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Jewelry that we consider to be art is almost always timeless.Kara Ross

I could drool over jewelry and handbags so it was a real treat to spend time with Kara Ross yesterday and preview her Spring/Summer 2012 collection in the Circa Lounge at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

Ms. Ross has been designing jewelry for over 20 years. She can't recall the inspiration behind every piece but it starts with the stone she told me, and builds from there. As is the case of her unique aesthetic and love of jewelry design.

During an African holiday with her parents at age 13, she was encouraged to choose a native gemstone to design her own ring. Enamored and empowered by the process, she became a certified gemologist and spent years designing fine pieces for private clients. In 2003, she started her company, Kara Ross and has expanded the jewelry line to include exotic handbags (many hand painted skins that she personally selects during her annual trips to Europe), a gemstone collection of uniquely crafted architectural pieces, Kara by Kara Ross boutique collection, a more accessible line of jewelry found at Intermix, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Henri Bendel, Saks, etc., and belts.

The Spring/Summer 2012 collection is characteristically Kara Ross, with mixed materials of gold/silver and diamonds paired with mother of pearl, rhodochrosite, lapis (my fave), and turquoise:

{MIRI dress}

While the alligator evening clutch would make any outfit, I'm smitten with her take on the classic top handle bag in ostrich and hand painted snakeskin. A top handle bag tops my list of Fall must-haves (and now Spring too!):

{Anthropologie Lolling blazer, Myne dress (last seen here), Gap belt, Theodora & Callum earrings (last seen here), gifted Stella & Dot Serpent bangle, amethyst & gold bracelet from the gift shop at Congress Hall, Dolce Vita platforms (now on sale), Kara Ross Trinity bag in light grey ostrich.}

The Kara by Kara Ross boutique collection includes fun, bold stackable bangles and cuffs:

It's no wonder Kara Ross' "celebrity" fans include: Michelle Obama, Rachel Zoe, Jennifer Lopez, Anne Hathaway, Alicia Keys, Hilary Swank, Claudia Schiffer, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Carrie Underwood, among others.

She can now add Glamamom to the list.

{I was not compensated for this post. I received a boutique collection cuff as a "thank you" for attending the presentation.}