Friday, 26 June 2009

Retail Jeweller... and beyond!

The last few weeks have been a busy old time, and ooops I've neglected Like Gold Dust again... My apologies! But things are back on track and, following the rest of my time at Retail Jeweller, I'm now able to start writing again.
So, Retail Jeweller was a really great experience; I got to do some writing both for the site and the magazine, put faces to names and meet some new ones as each day passed. Yesterday my copy of the July issue - the one I worked on - came in the post and it was a great feeling to see my name in print. I might just take Sarah, Frances and Rachael up on their offer of going back...!

Back to the jewellery, then. The last few weeks, with SS09 in full swing, new designers and new summer-inspired jewellery has hit the shops. Of these I've been excited by Kabiri's new arrival, Lauralaura, whose fabric-covered bangles are a step above those on ASOS and in Accessorize.

Large 'Painter' and medium 'Meadow' fabric-covered bangles by Lauralaura. Images courtesy of Kabiri

I'm a bit of a florals fan, or should I say I'm a fan of anything where a lot of colours are clashing in an unusual pattern. So Lauralaura's bangles are definitely on my wishlist come pay day!

At the opposite end of the scale, I've fallen totally in love with Tom Rucker's platinum Geo collection. His pieces have been displayed in-store at EC One's Exmouth Market branch for the past couple of weeks, in an ongoing exhibit since Coutts London Jewellery Week. Tom's German roots are evident in his work; the pieces in the Geo collection are laser-welded, demanding hours of work from Tom but creating truly unique pieces. I especially love the Geo Galaxy platinum earrings, and the Wired Moon rings, below. Stunning.

Geo Moon gent's ring and Geo Galaxy earrings, both in platinum by Tom Rucker. Images courtesy of Tom Rucker

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Retail Jeweller: My internship so far

Currently I'm halfway through a 3-week internship with Retail Jeweller magazine, and so far it's been really rather interesting.

June 2009 Issue. Image courtesy of Retail Jeweller

With the Coutts London Jewellery Week well underway, tube strikes, 30th birthdays and - of course - lots of gorgeous jewellery to write about, I'm rather enjoying the experience. I never realised just how small a team was behind the monthly magazine; there's the editor, Sarah Carpin, deputy editor Frances and news and online editor Rachael. Those three lovely ladies write the bulk of the magazine themselves (as well as their blog), with only the layout and advertising arranged separately.

The iconic Greater London House - home to Retail Jeweller and Emap. Image courtesy of Property Week.

Having done an English degree, and having worked in jewellery retail for the past seven years (and counting!), I felt the magazine might be a good chance to see whether combining the two loves of my life (cringe!) would be as good as it sounds. From what I've learnt so far, I've still got a long way to go if I wanted to make a career out of it... and there's a great deal of dedication involved - I really admire how hard the RJ girls work!

Monday, 8 June 2009

Just a quick one....

So I just logged on to Astley Clarke to check out the new additions to their site... and I was so astounded by the new Peacock collection by Pippa Small that I felt inclined to write a quick post.

The collection - which is exclusive to Astley Clarke - features fabulous 18ct gold peacock design pieces, set with shimmering labradorite. The stone was selected for its iridescent peacock-like colours; just one stone can vary in colour from deep grey, to vivid blue or even acid green.

18ct gold and labradorite Peacock necklace by Pippa Small. Photo courtesy of Astley Clarke

I adore labradorite, but sadly the Peacock collection is not recession-friendly; the 'cheapest' piece is a ring, at £2,200... whilst I did a double take at the price of the bangle - an eye-popping £14,000. Maybe I'll put it on my Christmas list... Christmas 2019, that is!

18ct yellow gold and labradorite bangle, by Pippa Small. Photo courtesy of Astley Clarke

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Coutts London Jewellery Week: 8th-14th June 2009

So with less than a week until the launch of this year's Coutts London Jewellery Week, I thought I'd give you all a glimpse of the events to be held across the capital in celebration of all that glitters.

Image courtesy of Coutts London Jewellery Week

There's plenty going on - from in-store events and exhibitions, to jewellery-making workshops and valuation events. Here's my pick of the goings-on...

