The Jewel That Started My Collection: Elizabeth Tuke

The Jewel That Started My Collection: Elizabeth Tuke

Elizabeth Tuke is the founder of TUKE Consulting and fashion store TUKE BAZAAR, but is also known for her work advising and styling Meghan, Duchess of Sussex – who dubbed Tuke her 'fashion guru'. Ahead of the Milan Fine Jewels sale, we sat down with her to discuss generational style and playing with trends.
Elizabeth Tuke is the founder of TUKE Consulting and fashion store TUKE BAZAAR, but is also known for her work advising and styling Meghan, Duchess of Sussex – who dubbed Tuke her 'fashion guru'. Ahead of the Milan Fine Jewels sale, we sat down with her to discuss generational style and playing with trends.

Do you remember the first piece of jewelry that ignited you collecting passion?

My mother gifted me a gold charm bracelet when I was 10 years old. The first charm I received was an 18 karat gold lobster to commemorate our move to the New England seacoast. Additionally, she gifted me two of her charm bracelets that she had added to over the course of her life.

I have since been collecting unique charms (and a few orphan earrings) to add to it. The bracelet is completely full of wonderful memories, so full that I’m currently starting a necklace. I also just started a bracelet for my daughter, Clementine. A charm bracelet is so personal and sentimental.

"I always love roping being incorporated into design. There is something whimsical about it. I would treat this as an everyday necklace and likely wear over a cashmere crewneck sweater."

Some people seem to have an innate ability for pairing the right things together. Is style something that can be taught, or is it something you are born with?

An appreciation for style is definitely something I inherited at an early age. My mother and father were always handsomely dressed and always very polished — nothing sloppy. This has since influenced my sartorial choices. I would never wear athleisure to the airport.

"I am very partial to emeralds and the obsession runs through my family. My stepmother, sister-in-law and I have emerald engagement rings and complimentary bands. Emeralds represent Spring and rebirth and the rich color is so refreshing. These earrings are so special and seem like something I would inherit from my mother (hint, hint!). The single sapphire surrounded by the burst of diamond clusters could be worn daily to create a sense of elegance with an otherwise simple outfit."

However, style is also something you have to invest time and interest in. I studied magazines and fashion books as a child and teenager, watched Cindy Crawford on House of Style, FTV and the Fashion Channel. As I got older, I forayed into interior design and art history literature. All of this supported the evolution of my personal style, my understanding of pairings, color combinations and layering.

Elizabeth Tuke and Meghan Markle. Courtesy Elizabeth Tuke. Ryan Kobane/Ryan Kobane

The Duchess of Sussex described you as her 'fashion guru' What is your golden rule for putting a look together?

I believe appearing both polished and tailored exudes confidence, femininity and thoughtfulness. Seasonality and fit play a big role in how pulled together you look. You can achieve it by keeping it very classic or you can subtly play with trends. Overdoing it can appear like you put too much thought or money into it, while under doing it often feels careless.

Do you get more excited about a piece from an exciting new designer, or a vintage piece of classic jewelry?

There is nothing more thrilling than receiving a piece of heirloom or vintage jewelry. It is so personal and doesn’t feel ubiquitous or trendy — it has such history and romance to it.

Elizabeth Tuke on her wedding day. Van Sarki and Courtesy of TUKE Consulting.

As the world spends more time at home, and indoors than ever, what is the one fashion/jewelry or self-care ritual that you have kept up?

I always get dressed. Getting dressed in the morning sets the tone for the day — even if I’m not going anywhere. I also have a few pieces of jewelry that I wear every single day — my engagement ring and wedding bands, a signet ring that had been my great-great grandfather’s ascot pin turned pinkie ring plus a few necklaces that I swap out daily. I feel unfinished without having those pieces on. I also prefer to overdress than under dress — dress for the party and the party will come to you!

What advice would you give somebody wanting to start their jewelry collecting journey?

Follow your taste and personal style intuition versus trends and designer names.

"I love clusters of stones and this happens to include all of my favorites. Rubies are my daughter’s birthstone and sapphires are my son’s birthstone. I also love a mix of textures and the use of cabochons versus faceted stones gives it an extra twist. I don’t believe I would pair this with any other bracelet friends — I’d wear it as a party of one and let it shine on its own."

Whose wardrobe - whether a current figure or someone from the past - would you most like to raid?

Wallis Simpson had a very fabulous sense of style and after seeing her jewelry collection in Paris, I can’t imagine her wardrobe! I’m also always pinning style inspiration from past American socialites like Slim Keith, Babe Paley and Gloria Guinness.

L-R: Lydia Nightgown from the Castro Collection; The Candela Dress II from the De Castro Collection, both available from Tuke Bazaar.

You are the CEO of your own PR company, how has the past year shifted the way you and you team work?

We had a monumental shift! In April 2020, after being impacted by the pandemic, we pivoted the consulting business to launch an e-commerce platform, TUKE BAZAAR to support small designers and specialty brands. Nearly one year later, we have grown to support over 50 designers and continue to offer a la carte PR services as well.

"I tend to have very classic taste and I think this Boucheron piece would be my big girl necklace of choice. It’s fabulous enough to be your dressy-uppy, princess necklace but also tailored with the inclusion of the diamond links and could be worn a bit more often than just special occasions and I love this compact. My grandmother always had a compact & lipstick case. There is nothing more elegant than applying your lipstick and “rouge” (the term she and mother used for blush) using your very own bejeweled compact. It is clearly having a comeback and brands like Hermes are creating candy like reusable cases. But they don’t hold a candle to this gem."

Can you tell us about any exciting projects you are currently working on?

The recent launch of multi-brand e-commerce platform, TUKE Bazaar continues to be a labor of love. The exploration of new, emerging designers and specialty brands has been a treasure hunt. We look forward to onboarding more fabulous brands from around the world this year. We also continue to place a strong emphasis on public relations for our brand roster and will be investing more resources into that piece this year.

Banner image © Van Sarki.

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