Sunday, 7 July 2013

Isabelle Rowe - Fine Jewellery, Fine Site

Self-described fine jeweller and romantic Isabelle Rowe has one of those websites where just about everything is a visual treat.

Rowe presents pieces which perfectly walk the tricky line between clean and detailed; beautiful flourishes and delicate design features within a perfectly polished whole.

Rowe's equally immaculate site reflects and emphasises the delicate details of these pieces, with a restrained smattering of borders and graphics that help communicate the stories and sentiments behind her work and brand.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Graduate (Graphic) Designer - Lone Bru Kjær's 'Jewellery Box'

A few weeks ago, our office was stirred by the delivery of Assouline's Impossible Collection of Jewellery. This huge, heavy, luxuriously presented book is filled with photographs and studies of the most magnificent pieces of fine jewellery - a fantasy fine-jewellery box as imagined by Vivienne Becker.

So while perusing the Sir John Cass degree show last week,  I was intrigued by a piece of work from BA Graphic Design student Lone Bru Kjær.

(click to enlarge)
Her 'Jewellery Box' - a magazine like book housed in a neon orange, laser-cut acrylic box - feels like the 'street' version of the Assouline tome. Kjær's book predominately features features photographs of pieces being worn - jewellery in context, part of a style ensemble.

(click to enlarge)
Where Becker's book explores the design, craftsmanship, materials and history behind individual pieces of jewellery, Kjær's book offers a kind of social commentary into the wearing of jewellery as a whole; with interviews and short essays exploring both the aesthetic and emotional impact of various styles and types of jewellery.

(click to enlarge)
While both publications are entirely different (for a multitude of very obvious reasons), they explore two equally valid and significant angles - both the style and the substance of jewellery, if you will.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Graduate Designer 2013 - Byulna Yoo

If you're a follower on Twitter or Instagram*, you'll have seen that yesterday I spent a day in the capital checking out the city's degree shows. Degree shows offer a wonderful opportunity not only to view finished works from the next wave of new designers, but to peruse sketchbooks and statements, to delve into the concepts and processes behind the physical creations.

The freedom to be conceptual, experimental - even controversial - is a key and often unique facet of student design, but a too-often seen danger is that beauty, wearability or execution is sacrificed to the desire for an original or outlandish message. At last year's shows I was impressed by work that beautifully balanced concept with skilful and successful design, and I was hoping for more of the same from this summer's crop of designers.

Although I was perhaps less taken en-masse by this year's offerings, there were still some excellent stand-outs - beginning with Byulna Yoo, who's Multiplicity collection was one of the highlights from CSM's MA and BA courses.

Seamlessly combining natural and structural inspirations and forms, her rings of crisp, clustered components are striking and unique. As strong as the concepts behind her pieces are, the aesthetics and finish of the pieces are beautifully realised - Yoo having even considered the crucial commercial/diffusion potential for the collection;

I was also struck by how the delicate metal structures create the sense of high-end, fine jewellery with minimal use of any stones at all - let alone a seemingly prerequisite dusting of diamonds.

*The latter is, admittedly, unlikely, given that I've only just fathomed how Instagram really works...

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Fantasy Payday - Sevan Bicakci

Sevan Bicakci's gold and diamond bird earrings are just wonderful from every angle, from their beautifully subdued blackened settings to their subtly textured stomachs;

In those fleeting days of summer we've had so far, I've been living in embroidered white cotton and beaten-up black leather - to which these clever, quietly luxurious earrings would be the perfect foil...

Saturday, 8 June 2013

New Collection: Rosie Sanders - Renaissance Rebel

I'm off to the first wedding of the summer this afternoon, and wishing I had a couple of Rosie Sanders' Renaissance Rebel pieces in my accessories arsenal...

The signet is a slowly-growing ring trend that a few designers are reinventing to stylish effect - see herehere, Hannah Martin's empty sovereigns and Smith/Grey's Ivy Noir.

Rosie Sanders' version is no exception, the form and weight of the traditional style made unique with a curvaceous, feminine frame.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Victoria Kelsey - Precious Grime

Jewellery inspired by old or broken things is most definitely 'in vogue' - edge and interest created by turning something discarded into something beautiful.

But pieces inspired by the actual dirt and dust that covers these things? That's a a pretty unusual inspiration. So when her lookbook landed in my inbox this week, I was interested to see just how Victoria Kelsey had made filth and grime 'precious'.

In exaggerating the effect and concept of dust, Kelsey's turned her less-than-salubrious inspiration material into something soft and symbolic - tactile, polished growths of metal creeping over fingers, stones, even sunglasses.
Kelsey's range contains jewellery of all scales and price points, and while the concept translates neatly in pieces of all sizes, my favourites are those of a larger scale - such as the Imogen Belfield-esque knuckle dusters and the wonderfully inventive eyewear. 

The sense of dust and grime growing and overtaking is palpable, but from a distance the effect is an ornate, almost baroque, aesthetic - a 'double-take' effect I love.

You can find Victoria Kelsey's work (and more fabulous photos of her graduate collection) here -

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Basel 2013 - The Stands

With a glossy new exhibition space to fill, many brands had gone all out on the design of their stands this year  -  refreshing the spaces seen in previous years and introducing innovative detail to already impressive scale.

Dominating their hall was the twinkling, Tokujin Yoshioka-designed Swarovski stand, tiny LED lights flashing amongst the faceted silver walls. 

However the favourite had to be Citizen's efforts, their stand inviting and almost magical amongst a golden curtain of 50,000 watch parts;

(Click to enlarge all images. Also see here  - if you can get past Google translate - for further reading...)
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