Feature Friday - Patricia Caruso of Teece Torre

One of my favorite jewelry artisans for go-to pieces that I can wear everyday or for special occasions is Teece Torre so you can imagine how thrilled I was to talk with Patricia Caruso - the designer behind the brand!

Her designs let you enjoy the layering look that is so incredibly popular right now without the headache of trying to figure out what goes with what.  'Cause let's face it, sometimes, you just don't have the time to mix and match before heading out the door!  And, (bonus!) her pieces have that big impact that every woman wants.

So, please enjoy this week's Feature Friday Q&A with the incomparable, Patricia Caruso of Teece Torre!

Patricia Torre in her signature designs

1.  What prompted your passion for jewelry and jewelry design?
As a kid, I loved going into my mother's jewelry box and layering her jewelry on my body. I would wrap her necklaces countless times around my wrist to make big bracelets.  But what really started my interest in gemstones was a school trip to a museum where I was exposed to the ancient jewelry artifacts they had on display.  And if that wasn't enough, there was a 'Gem Room', where they had on view countless treasures from deep inside the earth.  I could not be pulled away.  The entire class continued the tour, but I stayed behind, gazing in awe at the most beautiful things I had ever seen. They found me later, still in that room, mesmerized by the sparkling stones. 

"Il Circo": MultiStrand Gemstone Cuff with Rhodolite Garnet, $365.00 - This is one of my favorites of her designs.
I adore garnets and the dangly bits featuring other gemstones just reminds me of confetti. Perfect!

2.  What is your favorite piece or collection?
That is difficult.  I think it changes all the time. I love the big bracelets in my collection and have a thing for very sparkly, yet subtle gems, like champagne zircon and tunduru sapphire...colored gemstones that have the refractive value of diamonds. I always love the elegance and inherent sophistication of these gems.

Tunduru Sapphire Earring with 14K findings, $50.

3.  What would your perfect “jewelry day” involve / be like?
Scoring a fantastic purchase of high-quality gemstones at a great price! Then, I can pass it on to my clients. Or a customer viewing 'raw' gems I show them and saying, "Make me something from those..."

"Chef Jane at Downton," is a custom-piece done by Caruso.  This Art Deco inspired piece was named by the client who asked that she use some of her mother's diamond pave necklace & make a bracelet with in Caruso's signature style.  Caruso had pieces of the white gold necklace lasered together to form the bars & a custom clasp made from two of them.  She then I strung color graded rubies, pink & white sapphires in between the bars. There is a total of eighteen strands between each bar with pink tourmaline gemstones in the bars themselves to complete the look.  It is a stunning, custom piece.

4.  Thus far, what would you say is your proudest jewelry moment or memory?
Having a huge celebrity show up at my studio to have a custom piece made and then  seeing her wearing her Teece Torre creation in photos. Other than that, every time I create a new piece. 

"The Amelia": Tunduru Sapphire, Mozambique Garnet, Rhodolite Garnet & Rose Quartz, $165.00.

5.  Where do you find your greatest inspiration?
The gems speak to me.  Tell me what they want to be. Other than that, I stare at walls.  It's true. 

The Stackables 40, $40.00 - Part of Caruso's "Stackables Collection" which features mix &
match gemstone bracelets perfect for layering.

6.  In your personal wardrobe, do you find that you gravitate to one particular jewelry accessory (rings vs. necklace vs. bracelets vs. watches, etc.) more often than others?
Definitely bracelets.  Love my bracelets.  Bracelets are sexy.  Rings are a problem...I find they get in the way.  Earrings when I go out.  Sometimes necklaces.  But I love bracelets because I can see them and appreciate them while I'm wearing them. 

"The Persephone": Green Multi-Strand Gemstone Bracelet, $475.00 - Another one of my favorite pieces.

7.  When putting together an outfit, how do you feel about mixing metals, designs and even new with vintage pieces?
All of it!  As long as it isn't over done.  It becomes that thing where I don't know where to look. Probably less is more when mixing....unless you are stacking bracelets.  So stack lots of different bracelets and go easy on the other pieces. 

"The Carris": Amethyst, Tanzanite, Apatite Lariat Style Necklace with Turkish Tassel, $340.00.

8.  Layering seems to be a trend that is here to stay, for now. What are your feelings on the layered look?  How do you like layered necklaces with layered bracelets plus layered rings? 
You have probably figured out I love layering.  I layer necklaces and, of course, bracelets.  You just don't want to look like a display cabinet in Bergdorf's. 

"The Chloe": Shaded Ethiopian Opal & Mandarin Garnet, $715.00 - I just ADORE this bracelet!
The colors are the most amazing & just remind me of a summer sunset.

9.  What advice would you give to budding jewelry designers? To budding fine jewelry collectors?
Go with your gut.  Don't follow trends.  Classics will never fail you.  And stare at walls.

Blue Sapphire Earrings, $95.00 - Obviously, I love this design because I had Patricia make
a similar design for me in champagne zircon. 

Flash Question - Dream trip destination?
Sicily, where my father is from, with no particular agenda.  After that, Jaipur in India to buy gemstones. 

"The Gillian": Green Gemstone Multi-Strand Beaded Necklace, $345.00.

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