Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Sun is shining with LauraLaura

Blue skies! London has had some glorious weather these past weeks; as I walked to the tube station this morning the tulips were towering high, heads of red, pink, yellow and orange. A little bit of something tropical (and Dutch) had hit Bethnal Green, and made me feel pretty drab in my black jeans and oversized shirt. Still, LauraLaura's bangles are the perfect antidote to feeling dull; I've featured her jewellery before on Like Gold Dust, and feel 'tis definitely the season again!

Ps. Check out Laura's knitwear too... there's some pieces en Francais, which I am rather in love with!

Monday, 26 April 2010

A little something: Made's Hasina necklace

It's lunchtime, and chance to get a quick post out having spotted this striking necklace on Made's site. All of the jewellery sold by Made is designed by influential names, with the materials sourced and the jewellery made entirely in East Africa. Then sold through Made, the profits give the makers a fair wage and help them break from the cycle of poverty. It's a big scheme, but one which has been working well for several years now.

The Hasina necklace is a great example of the pieces you can expect from Made. Designed by Pippa Small for the MU (Made Unique) collection, the necklace is 9ct gold plated brass, with recycled glass beads. Kind of tribal, kind of like little petals. Lovely!

Made Unique's 'Hasina' Necklace, designed by Pippa Small. Images courtesy of Made UK

Sunday, 25 April 2010

A little something: Jewellery By Boe

Today has been a lazy day, so today will be a quick blog post to fit with my mood. Strangely it's been the London Marathon which means for many, their day has been the entire opposite of mine. Back to the jewellery however, I'm finally writing having spotted By Boe's jewellery a few weeks back and then noticing it crop up in a few magazines. So long overdue, here's a brief account of all things gorgeous from this American jewellery designer

Founded in 2000, By Boe is a jewellery collection by Annika and Philipe Salame, originally made and sold in Annika's workshop in New York's Upper East Side, and today found the world over. Mixing Annika and Philipe's Scandinavian roots with a love for architecture, Saudi Arabian dressmaking and Parsons educations, their designs are quirky, dainty and very covetable indeed.

Made in sterling silver and 14ct gold fill (silver with a fine layer of gold rolled over the top), the jewellery is the most affordable I have seen for a time, but of course that's not everything. The styling is simple - bows, circles, squares, knots, alphabet letters, flowers and chains. It's super delicate but perfect for layering up - pretty much everything the jewellery in New York has been about recently, and something I've noticed has crossed the pond to London. 

I'm not a big earrings person, but By Boe's are - like the rest of their designs - wearable. Whether bridal or day wear, the shapes are everything. Simple studs or daring, lengthy drop earrings, I could probably have any of these and be happy! Shop in the UK at Red Ruby Rouge - I'll be keeping an eye out for most stockists, for sure!


Thursday, 22 April 2010

A little something: Grace Kelly's jewellery style on Adorn London

Another blog post written for Adorn London, this time to coincide with the V&A's brilliant new exhibit celebrating the life and style of the inimitable Grace Kelly. 

Grace wearing her 10.47ct Emerald-cut diamond engagement ring. Image courtesy of Watch Avenue

Jewellery was a large part of Grace Kelly's life, both in marriage and her film roles (consider To Catch a Thief), and the new exhibit gives a glimpse into the grandeur of Grace's style. Beautiful dresses, her own Kelly bag, and sunglasses in all shapes and sizes. Of course the jewellery was what interested me and what the Adorn blog post is all about. Read it in full here, or book tickets for the V&A exhibition here.
Grace Kelly, photographed by Virgil Apger. Image courtesy of AliceJapan

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Designer: Lua Lua

Lua Lua's jewellery designs make me happy; bright colours, geometric shapes, attitude and beauty. Made by Justyna Niewiara, a History of Art student turned jewellery designer, the collections merge the tactile nature of perspex with sterling silver, creating futuristic yet wearable designs, vivid in colour and clean in line...
Justyna Niewiara, the designer behind Lua Lua

Cosmos Bangle in silver and perspex, by Lua Lua

Large Black Triangle necklace, by Lua Lua

The first thing that drew me to Lua Lua's designs was the necklace, below, which - in its rainbow colours and sharp shape - reminded me of a modern-day ruff collar. Kind of jester-like, summery, fun. The simple perspex forms are only accentuated by the bold primary colours. All you need is a black or white tshirt, some beaten, old hi-tops and the look's pretty much done.


To see more of Lua Lua this summer, Justyna will be at Treasure jewellery show during London Jewellery Week in June. Her pieces can also been found at the Tate Modern, as part of the Van Doesburg and the International Avant-Garde exhibition. You can also shop online here.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Designer: Coco Kato

I've been wiling away the hours recently with lots of books; something I go through phases with. I might not read for six months, and then consume 5 or 6 books in half that time. The one I'm reading at present - Brooklyn by Colm Toibin - is the beautifully written story of Eilis, a young girl who leaves her small Irish home town for 1950s America. She lands a job in an Italian clothing store, where the customers, their clothes, those worn by her sister and her housemates are all richly described. As a result, I keep thinking back to Madame Bovary, a book which delights in detailing the silks, lace, embroidery and fine leathers which Emma Bovary finds herself insatiably drawn to...

Flowering Pearl necklace, by Coco Kato. Image courtesy of Coco Kato

So in a round about way, this brings me to Coco Kato (aka Ikuko Kato), a London-based designer who uses silks and fabrics in her jewellery to create elegant, playful and versatile pieces that you could probably spend hours just touching, running through your fingers and ultimately admiring. A little reminiscent of those Degas paintings...

Flowering Pearl necklace, with silk ribbon and Japanese pearls, by Coco Kato. Image courtesy of Coco Kato.

Flowering Basket hoop earring, made with silk and Japanese pearl.s Image courtesy of Coco Kato.

Flowering Pearl necklace in grey and sky blue, with white Japanes pearls. Image courtesy of Coco Kato.

Ikuko's use of pearls exemplifies her Japanese heritage and upbringing, adding to the sugary sweetness of her work. Her use of mixed materials and has won her the accolade of ‘Designer of the Year’ from the Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo. Perfect with a pastel dress, but no doubt just as fabulous with old Converse and a grey jersey tee...