Kerry Washington’s vibe for the upcoming holiday season is all about balance. “I love to be casual, but glamorous,” she tells BAZAAR.com.
The actor and director has manifested that sparkly push and pull in a second opulent jewelry collection for Aurate, available now. The five-piece line inspired by Old Hollywood embellishes architectural hoops, huggies, and ear cuffs with white topaz stones. These pieces are pure main character energy, in accessible materials made for wearing every day.
Art-Deco references throughout the collection remind Washington of an icon from decades past, boundary-breaking entertainer Josephine Baker. “She’s somebody who didn’t just step into being the lead in her career, and her performance and her professionalism, she really was the lead character in her life,” Washington says. “She was a spy for the resistance in Europe. She was an incredible hero on and off the stage.”
But inspiration came as much from the present as a familiar past. “All the trends in fashion really seem to be leaning toward this really celebratory and more glamorous vibe,” Washington explains of the process behind her festive line. “So we started thinking about design elements of the roaring 20s, which was a similar period of people coming out of a difficult period and wanting to party hard.”
An inclination to really dress up again has also manifested in Washington’s wardrobe, though she didn’t recognize it at first. “I wasn’t doing it consciously, but when I dressed for the Emmys this year I was like, oh, there was a lot of sparkle and shine and a bold lip,” she remembers.
Off the red carpet, jewelry has been Washington’s main source of looking luxe—that blend of casual and opulent yet again. “[It’s] one of those consistent things where, in the middle of a pandemic, I wasn’t rocking my shoes and purses, but I was still wearing jewelry.”
It’s the last professional commitment before she can unwind with family and take in all that 2021 held—a year where Washington tried to look inward throughout so many outward projects. “I guess it’s been a really challenging time, and I’m really grateful for how it’s allowed me to reflect more deeply and take stock, and commit to making time for the things that matter most,” she says.
This year, Washington says she’s found “space to be my most authentic version of myself. Allowing myself to be who I want to be and say what I want to say […] all with as much of a sense of goodness and love and service.”
Shop select pieces from Washington’s new collection above, or view the entire line at ” data-vars-ga-product-id=”93c8471d-1f91-433f-b582-c00843b8b2e7″ data-vars-ga-product-price=”0.00″ data-vars-ga-product-sem3-brand=”” data-vars-ga-product-sem3-category=”” data-vars-ga-product-sem3-id=”” data-affiliate-network=”” data-affiliate=”true”>auratenewyork.com.
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