Monday, 26 July 2010

A little something: My holiday jewels on Adorn London

As part of Adorn London's Holiday Jewels week, I was asked to contribute my key holiday pieces whether home or away. Thinking back to a fabulous barge weekend away I had earlier this summer (OK, it was a pirate-themed hen weekend, but hey it was a nice break from the pace of London!) it had to be simple and a little bit fun. So - anchors away - it could only have been my little EC One silver anchor  pendant - as seen in gold in Glamour last month - and Joanna Cave's fabulously simple tag and pearl necklace, a special graduation present from my lovely workmates. Perfect holiday jewels, whether playing sailor or sunbather.

EC One Silver Anchor necklace, and Joanna Cave tag and pearl necklace

Friday, 23 July 2010

A little something: Servane Gaxotte necklaces

I frist saw these little lovelies in Fortnum & Mason of all places. Now also stocked at Browns in London and Prey in Bath, it seems the time has come to give mention to Servane Gaxotte's necklaces. To quote my workmate Rainy, "If Tim Burton made jewellery, it'd look like that". Enough said. Now enjoy these freaky little things!


Images coursesy of

Monday, 19 July 2010

New Designers: Better late than never!

I feel terrible... I was meant to write about New Designers pretty much straight after the show but it's been a good 2 weeks now. So better late than never I guess! New Designers is an annual show for design graduates (jewellery, textiles, graphic, ceramics, furniture and so on), where design colleges and universities from around the UK come together to show off emerging talent and new ideas - so definitely an interesting one when it comes to jewellery!

 The entrance to London's Design Business Centre, home to New Designers.
Images courtesy of

To keep things short and sweet, here's a little selection of those jewellery designers who - for me - really stood out at this year's show. There was almost too much to look at, and with only an hour to make it round while the boyf waited patiently outside, I'm hoping this selection will justify just how much brilliant, high quality jewellery is being designed in the UK right now...

Nicola Grant
Resin and silicone neckpieces which shimmered like little ice sculptures. Really loved her use of colour and light through the texture of the resin and its slinky movement.

 Images courtesy of Nicola Grant

These unusual bangles and rings were pretty unmissable, taking their influence from the shapes and forms of octopus tentacles. The jewellery is designed to be playful, creating different shapes as it moves.
Images courtesy of

Formed using Rapid Prototyping techniques, Lisa'a jewellery takes freehand designs and turns them into structured, graceful necklaces and rings. Loved the industrial-meets-deco feel of her jewellery designs.

Images courtesy of

Taking inspiration from everyday objects, Alice's present collection focuses on dressmaking, and the little bits and pieces found in a 1950s sewing box. Strands of lace, empty cotton reels and fastenings all feature in her pretty yet quirky jewellery.

Images courtesy of Alice O'Neill

The soft colours of the perspex which Francesca uses in her designs really caught my eye. Along with the shapes and solid feel of her jewellery, the need to touch and pick up her work was irresistible. A great graduate from London Met's Sir John Cass jewellery school.

Images courtesy of

Based on seed pods and the natural shapes and forms found in flora and fauna, Holly's jewellery features granulation, a mix of metals and textures for jewellery which - like Francesca's - you want to hold in your hand and feel it as you wear it.

Images courtesy of

Myia's taking of the simple, ubiquitous diamond shape and turning it into over-sized jewellery was clever and also pretty. Mixing colourful perspex designs with silver and brass pieces, Myia's work explored material and shape for a bold outcome

Images courtesy of

Inspired by Paris and a love of vintage 'ephemera', Maria's jewellery designs were super detailed transformations of match boxes. Mixing oxidised silver, pearls, ribbon and paper, love letters were a theme through Maria's jewellery, as was the chance to hide little trinkets inside her work.

Images courtesy of

For the full list of exhibiting colleges and universities, take a look at the New Designers site, here.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

UK Jewellery Awards - Winners 2010

So after several months of judging and preparation the UK Jewellery Awards took place on Thursday at London's Grovesnor House Hotel. There was a rather star-studded line up at this year's awards, with familiar names and past winners including Shaun Leane, Stephen Webster, Astley Clarke and Alex Monroe, alongside new names and brands who've either had phenomenal years or have a promising future ahead...

Video from the 2009 Jewellery Awards, featuring Retail Jeweller's previous editor Sarah Carpin

So, here are the most interesting winners - some were certainly surprising, but nonetheless deserved.

Jewellery Etailer of the Year - Alex Monroe -
We all love Alex (even my Mum got treated to some lovely Hummingbird earrings a few months ago) so the award was deserved, despite being up against heavyweights including Astley Clarke and Steffans. The site has come on leaps and bounds this last year, their customer interaction is brilliant and the amount of product online is great. A little well done to the lovely Emma at Alex Monroe, and Alex himself who cycled Lands End - John O'Groats, arriving at JoG the night before the awards!

Alex... well you know where he is!


