My jewellery week kicked off at The Jewellery Show listening to Laura McCreddie, Editor of Retail Jeweller Magazine interviewing Annoushka Ducas, the creative force behind the fine jewellery brand Annoushka. Known as much for her personal style as she is for the exquisite jewellery she creates it was a great insight into her career and brand. I left eagerly anticipating the launch of Annoushka’s new collection the next day and it didn’t disappoint.
A series of elegant and feminine collections, limited to 24 pieces each, included the Alhambra earrings in a selection of breathtaking colours containing large central stones with patterns pierced out to resemble Islamic carvings.
Equally as rich in colour, the Cloud Nine Collection was constructed from finely sliced turquoise surrounded by pave set diamonds making them striking in size but effortlessly light to wear.
Foundry; a collection created in polished bronze and oxidised silver was a particular favourite. Annoushka herself explained that she had created this collection as it was the sort of thing she would like to wear on a daily basis. The nature of bronze allowed her to create oversized sculptural pieces but the highly polished finish and warm hue of the metal retains the luxurious quality of the brand.
The Jewellery Show London which took place in the beautiful Venue at Somerset House also hosted the Pandora Catwalk where a selection of jewellery brands exhibiting in the show were chosen and styled according to WGSN’s key trends for SS13. The themes Infections Beauty, Wonderlab, Idiomatic and the Story of Now included layered bangles and chains, oversized necklaces and earrings as well as statement body pieces including Rachael Galley’s shoulder piece which was a fantastic finale to the show.
Outside of the official jewellery week shows many designers hosted private events, press days and pop-ups to promote their brands. Designers Rachel Entwistle and Kamilla Thorsen launched their new concept store Thor and Wistle, set in the heart of east London. Together they have created an space that ‘pays homage to natural history, entomology, curiosities and mythology’ which is clearly echoed in the antique display cabinets, tiny chests of draws and petri dishes that the jewellery is displayed in.
I was honoured to be invited by Swarovski to accompany them to a preview of the Central St Martin’s degree show where we were introduced to the students who told us about the concepts behind their work. Six glass fronted rooms housed a varied array of designers including Aisling Dacre who’s two toned pearl necklaces were a guise for sexual toys of restraint, Sophie E Ellis who created a series of watches with a playful interpretation of time and Conor Joseph who’s focus was to adorn the parts of the body that normally go unnoticed such as inside the ear or between the fingers. I was particularly intrigued by Caroline Kernick’s collection. Keen to get into the fine jewellery world and unable to afford the materials on a student budget Caroline cut and hand-painted hundreds of tiny pieces of paper to resemble pearls, diamonds and precious stones that she then strung together to create a series of stunning designs that she presented in paper frames.
The opening night of Treasure exhibition was the final highlight of the week where we were delighted to catch up with some of our favourite designers as well as meet many designers for the first time. It’s hard to imagine so much design talent and such an array of jewellery under one roof and the show has a wonderfully intimate feel. Open to the public it is the perfect opportunity to meet the people behind the brands and find some really unique pieces.
Imogen Belfield, who creates wonderfully organic jewellery influenced by minerals and stones introduced her new ‘Gladiator collection’ during the show. Inspired by the ancient Greek and Roman idea of the Olympics the pieces are created to look like medals using a repeat Helix pattern.
As ever we were on the look out for some serious jewellery style and there was plenty to be seen both on the designers themselves and the guests who attended the show. We bumped into Juliet Rowe donning this ‘Mouse about’ bracelet by one of the industries’ favourites Claire English who scooped two prizes in the run up to the shows winning a stand at both Treasure and The Jewellery Show. Gina Melosi was sporting a series beautiful rings cast from shards of glass from her collections ‘shattered fragments’ and ‘broken promises.’ We loved the combinations of metals and the interesting way all the pieces sit on the hands.