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Watches & Jewellery | Diary of a Somebody

Julia Muggenburg - Day 3

The jewellery designer talks painted faces, London feasting… and Greta Garbo’s hat

Julia Muggenburg  - Day 3

June 06 2013
Julia Muggenburg

Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

After a long night, I am now trying to motivate myself into action, which is not easy. Luckily, this sweet summer weather helps, and I sense that it is better to be outside than inside. And what could be nicer than having breakfast with my friend Camilla Løw before she returns to Oslo later today?

Fernandez & Wells by South Kensington tube is my local café, and as all Scandinavians thrive on a good coffee and cannot settle for anything mediocre, I am hopeful that it will both please her and wake me up a bit more. At F&W you can buy delicious croissants from The Little Bread Peddler, of which I am a fan.

Camilla and I talk about an exhibition for next spring at Belmacz, and discuss two commissioned pieces I am making for her, which will be perfect – truly beautiful and meaningful. The key to Belmacz gems is to see both the essence and ambition of the wearer and combine or juxtapose different elements in the design to reflect these qualities, teasing them out though dramatic contrast. Camilla’s work is strong and she is a very feminine person. She is inspiring and making bespoke jewels for her is a pleasure.

As Camilla’s jewels will take a while to make, and because I know she loves strong colours, I give her a Belmacz Madder Glow lip gloss containing 24ct gold leaf to take away and try while she is waiting. Madder is a natural plant dye that has been used by artists as paint (known as madder lake) for centuries. I think of my Belmacz Beauty colours almost as artists’ pigments – after all, that was what inspired me to create the collection: grinding mineral or organic matter and making paint with it is an age-old occupation that I am fascinated by.

I then do an hour of Pilates to stretch myself and counteract the effects of last night.

Afterwards, I head off to meet Tim Berresheim on Redchurch Street; he and I are having lunch round the corner at Rochelle Canteen on Arnold Circus. We visit Labour and Wait, where he is lucky to find all of his gifts to take home. Tim is a rather specialised artist and this shop is also very particular – so it’s a good match. As we wander to lunch, I buy him a tin of my favourite English tea from Leila’s. I really enjoy showing friends around London; it is of the most exciting cities in the world, after all. Having lived here for 22 years, I know the town rather well, which never fails to surprise cabbies when discussing the best route.

Affairs at my HQ await and after lunch I head there to take care of some pressing matters and to discuss various projects with Rebekah, who works with me at the gallery. Tonight it’s the private view for the Dumb Rocks show at Belmacz; it’ll be an extremely busy evening. The Belmacz jewels on display have been chosen to reflect the intention and tone of the art around it, and I’m excited to see people’s reactions.

I am totally thrilled to see some brilliant friends and clients – a particular delight is milliner Stephen Jones, who pops by Belmacz looking as dandyish and chic as always, full of anecdotes and revelling in creativity. As he leaves we have a quick chat about my attire for Ladies Day at Ascot; I’ll be wearing a black summer hat that belonged to Greta Garbo, which Stephen will bring into the 21st century by giving it a beautiful yet radical update, as only he can do.