Jewellery Brand of the Year - Ti Sento
The word 'brand' will always make me shudder unfortunately, so I don't have much to say on this one. Ti Sento's campaign this year has been ubiquitous, they've featured in pretty much ever issue of Retail Jeweller that's come through my letterbox. Stephen Webster not taking the prize home, as a British brand, is a shame but it's great that a new winner has taken centre stage. And hey, at least Pandora didn't win..!

New Designer of the Year -Alexander Davis
A talented fine jewellery designer, Alexander Davis has some rather interesting rings, mixing up shapes and gemstones for an interesting effect. Unusual cuts are a big part of his work, and a background in science and engineering add to the fine lines and sculptural forms. The DNA-like ring, below, is real showstopper. Great to see some other up-and-coming designers in this category, including La Diosa, FSA and the dazzling Lauren Adriana.

Rings for Alexander Davis' 'Dendritic' Collection.
Images courtesy of

Designer of the Year - Shaun Leane
Oh Shaun. Here you are again! He's becoming a British institution when it comes to the Jewellery Awards and really with Sarah Herriot, Alex Monroe and Bobby White all vying for the prize, it's surprising that a different name didn't take it home. Shaun's Cherry Blossom collection really sums up his style - pretty yet edgy - and has been highly coveted during 2010. I do look forward to seeing with what he comes up with next...
Ring and earrings from Shaun Leane's 'Cherry Blossom' collection.
Image courtesy of

PS. The official photos haven't been released yet, but when they do I'll put some up

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

A little something: Laura Lee 'Love Unites Us' signet ring

I've always adored Laura Lee, and it's been a little while since I've written about her. Laura's gorgeous shop in Covent Garden is an absolute treasure trove and with the addition of Becca jewellery last year, her little shop is great for unusual jewellery, not to mention Laura's personal design service. But yes, these super pretty 'Love Unites Us' rings are a Laura Lee classic and a longstanding favourite of mine. Shown here in gold plated silver and sterling silver, and engraved with the French 'L'Amour Nous Unite', they're complete and utter romance in a ring.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

A little something: Daydream Nation for Peter Jensen

Pretty splash of colour and soft crochet detail make these two necklaces by Daydream Nation rather lovely summer treats. The first is called the Octopus necklace (cute, eh) and the second the Metamorphosis necklace, because rather wonderfully you can detach the pearl section and wear it as a bracelet... Head to Kabiri to snap them up in their summer sale.

Images courtesy of

Thursday, 8 July 2010

EC One Unsigned Graduate jewellery competition

A little bit of news for anyone graduating this year from a jewellery or design degree who hopes to pursue a career in jewellery design - there's a great competition on-going until September at EC One in London. Called EC One Unsigned, they're offering one winner their own shelf space this Christmas (the busiest time of year for any jewellers), along with design advice, PR and marketing and paid costs for pieces that sell.

All you have to do is enter on thier Facebook page by uploading an image and writing 100 words about the influences behind the design or collection. Pretty good, can't wait to see who wins...! See here for all the details.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Zoe & Morgan One-Day Sale

Last Wednesday the lovely girls at Zoe & Morgan organised a one-day pop up super sale, a chance to snap up present and past collections at fabulous prices, to meet the faces behind the designs and of course see the various collections side-by-side, from early designs featuring Bamboo canes to the sell-out Love Lasso ring...

 A quirky shopfront, featuring cut-out cardboard girls draped in Z&M

 Brazilian charm necklaces, far and second right, with some of the gent's designs

Ruth, the younger sister of Zoe & Morgan, who works for the brand in London

Held a stones throw from Euston station, my lovely friend Hannah who works for Z&M sent me  a text halfway through the day, saying she hoped there would be pieces left for me to see - and photograph - knowing that I was hot-footing it from work to Euston before the sale ended at 7pm. Luckily for me, there were some goodies left (not so lucky for my bank account), despite Hannah telling me of the queue outside the door before they'd even opened at 10am! Just goes to show how unusual - and coveted - Zoe & Morgan designs are!

Hannah selling, selling, selling!

My cheeky buy of the day - the silver Sugar Skull ring. Actually from the gent's collection,
I've had it made several sizes smaller to fit! Love him; reminds of like the Misfits skull!

The band is a rose stem, complete with little thorns and rose detail on the sides

Saturday, 3 July 2010

A little something: New Month, Same Philosophy...

Last month I wrote about Lindsay Pearson, specifically her 'YES' engraved necklace, which from the moment I saw it I fell in love with. With its positive message it's the perfect talisman for everyday, a little memento to have and to wear, to touch while deep in thought or - when you catch your reflection - a reminder that saying 'Yes' is rather a good thing. Eeek, I now have my very own necklace (thank you Lindsay!) and hopefully I won't take it off for a while... Especially because it looks so lovely with my little trio of Becca Jewellery charms. <3

Simple but effective!

Lindsay Pearson 'YES' necklace, alongside Becca's Rabbit & Crown charm, engraved Pia Face and Hello Petal charm.
(I put the Becca charms on my own chain)