Thursday, 23 July 2009

What Are You Wearing? 003: Elly 20.07.09

Elly is the darling of this month's What Are You Wearing? A good friend from home, Elly currently lives in Roehampton and is my fortnightly dinner date for a good food and good conversation.

I've watched her jewellery collection grow into a pretty selection of sentimental sterling silver pieces, which she wears day-to-day, often mixed with chandelier earrings and statement rings.

Elly has - for it seems as long as I've known her - worn an unsual square-shaped silver ring, a present from her stepdad. On her wrist she wear a classic silver Tiffany bracelet, an 18th birthday present from her Mum which, like the ring, she never takes off.

On her right hand she currently wears a ring from All Saints. This pretty statement ring has a starburst detail, and a vintaged look. Really something!

Around her neck Elly wears - much like myself and Holly from the previous What Are You Wearing? post - a name necklace. Elly's is sterling silver, and comes from a great store on eBay, based in Israel. I've shopped a few times with them, too, both for myself and for gifts for others - highly recommended, with great prices from £14

Saturday, 18 July 2009

UK Jewellery Awards 2009: The Winners!

Well, it's finally come and gone! Thursday 16th of July saw the glitz and glamour of this year's UK Jewellery Awards at London's Grovesnor House Hotel.

The Awards - which are part-organised by Retail Jeweller magazine - were a close contest this year, with a high calibre of shortlisted entrants as blogged about here a few months back.

Model, part of the evening's catwalk entertainment, wearing Missoma. Image courtesy of

I have to say that although the Awards are tailored to the mainstream jewellery market, this year's winners are thoroughly deserving of their awards, especially Monica Vinader and Missoma, who have really gone from strength-to-strength during 2008-9.

So, the winners of the main categories are as follows...

Best Catwalk Jewels of the Year - Kirt Holmes

Kirt Holmes, holding her Award, with the host Nick Ede (left), and Nadja Swarovski (in skirt suit). Image courtesy of

Independent Retailer of the Year - Nicholas James, Hatton Garden

Jewellery Brand of the Year - Monica Vinader

Retail Employer of the Year - Beaverbrooks (various UK locations)

Young Designer of the Year - Bobby White

Jewellery Website of the Year -

and finally, the big one..!

Jewellery Designer of the Year - Shaun Leane (his hatrick!)

Shaun Leane (centre), with Nick Ede and Frances Murch of Retail Jeweller magazine (in purple). Image courtesy of

Congratulations to the other finalists, including Kabiri, Alex Monroe and Astley Clarke. The level of both design and branding of the entrants this year was so high, it was quite a tough one to call, with (for some I'm sure), some surprising winners. Nevertheless, the awards demonstrate how much talent there is in UK jewellery design and retail right now. Who knows, maybe next year they'll have to throw in a few more categories, for good measure!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

New Designer: Hannah Livingston

Hannah Livingston, a recent Duncan of Joradanstone College of Art graduate, is a quirky new talent - just what the jewellery industry needs more of.

Taking her inspiration from antique furniture and the sentimentality produced by the history and stories behind wearing jewellery, Hannah's designs incorporate secret compartments in which the wearer can store whatever they wish.

'Antiquarian' boxes by Hannah Livingston. Image courtesy of

You can really see Hannah's talent, not only in the quality of her designs - each pieces is hand-made - but also the detail and thought which has taken an antiquarian style and turned it into something wearable - most definitely heirlooms in the making.

Of her designs, I really love the simple 'Box' necklace, which appears to be unisex in its styling and is a great way to hide a little something from a loved one inside (oh, the romance of her designs is evidently contagious!)

Black oxidised and brushed silver 'Box' necklaces by Hannah Livingston. Image courtesy of

Hannah's use of oxidised silver gives a somewhat Gothic look reminiscent of old European cathedrals. In fact, as I looked through the designs on her website, I was reminded of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, and the animated furniture running amok in Beast's chateau! Looking forward to her next collection already!

Oxidised silver 'Casket' ring with white topaz and crystal, by Hannah Livingston. Image courtesy of

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Trend: Best of the summer sales!

At last, the summer sales are upon us, and although we're probably all entering the shops a little more tentatively than last year, there's some great jewellery bargains to be had.

Here's my pick of just some of the bargains to be found online (perhaps a little less scary than crossing the threshold into a store, but maybe that's just me!)

Over at Asos, they've recently taken time selecting a number of semi-precious jewellery designers, and I applaud their choices; Dogeared, Zoe & Morgan, Laura Tabor and Monica Vinader are just some of the fashion-inspired designers they've been stocking, and just a few of those in their current summer sale. Of the Monica Vinader pieces, they're selling a fabulous moonstone-set Square Facet ring, below, at almost half price, for £87. Also worth checking out are the pieces by The Branch, which I adore for their use of sustainable redwood pine, with chunky semi-precious stones.

Image courtesy of Monica Vinader

EC One have also got a great summer sale on, with many pieces from their SS09 collection. Designers include Fiona Paxton, Alexis Bittar, Karen Morrison and Becca. Of EC One's sale pieces I adore the Ginette NY necklace, below, for its simplicity and use of French - which I'm a sucker for! - and the fact that it's now half price at £215. The tri-colour, chunky acrylic bangles by Belgian designer Catherine De Groote have also caught my eye for their interesting colourways and unmissable size, they're 30% off at £31.

Images courtesy of EC One

Others I've spotted which unfortunately I have no images for include a cute sterling silver tennis racket necklace by Bark, at Beyond the Valley, in the sale at £61, timed perfectly for the climax of Wimbledon! Liberty currently has some fabulous Wendy Mink semi-precious stone earrings, with gorgeous pieces from £80.50. After rent, council tax and food I hope I've got some left...!