October 25, 2010

Centaur Perks

Talk about naive. I just googled the words 'Pierre Hardy Hermès' to find out how long I'd have to save / hard I'd have to work in order to treat myself to a ring from this 14-piece jewellery collection designed by the prolific French designer for Hermès.

Inspired by a horse's hoof (in keeping with the brand's equestrian roots) the Centaur collection's cheapest piece comes in at $23,675. Top whack – for those who are interested – is $880,000. On the plus side each item does come in a sumptuous custom-made alligator box.

October 23, 2010


With an educational background that spans Communication Arts (Queensland Uni, Australia), Interior Design (New York) and Exhibition Design (also NYC, from the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology) it goes without saying that Paranee Ongwat has an eye for design.

The simple lines and geometric shapes that characterise her tightly edited jewellery collections make Ongwat's work a versatile option for those seeking a piece that's unusual without being overpowering.

The name Ongwat means longevity - something that should be in the bag if the globetrotting Paranee keeps on doing what she does best.

Wing cuff
Tiger's Eye ring
Agate and gold-plated brass bracelet
Brass Gladiator cuff
3-hinged square rings
Brass Knight ring
Gunmetal-plated brass ring

October 18, 2010

So good Karl did it too...

Whilst I was at The Box trade fair in Paris recently, I chanced upon a lovely lady called Francesca who does the PR for Italian jewellery brand, Ioselliani.

We got chatting about all sorts: good looking designers who get together (Iosseliani was founded by the not ugly couple, Paolo Giacomelli and Roberta Paolucci), collaborations with other brands (in a previous life Giacomelli worked with Missoni, Fiorucci and Kenzo) and, especially, the use of interesting techniques as seen on these oxidised metal pieces.

By the looks of Chanel's ss2011 catwalk, Karl's liking it too...

Photos: catwalking.com

To Dior For

Dior’s new aw2010 collection just dropped into my inbox. It's made up of 6 lines: Diorose, Devore Dior, My Dior, Diorchetser, Mise en Dior, Chri Chri.

In no particular order, here's what's going on the Christmas wishlist.

Chri Chri charm necklace, £500
Mise En Dior necklace, £1850
Mise En Dior ring, £170
My Dior bangle, £210
Dior Chester bracelet, £650
Devore Dior cuff bracelet, £650

October 12, 2010

Fabulous Fabergé

In celebration of the re-entry – after almost 100 years – of Fabergé into the world of fine jewellery, here's a piece I wrote which has just been published in Plaza Watch magazine.

The collection is called Les Fabuleuses is divided into three lines: Les Fleurs (created in homage to the extravagant flower balls that epitomised grand living under the last Russian Tsar), Les Fables (inspired by Russian myths and legends) and Les Fauves, which broadly references the animals of which founder Peter Carl Fabergé was so fond.

Underpinning the collection is the notion of fauvism – a central tenet of art theory which held sway during Russia’s hugely influential Silver Age. At its heart lay the notion that colour acts as an emotional trigger and its power is able to affect the soul. Artists influenced by Fauvism included stage and costume designer, Leon Bakst, founder of the Ballets Russes, Sergei Diaghilev, and painters Marc Chagall and Vassily Kandinsky.

Red = courage, ritual and passion
Purple = mystery and royalty
Blue = truth and peace
Pink = love and beauty
Yellow = wisdom
Green = nature
Grey = maturity and security

Here's a few pieces from the ever-changing Les Fabuleuses collection. Each confection is a one-off and can take hundreds of hours to create. For those who like to make a statement...

Sea Tzar Brooch
Pansy Brooch
Red Jasper Scarab
Black Sea Serpent Ring
Nomade Bracelet
Giant Magnolia Ring
Savoyarde Verte Ring
Charmeuse Bangle

October 8, 2010

All About Yves

Juliet at Adorn London asked four bibelotphiles to pick their favourite piece of jewellery from the ss2011 catwalks. I got Paris and I chose Yves Saint Laurent. Click here to read all four pieces.


