About / Vintage Fashion Jewelry

Sarara Couture is a handbag brand and source for 18th-20th century high fashion, couture, and designer accessories from around the world, private archives, museums, and estates. The focus is on a fashion narrative, 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, Native American pieces, and YSL to name a few. We specialize in vintage body jewelry and statement pieces. Jewelry provenance, collectibility, and research is part of the process, but we go beyond the idea of costume jewelry into the realm of design. We have been featured in W magazine, Glamour, The Daily, CR Fashion Book, Racked… Sara’s over 20 years of experience with vintage jewelry and a keen eye for fashion creates a unique online experience for her clients. Her handbags are made in the USA of quality materials, with a strong, yet modern aesthetic with roots in the past. Based outside NYC, the shop has amassed a memorable selection of statement making vintage editorial style accessories in various shapes and sizes with a growing list of celebrity clients, stylists, and designers tapping into the archive.

Our Philosophy: Sarara Couture’s shop staples include: the large jewelry styles of the 70s, designer, 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. 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…

History: My affinity for history, culture, and jewelry began early.  I began collecting 1920s jewelry from auctions and designing accessories as an adolescent. My father took me to auctions and sales at a time when you could find some magical things hidden in box lots and such. My love of vintage fashion and jewelry has been a lifelong one. I’ve always worn vintage, starting with the cache of 60s-70s Levis my dad saved. He was a tall and thin so I stockpiled, altered, preserved and continue to wear some of them!  I love jewelry the most because of how much passion, history, culture, and self expression can be in a piece.

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 bohemian tendencies to Brazil. A young 20 year old me, who did not speak the language, 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.  My first area of love being indigenous cultures. I taught for 5 years at Scad in Atlanta before moving to the northeast and pursuing Sarara Couture full time. While living in Brazil around 1999, the natural materials, fashion, and colors 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 mixture and the beauty of life for me. 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 of custom clothing and accessories by very skilled hand, made in one of a kind or extremely limited examples. See Fashion Jewelry and Haute Couture, for more details. I choose couture as part of our name- in reference to the creation of handbags and jewelry in our line, as well as my love of vintage haute couture accessories. This for me includes North American one of a kind or rare examples created by hand.  Sarara for me has become a sense of peace in loving who you are, it’s curating, and celebrating your own style.

STOCKISTS:

1stdibs- Sarara Couture

L’Armoire -102 Park St, New Canaan, CT 06840 (Jewelry and Bags)

Candy Shop Vintage-334 East Bay Street #158, Charleston, SC 29401 (Bags)

Le Brain-48 West 21st Street, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10010 (by appointment for stylist and designers) (Jewelry and Bags)

By Appointment for clients in Litchfield County CT and New York City-contact sara@sararavintagecouture.com