The doors have closed at Barneys New York’s Madison Avenue location. The lights are down, and we’re about ready to start our shoot with photographer Lara Jade. Lara—a fashion photographer who splits her time between London, NYC, and traveling the world—has magnificent personal style, which is evident on either end of the camera lens. To show off the stunning collection of Bulgari Serpenti on the main floor of our Madison Avenue store, we asked if we could turn the camera on her for the evening, as she edited and modeled the show-stopping pieces paired with some of her favorite ready-to-wear looks on the floor.
Perusing the collection of Bulgari Serpenti handcrafted snake-themed jewels, watches, and pristine Italian leather bags, Lara stops for an exquisite pair of mother of pearl and pavé diamond earrings. Her clean, modern choice of black camisole and culottes is a sophisticated pared-down palette for the addition of the striking ear adornments. Here, the jewelry pops and truly creates a look that can be subtle for day and become sexy and standout for evening. “I’m not the type of woman who wears piles of jewelry. I prefer to go for one or two impactful pieces,” says Lara. “I immediately saw the earrings and watch and knew those would be my favorites. They’re knockout without feeling too heavy.”
When she first started photography, Lara used herself as a model to hone her skills. “My early work focused on self portraiture, which enabled me to learn what it was like to be in front of the lens and later helped me to understand how my subjects felt on photo shoots,” she shares. Indeed, Lara is easy to shoot and seems at ease chatting with the crew between takes. “I am quite used to being in front of an audience for friends, press, or seminars, but I will always say that the feeling of being photographed makes you feel vulnerable.”
Lara shares a relaxed, friendly rapport with the evening’s photographer, Taylor Jewell, as they enjoy working amid the Barneys Madison Avenue space, taking in the clothes and the quiet calm of the evening—not to mention delighting in having full access to the stunning display of Bulgari jewels and accessories. After a sultry set of poses in a clean, mod Marni dress that she mixed with a pop of pink stingray in the form of a cuff and glossy patent leather bag in emerald green, Lara is coaxed into a laugh and the shoot starts to feel like collaboration among friends.
Tapping into Lara’s editorial eye, we considered the personal choices we make when we get dressed ourselves. What does one choose to wear to convey an emotion, a celebration, or a statement about who they are? “I enjoy the exploration part of putting together an outfit,” explains Lara. “While I’m always excited to review the collections I get to photograph on talent and models, to be on the other side of that is also a great experience. I get to take a step back and think about what I would truly pick for myself.”
Wearing a delicate-but-bold sparkling necklace works for Lara Jade’s minimal preference for black and white. Admittedly, the Bulgari Serpenti slim necklace in full white gold pavé diamonds would flatter the neck and outfit of any sophisticated woman with somewhere to go. And therein lies the beauty of the Serpenti collection: each piece is truly an alluring complement to the bold and modern woman.
Settling in for the last shot—a floral Proenza Schouler dress paired with a black and white diamond Bulgari Serpenti watch—Lara muses on the offerings of dazzling, faceted accoutrements. “I believe a killer piece of jewelry makes an outfit feel complete. A simple little black dress can suddenly become a memorable outfit by accenting it with a unique piece that taps into your style. If you’re on the go like I am all the time, having that special piece to change up and elevate a look for an meaningful event is essential.”