March 21, 2011

Island Life

In all my many trips to Ibiza over the years, I never saw anything like this and I'm gutted. But perhaps I was otherwise engaged. Ahem...

Turns out it's traditional for Balearic women to attend local dances sporting 'emprendada', or jewellery that has been passed down through the generations.

The pile-it-all-on approach to wearing jewellery has long been on of my favourite looks although til now I'd limited myself to a handful of rings, a pair of earrings and a couple of bangles for fear of appearing OTT.

Having chanced across this amazing photo I feel inspired to take things to the next level. Living, as I do, in bling-loving South London I predict no-one'll even bat an eyelid.

Photo: Carmen Redonodo, 2003. Taken from Jewellery by Jack Ogden

The Eyes Have It

I love museum shops. They're always full of odd trinkets that you'd never come across anywhere else: limited edition designer mugs and tea towels; fine art-inspired fridge magnets; erasers and pencils branded with famous quotes. A curious melting pot of highbrow and low.

But my favourite things – without a doubt – are the postcards, of which I have a huge collection. Tempting as it is to post the funny naughty-Japanese-cat-stealing-fish one I bought at the V&A on Friday, I won't. No jewellery, no admission.

But I did come across this fab (if slightly unsettling) image of a British brooch dated c. 1790-1810. Surrounded by juicy pearls is a miniature watercolour painted on ivory with tears made out of diamonds, no less. It immediately reminded me of the 'Eye' brooches and buttons on the Bottega Veneta AW 2011 catwalk.

Just goes to show, what goes around comes around, I guess.

March 18, 2011

Hanna Martin's New Collection

Last night saw me rubbing shoulders (and everything else) with London's coolest fash fans as we crammed into Dover Street Market to witness the unveiling of hot-right-now Hannah Martin's new jewellery collection, The Man Who Knows Everything.

Ramping the drama levels to the max Martin had teamed up with German designer/artist, Moritz Waldemayer, to create an installation which saw a bejewelled prism suspended in a black obelisk and surrounded by lazers which emitted noises when plucked. With a film by SHOWstudio playing in the background, and dry ice swirling through the darkness, it was quite the sci-fi experience.

Inspired by Le Comte de Saint Germain – an alchemist who apparently lived for 400 years – and a quote by the French philosopher, Voltaire, who claimed: 'The man who knows everything never dies', the installation also featured an augmented reality machine (magic box?) which let guests 'try on' the expensive jewels.

You'd never think from the crummy image below that I asked a man with his own very fancy camera to capture the moment my cardboard ring became a multi-thousand pound, limited edition masterpiece. Disappointing. You'll just have to imagine it.

March 15, 2011

Dolly Mixtures

Pulling heads of dollies is nothing new, but American jeweller, Margaux Lange, has turned it into an artform.

In her bid to examine pop culture's fascination with the iconic Barbie, Lange cuts up second-hand dolls (the fact that they have been pre-owned is important to Lange who is also interested in the notion of re-cycling mass produced items) and mounts their body parts in silver. The result is a range of surreal confections that comprise her Plastic Bodies Series.

And to those who preferred Ken, fret not. His bits'n'bobs get the chop too.

40 Giggles Bracelet
Polka Dot Eye Ring
Bubblegum Pop Necklace
hEarring Blossom
Winged Arm Neckpiece

March 8, 2011

Myths. And A Legend

Sophia Vari is a painter and sculptor whose miniature works of art double as fabulously architectural pieces of jewellery. A recently published book, Sophia Vari – Bijoux Sculptés, shows a selection of designs in close ups so tight they become abstracted. Not that that matters, it just means you get to pore over the detail with greater ease. Fashioned from ebony, gold, silver and blond wood, with the occasional rough gem providing vibrant pops of colour, the pieces – perhaps in homage to Vari’s Greek origins – are named after characters from Greek mythology: Aphrodite, Bacchus and Medea.

Pearls Of Wisdom

I’m not a huge fan of pearls but I do like these. Look closely and see how cleverly jeweller Melanie Georgacopoulos subverts some well worn classics.

From Top: Lace; Nucleus; Facetted; Fabric; Harlequin; Half Cut Necklace; Half Cut Earrings

Le Street, C’est Chic

London street style rules. Everybody knows that. Click here to read my musings for Adorn London on the capital’s jewellery looks during the recent AW2011 shows.

Photo: Juliet Hutton-Squire

March 6, 2011

March 5, 2011

David & Martin Lift The Lid

I've been meaning to write this post for about a year now, ever since David & Martin contributed a piece of jewellery to the exhibition I organised at Colette. A long overdue hard drive tidy up session brought them to my attention once more and thank goodness.

Not only did the send a gorgeous thing, which I've posted about before on here but it's so lovely it deserves a second outing. They also sent me details of the inspiration behind the necklace. It's so interesting to have access to the ideas that go into creating a finished piece. Enjoy this...

London Fashion Week AW2011

A few impressions...

From top to bottom: MF Pepe; Jordan Askill; MF Pepe; Dominic Jones; Dominic Jones; Holly Fulton; Fanny Schiavoni; Holly Fulton

March 3, 2011

The Genuine Article(s)

Some trend pages I wrote for Plaza Watch Magazine Iss. 13. Out Now!

And in a bid to show my serious side, a hard-hitting article on diamond mining.