Sarara Couture…is the accessories source and blogazine, specializing in 18th-20th century high fashion, couture, and designer accessories from around the world, private archives, museums, and estates. The shop’s focus is on a fashion narrative, and an archive which pays homage to that heritage. Our unique accessories collection includes rarer examples of 30s-90s pieces from Chanel, Gripoix, Schiaparelli, Lacroix, KJL, Dior, William De Lillo, Old Mexican, Native American pieces, and YSL to name a few.
Sarara Couture specializes in vintage body jewelry, rare examples, and statement pieces. Jewelry provenance, collectibility, and research is part of the process, but goes beyond the idea of costume jewelry into the realm of design. Pieces are chosen for that quality. Sara, the owner, started at a very young age and has over 20 years of experience with vintage jewelry. Featured in W magazine, Glamour, The Daily, CR Fashion Book, Racked… among others. The shop is based outside NYC, and has amassed a memorable selection of accessories in various shapes and sizes, with a growing list of celebrity clients, stylists, and designers tapping into the archive.
The Jewelry Line:
Our jewelry and body pieces are designed and constructed right here in the USA, outside of NYC. Each piece uses quality stones and are assembled by hand using durable materials. The first collection pays homage to my love of showgirl accessories and statement pieces, while being totally modern. Accessories history and jewelry design has been a constant passion. I love textures, colors, the process, being inspired by a period, person, moment… and I Iove the process of jewelry design. While my knowledge of cultures and fashion history inform me, they are only one facet of what inspires me. When I run into a vintage collection of pieces for instance, I often sort of fall in love with the woman’s history. I tend to be attracted to certain estate collections and then I want to know all about their fashion sense, who they were. Showgirls tend to have the best jewelry collections, they fascinate me. All of this influences to romance of design for me. I strive to create dramatic wearable pieces. My personal collection is influenced by fashion, but a great bulk is fueled by my love of indigenous, Berber, and older Mexican design. I have ancient Mayan styles, older Native American silver, Brazilian indigenous beaded examples to name a few.
My affinity for history, culture, and jewelry began early. I started by wearing and hunting down 1920s jewelry from auctions and designing accessories as an adolescent. I’m a southern girl born a few hours outside Nashville, with family roots in Tennessee and cultural links to other parts of the US and the world. Our family roots are diverse and blended, full of heritage which includes French, Saami, Native American, a dash of Brazilian indigenous roots, a touch of India, a tad of Sicily, German, Scandinavian, Great Britain, and a bit of Africa… all crossing paths in an “American” landscape. We grew up with specific cultural stories, foods, medicinal details like using walnut, sassafras tea and much more that helped fuel my interest in our specific indigenous heritage, overall it was probably the strongest specific culture retained. However; I am not enrolled and identify more as a person of mixed heritage. I wish to remember my elders and not let that part of me slip away. It was important to them which is why details were passed down and cared for. While, I felt most at home in many ways in Brazil, as a person of mixed heritage, a love of cultures and diversity are still such a source of inspiration.
This love of cultures, art, and history led me to pursue an anthropology degree. After graduating from Notre Dame and the University of Chicago in social sciences, I followed my natural inclination to travel all the way to the country of Brazil. My families southeastern Native American heritage and culture which was passed down, although I am not enrolled, led me to focus on anthropology. Specifically, Native American and Brazilian indigenous rights, stereotypes, women’s issues…. At 20 years old, not speaking the language, I left alone and decided to do a doctorate in anthropology there. I left with a small scholarship, and the hope that I would get into their doctorate program on a fellowship. I became a Dr. of Visual Anthropology after completing my studies in Brazil- at UNICAMP. I taught for 5 years at Scad in Atlanta before moving to the northeast and pursuing Sarara Couture full time. My experience lecturing includes cultures and jewelry, material culture, victorian jewelry, as well as modernist Native American jewelry…. I still enjoy giving talks on the subjects I love when I can. While living in Brazil around 1999, the natural materials, their flair for design and color use inspired me to begin to create accessories again. Those jewelry pieces started to gain national press around 2006, when the brand was born.
Our Name as Described by Sara:
When I picked the shop name I knew it was unique, but it also has a history….just like our products. In Brazil it describes someone of mixed descent. Living and studying in Brazil for years enriched my life. Brazilians are great with nicknames and mine was Sarara. At once it is a reference to my name, Sara, yet also a nod to the concept of “criolo”. Brazilian music such as the song lyrics to Olhos Coloridos – “Sarara Criolo” by Sandra de Sa, addresses the meaning of the word Sarara. The exploration of the diverse roots of the Americas, is something that continues to inspire me. Sarara can really truly only be defined in the Brazilian Portuguese language, but it is akin to Creole. It represents “beleza” in diversity and the beauty of life for me. It is also a word that is found in the languages of other cultures. For the Namunyak people of Africa it refers to an area they call Sarara or singing wells…The word Sarara in Samburu is “meeting place” and refers to this watering hole “the singing wells”, because it is where the leopards, elephants, and people go to meet and get water. In the shop I strive to present jewelry which has not only a highly curated relationship to fashion, but also has roots in diversity, history, and includes various cultural examples.
Couture is loosely defined from the French as “high sewing” or “high dressmaking”, the creation by French fashion houses who meet legal requirements in France. They create custom clothing and accessories by very skilled hand, in many cases made in one of a kind or extremely limited examples. See Fashion Jewelry and Haute Couture, for more details or Couture by Caroline Milbank for the couturier history. I choose couture as part of our name- in reference to the creation of handbags and jewelry in our line, which strives for best practices in our applications. Also, my love of vintage haute couture accessories led me to search out as many examples of these as I can find. We carry true vintage haute couture jewelry made for couturiers when we can, but we also strive to include other pieces that are successful in similar ways. Sarara for me has become a sense of peace in loving who you are, it’s curating, and celebrating your own style, while respecting the past.
Shop Specialties: the large jewelry styles of the 70s, designer, jewelry created for haute couture, Native American, vintage burlesque, theater and showgirl accessories, Bill Smith body jewelry, and art deco examples. We stock both vintage designer pieces, as well as label-less historic selections. Everything must meet our standards of quality, design, and condition. The store’s fashion accessories selection feels luxurious, because we search the world for them and do endless research. Pieces must have style, an edge or fashion relevance, and a bit of editorial appeal and an ease of wearability. We stock both fine and “costume” jewelry. As customer satisfaction is important, please contact us whenever needed.
Vintage Accessories are like a snapshot of an era and moment, grounding us in a sense of history while helping to define our current style…
Joey Wolffer. Sag Harbor, New York.
L’Armoire -102 Park St, New Canaan, CT 06840 (Jewelry and Bags)
Candy Shop Vintage-334 East Bay Street #158, Charleston, SC 29401 (Bags)
Ornamento-Fairmone Hotel, San Francisco, 950 Mason St.
At 154 Grand Street-by appointment for stylist and designers) (Jewelry and Bags)
By Appointment for clients in Litchfield County CT and New York City-contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We recently opened our brand to retail partnerships with shops who are of a similar mind, yet that bring something new to our brand. For special pricing Feel free to contact us via email email@example.com or by phone:
We accept returns within 7 days, if the item is returned in good condition, buyer pays for shipping both ways. So, they forfeit the free shipping in the return total. Please feel free to contact us about orders at anytime, customer service is important to us!