Now that the dust has settled, the shop refurb completed and Spring weather is finally showing her glory, I can start to look at how the fashion world is celebrating the 2017 change of seasons.
As one gets older it’s easy to feel a tad jaded about the reinvention of some trends but also to welcome the return of others, as you know that they are both flattering and fantastic.
We’ve been stocking Cressida Bell scarves for over three years and her creative colourful interpretation of her family artistic heritage (potter and art historian Duncan Bell was her father and the Bloomsbury Group and Charleston House are part of her family history), education at St Martins (where her contemporaries included the milliner Stephen Jones and designer John Galliano), and her personal genius enable the cross over from art to design, which makes her scarves and shawls a delight to wear.
In hand printed silk georgette Cressida’s scarves can tick this season’s trend boxes by being worn as a bohemian belt, turban or trailing choker. The fabulous patterning makes a Dolce and Gabbana type statement when mixed with our Ayala Bar or Heidi Bennett earrings or a more modernist look is created when mixed with the strong mineral stones from our Trousseau range.
As you probably know, scarves are another abiding passion for me. I’ve discovered that using one of our chunky Konplott statement rings as a scarf tie creates a unique and striking statement which demonstrates what fashion should be all about; feeling good, looking great, and enjoying playing with colours, shapes and styles to effect.
Receiving new stock from Jean-Louis Blin is so exciting - there are no catalogues, no websites, no order forms to create a bespoke list; so the very first time I see the jewellery is when it arrives in the shop. With every shipment, Jean-Louis seems to become more innovative and more experimental; always injecting freshness and creativity into his offbeat vintage-style range.
This pair feature a couple of beautiful, upcycled pastel glass stones, rescued from an old piece of jewellery and given a new lease of life in Blin's glamorous gothic mounts.
Taking influence from the Art Nouveau scene that dominated Western Europe, Blin stays true to the Paris of the past by incorporating curvilinear shapes, Edwardian flourishes and fin-de-siecle butterfly motifs into his handcrafted pieces. These traditional elements are effectively blended with edgier components such as carved beetles, hanging curb-chain curtains and ghostly iridescent crystals.
He doesn't skimp on detail or size, meaning his earrings work perfectly paired with minimal accessories, or no accessories at all.
I adore the work of this truly singular designer: someone who has been honing his craft for over forty years and stayed faithful to his own vision of what makes jewellery beautiful.
French favourite Philippe Ferrandis releases eight new ranges per season, each with a highly distinctive vibe. With Philippe having worked as a jewellery designer since 1986, it's incredible that every collection still surprises with its individuality and freshness - he never seems to run out of inspiration. I can never wait until the galleries for his newest designs appear online - it's trimming down my order that's the tricky part! The first from the SS16 collection to feature on alexandramay.com are the beautiful opal blooms of the 'Daisy' collection.
These frosted treats are fitted with a clip-on backing to ensure they don't weigh down piercings. If you're wary of clip-ons, try Philippe's - they're the most comfortable I've discovered so far. As always with Ferrandis earrings, it's the blend of textures and finishes that distinguish them. The iridescent daisy centres (above) are made in polished Mother of Pearl...
While the Swarovski drops in this pair
are made in opaline crystal, a ghostly, almost phosphorescent material that reflects light more smoothly than its semi-precious stone counterpart.
Having collaborated with Givenchy, Chanel and Balmain, Philippe is an expert in producing couture costume jewellery. What I love is the stunning simplicity of his designs.