The TEll// By Thrift & Tell
Welcome to THE TELL//BY THRIFT & TELL: a celebration of fashionable women who dress as smart as they shop.
This week’s guest on THE TELL// is Brent Neale of Brent Neale Jewelry. As many of you know, I adore Brent’s work. Her pieces are beautiful, unique, and a playful twist on fine jewelry. My favorite Brent Neale pieces are the ones where she reworks her client’s existing jewelry to create something new. She will take a quality stone in a less than desirable setting and transform it into a modern, fresh piece. It’s like HGTV for jewelry; I love it! When it comes to her wardrobe, Brent invests in pieces that she knows will hold their value, most specifically jewelry and handbags. Rather than buying a bunch of “stuff”, she filters her purchases through the lens of “how many stones could I buy instead?”. So smart! It is an honor to have such a creative, chic entrepreneur be part of this series and I look forward to one day having a piece of Brent Neale Jewelry in my collection. (A fabulous pinky ring is in my future… I just have to think of an excuse as to why I “deserve” it; currently accepting suggestions.) Enjoy!
//Your style in 3 words: Classic BUT NOT.
//Staple Outfit: Long sleeve long dress, Chanel cardigan
//Style Icon(s): Michelle Pfeiffer, Charlotte Rampling
//Your First Big Purchase: Cartier Watch
//Do You Still Have It? Of course!
//Best Fashion Advice You Ever Received: Wear what looks good on your body.
//Types of clothing you invest in: I don’t. Clothes are a bad investment. I invest in jewelry or bags.
//Types of clothing you save on: Jeans.
//Your greatest extravagance: Jewelry or stones.
//Brands That Will Stand the Test of Time: Chanel
//Favorite High Street Brands: Zara
//Favorite High-Low Brands to Mix: Zara
//Favorite Places to Shop Consignment: The Real Real
//Favorite Places to Consign Your Own Closet: The Real Real
//Currently Collecting Dust in the Back of your Closet: So much I’m turning into a proper hoarder.
//Your Closet Tried and Trues: Vampire’s Wife dresses
//Best investment you ever made in your style: I have a brown Hermes Constance that don’t think I’ll ever tire of.
//Style Choice From Your Past That Haunts You: These awful black pants and Mohair sweater & tube tops from college.
//“It seemed like a good idea at the time” a.k.a Purchase you most regret: Overpriced sneakers. Won’t mention the brand but they hurt so much that I sold them stat.
//Closet From Which You Would Like to Borrow: My sister. & I do all the time ☺
//Last Time You Splurged? My lamps from 1st Dibs.
//Currently Saving Your Pennies For: I equate all purchases to stones – like that’s a 0.50pt diamond or a 1ct sapphire. What would I rather have?
//A Deal for the History Books/Your T&T Personal Best: I bought a sculpture on 1st Dibs and it brings me so much joy
//Advice to someone looking to define their own style: Be authentic. Wear what makes you feel good. Who cares about everyone else?
//You feel great. What are you wearing? A dress.
//Occasions when you splurge: When I’m really excited for an event or a party or a trip, I usually get something special to wear.
//Occasions when you save: I walk everywhere!
//Most prized possession: My engagement ring. I redesigned the setting into its current gypsy setting. :)
//Home Decor Style: It is a colorful mix of traditional and modern.
//Go-to for unique items, whether it be clothing, accessories, home or art: Brimfield
//Your fashion motto: Dress for yourself, not someone else.
//Your life motto: Try and do what you love.
Fill in the blank:
//A woman should invest in- fine jewelry. //You’re never too old to— have long hair. //A woman can never have too much—jewelry. I mean come on, a lay- up!! // True or False: More is More- TRUE. //Fashion is- fun. //Style is: fluid.
//Music: Cat Stevens
//Print: Pachinko – best book it will break your <3
//Film: Stealing Home
//TV: Anything on Bravo
//Podcast: Second Life
//Instagram Handle: Jenny Mollen because she makes me laugh
//Designer: Marc Jacobs because he is so authentic.
Brent Neale Winston is a New York City-based designer whose love of jewelry started when her mother would bring her to gem shows near her native Baltimore. After graduating from Johns Hopkins University (where she made jewelry by hand as a hobby), and with the encouragement of the late jewelry historian and InStyle editor Penny Proddow, Winston was accepted to the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she received an associates’ degree in jewelry design. There she honed her design and rendering skills studying under esteemed professors such as the late Maurice Galli of Harry Winston. Winston then formally started her jewelry career at Kara Ross New York, working directly under the eponymous designer, eventually becoming the jewelry director. Here, she oversaw the design and product development of over 25 collections, including fine jewelry, costume jewelry and runway collaborations with Tory Burch, J. Mendel and Naeem Khan, among others. After eight years, Winston left to concentrate on her growing family and make her own mark in the jewelry industry with her namesake line. Today, Winston spends her days on 47th Street, intimately working with a small group of gem dealers, cutters and bench jewelers to create and build every piece in her collection. Her choice to keep production in New York City is an homage to the craftsmen she was taught by. Brent lives with her husband and three children in New York City.
Photos used courtesy of Brent Neale.