I have to admit to a serious weakness for Yves Saint Laurent. From the life story of Yves himself – so remarkable you couldn’t make it up – to the brand’s many iconoclastic milestones, to the clothes themselves: the last word in elegance with a twist.
So perhaps I’m biased in my hankering for this piece, but if there’s one bit of jewellery going on my summer wardrobe wishlist next year, this is it.
To my mind, this necklace embodies something of the spirit of the house whose influences have been felt across so many of the S/S2011 catwalks. Unsurprising, perhaps, given the phenomenal success of the recently ended YSL retrospective at Paris’ Petit Palais.

This necklace is at once on trend (the warrior look is bubbling under for S/S 2011) and timeless, ultra-chic and satisfyingly left field. The proportions are perfect – just outsized enough to lift it from comfort zone to cool club. There is something of the 60s in its off-kilter discs; a hint of ancient treasure in those matte, textured metal surfaces. The rippled silhouette of the vertical slices echoes the ruffles that snake across the collection’s more frivolous garments.

According to style.com, YSL’s creative director, Stefano Pilati, talked after the show of his interest in tribalism, and how ‘fashion is a way for women to identify themselves, just as members of a tribe do’. If this beauty’s anything to go by, that’s one tribe I’d very much like to join.

October 5, 2010

Maripol & Marc

Back in early 80s New York stylist, designer and all-round scenester, Maripol, made name for herself as the woman responsible for creating Madonna's iconic Like A Virgin look. More specifically, hers were the fash-trash rubber bracelets favoured by the badass Material Girl - pictured here with Maripol.

In 1978, Maripol's first rubber collection doubled as the debut accessory & jewellery line for Fiorucci. More recently she collaborated with Marc Jacobs on a limited edition collection of 13 jewellery pieces including flouro lucite bangles, metallic studded cuffs and multi-coloured rubber earrings.

In homage to Maripol's habit of shooting Polaroids to document her famous friends (Jean-Michel Basquiat, Debbie Harry, Bianca Jagger, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Grace Jones to name a few) the packaging of her new line sports a signed snap featuring the trinket stashed inside the silver bubble wrap pocket. Here's my purchase from the the Marc by Marc Jacobs store in Paris. Like all the best buys, this one's staying sealed and pristine til it's a proper collector's item.

Photos 2 & 3 courtesy http://famespy.com

October 4, 2010

Paris Is Burning. So Are My Feet.

I spent the weekend in Gay Paree walking the length and breadth of the city checking out the ss2011 jewellery collections at the many, many, MANY trade fairs and showrooms dotted round the beautiful French capital. Exhausting but enlightening, it was well worth the chiropodist bills I think I'm about to run up. More detail to follow as I'm able to piece it together, but for now here's a few atmos pix...

The Anne Demeulemeester showroom complete with miniature city window display. Check out the beads inside the rings.

The exhibits at Colette, including Swarovski pieces by Karl Lagerfeld (bangles etc) and Fendi (birdie bag), a necklace-like illustration by Basement Crew and a fairylight-embellished table and chair by someone whose name I forgot to note.

A real live model modelling socialite and accessory designer Yazbukey's ss2011 collection at the Colette Hermes collaboration launch party. Yaz herself was the epitome of laissez faire cool in a granny hairnet (to prevent her hair frizzing in the rain) and juicy fuchsia pink shorts.

The jewellery displays at concept store, Merci

The humble chub key gets a makeover at the Surface To Air party.

Forget Me Not

Coco is a much in-demand illustrator and the brains behind Forget Me Not - a line of gorgeous silk accessories that are rapidly coming to the attention of the glossiest of glossy magazine editors. She's also the only person to know when you want to get into otherwise out-of-bounds fashion week parties. Stick with Coco and it's straight to the front of the queue, even if you do have to pretend to be Raf Simons' cousin for the night...

These pix are from her stand at Premier Classe trade show in Paris: ss2011

And a selection of giant scarves from the current collection