Yesterday started with a briefing from Suzi Jarrell to a group of us judging the Platinum Guild’s Platinum Trail. We were checking out best platinum display, and best tri-set. There were some beautiful pieces of platinum jewellery on show, and after a three-year absence from IJL I was delighted to see how so many designers - including Fei Lui and James Newman - had moved on, with bridal collections that were both commercial and truly stunning.
The latter scooped the award for Best Tri-Set, so congratulations to James. He’d showed the same skill in engineering his display, creating a miniature turntable to rotate the piece in the window so consumers could admire all angles. However, the winner of the display category was Sarah Jordan, whose soft curvy lines in her tri-set and signature organic style were emulated in her wavy white display, all supported by beautiful photography from the talented Coneyl Jay.
James Newman winning
Other show highlights were of course the branding seminar I was lucky enough to chair with design guru Danny McNeill of Sea Design, branding consultant Hazel Kay and retailer Jay Raniga. We had a packed audience and were asked lots of questions - mostly from young designers keen to know how to make their mark. I hope you have all read about our Mentor scheme in the last issue and online, but this scheme aims to help young British designers with fewer than three years’ commercial experience, by putting them in touch with experienced designers. The partnership will help the young designer learn about the technical aspects of business - casting, plating and CAD - through to the maths, how to price items and make a decent margin for both designer and retailer, as well as how to handle relationships with press and stockists. Do get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in becoming a mentor of these young British talents. We were overwhelmed at the response to this yesterday.
Finally, a mention to Bransom’s magician on the software company’s stand, who made my leaving gift from the Retail Jeweller team - my Shaun Leane cherry blossom ring - disappear in a flame (er, Shaun, any chance of another?) and stole watches from our wrists, made cards disappear and read our minds.
We won’t be expecting you to exhibit the same degree of telepathy to find out about what’s going on at IJL. We’re here to keep you posted. And despite online editor Kate Donovan and I attending the party last night to celebrate the platinum victories at the Hurlingham Club, the two of us have not let the copious amount of red wine on offer interfere with our filing our updates on IJL. And we’ll be keeping you updated daily, so you know where to click if you want to be in the thick of it.