Thursday, 29 September 2011

Fashion Month II - Collaborations

Biased perhaps by the fact that I love both of these designer's work personally, I found Lara Bohinc's jewels the perfect match for the Temperley London catwalk. I love both designers for their 'tough bohemian' aesthetic, and each of Bohinc's pieces, although not specifically designed or customised for the Temperley catwalk, set off the outfit it accompanied in either colour, form or material.

It took me a few seconds to realise who had designed the jewellery for the Louise Amstrup show - I knew I recognised the design of those pendants but not the neon orange material... Here, Hannah Martin's signature claw/clasp necklaces have been re-imagined in solid opaque colour - white, navy and orange shades setting off the colours of the catwalk and adding a uniformity throughout. I love the long layered pendants - looking minimalist and sleek as opposed to 'hippy' - and the pop of a colourful clasp worn at the collarbone.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Fantasy Payday - Jemma Wynne

Showing that jewellery doesn't have to be plain to be all about the stones, the design duo behind Jemma Wynne create jewellery that showcases both original design and the incredible colours and properties of edgily-cut gemstones.
If I had my way this fantasy payday, I'd commission a spiky, irregular collar necklace of multi-hued tourmalines, and just maybe a pair of earrings, too...

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Fashion Month Jewellery - Part I

I don't know about anyone else, but I've found the jewellery featured on this season's catwalks distinctly underwhelming. However I was taken by the harmonious and enhancing effect jewellery had on the following two collections...

Mark Fast's layered ethnic-style gold necklaces to sleek effect, reflecting the fluidity of his collection and adding a warm glow to the neutral colour palette.

Felder Felder's leather and metal harness/chokers were predictably bondage in black, but in pastel leathers worked perfectly - breaking up expanses of fabric and flesh with graphic lines and texture.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

JFW Shoot - Smart/Casual

If you don't mind waiting for your magazines, excellent jewellery publication JFW publishes their previous issues on their website for virtual-flicking through.

It also means I can share this shot from their summer jewellery shoot with you;

I love the thought of price-on-application diamond necklace worn with a kaftan (even if that kaftan is Missoni...)

Saturday, 17 September 2011

For the Ears: Line & Jo

If there's one sort of jewellery I am really into at the moment, it's earrings - and the seemingly endless possible ways there are to make a statement with your earlobes.

Danish brand Line & Jo have the most amazing selection of interesting-but-pretty earwear; studs, drops, cuffs, spears and so forth...
Everything is finished with that attention detail I always appreciate - from a decorative edge on a simple ear cuff to lengths of dangling chain or a perfectly distressed ruthinium finish.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

IJL - Face Value

There's some jewellery which, taken at face value, is utterly beautiful and unique simply for its design. But delve a little deeper into the inspirations behind it, and the jewellery takes on a new meaning and significance...

Leyla Abdollahi's jewellery is bewitching; sinuous, stone-set forms, intriguing curves and sumptuous colour combinations. That would be enough, but the story behind the collection makes it even more captivating; the range is based upon the Okanides - female water nymphs of Greek mythology.

Each piece represents a nymph, their stories, powers and gifts reflected in the colours and forms of the jewellery. With pieces like this you wonder, which to go for... the most pleasing design or the most enchanting story?

Fernando Jorge's inspirations are a little more arresting - his specially cut stones take on a whole new life when you discover the true meanings behind their shapes. Concerned with sexuality and the human form, his inspirations are subtly revealed in the names of his beautifully designed and crafted collections - such as 'Swallow' (left) and 'Cheeky';

Sunday, 11 September 2011

IJL - Most Wanted

The second installment of my IJL report focuses on just the one brand - specifically the one of which I genuinely could have bought and worn every single piece.

Maria Black's stand was immediately striking, her graphic pieces laid out in gold and black only. Her jewellery is simple and strong - straight lines, spiky 3d forms, studs and circles - but has been designed with the utmost attention to how everything fits and works together.

