December 16 2010
The new habit of designer-fashion shops showcasing fine jewellery moves up a big notch with the arrival at London’s Joseph stores of Rocks, Stones and Metal. This pop-up collection is of mostly one-off pieces by an eclectic selection of designers from the comparatively traditional (Garrard) to the frankly madcap (Albion Trinketry, a collaboration between hip men’s jewellery designer Hannah Martin and rock bad boy Peter Doherty). Three stores have pieces until mid-February, with the most impressive selection at the Brompton Cross branch, but the unique items are already in demand.
Rocks, Stones and Metal is the brainchild of Joseph CEO Sara Ferrero, who believed that her customers would appreciate jewellery curated with the same care and individuality as the store’s fashion, and would enjoy seeing them blended with the clothes in a way more often associated with costume jewellery. She has looked for items unavailable elsewhere and for designers who create in a bold, full-blooded way – most of the pieces are distinctly assertive.
New names include New York-based designer Monique Péan, who uses unusual, usually eco-friendly materials such as Eskimo-carved fossilised walrus tusk to create big necklaces of irregular geometry, intertwined with tentacles of tiny diamonds (second picture), and Albion Trinketry, where Hannah Martin’s fine craftsmanship on cuff links and chains in oxidised silver or rose gold, black diamonds and mammoth tusks is inspired by Doherty’s collection of antique men’s jewellery and military mementos.
Unique pieces from more familiar names include Jessica McCormack’s fierce, soaring rose diamond and amethyst wings necklace (£59,840), Vanessa Kandiyoti’s concentric-gem evil eye pendant specially made in rubies (£2,315), Stephen Webster’s spider crab earrings (£5,500), and Garrard’s diamond “wing collar” (third picture) – at £85,000 the most expensive item. Other rare if not unique pieces include Shaun Leane’s 10th-anniversary lapis lazuli bangles (first picture, £210 each), Carolyn Roumeguere’s Davina silver chain lion claw, silver medals and Milagros (£2,000), Carolina Bucci’s bright Twister bracelets uniquely in blackened or rose gold plate (from £150) and the largest selection in Britain from American designer Loree Rodkin with her penchant for green stones, skulls and stingray.