Monday, 29 August 2011

Fantasy Payday

I first spotted Stone jewellery in Liberty a few months ago, and I immediately loved their incredibly small, delicate pieces; fragile and pretty with milgrain edges and the tiniest of diamonds.

On finding their Precious diamond necklace while browsing Net-a-Porter, however, my allegiance has switched. As summer draws to a close and attentions shift to the styles of Autumn/Winter, their larger pieces now feel right - and none more so than this long, statement pendant;

The dramatic motif, milgrain edging and dark rhodium plating makes this piece beautifully brooding. I can just picture it resting upon layers of lace camis, silk blouses and long cashmere cardigans... cosy, theatrical, striking.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Love Magazine - The Jewellery Shoot

Apologies for the late posting - I have spent the last week in the depths of Cornwall, taking long walks, enjoying the sunshine and gathering inspiration for my design work. I've also been catching up on some reading, including the latest issue of Love magazine, whose six beautiful covers alone have been embraced by the fashion blogging commumity.


The magazine features a wonderfully simple jewellery shoot - A Touch of Enchantment - which eschews fancy props and scenery in favour of displaying ornate jewels on the 'hands of those that have lived'.


The shoot works aesthically thanks to the contrast of the smooth, diamond-studded rings against the soft, imperfect surface of wrinkled skin. But there is also something so right and - in the words of the magazine - powerful about the pairing.

David Morris

On younger fingers, David Morris' rocks would look ostentatious, even fake. But on older skin they look earnt, just as the Cartier triple ring looks like it comes with a lifetime of memories.

Such a simply executed concept, so beautiful and effective.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Design - from a Designer's Perspective

While at the Swarovski GemVisions presentation a few months ago, I had a brief conversation with Maia of Adorn/The Bibelotphile about the jewellery brands I admired and – from a designer’s perspective – why. It was a question I found very interesting, so I thought I’d use a post here to cover a few of the main areas that gets me really excited in jewellery design...

If you use the Google sidebar on the right of this blog you’ll see just how much the word appears in my posts, but I really do believe that detail is everything. I don’t necessarily mean detailed, but the extra lengths designers go to to elevate their pieces to something really special, whether it be in eschewing ordinary findings or making sure the unseen back of a piece is just as beautiful as the front. Another example is my Shaun Leane ring – the thorny, branch-like band makes the shank an integral part of the design.

Zoe and Morgan are a brand that really take the details seriously – their pendants and bracelets fasten with custom-designed t-bar fixtures, often at the side of the neck so they too can be seen. Their ring shanks almost always feature a texture or design details, and they have recently created some stone set cuffs that work worn either inside or out.

In a market saturated with new designers trying to make their mark, having a strong signature makes a brand's jewellery memorable and recognisable, and I personally love it when a designer’s style is strong and individual enough to be recognisable even in a piece you have never seen before. Collections can be wildly different and stem from very different inspirations, but there’s always something – however hard to identify – that marks each piece out as the work of their designer.

Hannah Martin's work is a wonderful example of this. There’s a certain weight and finish to her pieces that identify them as hers, even before you begin to explore her very individual inspirations. She’s carved out a unique and personal niche within the industry, and whether her pieces have strong straight lines or chunky curves, they are unmistakably Hannah Martin.

Just when you think every way of setting a stone has been done, every surface decoration explored or every new material utilised, a designer comes along who does something completely original. It's one of the things which makes this industry so exciting - you go to a show and speak to a jeweller who has created their own alloys or a new manufacturing technique, or has developed a fresh, completely unique design style.

Solange Azagury Partridge attributes her ability to break boundaries to the fact she is not formally trained in jewellery, so her design ideas are never constrained by believing if something is actually possible. Solange A-P originality lies in both her design style and her techniques - she is unafraid to add seriously quirky humour to seriously pricey fine jewellery, and innovates with clever kinetic inventions and revival of traditional enamelling on modern designs.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Links for the Week

Here's what has been piquing my interest this week across the web...

 - See Hannah Martin's Facebook page for this stunning, one-off version of her Shamans Triangle Ring;

 - The NY Times explores Delfina Delettrez's inspirations...

 - There's some pretty stunning neckwear in this R29 slideshow;

 - And finally; new brand Chavin has launched their ethical collection - a collaboration with Ana de Costa. Ana is known for her exotic, travel-fuelled inspiration, and the motifs in this collection are true to that - albeit in far more literal, less sophisticated designs that her fine jewellery. Classic motifs such as jaguar heads are sure to be popular, and adding more choice to the ethical jewellery market is always positive.

Photos copyright Hannah Martin and Refinery 29 - please see links in post.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Fantasy Payday - Ana De Costa

Regular readers will already know that Gold Threads loves a bit of Ana De Costa, so I was surprised and delighted in equal measure to come across a piece from her Alchemy collection that I had never actually seen before.
There’s a few specific reasons why I love this piece. For a start, Ana has elevated amber from a 'craft market' stone to the centrepiece of a beautifully designed pendant. The details in the piece are what make it; the unusual, sophisticated colours of the muted yellow stones with the blackened silver, the little sun detail on the chain.
And finally, with the excuse for a summer the UK has been having, I’d just love to add a bit of such sophisticated sunshine to my jewellery box.
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