They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but with all the new and exciting jewellery offerings this season, why stick with just diamonds? While jewellery has always been an essential part of any self-respecting woman’s wardrobe, it has undeniably undergone a kind of renaissance in recent years. The return of the statement earring alone, not to mention all the surrealist hardware seen on countless runways this season, are sure signs of a zeitgeist in the world of jewellery. In my case, this renaissance was signalled by the transition from a small pair of diamond studs — to a growing collection of gravity defying statement earrings. Today, not only do we perceive and wear jewellery differently, but the boundaries between high-jewellery, and jewellery from the high street have forever been blurred.
With changing times comes changing attitudes; and in 2017 jewellery designers are pushed to go beyond just aesthetic and examine the relationship between heritage and innovation. For Cent’s Mineral Issue – we present the most exciting modern jewellery brands and their explorations of the craft. Explorations occurring both in the grandest and most intimate sense, whether it be on a woman’s fingers, wrists, or delicately placed on her décolletage.
There is no other designer that has rocked the world of high-jewellery more than Anissa Kermiche. Ever since the launch of her archetypal Paniers Dorés earrings, which are a stunning pair of sculptural gold plated earrings crafted into the shape of leftover fortune cookies, Anissa Kermiche has been on the lips of the international jet-set and is rapidly gaining a cult following of fashion taste-makers. Her eponymous line has a surrealist quality — taking inspiration from mundane everyday objects like lamps, and chandeliers, and transforming them into masterpieces in gold and silver. Unapologetic femininity is a constant reference point for Anissa Kermiche; and the Body Language range revels in both sensuality and playfulness. The gentle curving gold plated legs of “Précieux Pubis” whose black onyx focal point leaves nothing to the imagination, or the manicured middle finger of the French For Goodnight pendant are prime examples of this. Anissa Kermiche presents jewellery with imagination — a bold offering that combines truly ingenious design with a hint of humour.
If there is one thing that puts the women behind Loquet London a cut above the rest, it is the understanding that jewellery is not just decorative but also emotive. Laura Bailey and Sheherazade Goldsmith have created a jewellery concept that allows its wearers to create their own bespoke loquets, by personalising their jewellery with an endless variety of delightful charms. What began as a thoughtful gift from Sheherazade’s son,a see-through locket presented earnestly to his mum, is now a successful jewellery business built with story-telling at its core. Loquet London transcends the simply decorative, by viewing the charms as love notes, and jewellery as the silent narrator of nostalgic and meaningful memories — and so no two loquets are the same.
Their latest collection is a reference to the “Knock on Wood” superstition and features alluring charms carved out of walnut and set in 18k gold. Each one of the delicate charms is individually engraved with “touch wood” wishing its wearers good luck and safe travels. Just another small but personal touch — that makes Loquet London a unique jewellery brand with heart.
Shaun Leane is a British designer who understands that there is no moving forward without looking into the past. At fifteen years old, he began an apprenticeship in a jewellery workshop in Hatton Garden, where he mastered the art of traditional jewellery making – from goldsmithing to antique restoration. Today, his eponymous brand combines the craftsmanship of Hatton Garden with a distinctly modern aesthetic; winning him British Jewellery Designer of the Year on numerous occasions.
I suppose that it serves as further evidence of changing perceptions that men have become a growing market in the fine jewellery industry. Shaun Leane not only understands this, but also spent the last decade gaining a deeper understanding of the evolution of fine jewellery in a man’s wardrobe. From this insight, he created Arc – his first menswear fine jewellery offering in the last ten years. At its core, Arc is designed around the power of a single, sculpted line. Highlighting the understated beauty of light reflecting from the gentle contours of curved gold and silver. From this, Shaun Leane has created a collection that is both modern and versatile – stacking bracelets with metallic clasp enclosures, leather bracelets with polished silver accents, and a tapered tie-clip in yellow gold vermeil. The pieces exude the harmony of Shaun Leane’s design philosophy — a philosophy that is grounded on the of tradition craftsmanship infused with distinctly modern design.
In my youth, pearls have often been afforded the reputation of a cultivated sophistication. Something to be enjoyed by women of means as they sip champagne from their curated collection of crystal. In recent years, pearls have become quite the statement piece; becoming the go-to accessory and making appearances in countless designer runway shows — whether it be as indulgent embellishments on a Gucci loafer, or on a delightfully boxy Shrimps handbag. While no fashion house can claim provenance on pearls, it is something that has been at the heart of Yoko London since 1973, as the world’s leading luxury pearl jeweller.
A family owned business that has been passed down for three generations, Yoko London redefines pearls for the modern age. Their latest collection, Halo, utilises rare coloured pearls in wonderfully contemporary stacking bracelets and choker set with pave diamonds in 18c gold. Speaking to Michael Haikiman – third generation CEO of Yoko London, it seems that the challenge of modernising pearls has been well placed in his trustworthy hands “We wanted to play on the elegance that pearls are synonymous with and giving them a contemporary twist.” The result? A stunning and simple collection that transitions from day to night, while painting pearls in a uniquely contemporary light.
The world of jewellery is vast and infinitely intricate; and oftentimes quite daunting to a novice. How to spot a quality gem, or distinguish coloration and quality, are all things that often escape a jewellery amateur – but to Joanna Hardy, these have become second nature. There are probably only a handful of people in the world with more expertise on fine jewellery than Joanna Hardy. Beginning her career as a diamond valuer with De Beers, then becoming a diamond dealer in Antwerp, Tel Aviv and New York. Joanna Hardy is now a senior jewellery specialist in Sotheby’s; and has launched a wonderfully illustrated book dedicated to a gem that has captivated millions throughout the years – the Ruby.
RUBY Drawing by Cartier in 1935 for a ruby and diamond necklace commissioned by the Maharani of Patna for her husband the Maharajah of Patna © Van Cleef & Arpels from RUBY published 2017 Thames and Hudson
In collaboration with Thames & Hudson and Violette Editions, Ruby: King of Gems explores the cultural significance of the Ruby and its origins. Tracing it back to the ancient mines of Burma and to the importance of the Ruby’s fiery red coloration in a number of Eastern cultures, and its eventual arrival into Europe and into the hearts of modern society. The edition is not only filled with spectacular hand-drawn illustrations from prestigious jewellery houses like Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels, and Chalet – it also serves as essential reading for anyone interested in exploring the world of high jewellery.
RUBY The Heart brooch by Verdura for Paul Flato c 1938 inscribed VERBUM CARRO meaning THE WORD MADE FLESH or A WORD TO MY DEAR ONE commissioned by Millicent Rogers © Verdura from RUBY published 2017 by Thames and Hudson