Friday, 16 November 2012

Off to NYC: What I can't wait to see

Next month I will finally be doing something I have long dreamed of - I'm going to the Big Apple! Being December it will be lovely and chilly - maybe even snowy - so it will feel like "proper New York", and I can't wait to wrap up warm in the multicoloured patchwork scarf my Nana knitted me when I was 18, and stroll the streets of Bleecker et al.

The reason I'm going to New York is to meet my boyfriend, who has been travelling in Central America for the last two-and-a-half months. We had planned to go to New York at some point, and no time felt like the present. And luckily for him I'm already making a long list of jewellers I'd like to visit while there.

Among those is Catbird - a jeweller whose site I love to click on to now and again to coo and want over, well, almost everything it sells. I adore its tiny letter rings and am tempted to get N & Y as a little souvenir, or maybe even a little heart.

Of course I can't go to New York without dropping in to see Alexis Bittar. The don of Lucite, and the jeweller that has fuelled my little obsession over the past few years for his colourful bangles. I own about 15 now, and the last two were purchases from the boyf the last time he was in NYC, so I cannot wait to add one (or maybe two!) more.

I've also been told that Barneys jewellery dept is a must-see. Forget Saks, Macy's, it's all about Barneys and of course its charismatic creative ambassador, the English-born Simon Doonan, who continues to work wonders at the store. Its jewellery collections are right up my street - delicate, tiny diamonds, pop colour stones and organic shapes, just like this Sara Beltran necklace.

Greenwich Jewelers also looks worth a look. It has a stunning in-house line, the Greenwich Collection, with some truly gorgeous jewels made from slices of stones, and some fabulous clashing jewellery such as the agate and cognac coloured quartz bracelet. It also stocks my favourite fine ring designer, Anne Sportun.

Of course no trip will be complete without a trip to Tiffany & Co.. At least to stand afore the window and have my photo taken. I am a tourist, after all...

Monday, 7 May 2012

A little something: Dannijo get wild and colourful

I've just returned from a lovely few days in Barcelona with the boy, before which I  bought myself a striking neon orange T-shirt from H&M in the hope that it would be lovely and sunny, which it was, though I did worry that I might end up looking a bit washed out in a colour so bright... In fact the tee has ended up being a bit of a mood brightener. I'm wearing it right now and I feel all a-glow!

Anyhow, in Barcelona we did a lot of walking around, from the top of the city down to the beach and around the little backstreets in-between. Colour was everywhere: in the regal purple flowers that grew in the dusty parks, in the colours of the Gaudi souvenirs that spilled out of shopfronts and at the cheesy but colourful nighttime fountain display at the Font Magica de Montjuic, which drew crowds of thousands marvelling at its changing lights and effervescing water while they nodded - or in one or two romantic cases, ballroom danced - along to the classical music which played in time with changing jets.

In a roundabout way this brings me to the jewels of Dannijo, which have been on my mind for a few weeks and were cemented enough for me to want to write about them when I read a little feature on the brand while on the plane. The two sisters behind the company - Danielle and Jodie Snyder - combine their individual styles to create jewellery that is still hand-made in New York and always makes a statement. With the neon and multicolour all in mind, falling for their new collection wasn't hard. Just take a look at these jewels, which you can snap up in the UK at Kabiri, Harvey Nichols and Matches.

Top - Bottom
Delfine cuff by Dannijo
Rosie earrings by Dannijo
Lila ring by Dannijo
Roe necklace as shot on model by Dannijo (image: Kabiri)

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

A little something: Hanging out with Yael & Tal

Yael & Tal is a playful jewellery brand founded only last year by Israeli jewellery graduates Yael Serfaty and Tal Salomon, who created a collection inspired by the way photography captures split-second moments, but that I adore for its sense of the everyday.

When I saw their work the phrase that came to mind was 'hoi polloi'. Not because I thought low of their designs but because they gave me a sense of the banalities of life - something rarely celebrated in jewellery. Whether it is a lone figure eating lunch on a park bench, a person sitting thinking about life or cosying up with their other half, I'm intrigued by the strangely voyeuristic feel of their jewellery.

