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London Fashion Week S/S 2011: best Jewellery Designers at Somerset House

My favourite bits of jewellery at Somerset House for S/S 2011: Tatty Devine (of course), ethical designers LeJu, Mawi, Phillippa Holland and newcomers Phoebe Coleman and Cabinet 4 Buba.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Harriet Vine of Tatty Devine by Dee Andrews.

I’m a girl. I quite like jewellery, I can’t help it. Here’s my round up of the sweetest pieces I saw at Somerset House this year.

Phoebe Coleman
Phoebe Coleman was new to LFW this year, evident in her slightly small simple stand and eager demeanour. But that’s no bad thing! Rather that than some shirty designer who barks at me if I take a photo. It’s understandable that some people get narked what with lots of pesky manufacturers sneaking in to nick their ideas, but I’m only too happy to share my business card so a bit of decorum is always good. Anyway, like I said Phoebe was lovely and chatty. Her first degree was in fine art and she then went onto study jewellery in San Diego, California whilst also producing plays. She’s a big old romantic, so alongside her previous dewdrop collection she has just launched the most darling heart collection at LFW. I love big brash jewellery for making a bit of a noise, but for day to day wear you can’t beat simple gold pendants. So want one. What’s more she’s determined to support local jewellers so everything is made in London.

Phoebe Coleman By Katherine Tromans
Phoebe Coleman By Katherine Tromans.

I’ve written about the jewellery brand LeJu in Amelia’s Magazine before. Back then they were one of only a few ethical jewellery companies but they now have some strong competition. The brand deserves a special mention for breaking out of the Esthetica ghetto and pushing into more exciting boundaries of design than in previous seasons. Loved this huge piece making best use of dyed vegetable ivory.

Somerset House SS2011 Le Ju
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Philippa Holland
Over on the Philippa Holland stand I was captivated by an absolutely gorgeous moveable sycamore ring. It comes in both gold and silver options but unfortunately it’s quite pricey. *sad face* Still, if you’re a money bags this is one beautiful and unique bit of jewellery. Philippa is inspired by the ancient and natural worlds as well as English folklore, so she creates lots of exciting bug pieces that obviously appeal to the fashion forward man – there was one fawning over them when I was visiting. Like Phoebe she’s keen to support British craftsmanship and eschews commercial production practices. Last Christmas she did personal engravings on pieces bought as gifts so let’s hope she does that again… what a fabulous idea for a totally unique present.

Philippa Holland By Katherine Tromans
Philippa Holland By Katherine Tromans
Philippa Holland By Katherine Tromans.

Cabinet 4 Buba
The Buba stand was all beaded and glittery: Ashish distilled into a handbag. This season Lesley Silwood and Euan McDonald have branched out into jewellery for the first time, and this was what drew me in, though I’d love one of their cross strap bags too now that my damn Vivienne Westwood bag is bust. All the beading is done by their own factory in India, which Lesley assured me means that working conditions are impeccable. Loved the big beaded hoop earrings and long sausage necklaces put together in abstract designs. Just fabulous. Even if she looked at me blankly when I told her I was from Amelia’s Magazine. Clearly not a fan then.

Buba Jewellery by Kellie Black.

Tatty Devine
Now, you all know I love Tatty Devine. Not only are Rosie Wolfenden and Harriet Vine two of my very favourite people in the whole of fashiondom but they’re so bloomin’ talented. Since they started off the whole acrylic jewellery thing (ten years ago, my word) they have been so incredibly copied by everyone – from graduate jewellers to Top Shop – that it’s become a bit ridiculous. But NONE of them will touch what Tatty Devine can design – because in terms of imagination and innovation they are always about ten steps ahead of the game. Every season I can’t wait to see what they’ve come up with next, and naturally this collection did not disappoint. Expect a continuation of the Future Mystic theme that has just hit the stands for A/W – with huge crystal necklaces and Esoterica a big influence. Look out especially for some amazing hinged glitter bird necklaces and headpieces. We also went to their party, read about it here.

LFW SS2011-photo by Amelia Gregory
Somerset House SS2011 Tatty Devine
Somerset House SS2011 Tatty Devine
Illustrations by Dee Andrews.

We did a huge old feature on Mawi in one of the last issues of Amelia’s Magazine so safe to say that I’m quite a big fan – but somewhat miffed that in the course of writing this article I discovered that Mawi has reposted a pdf of that very same interview on a prominent part of her website with absolutely NO credit at all to where it came from. And I don’t even merit a mention on her “Cool Blogs and Websites” list. So yes, I like Mawi’s jewellery. She does big stuff: be warned, it’s quite heavy. She’s not worried about the current trend towards much smaller pieces (you’re in there Phoebe Coleman!) That’s it folks. Suffice to say I’d be more enthusiastic about the new collection if she bothered to acknowledge the promotion we gave her early on, or indeed to give me the impression she even remembers her appearance in Amelia’s Magazine. Love it when that happens. *sigh*

LFW SS2011-photo by Amelia Gregory
LFW SS2011-photo by Amelia Gregory
Mawi knuckledusters for the David Koma catwalk show.


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