This month I've been hard at work getting a very exciting new collection online: the exotic, natural 'La Maitresse' range by Konplott. Below are some photographs from the shoot, along with artists' depictions of wild nature that fit with the theme of this jewellery.
This vibrant creeping vine ring is fitted with an adjustable band to fit any size finger. The whole range seems to be modelled on plants that are beautiful but deadly, like the venus flytrap...... only with rows of Swarovski crystals in place of spiked borders.
Designer Miranda Konstaninidou created on-trend ear cuff design for the range. The earring can be gently manipulated to fit any ear and stays in place thanks to two gentle clips. Looks edgy, feels incredibly comfy!
The jewellery is very sturdy, fitted with high-quality Swarovski crystals and glass stones, and is crafted by hand in a Philippines studio that employs only women. Head designer Miranda personally trains each of her employees, passing on her expert knowledge and equipping them with the skills to make a good living from jewellery-making.
I've just added my last ever collection of Au Bout Des Reves brooches and pins to the website. I'm sad to report that brand Au Bout Des Reves formally known as Catherine Popescu is closing after twenty-three years spent meticulously replicating the beautiful accessories of the Late Victorian and early 20th Century periods. As her creations have been so admired in the years I've stocked them I picked out a big, eclectic final range for the shop!
Popescu established the company after discovering a job lot of original turn-of-the-century brooch stampings at the Paris Flea Market. The moulds, dating from 1880-1920, covered a period of dynamism, experimentation and innovation in design which saw the birth of the baroque and rococo revivals as well as the Art Deco and Nouveau periods.
By adding jewel-coloured translucent enamels and minute Swarovski crystals to ornate frameworks cast from the moulds, Popescu restored these forgotten designs to their original glory. While surviving pieces from early 1900s tend to be fragile and faded, Au Bout Des Reves' designs are fitted with sturdy pin fastenings, coloured in strong stained-glass shades and painted with clear resin to secure their inset crystals.
These highly collectible pieces will only increase in value now that the company are ceasing production. The quality of the work and timeless nature of the designs mean that they'll continue to be loved for decades - real heirlooms!
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.