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.
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.
Philippe Ferrandis has provided us with the perfect way to bring summer warmth through to the colder seasons: his ultra-bright neon 'Bounty' range. These simple designs stand out due to his masterful use of distinct shapes, bold colour pops, and subtly contrasting finishes that see smooth opalescent crystal pieces paired with reflective faceted glass. The neutralising white stones are key: they prevent the pieces from looking too gaudy.
Their understated design means these bright pieces are surprisingly versatile. They look great against clothing in muted tones, monochrome outfits or perennially-stylish grey shades. To avoid overkill, stick to a just a few neon accents per outfit.
For a different look, innovative Spanish jeweller Anton Heunis makes these pretty neons, embellished with a frame of minute crystals: