Style | The Reconnoisseur

It’s time to ‘upcycle’ your jewellery box

Dainty, meticulous jewellery, created from vintage fabrics and beads

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It’s time to ‘upcycle’ your jewellery box

May 05 2011
Jenny Dalton

One of my first jobs was working in a jewellery store. Although it taught me a lot about design and materials and what suits and what doesn’t, selling the pieces daily to fund my degree also put me off wanting to wear jewellery for a good many years afterwards (too much of a good thing!).

I’ve steadily come back to the jewellery fold, and there are now so many beautifully individual designers around, it’s impossible to resist the candy-coloured, gleaming offerings from a number of sources. One of my favourites to wear is Emma Cassi – a petite French interiors stylist who makes all her pieces by hand from self-sourced vintage fabrics, lace and beads in her tiny home/studio in Barnes, west London. Her husband photographs her collections in the same studio. And Emma parcels them up in recycled newspapers and textiles to send to her clients across the world (she is big on upcycling).

The pieces I’ve bought from Emma showcase her dainty, meticulous eye – my cream lace choker is pretty and whimsical and goes with everything from a T-shirt to a cocktail dress, while my beaded and embroidered earrings (similar to the Multi-coloured earrings on the website) are beautifully detailed: minute vintage glass beads are sewn onto cream lace diamonds that make a timeless statement. Her designs also make good, highly individual gifts: I’ve bought several of her dainty plaited thread and tulle bracelets as presents for friends’ children.

First picture: Quartz Flowers earrings, £126. Second picture: Silver pendant, £126.