It makes me want to take a closer look, or invent some kind of who, what, where and why story for the little characters that feature. In fact, it's like you're wearing the Borrowers.

Friday, 20 April 2012

A little something: Ruth Tomlinson diamond rings

Uh oh. I've been bad again and left it a little while since last blogging. But BaselWorld, teamed with coming back to Professional Jeweller with WatchPro now a standalone magazine has meant, naturally, life has been mad busy. And I hate to admit it, but I like my weekends away from the computer after all week, 10 hours a day, in front of one...! Phew.

So, let's talk about jewels. Look at these lovely little rings from London-based jewellery Ruth Tomlinson. She's known for her delicate use of porcelain, creating rings with petal-like, bell-shaped porcelain charms that tumble from them. But the move into 9ct and 18ct gold natural diamond-set rings is a good'un. And I love them; for their disarray, their muddled feel, the haphazard yet delicate way the stones are set. Gorgeous. 

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

A little something: Jewellery by Ineke Otte

Well jewellery has brightened my day today, having come across the sculptor and jeweller Ineke Otte, a native of Holland who takes inspiration from almost anything that comes her way. The detail, playfulness and creativity of her jewellery is like nothing else. She even uses 3D printers to create some of her pieces, such as the oversized chain necklaces, below. Try wearing a necklace made from Barbie shoes without a smile on your face... Or just take a look at more of her mad creations here, or scroll down for some of my favourites. 

Monday, 5 March 2012

A little something: the H&M crystal necklace

This little beauty caught my eye yesterday as I trawled through the rails in H&M in search of an elusive pair of black jeans (always the way, eh?). Distracted by its rainbow sparkle, I leaned in for a closer look and moments later had it my hand, on the way to the till. It's not often that I write about high street jewels, and I know this necklace nods towards the designs of two particular costume jewellers, but for £5.99 you can't go wrong. I love the punchy orange colour and the fact it's just a bit tongue-in-cheek. I'll be pairing it with a simple grey T-shirt or a contrasting bold colour, such as this cornflower blue shirt. 

Friday, 2 March 2012

Anne Sportun - my new favourite designer

When it comes to fine jewellery I can be particularly picky. But when I find something I love I don't forget it in a hurry. While clean lines and a minimal look are something I appreciate, I also love jewellery that looks as though it has been hewn, crafted and is a little bit rustic. So comes Anne Sportun, a Canadian jeweller who has been making her unique style of jewels since the tender age of 16 (back in 1981, no less). Her work is now sold across the world and is still handcrafted to this very day. With the tagline 'precious everyday' these really are jewels to adore and to wear, whatever the occasion.

A selection of 14ct white and yelow gold rings set with natural coloured diamonds,
coloured sapphires and tourmalines.

A little something: Celestial rings by Andrew Geoghegan

I'll admit, I'm a sucker for colour at the moment (well, pretty much all the time)... And with blossom on the trees, crocuses in punchy purples and oranges popping up and the birds already singing bright and early, the need to throw on some colour each morning is filtering its way into the jewels I'm wearing. Other than my beloved Alexis Bittar bangles, most of my jewellery is simply silver or gold, but these striking gemstone cocktail rings by Andrew Geoghegan are a fun way to add a splash of bright colour.

Andrew kindly loaned me some of his jewels last year, to wear during Professional Jeweller's Hot 100 party. Needless to say I've kept an eye on his creations ever since. These space-inspired Celestial rings are made with loving attention to detail and often have a contrast between the stone and metal colour, while a halo of diamonds orbits the stone. Andrew's also a big fan of rose gold and pink stones which suits me just fine (though I do love the aquamarine Celestial ring, and wait with baited to breath to see if a sapphire version ever appears...)

18ct yellow gold Celestial ring set with rose quartz
18ct rose gold Celestial ring set with sunstone
Top view of 18ct yellow gold Celestial ring set with golden rutilated quartz
18ct white gold Celestial ring set with aquamarine

Monday, 27 February 2012

A little something: Rosita Bonita leather necklaces

So it's Monday again! But at least (after the weekend's gorgeous weather) it can still be a sunny one, thanks in part to these multicoloured leather neckpieces by Rosita Bonita. They're new arrivals at EC One, where I have been helping out for the past few weeks, and also happen to be a new entry on my jewellery wishlist.

Rowena Harrison (aka Rosita Bonita) founded her jewellery brand in 2009, a few years after graduating from an illustration degree at Camberwell College of Art. Roses, hummingbirds, fruit, winged hearts, horseshoes and evil eyes feature throughout her work among a range that also includes earrings and brooches. For the more daring she also designs nipple tassles, but here's me and Rosy keeping things a little more covered up with some neckpieces (for the time being, least..!)

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Designer: Sophie Bille Brahe

I have to thank a friend of mine (she knows who she is!) for introducing me to Sophie Bille Brahe's work, and getting me down to London Fashion Week - more of that to follow - in time to get around the Exhibition and the British Fashion Council's Rock Vault space earlier this week. It was there that I managed to catch a glimpse of Sophie's work before the doors closed at 7pm and I wasn't disappointed, not even with just a momentary chance to view her work.

It's designers like Sophie, a graduate of London’s Royal College of Art, that bridge the gap between fine jewellery and avant-garde design. She's one of a handful of talents pushing their way into the UK jewellery scene and someone I'll be keeping an eye on this year. 

Her designs have won her accolades from fashion magazines worldwide and, in her own words, adorn inspiring women. It is her Scandinavian background that also paves the way for her sharp design set - a cross-over of clean lines and architectural shapes with more natural forms such as birds or those with celestial connotations. Beautiful. 

Palais des Escaliers ring in 18ct gold with diamonds
Palais d’Émeraude ring in 18ct gold with emerald and diamonds
Pavillon Fenetres ring in silver with a single diamond
Lyra ring in 18ct gold with diamonds
Petit Hibou and Petit Hibou Pirate necklaces (cute!) in 18ct gold with a diamond
Rideaux Simples and Rideaux Louise ear cuffs in 18ct gold and diamonds

Monday, 20 February 2012

The Pear Pearl (and others!) by Lindsay Pearson

So OK, OK, I know I get into a habit of writing about the designers I love, but hey, if they keep making gorgeous jewels I will keep writing! Once more it's the turn of Lindsay Pearson, the designer of my much-adored YES necklace, a silver ode to all things positive. I wear it a lot but it's also my talisman for days when I know things might be a little tough.

Step up her Pear Pearl. This pretty 9ct gold chain falls to a Tahitian pearl drop, styled to look like a little pear, complete with leaf and stalk. I think Lindsay might have even worn a Pear Pearl on her wedding day... Pictured here also are some of her most recent designs, the Hope & Anchor necklace and her little initial coin necklace (worn here with the Pear Pearl and Hope & Anchor necklace), both in 9ct gold. Beautiful, accessible, something to personalise and treasure. She runs with the tagline 'jewellery forever' and I certainly believe her.

Designer: Rachel Entwistle

Spooky, kooky but also elegant, Rachel Entwistle's jewellery caught my eye last September at IJL. I wandered past her stand and did a double take - something she says is a classic reaction to her arachnid and entymology-inspired jewels. At first glance they appear to be sweeping silver, oxidised and vintage chains with an air of Deco but a closer look reveals little spiders, ants, bats and beetles crawling their way up the chains.

Though Entwistle's style was led by themes of flora and fauna in past collections, her newest ranges (Arachne, Formica and Chiroptera - of course) take the darker side of what's to be found in your garden and injects them with some beauty. It's a bit like shaking up the pretty-pretty side of what Alex Monroe has become known for. But the differences exist; Entwistle uses vintage chains from old pieces of jewellery and has also spent a great deal of time working overseas in Mexico and Nicaragua, teaching jewellery making to orphans. What a nice touch.

Formica ant bracelet
Arachne long black spider earrings
Arachne black spider multichain necklace