GEM TALK WITH ELLA CLARE THOMPSON, PRIVATE DOCTOR
The series of interviews with women and men who have personalities, story to tell and their own GEM style. They make it happen for themselves all over the world and follow GEMOLOGUE by Liza Urla.
Name: Ella Clare Thompson
Alma Mater: Imperial College School of Medicine
Occupation: Private Doctor (general practice with paediatrics)
IN THE BEGINNING: One of my first memories as a child is being 6 years old and announcing at the dinner table to my parents that I was going to be a Doctor. I think my parents were already fairly fluent with my raw ambition and drive but from that day onward I made it my sole goal to make sure that I got into one of the best Medical Schools. I remember seeing my own family doctor when I was little girl doing a night-call to my house to treat my baby sister for an asthma attack. I was fascinated and in awe of how someone could ‘fix’ you and make you better. Ultimately the combination of science and human interface is what really inspired me to pursue a career in Medicine. It is also one of the only professions to command a huge amount of respect and gives you such a great purpose to dedicate your working-life to. Additionally it is ultra-competitive which was, in truth, a huge driving force as I love a challenge!
LONDON DEBUT: I went to Medical School at Imperial College School of Medicine and graduated in 2005. I am double-board certified in the UK and Canada and hold post graduate qualifications in Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Paediatrics. My private practice is in South Kensington and I have also been working with Night Doctor since 2013 to provide concierge-medicine to high-net-worth individuals.
SAHARA DESSERT: I compete in Ultra-marathons, the most recent being a two week race across the Sahara Desert in April 2014 in which I placed 20th out of 500. I am now competing in the Four Deserts race series for Great Britain, starting with a 2 week race across the Atacama Desert in Chile for October 2015.
ART: The Little Black Gallery in Chelsea is my favourite…I collect photography by Terry O’Neill and Bob Carlos Clarke. I also have some incredible pieces by Chris Levine.
MUSIC: Prior to becoming a Doctor I had also considered a career as a professional Concert Pianist, gaining all of my grades in Piano by the age of 13. I studied Piano with Virginia Black from the Royal College of Music from the age of 3. I still perform Piano and study with Georges Sokol.
TOPSHOP OR CHANEL: Curiously enough I won the ‘best dressed’ category in both my High-School Year Book and my University Year Book, which I never quite understood at the time! I think I have a very distinctive sense of style and I only ever wear what I feel is inherently ‘me’. I don’t follow fashion trends and I stick to what I know suits me and reflects my personality. My father always taught me to buy a few of the most elegant and well-made pieces each season within my budget rather than lots of poorly made but cheap things. I always choose well-cut, timeless pieces which are careful and considered and I think that shows sartorially throughout personal and professional life. I think my female patients identify with me as a woman when I dress in a way that conveys confidence and grace in my personal style. All of my clothes are taken off to my dry-cleaners in Chelsea to be tailored which makes all the difference to the fit. I even have my bikinis tailored! I spend a good 80 hours a week at work and so I invest in a few key pieces each season to take me through. My good friend Britt Lintner has a fabulous range of workwear at The Fold and can always be relied upon to provide me with a fantastic wardrobe full of sharp, tailored pieces for the surgery.
ONLINE SHOPPING: I don’t tend to shop for clothing online as I enjoy the experience of trying pieces on and I like the tactile experience of being in a store with an assistant who knows me to help select out pieces that I can wear or layer together. The cut and feel of the fabric is equally important to me as how it looks and I lose this experience when I shop online. I also don’t like to shop with other people as I find I can be influenced by and stray into their style territory and often return home with pieces that I probably won’t ever wear!
