Fine jewellery brand Astley Clarke launched Dominic Jones’ debut collection at London Fashion Week last weekend. RJ caught up with the brand’s creative director to find out more about the triptych range
Q: What inspired you to design the new AW17 range?
A: The first collection, Astronomy, came about due to the references I found within past collections at Astley Clarke; collections named things like ‘Interstellar’ and ‘Cosmos’. There seemed to be lots of space references, so my reaction to these was to take the subject matter more literally and create a collection looking at our solar system called Astronomy.
The second collection Phototaxis was inspired by Bec’s grandfather, Sir Cyril Astley Clarke, who developed the cure for rhesus negative disease through his research into the wings of butterflies and moths. I focused on moths as I’d already explored them in a previous project with a furniture designer friend: a lamp inspired by the relationship of moths to light. I took this idea further within this collection. The third collection Colour of Calder, was inspired by the use of colour and form throughout the modernist art movement.
Q: Why did you decide on three parts to the new range?
A: The three collections came about out of practicality. I knew I needed to create a certain amount of ‘newness’ within the company, and to focus on three collections seemed apt, as it had been three years since the last time I presented at London Fashion Week.
Q: How did the collection concept evolve?
A: I feel it is important, whenever presenting collections together, that they are fully considered conceptually. Although these collections were designed to be very much individual, I felt it was important to create them in synergy, so that rather than presenting three different collections I was presenting a triptych: three different parts of the same collection. All of the collections are based on light. Astronomy is based on the physical reaction, the planets moving around the sun held by its gravitational pull. The second, Phototaxis, literally means the instinctive reaction of a living creature to that same light source (a moth to moonlight). The third, Colour of Calder, is the emotive/artistic response to light; shadow, colour and gravity.
Q: How important was it to exhibit the AW17 collection during LFW?
A: It was very important. Presenting during London Fashion Week is a big part of my own personal heritage and story as a designer. I received the ‘New Gen’ award for my first collection as a designer, then subsequently four more times. I then became the first jewellery brand ever to show on schedule at London Fashion Week. So to be able to bring Astley Clarke to continue this journey was a big hope for the rebrand, and I’m very grateful to the British Fashion Council for supporting us.
Q: Please explain the new advertising campaign?
A: I wanted each collection to have its own life. When I design a collection I like to create a world around it and that includes its visual identity. I would never consider the collection complete until I find the person I feel embodies the collection.
Q: What are your plans for the brand in 2017?
A: To create a modern and inclusive brand for the self-buying woman. A woman who’ll value a piece for its design integrity more than simply for the sum of its materials. After Paris, I’m planning a holiday to Burma, and then I will be back to put the finishing touches to SS18 and the merry-go-round continues… It’s been an exciting beginning - stay tuned and watch this space!