Fashionable Life: Modern Keepsakes

by Erica Moody

Jewelry designer Monica Rich Kosann creates personalized pieces that stand the test of time.

By Erica Moody

Monica Rich Kosann and VIrginia Coyne (Photo by Tony Powell)

Monica Rich Kosann and Virginia Coyne (Photo by Tony Powell)

The Women’s Tower Club of Tyson’s Corner was delighted to spend a morning with Monica Rich Kosann at Liljenquist & Beckstead Fine Jewelers; the award-winning jewelry designer shared advice and provided creative inspiration at the private breakfast to showcase her latest designs and benefit the Washington Humane Society. Washington Life executive editor Virginia Coyne moderated.

“My collection is all about storytelling,” Kosann told 60 guests over mimosas and muffins. “We should wear our stories and enjoy them and be proud of them. I love nothing more than working with women and creating one-of-a-kind pieces.”

Jewelry by Monica Rich Kosann (Photo by Tony Powell)

Jewelry by Monica Rich Kosann (Photo by Tony Powell)

Kosann began her career as a fine arts black and white photographer before going into the jewelry business with her husband ten years ago. Her inspiration for both, she says, comes from a similar place. “I’ve been very inspired by photographers from the camera arts period of the early 1900s. They were really the first who photographed family life but made it beautiful and artistic. At the same time there were a lot of women’s accessories that were beautiful, personalized pieces of jewelry.”

Kosann says her creations are meant to be elegant and never go out of style. They tend to be intricate with lots of moving parts and hinges. Some of her very first designs were lockets that have remained a feature in her collections, most recently appearing in her latest line of ceramics.

Denise Rasor, Sherrie Beckstead, Sara Beckstead and Stephen Clarke (Photo by Tony Powell)

Denise Rasor, Sherrie Beckstead, Sara Beckstead and Stephen Clarke (Photo by Tony Powell)

“I would say that lockets are sexy,” Kosann says. “We’ve done a lot over the years to debunk the notion that a locket has to be your mother’s or your grandmother’s. I have Hayden Panettiere and Jourdan Dunn wearing them.”But the biggest celebrity surprise of all was spotting her earrings on the cover of Vanity Fair, worn by none other than Caitlyn Jenner.

“I literally found out the same time that everyone else found out,” the designer says with a laugh. “I was walking down the street and got a text saying, ‘did you know your earrings are on the cover of Vanity Fair?’ It was definitely a moment.”

This story appeared in the September 2015 issue of Washington Life below. View more photos from the event here.

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