Hester Fleming Vintage

Sourcing Vintage Treasures for the Modern Woman

Vintage Style Seeker

Book Review: Gemologue by Liza Urla

Vintage Inspiration, Vintage Jewellery, Vintage Style SeekerHester Fleming

I am so excited to be in possession of Liza Urla’s, Gemologue. A guide to street jewellery styles and jewellery styling tips. I purchased it after finding Gemologue on instagram. I was immediately captivated by Liza’s visual diary of what inspires her in the world of jewellery.


Liza doesn’t have a particular era she’s interested in. She covers everything from antique pieces to contemporary collections. The feature of this book is the jewellery photography, however it’s also the thought provoking nature of each photograph that makes you want to pick this book up again and again.


Each styling tip explains why a particular piece of jewellery is interesting and how you can incorporate it into your daily life. Liza even suggests you push a few boundaries with your jewellery style. Such as mixing metals and combining fine jewellery with costume jewellery.

The feeling I experience when I read this book, is that you could be anywhere in the world to enjoy it. Not just wish you were in the big metropolitan cities, such as London, New York or Paris to practise what she preaches. Liza is so good at making the reader feel like jewellery is accessible on every level.


Lisa Erla’s Gemologue is fun, it’s fresh and it gives you a wonderful insight into how she feels about jewellery. She also emphasises how important jewellery design is to society today and yesterday. I highly recommend you have a copy of this book too! You can purchase through booktopia here.

Gemologue was published in May 2018 by ACC Art Books.

Vintage Style Seeker: Lily, founder of @wear_jewellery

Vintage Jewellery, Vintage Style SeekerHester Fleming

This week, I am so excited to bring you an interview with Lily from the sophisticated, fun and quirky @wear_jewellery instagram account. I met Lily a few years ago, pouring over 20s and 30s jewellery at the monthly Wentworth Park, Antiques and Collectables Fair. We’ve been really good friends ever since. Here are her thoughts on vintage jewellery.

What sparked your interest in Vintage Jewellery?

I’ve always loved jewellery - all jewellery. Re-organising my mother’s jewellery box was a major hobby when I was little. My love of vintage jewellery, in particular, was first sparked by wandering around ‘The Vic’. A large Antiques and Vintage shop, “The Victory’, is an old converted theatre in Blackheath, at the top of Blue Mountains outside Sydney. We have a farm nearby and would often stop at Blackheath to get food. I would always ask to go and look at ‘The Vic’ and escape the fruit and veg run. I felt very grown-up being allowed to look around by myself when I was around 10.
Then, as now, there was such variety. Expensive diamond rings to dream about, blacker than black jet mourning jewellery, cheerful murano glass beads and enamelled butterflies in amongst the homewares, clothes and books. My father bought me my first vintage brooch from The Vic in 1995. A little retro kiwi with a mother of pearl tummy. A Kiwi bird - not a Kiwi fruit! I still treasure it.
The spark of interest blazed to life when I started travelling overseas more during university. On one trip I was travelling alone visiting friends in different cities. I found the delightful Toma, from The Antiques Diva who arranged some jewellery based tours for me. I learnt so much. I’m hooked now...there is no return.

How often will you wear a piece of vintage jewellery?

Usually 2-3 times a week easily. However, now I’m on maternity leave and as my 9 month old enjoys chewing and pulling my jewellery, it’s down to about once a week!

Do you presently have a favourite piece?

Tough question...I am enjoying a silver tone brooch I bought just last weekend. It’s a Sarah Coventry piece called ‘Mr Seagull’ and it’s easy to pop on with a casual look. It’s also robust and childproof.

Do you have a particular vintage market you like to visit regularly?

Price wise, for accessible pieces, I enjoy the Collectables and Antique Market, on monthly at Wentworth Park in Sydney, local rotary markets and Rozelle Market. I always enjoy the two big fairs held in Sydney as well - The Sydney Fair and the Australian Antique and Art Dealers Association Fair.
If I could teleport myself across the world, I would happy visit Les Puces in Paris most weekends.

Is there any particular style of vintage jewellery you’re currently seeking?

I like to be able to wear my purchases often - so actual ‘wearability’ of styles is important to me. I have a real love of green and brown necklaces - green Peking glass, green glass beads, jade, brown and autumn tone bakelite - they are my thing. I’m also keen to do another brooch to necklace conversion - maybe a crescent moon??

It’s difficult to look for ‘the one’ with vintage jewellery the same way you think “I need some new jeans - I’ll go buy some”. When shopping for vintage, you just don’t know what you will find on any given day. I’m always seeking good quality pieces that I love - whatever the style.

