Brilliant Brooches

Esther Quek on her favorite vintage finds

Esther Quek is the woman behind The Rake, a website that bills itself as "the modern voice of classic elegance" for men worldwide. Quek often wears colorful suits, and appends eye-catching earrings and brooches to her garments to add feminine complexity to the look. We asked the jet-setting fashion director and international style icon a few questions about vintage jewellery in advance of our Statement Jewels sale, which runs from February 25 – March 6, 2014. Her answers are below.

What's your favorite piece of jewelry?

It's my vintage 1995 Rolex timepiece. It was a gift from someone special…

How has your approach to jewelry evolved?

In the past five years, I have been collecting either vintage luxury pieces from quaint vintage boutiques or flea markets in Europe – such as clip-on earrings, slim gold bracelets, unique necklaces or old-coined cufflinks and interesting tie bars – or investing in quality modern accessories, such as Lanvin chunky 'Love' necklaces, Tiffany's rings, [and] Gucci gold-plated chokers...

I recently bought a vintage 1960s Hermes scarf, 1950s Loewe box bag, and vintage Chanel leather belt with gold chain clasp in a little boutique in Paris which I chanced upon while posting a letter.

What do you look for in a piece?

Quality and design. My jewellery needs to last.

What are you wearing now that you wouldn't have worn a few years ago?

I am wearing a lot of dangling earrings, which I never used to wear.

What would you never wear?

Crocs.

How has working with menswear expanded your sense of style?

I love men's jewellery and tend to look out for masculine jewellery from female fashion labels that evokes my personal style, such as skull-designed bracelets, or floral gold-plated lapel pins, that … is still feminine when styled together with my outfit.

Lastly, any thoughts on brooches?

Brooches are brilliant jewellery! Dress up any shawl thrown over the shoulders, pin them to your hair with bobby pins. They add glamour to a plain blouse, or even shoes if you have two of the same design (I clip mine on plain black satin peep-toe heels).

Christie’s presents Statement Jewels, an online-only auction, running from February 25-March 4, 2014. For more on this and other online-only auctions at Christie’s, see www.christies.com/onlineonly.