Friday, 15 May 2009

UK Jewellery Awards 2009: Shortlist

So fast approaching is that time of year again... big names, high glamour but most importantly of all, fabulous jewellery.

The UK Jewellery Awards 2009 have released their shortlist, the categories of which include Independent Retailer of the Year, Retail Star of the Year and Young Designer of the Year. And with last year's winners including the likes of Alex Monroe, Stephen Webster and Astley Clarke (what a website!), this year's shortlist proves just as exciting.

So, let's see who's in the running...

First up, as a jewellery sales girl myself, I'm most intrigued by the Independent Retailer of the Year category. There's really quite a mix here: jewellery designer Kirsten Goss sits alongside the wholly contemporary Kabiri. Also shortlisted are Jeremy France Jewellers from Winchester, a family-founded business for a family market, selling classic diamond rings, pieces by Links of London and affordable silver for a younger crowd. Steffan's jewellers, with two shops in the midlands, are a well-marketed similarly family-oriented jewellers with a contemporary twist, selling the likes of Thomas Sabo, Monica Vinader and Shaun Leane (below).

In this category, I feel the right balance of brands may be an advantage, yet it also depends on what the clientele are looking for. London-based Nathalie Kabiri, for example, is always quick to snap-up young jewellery graduates (such as last year's Young Designer winner, Ana de Costa) for her stores, and continually pushes boundaries, attracting ever-more customers as she does. Steffan's, on the other hand, seem focused on twenty- and thirty-somethings with a bit of cash to spend on something quirky such as Stephen Webster's gargoyle cufflinks or murano glass Trollbeads (below).

Another exciting category is Best Catwalk Jewels of the Year, a chic array of all things bold and bejewelled, strutted up and down the runways at the various Fashion Weeks. Shortlisted designers include Collado Garcia, who created bodysuits studded with a myriad of Swarovski crystals. At 14kg per suit, they were likely no mean feat for the models to wear, but their futuristic beauty says it all. Anyone else fancy a Mexican sugar skull now!?

Also on the Best Catwalk Jewels shortlist is one of my favourite men's jewellery designers, Hannah Martin. At LFW she teamed up with menswear designer JW Anderson, adding chunky crucifixes to his Brideshead-meets-Velasquez clothing designs. Her rhodium-plated white gold spike ring caught my eye some time ago; it's turned typical jewellery design on its head by setting brilliant-cut rubies upside down, adding blood-red sparkling spikes to the mix. Devilish!

To check out the other nominees, take a look at the UK Jewellery Awards' website. And good luck to all those shortlisted.

1 comment:

  1. The dress is absolutely beautiful and she wears it well. Thumbs up for sure!