Ear cuffs feature little jump rings on the end of the dangling chains so they can be hooked through the back of an earring. Rings can be worn alone, or with a smaller sister on the top of the finger. Bulbous, rounded rings offset edgy studs, while the tiniest little stars and pretty padlocks add an injection of detail and pattern to the clean lines of the plainer pieces.

With just a pair of jeans and a t-shirt as a backdrop, you could use these pieces to convey any sort of look, any personality you wanted. A single statement ring on one hand for a clean, fashion-y look. An ear full of cuffs, chains and studs for a tough look. Layered bangles and little pendants for a creative, hippy feel... Clever, transformative and cohesive - a really brilliant range.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

IJL 2011 - Innovative Details

So, IJL is at an end once again! This year I had quite a different show experience, as quite a lot of my time was spent in meetings. This meant less pounding the aisles visiting each and every stand, and more focusing in on the most interesting stands - making time for plenty of discussion and chat with the exhibitors. I've decided to group my favourites under a few categories and explore them one by one - starting with;

Innovative Details...

The personalisation trend shows no sign of abating, but there's definitely a certain wariness of charm bead brands and their like. Many of the commercial suppliers showed all sorts of complicated inventions designed to capture this market in new ways, with an array of clipping, screwing and slotting components.
The innovations I was taken by, however, where those of the utmost simplicity - such as Poly Philippou's one-piece Sculptural cufflinks, above. These minimalist, masculine forms are a clever and sleek realisation of the designer's desire to create cufflinks with no fiddly moving parts.
One of the designers I most enjoyed chatting with in the KickStart area was Doreth Jones. I really enjoyed her tales of experiments and her hands-on design process - new designs and inventions organically developing from each other as she works.

One piece really stood out for me; a chunky, faceted bangle (like the rings above) in satin textured gold, lifted by a gorgeous minty-blue resin inside. Using the resin to fill the scooped-out inner had originally developed from the need to reduce the metal weight of a heavy piece, but her experiments in filling the resulting void has created a beauifully simple, effective aesthetic.

I also loved Des Doyle's simple Egg Charm pendant; a simple and tactile form made special by the unusual point at which it hangs, perfectly balanced and proportioned.

I've mentioned K.I.S.S before and I think it applies here too. Clever ideas simply executed can often make for far more memorable and impressive results than convoluted and complicated inventions that may well prove hard, even confusing, to convey to a potential customer.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Borrowed from the Boys

If there's one thing I envy men for in jewellery wearing, it's cufflinks.

How amazing would these gorgeous pieces look punctuating a women's black silk shirt, or a full-sleeved ivory blouse?

Clockwise from Left: Sho London Origami Cufflinks, Laura Gravestock Promise Cufflinks, Violet Darkling Owlskull Cufflinks, Jane Gowans Jasper Cufflinks

Instead, the only shirts women get to wear cufflinks with seem to be the classic, starched corporate ones - so I guess this is one I'll have to leave to the boys...

Saturday, 3 September 2011

That Time of Year Again... International Jewellery London

I'm sure you can't have failed to notice, but IJL starts tomorrow; four days of discovering new designers and pieces, soaking up inspiration and exploring the trends that are going to be relevant in the year to come. Friday at work was a whirl of deadlines and last minute preparations, so it is going to be lovely to enjoy the show and take in all the hard work and creativity of our industry.

I'm heading down tomorrow, and this year I'm particularly looking forward to;

- talks from Maia Adams and Elizabeth Galton.

- seeing up close the winners of the Lonmin Design Innovation Award, such as Leyla Abdollahi's piece (above).

- exploring new talent at the Kick Start/ Bright Young Gems stand - in particular, Gina Melosi's striking work (above).

A full report will, of course, follow next week. And, if anyone else who is going or exhibiting can suggest more unmissable events or stands, please feel free to comment below...!
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