By Ashley Davis
Brent Neale’s holiday 2020 collection, “Reflections,” seen in a campaign lensed by photographer Claiborne Swanson Frank.
New York—If this year has offered anything, it’s ample time for reflection, and fine jewelry label Brent Neale has interpreted that idea literally.

Out now from designer Brent Neale Winston, “Reflections” is loosely based on rainbows, a reference Winston has employed before, but now with a stylistically Mod twist.

“Very simply: it’s the reflection of a rainbow,” said Winston of her inspiration, “because that’s what I wanted to see—something beautiful at the end of this year.”

“Reflections” is Winston’s most gem-heavy collection to date, featuring, custom-cut gemstones like carnelian, moonstone, amethyst, pink opal, and blue and yellow chalcedony in tribal-like necklaces, the largest of which could be confused with breastplates, and dangling statement earrings.

It’s a natural progression from the “Splash” collection, but veers further from Brent Neale go-to flora and fauna themes (think mushrooms and flowers), providing a more abstracted take on nature.

“It was loosely inspired by Frank Stella’s “Protractor” series from the late ‘60s, and the muse was Marianne Faithfull and that earthy, bohemian color palate from that period of time,” Winston explained.

SEE: The inspiration behind “Reflections”: Frank Stella
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The result is hippie jewelry gone glam, or rather, approachable luxury, which could surmise the Brent Neale aesthetic altogether.

And while one could hypothesize the collection’s abundance of gemstones was an intentional antidote to the high price of the gold during the pandemic, Winston admitted that wasn’t the case.

SEE: The inspiration behind “Reflections,” Marianne Faithfull
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“The labor that goes into the lapidary work in these pieces more than makes up for the gold we might not have used,” she said.

The largest gem-centric jewel, the “Marianne Necklace,” Winston’s favorite piece and the first she designed from the range, is priced at $28,000, representing the collection’s higher end, though a new pair of tiny “Hamsa” stud earrings favors the budget buyer at $750.

There are gold-heavy pieces for metalheads too, like a maximalist 18-karat yellow gold cuff dotted with flush-set, multicolor sapphires, seen below.

Several Brent Neale signatures make appearances too, updated with new and one-of-a-kind stones, like a cabochon chrysoprase gypsy ring, and pinky “Knot Ring” with matching pair of heart-shaped champagne diamonds, which at $38,000, is the collection’s most expensive piece.

“Reflections” is an optimistic collection entirely conceived and produced during the pandemic, a period in which Winston has grown to value her work in new ways.

“We can’t do our jobs from behind a computer,” she explained.

“We have to go to the workshop, pick stones and meet with clients. This job is very tactile. It has made me so appreciative of everyone we work with and the ways in which they have adapted to the current climate to keep moving forward and helping us to create.”

“Reflections” is available now at Brent Neale stockists, priced from $750 to $38,000.

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