Since launching her eponymous jewellery brand four years ago, Tessa Packard’s quirkily irreverent gems have garnered a loyal client base, so much so that the British designer is now opening her first showroom, in London, on December 6.
Set over two floors of a Chelsea townhouse, the appointment-only space, where Packard also plans to host panel discussions and client dinners, is “the modern gentleman’s library meets Victorian cabinet of curiosities”, says Packard. “It’s a mix of different cultures and movements, with rich fabrics, tapestries, Navajo Indian and Middle East influences. It’s a very romantic space.”
It’s also a collaborative one. In addition to displaying her own art collection, Packard has teamed up with gallerists and dealers such as Megan Piper, who is hanging works by British modern artists, including the sculptor Edward Allington and artist Francis West.
Coinciding with the opening is the launch of Packard’s latest collection, Emperor’s New Clothes – a humorous, subversive take on the world of haute joaillerie featuring faceted gemstones and gold or silver vermeil fashioned to look like diamonds. Each piece plays with expectation; nothing is quite what it seems. Most fun are the Double-Bluff drop earrings that pair a diamond-shaped stud with a hexagonal one, either in gold (£5,500) or silver (£2,500); the Double-Take topaz earrings (£990) with mismatched hexagonal and octagonal gold drops; and the Complete Deceit drop earrings in gold (£600) – which are mismatched from bottom to top. The handpainted enamel Copy-Cat ring (£1,250) and the gold Swindler’s Charm (£280) with black onyx take the playfulness into rings and pendants.
“I get bored by generic diamond jewellery and the over-emphasis on the stone’s carat weight,” says Packard. “I see the world in colours, composition, patterns and shapes.”