Tuesday, 31 January 2012

A little something: Van Cleef's Oiseaux Amoreaux

Last week, with things looking a bit overcast ahead of this chilly snap that we're now experiencing (blimey, have you been outside today? Sheesh...) these courting love birds arrived in my inbox. Normally I don't sway too much towards things sent to me by PRs, unless it's for work of course, but this new collection from Van Cleef  & Arpels brightened up my day so much that I couldn't resist writing about them. 

Crafted with turquoise beads, multi-coloured sapphires (always a favourite of mine), emeralds, tsavorite garnets and set in white and rose gold and studded with round, pear-shaped and baguette-cut diamonds, the Couleurs de Paradis high jewellery collection really is a sight to behold. Tweet tweet my lovelies.

Friday, 20 January 2012

A little something: Sugar skull necklace by Basia

Those of you who know me will know I have worn a Zoe & Morgan sugar skull style ring every day for a couple of years now. It's a men's ring but with a little re-size it's become a part of me, and I only take it off to sleep (its thorny shank, based on a rose stem, makes it a little spiky when you want to get cosy).

Imagine how thrilled I was then, when last week I met up with my gorgeous work mates from my old stomping ground EC One, and was given this sterling silver beauty by Basia, one of EC One's long-term superstars, who's just got herself a job at Asprey. Complete with ruby eyes and a cheeky smile I haven't taken him off for more than a week. And I don't plan to. Thanks Bas!!

Friday, 13 January 2012

A little something: Rings by Brazen Studios

I was having a lovely chat about engagement rings earlier on with Sarah Raffel, the founder and director of Brazen Studios in Glasgow, for a piece I'm writing at work. The subject also touched on commissions, which always intrigue me.

I guess it's just the way that people get so thrilled (even those of us who think we don't have a creative bone in our body) being able to let their imagination run wild a bit. They soon realise that they can help create something beautiful that is all their own. It makes me think: just open your favourite childhood book, watch your favourite film, trawl through your wardrobe, think about that inspiring photograph or colourful piece of art and realise what's 'you'.

All of this is what brings a commission together and is something that Sarah actively encourages, creating visual briefs - mood boards of sorts - for each of her commissioning customers. One came to her with a page of architecture, full of Art Nouveau designs and unusual gothic ceilings and cornices. Bet you can guess which one of these it was. Utterly lovely.

Marianne ring: green tourmaline ring set in 18ct yellow gold and palladium
Nouveau ring: 18ct red gold, palladium, brown diamond, white diamonds
Margo ring: 18ct red gold, pink sapphires, amethyst

Friday, 6 January 2012

A little something: Shourouk x Swarosvki Crystallized

I first saw these necklaces in Grazia a couple of months back, pre-Christmas, and completely fell for them. Swarosvski's collaborations with jewellery and fashion designers keeps getting better and these are right on the money. I loved the combination of neon - something common in Shourouk's crystal and mixed-material embellished pieces - and the floral designs. The fact that the strings look like the kind of laces I used to put into my trainers as a kid makes me smile. The collection is that perfect mix of sparkly and edgy, something to match with an old band t-shirt and beaten up Converse or as a bit of glitter with a simple jersey dress. Dreamy... as are the rest of Shourouk's designs. Check out her Phoenix Alabaster necklace and more gorgeous treats here.

Necklaces by Shourouk for Swarovski
Image courtesy of Swarovski

And she's back in the game! ... With a little something from Mawi

Well, well. It's time to get blogging once more. I've been such a bad writer in recent months that really I should hang my head in shame (I'm doing that right now, by the way).

*Hopefully* as a sort of new year's resolution I will endeavour to keep up my blogging better than last year. This will also mean I can quite simply write about all the fabulous things that I love. And there was A LOT  in 2011, from new books by Carol Woolton etc., to new launches, exhibitions and an unstoppable force of new designers cropping up not only in London but across the rest of the UK. 

Of course I'm easing myself in here, so have some snaps of Mawi's new SS12 collections: Talisman, Hyper Luxe and Pyramid. LOVE.


Rings, earrings, necklaces, cuffs, Evil Eye pendants from the Hyper Luxe collection.
Triangular and stone drop earrings from the Talisman collection.
Bracelets from the Pyramid collection.