Monday 8th June

Make sure you check out Shaun Leane's celebration of his 10th anniversary, where he will be launching a new collection. The event, entitled 10x, can be found in the jewellery room at Selfridges, Oxford Street and will be in-situ all week.

Recent jewellery graduates of Central St Martins will be hosting an open studio event, commencing on the 8th. They will be selling their own designs, so make sure you drop in - you might be the first to discover the future of British jewellery designing and making!

Tuesday 9th June

Online retailer Astley Clarke will be hosting an open house event during London Jewellery Week, where they will be showcasing their current web collections and never before seen collaboration between themselves and Osman Yousefzada. A great chance to see Astley Clarke's jewellery 'in the flesh'.

Ana de Costa and Kabiri have joined forces to present a retrospective of the young designer work, The Story So Far... Kabiri will be using their Covent Garden store as a space to present sketchbooks, photographs, prototypes and finished pieces of Ana's work.

Jade, diamond and white gold chain earrings by Ana de Costa. Image courtesy of Kabiri

Wednesday 10th June

The Belgravia Jewellery Treasure Hunt will be giving locals and passers-by the chance to win a fabulous - and secret - jewellery prize. All you have to do is visit four jewellery shops in the area (including Erickson Beamon and De Vroomen) and with a beady eye spot the 'odd piece out'. Entries will be put into a draw, with the winner announced at the Elizabeth Street Carnival, also on Wednesday 10th.

If you find yourself on the other side of London on Wednesday, head to the Alice in Londonland exhibition, a showcase of contemporary jewellery from designers including William Cheshire and Tomasz Donocik. Situated a stone's throw from Old Street, this exhibit is sure to attract the discerning Shoreditch crowd.

Thursday 11th June

Thursday seems like the busiest day of the week, so make sure you plan ahead! There's an interesting event tailored to those interested in ethical jewellery. The Green Gold exhibition, a stone's throw from Russell Square, will feature ethically sourced gold and fairly traded gemstones from Colombia. Certainly worth a look for the designs by Stacey Whale.

Later on Thursday, EC One in Notting Hill will be holding an evening dedicated to last year's jewellery Designer of the Year, Alex Monroe. Drop in for a glass or two of champagne and a chance to view Alex's new collection, with a special discount on the evening. See you there!

Gold-plated Bird & Nest ring by Alex Monroe. Image courtesy of Alex Monroe

Friday 12th June

Friday is the first day of Treasure, one of the central attractions of this year's CLJW. The event will be held in the flower cellars below Covent Garden market. There's a large number of designers exhibiting at Treasure, notably Francesca Sibylla Augusta FSA, Sarah Herriot (previously featured on Like Gold Dust), and Jason French. Plenty of sparkle guaranteed!

If you visit Treasure on Friday or Saturday, make sure you head Laura Lee's majestic boutique around the corner on Monmouth Street. Laura will will be presenting her autumn/winter collection Because the Night. I'm a big fan of her playful signet rings. Inspiring stuff!

Saturday 13th June

Show your support for current jewellery students by visiting the Mary Ward Centre Student Show on Saturday afternoon. The show will feature rings crafted from a whole host of materials, from precious metals to fabric and even paper. If rings are your thing, then this one's for you!

If you're interested in seeing jewellers at work, then head to arts hub that is Camberwell, where Flux Studios will be opening their doors to the public. Jewellery demonstrations are the attraction of the day; if you've never seen a jeweller's workbench then this event is a must: a great chance to understand the processes involved in jewellery making.

Rose gold and black diamond ring by FSA. Image courtesy of FSA

Sunday 14th June

After a week of busy jewellery activities, you'll likely need a bit of a break. Afternoon DeLight by Pomellato is a treat fit for any discerning jewellery lover. The Met Bar has designed a special menu of inspired by Pomellato's sugary-sweet jewels. Surely I'm not the only one tempted by the sound of "cupcakes in a glittering array of bright colours, adorned with edible gems, and hand-made dark chocolate macaroons"... thought not!

Rose gold stone set rings by Pomellato. Image courtesy of Butterboom