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.
Year after year, our range of Marcasite silver proves to be one shop's most adored collections - it seems the glittering jewellery's instantly recognisable, turn-of-the-century look sparks nostalgia in people of all ages, whatever their personal style. We've just added another 30 pieces to our extensive online range, as we predict it'll be very popular come Christmas.
The stones in Marcasite jewellery are actually pieces of Pyrite, a gem that became known as 'Fool's Gold' in the 19th century after gold miners attempted to pass one material off as the other. It was its affordability, however, that ensured the stone's enduring appeal: young Victorian girls could afford to copy the Queen's style by accessorising with a marcasite brooch, while economising 1930s women saw it as a way to wear sparkling, encrusted jewellery without having to face the diamond price tag.
During the 1920s, the gem enjoyed another spell of popularity. It was so ubiquitous that it cropped up on all manner of occasion-wear: belts, headbands, dresses, shoe buckles.
Have a look at some nostalgic images in my Inspiration Gallery.
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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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