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Styling jewellery comes incredibly naturally to Mouchette Bell, freelance Fashion Editor, Stylist & Model. We met with Mouchette to talk all things jewellery, from the right stones to suit your skin tone to the pure poetry of pearls. A love affair that started aged 7, jewellery has always been important to Mouchette although when it comes to styling, she has no rules!​
Describe your jewellery style
My jewellery style does not have many rules. Although gold is my favourite colour I can appreciate many styles. I like to mix and layer: a small diamond tennis bracelet worn with bright orange ethnic beads I bought in Rio on the beach or simple pearls worn high on the ear with a hoop earring in the lobe. Whatever happens I never go without jewellery: whether it’s real or costume, if it’s beautiful it can work.

Which piece of jewellery do you have never take off?
I never take off my Irish Claddagh ring that I wear on a chain around my neck along with other charms. I prefer charm necklaces to charm bracelets.

When did your love affair with jewellery begin?
My love affair began aged seven in Dublin with my first holy communion tiara. I developed my love affair further when I was the jewellery editor at Tatler: it was there that I learned what a tiara really is!

What tips do you have when it comes to styling jewellery?
Wear earrings that flatter your skin - it’s as good as make up. Some people look wonderful in turquoise and others in pearls. Even a glint of gold against your face can brighten up your skin tone. If you’re wearing something plain you can add some drama with a great necklace or the glint of a strong ring on your finger. I’m not a less is more person, as you can probably tell, although some people look great in something very simple. You have to wear what makes you feel good.
Do you have a favourite Annoushka piece?
My favourite Annoushka piece has to be my Baroque Pearl Earring Drops. They are pure poetry. To quote Shakespeare: “like a rich jewel in an Ethiope’s ear, Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear.”

You have lived in both London and New York: have you noticed a difference in the way that londoners wear their jewellery compared to New Yorkers?
London has some fantastic costume jewellery designers like the wonderful Vicki Sarge. By comparison I find the classic New York style much more contained and chic, but it depends on the event really.

You have recently taken up modelling again: how was the industry changed since you started out in the 1980s?
In the 1980s modelling was much less diverse. I could write a book about those times... watch this space! The 1980s were exciting and very party oriented - models were transformed into superstars overnight. I worked with brilliantly talented people such as Peter Lindbergh and Franca Sozzani for Italian Vogue. I was very shy back then so returning to modelling now that I’m older is a much more enjoyable experience: it’s much more about being yourself and accepting who you are... and thank goodness for that!!
What is your go-to destination in London for sourcing hidden gems?
Peter Adler’s Pebble London is my go-to for vibrantly coloured, ethnic inspired jewellery designs, and you can’t beat the treasure trove that is the Portobello Road on a Friday morning.

If you were a charm what would you be?
I would be some kind of an exotic shell or a South Sea pearl.

Whose jewellery collection do you covet the most?
I covet the Duchess of Windsor’s jewellery or anything designed by YSL in the 1970s or 80s. Or Queen Josephine’s Tiara - well a girl can dream!
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