Rashida Jones on Streamlined Style and Her Dad as a Jewelry Inspiration

Rashida Jones -Publicity -H 2016
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The writer and actress' new jewelry design effort, Rashida Jones x Iconery, represents her love for the bold '70s, '80s and '90s.

Just when we thought Rashida Jones couldn’t get any more girl crush-worthy, she’s topped herself with a chic new designer collaboration. In addition to being a talented writer, singer, producer and actress — her current show, Angie Tribeca, is a cult favorite — she's also a jewelry designer. Her latest venture is Rashida Jones x Iconery, a 12-piece collection with the Venice, Calif.-based, female-founded fine jewelry startup.

Jones’ history with Iconery’s creative director Andrea Linett goes all the way back to the days of Sassy magazine. When Linett was an editor there (fun fact: She also "discovered" Chloe Sevigny), she featured Jones at age 15 alongside her sister, Kidada, then 17.

Fast forward to April of this year, when Linett asked Jones if she was interested in collaborating on a collection. (Iconery has already partnered with bloggers and personalities including Luv AJ.) Jones was game, and the result is a range of sleek, solid rings, square bangles and hoops, some bearing ancient unifying symbols like the ankh and hamsa, other sprinkled with black diamonds ($95-$875).

"We had a mood board, I took a lot of pictures of my friends’ jewelry as inspiration, and I did a bunch of magazine tears," Jones tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I'm pretty sure Bianca Jagger was on there somewhere, and probably also some Pat Cleveland, Iman and Peter Lindbergh images from Vogue, like Christy Turlington, Cindy [Crawford], Naomi [Campbell], Claudia [Schiffer] in layered jewelry, all those big, bold pieces."

Her first dozen creations are all gold — it’s worth noting, though, that Jones is "cool with mixing metals" — and reflect her affinity for the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. The bold vibe is in part her reaction against the delicate, dainty pieces she feels have flooded the market.

Back in the ‘80s, Jones says, "I remember my mom [Peggy Lipton] having this big Chanel pearl necklace and Chanel pearl earrings and thinking it was really cool and very adult." Since that time, she’s viewed accessories as a way to change an outfit, change one’s mood, or "go day to night or beach to city — it’s very expressive, and also so personal."

Jones' own style is heavy on layering: "That eclecticism, to me, is what’s cool about jewelry." She has a few key pieces she even sleeps in (a family crest pendant from her dad, studs, chain-link bracelets).

In the current climate of easy access to anything through the internet, Jones says it can be "hard to really feel original, so a way to do that is to layer and make things funky and mix and match." The talented Angeleno also gives credit where it’s due: "My dad is sort of a jewelry inspiration for me," she says.

According to the actress, her father — legendary music producer Quincy Jones — "has really good jewelry. In the ‘70s he used to wear a ton of jewelry onstage, and he gave me one of these cuffs with turquoise in a starburst that I love. He’s got a pinky ring that’s really cool. He always wore a gold chain, for my whole life, and he also had earrings for a while."

His influence comes through in the Mariner Chains in this collection, which Jones says are a riff on the cheap chic versions you can score on Canal Street in New York City, but rendered as more "grown up, womanly."

Jones looks a little wistful as she describes one of her all-time favorite accessory looks from back in the day: giant silver hoops ("my jam"), a dark lip, pulled-back hair and a black velvet choker. "I’m happy-slash-sad [that the choker has come back]. I did it the first time, so I can’t do it the second time, you know what I mean?" Back then, she bought velvet and pendants and DIY-ed her own. Now her designs reflect an evolved aesthetic: minimalist yet elevated.

"As I get older, I don’t want as much stuff, I don’t want to play with as many looks," says Jones. "I think I was more imaginative in my 20s and 30s," says the 40-year-old. "Now I have to accept who I am, which is a mix of a few elements: I grew up wearing a uniform, I love the Japanese architectural-style fashion and I like classic French menswear."

She adds, "When I see people who are really chic now, I realize it's because they know who they are and know what their look is and they don’t stray from that."