"I was remembering the last time New York went through a big recession, which was when I grew up in the '70s," Top Chef's Padma Laksmi tells Forbes about designing her upscale jewelry line, sold at Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. "My mom was a working mom, and I was channeling her. I think for all of us, our mothers are our first fashion icons. So I was feeling very '70s. I wanted to do something with a cooler color palette. I used a lot of sapphires and turquoise."
Padma's also a working mommy to baby Krishna -- and she's revealing her trick for using jewelry to advance your career.
"I like to wear a big pair of earrings or a big, colorful necklace when I have an important meeting because it draws people's eyes to your face. The more people look at your face, the more they will listen to what you’re saying. And you’ll have a more receptive and attentive audience."
This beauty-meets-brains foodie has a bauble pet-peeve, however. "Don't wear a bunch of bangles that clang at the office. There’s nothing that drives me crazier. You're having a big meeting and then there's that one woman who's like a wind chime passing through."
Preach it, Padma!