because Lupita had an infamous headband that I styled her in,” Erlanger says of her piece, the Royal Treatment headband.
The names run the gamut from Go Big or Go Home hoop earrings, High Maintenance resin stud earrings, Boss Babe knuckle rings and Weekend Warrior knuckle rings. Each was named after Erlanger’s expert suggestion on where to wear the piece, after she’s been asked by friends and family while shopping, “I love this, but where am I wearing it to?” Or “I love this, but how do I wear it?” There’s no question where to wear the Coffee Date cuff bracelet or Home for the Holidays hair clip.
“I wanted people to feel that playfulness and whimsy when they get dressed,” Erlanger says. “This is all about injecting color and fun and glamour into your everyday.”
She was involved from the beginning in supervising “every single piece — even prototypes” to ensure earrings hung correctly or to decide whether a necklace would tie or clasp. “Everything has a sense of Micaela,” she adds.
Expect to see the colorful gems on the red carpet this season, especially her statement earrings. “I feel like there’s glamour on the carpet again,” she adds of the upcoming awards run after last year’s “more serious” sentiment given the #MeToo movement. “This year we will see more levity. Whether that comes across in the fashion choices or jewelry, I’m excited about it.”
Stars have praised Erlanger’s expertise in accessories, with Nyong’o saying, “Before Micaela, my accessory game left a lot to be desired” at the Accessories Council Excellence Awards in June, when Erlanger received the Style Influencer award. “Now for me, accessorizing and dressing is more like a puzzle; there are pieces to it,” Nyong’o said.
Other stylists and retailer collaborations include Karla Welch’s Levi’s line or the Cole Haan capsules designed by Welch, Erin Walsh and Simone Harouche. Erlanger is hoping to move into designing more accessories and eventually clothing. “I hope there is more to come. I think this is just the beginning; I’m really enjoying designing,” says Erlanger, who will travel to Nordstroms in Orange County and Dallas, Texas, in the coming weeks to visit stores selling her designs.
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