GEM STYLE: My preference for jewellery are timeless, classic pieces that are versatile enough to carry me through from work to evening. I am always drawn to beautiful stones that I can then combine with simple diamond pieces that I already have. I like to choose the stones in the countries of their origin and have them made for me by my jeweller in New York who has known me for over 10 years and has the most incredible eye. Sapphires from Sri Lanka or Rubies from Myanmar are the best way to shop the gems and it’s wonderful to visit a country and then have a stunning gem as a keepsake of my time travelling there. The cut and clarity of each stone always takes precedence over size for me. Sometimes the inclusions in gemstones are actually what makes the stone authentic and unique. This is in stark contrast to diamonds which need to be as flawless as possible.
TOPAZ, TANZANITE & EMERALD: I bought an absolutely stunning Topaz stone whilst travelling through Nepal and had it made into a gorgeous cocktail ring. Whenever I wear it to dinner I am reminded of my Everest expedition. Whilst in Tanzania my boyfriend at the time chose a Tanzanite stone for me which I then had made into a pair of earrings. Currently I have my eye on obtaining an Emerald as I am planning a trip to Colombia at some point this year.
MY EVERYDAY JEWELLERY: I cant wear jewellery on my hands or wrists as I spend my days examining patients, which would not be savory. But I am never without my emerald-cut diamond drop earrings. These were a gift I bought myself when I finished my Residency. They are so incredibly simple yet stunningly beautiful and add a flash of sparkle to every outfit. I am always complemented on them whenever I wear them and they have become my statement piece for everyday wear.
ROLEX OR CARTIER: My all-time favourite timepiece is my Rolex Rose-Gold Daytona. I can wear this watch to dinner with a cocktail dress or just schlepping about in my cashmere sweats at home with my kittens. I always wear this piece to work and it finishes off any outfit by adding a serious edge to otherwise feminine dresses and blouses. I think a mans watch is incredibly sexy and alluring on a womans wrist.
FINE JEWELLERY: My boyfriends in the past have always chosen beautiful pieces for me and I get almost all of my gems and diamonds made in New York as bespoke items. One of my favourite gems to wear are Sapphires and I recently received a set of sapphire drop earrings as a Christmas gift which I absolutely adore. I do not like buying jewellery at large chains like Tiffany & Co. or De Beers and would always choose to pick out a stunning stone and have it made into something unique by my jeweller in New York City. I enjoy the creative process of a bespoke piece that I can fashion into something of an heirloom for future generations.
FASHION JEWELLERY: Fashion Jewellery to me seems somewhat seasonal and I prefer to buy investment pieces in the same way that I would buy a piece of art or a beautiful home. I am not interested in trends so much. If I love something then I will buy it and wear it properly for years to come.
POWER COMES FROM: ‘Power comes from Confidence’
PERFECT GETAWAY: Bagan, Myanmar – I travelled through Myanmar over Easter with my sister and was immersed in a totally different culture for two weeks. The temples at Bagan left me absolutely stunned as I felt like we were the only people exploring the region- it is relatively still quite untouched by tourists there.
The Seychelles – I recently spent a week unwinding on North Island in The Seychelles and it just blew me away. It has forever destroyed all other holidays I will ever take as I am unsure anywhere else in the world can possibly be this beautiful!
BEAUTY ESSENTIALS: I never leave home without Malin and Goetz lip balm from SpaceNK, a NARS lip pencil and Chanel translucent pressed powder. Pretty simple, but if you take great care of your skin and hair then you really don’t need much makeup.
COACHELLA OR BURNING MAN: Burning Man obviously! Some of my greatest memories of my early twenties are at Burning Man with my closest friends from New York. The creativity and magical experience is like no other found at any other festival. I am so lucky to have some of the most incredible costume designers create bespoke pieces for me which are always so much fun to wear and dance in. My swarovski crystal bodysuit was made especially for me in 2009 by my close friend Dara Young and remains one of the most amazing pieces I have worn to date. She has hand-sewn several thousand Swarovski crystals into a body stocking that was made especially to fit my body but it takes a good 20 minutes to get into!
GEMOLOGUE by Liza Urla features exquisite global discoveries, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews – a celebration of fine jewellery, fashion jewellery and vintage jewellery.
*Photographed by Flit Photography. Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla.
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