As I flashed my VIP invitation at the door to Victoria House, where Treasure was being held, I realised two things: one this was going to be a glamorous event, and two I was underdressed.
Walking down to the lower levels of the building, I entered a room separated into rows and rows of some of the finest jewellery in London. Designers from all over had booked spots at Treasure to showcase their products to the masses.
Some of my favourites were Aradesi, Yumeko Yamada, Kimberley Selwood, Sarah Eyton, Rowan van der Holt and Catherine Best.
Rowan van der Holt designs jewellery made of glass. She launched her part-time business about a year ago, but has always had a fascination with the material.
“There used to be a glass blower on my way to school, and I used to just watch and drool,” Van der Holt admits.
Though the glass programme at her school didn’t work out, Van der Holt always kept the option in the back of her mind. Then, while on maternity leave, she picked up the hobby of blowing and sculpting glass. She thinks her designs stand out from the rest because of their use of colour, and I have to agree.
“There’s a lot of people working in silver and gold,” Van der Holt said. “Glass is just a new material. What it does introduce is colour.”
Although Van der Holt has previously kept her prices down, but she does admit they may increase as she starts to appeal to a more commercial group.
“Everything is one of a kind,” she said. “I don’t mass produce things. I am participating in London Jewellery Week because I need to be in London and showing. I need to see what a sophisticated audience makes of my work.”
Van der Holt was not the only designer from a small city looking to showcase in London. Catherine Best, from Guernsey, used her surroundings as inspiration for her pieces.
“They’re based on life and nature,” Best said. “I’m surrounded by beautiful seas and fantastic scenery. I tend to just hold a pencil and let it happen.”
Like Van der Holt, Best sees the importance of participating in London Jewellery Week.
“At London Jewellery Week you can meet a whole new set of people from different places and letting them know you’re out there is invaluable,” she said.
While these designers come from humble roots, nothing about Treasure was anything less than A-list. Complete with a sushi and drink bar, guests were pampered and shocked with not only wearable jewellery, but even some art exhibits such as Penelope Batley’s designs. Her giant necklaces sported interesting titles such as “Big Bling Necklace Light”, which was propped up on a chair and lit up for all to see.
Just when I thought I’d seen everything there was to see, I turned the corner and walked up the stairs to a completely separate exhibition room. With private rooms for companies such as Swarovski, this floor had been turned into a miniature mall. Swarovski’s exhibit boasted not only its famous crystal jewellery, but exotic jewelled garments as well.
Having finally seen it all, I left with a goody bag of facial products and designer’s information. My tip to you all: if you receive a VIP invitation next year, wear heels.