Best of British: The Jewellery Show 2012
Retail Jeweller profiles the designers taking part in this year’s Design Quarter Gems
Last year the Houlden Group teamed up with The Jewellery Show to create the Design Quarter Gems event, which showcased some of the best designers in British jewellery. As part of the initiative, one designer taking part, Sarah Ho from SHO Fine Jewellery, was presented with The Houlden Designer of Excellence Award. The Design Quarter Gems showcase is now back for a second year and here are the people that were selected to take part.
Jeremy Hoye has been making his name in distinctive jewellery since the 1990s. During his career he has worked with such names as Diesel, Jaeger, Porsche
and renowned couture designer Jenny Packham. His celebrity following is similarly impressive, ranging from band Faithless and singer Dido to presenters Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby.
Hoye splits his design skills between two ranges. Under the Jeremy Hoye label he creates pieces that are free form and distinctive, and under the HoyeDivison moniker he reinvents classic pieces and devises collections that have a more punk, masculine edge.
Despite becoming known for his jewellery based on scientific concepts, in 2011 Alexander Davis indulged his fantastical side through a collaboration with Amber Atherton, creator of online jewellery boutique Myflashtrash.com and star of reality TV show Made in Chelsea. The result was the brilliantly quirky Typhoon Palace collection (pictured top right), which features ear cuffs made from gold-plated monkeys and rings that interlock and look like some structural conundrum in an Indiana Jones film.
The duo will be expanding the collection this year and Davis will be working on some more pieces under his eponymous brand.
The brainchild of Kate Britton-Jordan and Neil Jordan, Flash Jordan was established in Derby in 2001 in Neil’s grandmother’s garage, where the duo did masters for other designers while building up their own collection. After the first collection took off, they decided to concentrate on that. As well as the Flash Jordan brand, the duo also designs a range of cufflinks under the name Britton Bespoke. “We’re over the moon about being chosen as a [Design Quarter] Gem, it’s a huge honour,” says Neil Jordan. “It’s great to be recognised for our unique approach to design and our dedication to producing jewellery made in England. Our new collections focus on flexibility and feature interchangeable parts, giving our customers the freedom to put together their own combinations. Our new Britton Bespoke cufflink collection of interchangeable links proved to be a unique concept that has already been picked up by various companies for corporate branding, the future of which is set to be very exciting.”
Aradia Nista enjoys the artwork inherent in creating captivating jewellery. She has built on her education in Pisa and Florence and developed her own design techniques using a method she invented to create 18ct gold alloys that fade in colour from yellow to rose and then red. Her pieces, which often feature wildlife references, are made through hand-forging, hand-metal carving and engraving. Her work will be distinguishable in the hall
by the distinctive Japanese urushi lacquer used in her work. Look out too for her hand-forged stems that represent the perfect curves and lines associated with Art Nouveau style.
Babette Wasserman is back in the Design Quarter for a second year with her boho luxe style of jewellery. For 2012, Wasserman is adding new designs to her scarf range - perfect timing for anyone wanting to channel Daisy Buchanan’s character in homage to Baz Luhrmann’s revamp of The Great Gatsby. “The new scarves are inter-woven coloured silk and cotton mixed together with yellow gold vermeil chain or silver, giving wonderful hues and fluidity,” says Wassermann. “There are also new bracelets with stone-encrusted magnetic clasps in tricolour plating [rose, yellow and rhodium] and a new Love Pendant and the Twisting Heart pendant.”
This designer has come a long way since selling beaded earrings to her school friends for extra pocket money. Her jewellery is now being worn by celebrities such as singer Lily Allen and actress Juliette Lewis, and she has also got several impressive magazine editorials under her belt. For 2012, Galley is bringing out her Mystic range, which is made of combinations of gold overlaid on silver, and silver set with smokey quartz, moonstone, turquoise and coral. The collection has that modern antiquity style that Galley’s pieces are known for.
Bold, beautiful and with a touch of darkness, Leyla Abdollahi’s designs demand attention. Her work combines Eastern and Western influences to great effect, with many designs taking their names from goddesses and nymphs, such as Melite, a dramatic yellow gold, citrine and yellow, white and orange sapphire ring that is named after the nymph of sweet water. In 2011, Abdollahi’s Amphitrite ring was among the emerging category winners of the Lonmin Design Innovation Award, and she shows no signs of stopping this year.
A true gent of the industry, designer William Cheshire is planning a busy year, including the creation of a new men’s collection that we can’t wait to get a first peek of. A dapper dignity resonates in Cheshire’s designs, from his Libertine collection that combines white and yellow metals in faux perfume bottle pendants to the bold statement of the Casino rings and the fluid lines of his Burlesque collection. Cheshire’s work remains edgy but classy, a balance that gives his jewellery universal appeal and is likely to garner the designer further attention at The Jewellery Show.
SHO Fine Jewellery
Last year’s winner of the Designer of Excellence Award, Sarah Ho is back with her 2012 collection. It is an 18ct gold diffusion line of her Coin range, which is based on the Chinese coins she was given each year on her birthday by her grandfather. The original stone-set collection has been incredibly popular with the press, and this diffusion collection is a beautiful, pared down take on it. “Winning the Designer of Excellence Award was amazing for us,” says Ho. “We attended supplier meetings and customer events and were featured in some of the [Houlden Group] members’ own magazines and PR activities. The pieces went on a successful tour and have new stockists too.”
Cindy Dennis Mangan
“I was thrilled and completely taken by surprise when I was chosen as one of the Houlden Group Design Quarter Gems, especially as I have never exhibited at the fair before,” says Cindy Dennis Mangan. Mangan launched Dennis & Lavery in 2007 to create platinum and diamond wedding jewellery for the more style savvy bride and groom. Mangan also designs under her own name, and in 2011 launched a collection with retailer PureJewels called Luminous.
At the show Mangan will be showcasing her Princess & The Python collection with new pieces added to the range, plus a second surprise collection that will be unveiled at the show without any previews beforehand. A reason to visit her stand if ever we heard one.