I'm pleased to announce the addition of a new range to my online store: the iconic silver and platinum jewellery of British studio Lustre of London.
The company's co-founder, Lesley Cole, traded for many years in fine vintage jewellery at Gray's Antiques Centre in London. This background gave her an expert's understanding in precious jewellery: how it's made, what works and what customers are looking for.
Since much of the jewellery she sold featured real diamonds and precious stones, it was not affordable to most and lacked versatility - customers were afraid to wear their pieces for fear of losing them! This led Lesley to envisage a range of high-quality, high-end jewellery that came with a more accessible price tag than the rare, antique kind.
Together with a small team, Lesley set about designing intricate, finely-crafted pieces that were inspired by the classic designs she was familiar with. More contemporary styles, like hoop earrings, were also given a timeless touch with the inclusion of hundreds of minute Cubic Zirconia stones.
As a less expensive, man-made alternative to diamond, CZ gems almost rival the stone for purity and hardness. Lustre's resulting pieces are flawless, classically stylish and indistinguishable from real jewellery.
I'm in love with this range - it perfectly complements the more colourful and offbeat jewellery in my collection and has proved very popular in my Bath shop.
Recently a very chic Frenchwoman wandered into my shop and I couldn't help but comment on her fabulous, oversized clip-ons: they were unlike anything I'd seen before. Later on she returned with a jewellery pouch and showed me her holiday capsule earring collection: every pair was the work of Parisian jeweller Jean-Louis Blin. She put me in touch with the designer and, after streamlining a selection of pieces (this was really hard: I loved everything I saw) I'm now able to count myself among the lucky few who stock his wonderful work.
Although superior craftmanship and artistry can be seen in each pair of his earrings, Blin's jewellery is anything but uniform - every design looks markedly different from the last. While other designers often find a style that sells and stay with it, Blin takes risks with every piece of jewellery: so much so that costumiers at Moulin Rouge recognised his exceptional talent for innovation and commissioned him to create bejewelled accessories for their dancers.
Blin and wife Claudine run a shop in Paris dedicated exclusively to his designs. Besides this, they supply only a small number of external stockists, so these designs are well worth coveting when you find them!
All the jewellery is handmade by the Blins plus a three-person team of talented artisans. This commitment to hands-on craft is evident in the quality and intricacy of each piece.
Blin infuses his Art Nouveau-inspired designs with a bold, modern aesthetic and decorates them with splashes of colour. His palette is muted: bright colours are offset by cooler, gentler shades, making these oversized earrings tasteful and wearable. The comfortable clip-on fittings can be worn on pierced and unpierced ears: they're well made and don't pinch.
I love to hear what my customers have to say about their experiences in the shop and online
Whether it’s because you’ve worn your new earrings at a wedding, adore the cocktail ring you were given on your birthday, or you just simply treated yourself, please let me know!
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