Thank you so much Lily, for taking the time to answer my questions about your love of vintage jewellery. I think we should definitely organise a vintage seeking trip to Paris and New York soon! If you’re reading this interview and you’re not following Lily on instagram, you can find her here. I highly recommend you do. Enjoy!

Five Vintage Jewellery Instagram Accounts Worth Following

Vintage Shopping Tips, Vintage Style SeekerHester Fleming
Vintage Charms Necklace by Lulu Frost. Photo Credit @lulufrost instagram account.

Vintage Charms Necklace by Lulu Frost. Photo Credit @lulufrost instagram account.

Instagram, blogs and online vintage jewellery boutiques, are a great platform for inspiration. I’m not sure what I think of Instagram’s recent trick of hiding the number of likes on each post, but there’s still some fantastic graphic content out there to absorb yourself in. Once you’re hooked on the instagram feeds, no doubt you’ll be regularly visiting these industry experts as well as me!

  1. @Gemologue by Liza Urla. As a qualified gemologist, Liza’s look into the world of fine jewellery is stunning. She’s also just published a beautiful book about Jewellery inspiration and street style!

  2. Diamonds in the Library by Becky Stone. I love this account because Becky is so authentic. She has a genuine love of jewels and books.

  3. Jennifer Gibson Jewellery Based in London, Jennifer specialises in higher end costume jewellery. She recently contributed to the Dior exhibition at the V&A, and has an eye watering collection of jewellery available to buy.

  4. Gem Gossip: Fantastic for all things trending in the world of jewellery.

  5. Lulu Frost: Based in NYC, I have had such a crush on this business ever since I can remember. Lisa Salzer produces the most amazing costume jewellery, or does a re-purpose job on vintage bits and pieces. She has a great vintage charm collection running at the moment. I’m always fascinated by her take on jewellery.

August edit: Vintage jewellery collection favours the 1970s

Vintage Style Seeker, Vintage JewelleryHester Fleming

With the next Round She Goes pre-loved fashion market coming up at the end of August, I’ve been busy sourcing new collection pieces. I never know what I’m going to find. I try and have a general idea of the decade I’d like to focus on, but sometimes it just doesn’t work. My intention for August was going to be the 80s, but some fantastic 70s pieces came up instead. Check out my gallery below for some vintage inspiration. All these pieces are available to shop in my Jewellery Box here. Enjoy!

Vintage Style Seeker: Sarah Watkins of Lucalia Photography

Vintage Jewellery, Vintage Style SeekerHester Fleming

Last week I interviewed vintage enthusiast Sarah Watkins of Lucalia Photography. I’ve known Sarah since we met in the year 2000, during our GAP year in the UK. We’ve stayed in touch and it’s always been a pleasure sharing a common interest in travel, vintage and design. Sarah was also my wedding photographer! She is currently based in New Zealand, where she has launched her business specialising in wedding photography and family portraits.

Below is a recent photo of Sarah and her husband Ben, attending a wedding. Wouldn’t you agree, she looks amazing in her striking vintage 1980s necklace, by costume jeweller Napier. I originally found this piece at the Chelsea Flea Market in New York, a few years ago. Keep reading below to find out why Sarah likes vintage and how she incorporates it into her daily style.


Why do you love vintage?

I love items in general that have a story and history; as opposed to the plastic, throw-away items of today. I love it that we can continue the story of a piece by wearing it with meaning and care. The environmental benefits of recycling come into it too, but I just love the aesthetics as well.

What attracted you to your favourite piece of vintage?

My favourite piece of vintage is this early 80s, Napier Necklace. I love the bold design, the versatility of black and the classic combination of black and gold. It's really easy to wear with a black scoop necked knit; or to dress it up with a silk cocktail dress. I've even wore it to a wedding as a guest!

How often do you wear a piece of vintage?

Most work days. I love my earrings and long necklaces!

Do you have a local vintage market you like to visit?

My husband and I have just moved to New Zealand and haven't had a chance to explore the vintage markets yet (plenty of fresh produce markets though!). I'd love to visit the The Newtown Vintage Market in Wellington on a spare Saturday soon.

Do you have any wish list pieces of vintage you’re seeking?

I'm looking to expand my vintage earring collection, but don't like clip ons. Any advice in this area would be gratefully received!

Sarah, I’d like to change your mind about vintage clip ons. There is an abundance of mid century retro options available. Beautifully designed by the iconic costume jewellers, and if attached properly, you shouldn’t have a problem. Next time we catch up, we’ll sort this out! For those of you reading this and keen to see a few vintage clip on options, check out my collection here.