Sunday, 30 August 2009

Designer: Daisy Knights

This is just a quick post - but I have to write about Daisy Knights, because I've totally fallen for her designs. Daisy, a young British jewellery designer who trained at Central St Martin's, creates organic yet playful jewellery, with themes including butterflies, skulls, bows and feathers.

Daisy Knights
Her collections are named after close family and friends, though her inspiration is drawn from her childhood home in Devon. Roaming beaches and countryside, picking up feathers and shells, Daisy has transformed these natural shapes into quirky jewellery, with a raw yet feminine twist. 

 Feather rings in silver and gold, by Daisy Knights. Image courtesy of Daisy

The skull bracelets are the top of my wish list, while the studded rings (featured in the post, below) and bangles the perfect accessories for AW 09/10. It's especially good to see Daisy having a go at men's accessories, including cufflinks and the rare, yet essential shirt stud. What I love about her designs is that they're not over stylised or over technical, and as a result this girl has created something I've been waiting for, for a while.

Skull bracelets in silver and gold, with Amethyst and Ruby cabachon eyes, by Daisy Knights. Image courtesy of Daisy
Silver and gold bow studs, by Daisy Knights. Image courtesy of Daisy

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Theme: Stacking rings

The idea of stacking jewellery - especially rings - is something I've wanted to write about for ages. It's been bubbling away for, so at last here it is!

Sterling silver and gold plate stud stack rings, by Daisy Knights. Image courtesy of Daisy

For a while stack rings were hard to find; now - thank goodness - more and more designers are seeing the playful versatility of the stack design. The style is usually pretty uniform, but the results can vary greatly. Some are neat and simple, others quirky and bold.

I have a few stacking ring favourites. The first, Mirri Damer, is a recent discovery of mine. She makes fabulous rings in silver and 18ct white and yellow gold. Some are diamond-set which makes them the ideal alternative wedding and engagement rings.

18ct yellow gold and diamond stacking ring set, by Mirri Damer. Image courtesy of Mirri Damer

Sterling silver set of 5 stacking rings, with matt and polished finishes, by Mirri Damer. Image courtesy of Mirri Damer

The story of British jewellery designer Mary Otty is tainted with sadness, but is also a success. Mary and her husband left Bristol in 1999, emigrating to New Zealand where the two of them hand-made gorgeous stack rings in silver and gold, studded with gemstones and diamonds. Sadly, Mary passed away in 2004, but her husband continues to hand-made her striking, organic-feeling stack rings in their back garden workshop. You can find the rings stocked across the UK, in a never-ending array of stones and colourways.

18ct yellow gold triple stack ring, set with cabochon ruby and white diamond. Image courtesy of Mary

Sterling silver 5 piece stack ring, set with amethyst and topaz. Image courtesy of Mary

Sterling silver 7 piece stack ring, set with amber and citrine and amethyst. Image courtesy of Mary

At the higher end of the scale is Niessing's range of gold and platinum rings. Renowned for their tension-set diamond rings, the German designer's rings always sit flush against one another, creating - though perhaps not intentional - a wonderful stacked feel. The Square Soft tension rings, below, are smooth square-shaped bands set with round brilliant cut diamonds. The diamond's colour matches the shanks material - yellow diamond in yellow gold, sherry diamond in rose gold, white diamond in white gold... One of each sounds about right!

Square Soft tension rings, in 18ct yellow and white gold, by Niessing. Image courtesy of Niessing

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Designer: Lene Vibe

Lene Vibe in her Copenhagen workshop/boutique

Denmark's Lene Vibe is a Cophenhagen-based designer whose style has taken jewellery design and pushed it to new boundaries. Her pieces are like miniature items of art - mini sculptures perhaps - each handmade and incorporating a range of unusual details, from little gold snails creeping up the side of her rings, to recycled diamonds taken from pieces of 200-year-old jewellery.

18ct yellow and white gold ring, featuring a tiny angelic portrait, white diamonds, shells and slug

With silver and goldsmith training under renowned jewellery designer Georg Jensen, Lene's work has a quality found only in such handmade pieces. You can really see the love and time spent on her designs - Lene and just one assistant make all the pieces in their Copenhagen shop-come-workshop.

18ct yellow gold drop earrings, set with green citrine flat briolettes

Her designs are made from matt-finished 18ct yellow gold, and feature baroque pearls, diamonds and paler coloured gemstones. Her style has a unique edge rarely found in jewellery design nowadays; it's both organic and luxurious; quirky yet precious; detailed yet bold.

18ct yellow gold organic bangle, studded with diamonds, flowers and beasties

The influences behind Lene's designs are a heady mix; Renaissance decoration and portraiture and fairytale magical woodlands. This combination lends to the detail found in Lene's jewellery. Her rings feature tiny portraits, sprinkled with loose diamonds and encased in glass (think Chopard's Happy Diamonds gone organic), while her baroque pearl earrings blossom and bloom with floral decorations and the occasional insect or sea shell.