London Fashion Week: At the Exhibitions


In the first of our two week fashion issue, we bring you new designer jewellery collections from the Exhibition Halls at Somerset House during London Fashion Week.

‘Gypsy Rani’ stole the show for me as I pressed my nose against the antique glass cabinets that showcased Mawi’s rich treasure trove of jewels. Cloisonné, cameos, aventurine tusks and the glistening rich colour-saturated crystals are a nod to Mawi’s Indian heritage and Princess Rani herself. The juxtaposition of old and new is what I admire about the eponymous brand. What is so noteworthy about this particular collection is the introduction of semi-precious stones and the fact that Mawi’s layered pieces include both fine charm necklaces and statement chokers. Once again, she is spot on in terms of trend but more particularly in creating jewellery that is both for today and for tomorrow – these jewels have a timeless quality and live up to their title: Heirloom.

Mawi Costume Jewellery

There is always a sense of poetry behind Erickson Beamon’s collections and as I grow to know the brand more, I learn that music and film play an integral part in the stories that are dreamt up by grande dame of the costume jewellery world, Vicki Sarge Beamon. Halcyon Days, one of my favourites from their new collection, is no different. Halcyon Days refers to the nostalgically remembered days of one’s youth and it was therefore no surprise that this collection was designed with singer Karen Elson in mind. The intricate detailing and colour palette are feminine, carefree and intriguing. Asymmetric pieces, swallows and honey bees suggest that there is more to each piece than meets the eye.

Erickson Beamon jewelry

"Sophia", Pieter Erasmus exclaimed "is about a return to femininity and the forgotten elegance and romance of bygone eras". The muse for St Erasmus’ Spring/Summer 2011 is Sophia Loren. The lustrous colour palette of shimmering opal, pearl and pale blue exudes glamour and sophistication, further enhanced by the delicate silhouettes of the pieces themselves. This iridescent collection is built around a style icon and the intricate craftsmanship of an Indian heritage. Pieter embraces the opulence of luxury costume jewellery in his modern day parures.

St Erasmus luxuy costume jewellery

‘Bang goes the drum and you’re in love’ is Bark’s prophetic claim to fame that Summer 2011 is going to be the summer of love! I must admit, it’s hard to contest when you experience the collection’s ‘feel good factor’ built around things that make us smile: music, dreams, charming treasures and… well, love. The carousel horse, the ‘(be my) no.1 earrings’ and the Jack Wills-esque jewels for men were my favourites and I have to admit, I left with a smile…

Bark Jewellery

‘Poolside’ is a statement in 1960s jet set society. Merle has managed to capture the modernist aesthetic with mouth-watering jewels that are intriguing, by virtue of their industrial edge and geometric style. The elements of Merle’s previous collections have been updated and given a makeover. The ‘Sputnik’ or ‘Bombshell’ ring has lost the spikes, perspex has gained colour and gold foil enters the arena. An exciting collection that leaves me hankering for more…

Merle O'Grady Spring/summer 2011

Inspired by the song, ‘Daisy Belle’, Alex Monroe leads us on an adventure in the countryside on a bicycle made for two on a lazy, hazy Sunday afternoon. Alex has captivated an audience who love the romance of his narrative and the fact that, through his jewellery, he conjures up a yearning for the adventure he is talking about. I felt instantly transported into the world he was describing and was lost for a while in the detail of a country affair. The picnic-box pendant caught my eye and I looked inside, only to find a minature cup, wine bottle and plate! The oak leaf earrings and open page book further enhanced the nostalgia and I turned to Emma and asked, "exactly when will this collection be available?"…

Alex Monroe jewelry

New to the jewellery scene, AKONG, is the brainchild of Nicole Akong, whose past life reflects a chequerboard of diverse passions from DJ-ing to a career in the City. ‘Drama Queen’ is AKONG’s debut collection, inspired by style heroines and the glamour of wearing jewellery as a statement piece. Feathers, both metallic and organic, layer like fallen leaves in cascades of metallic opulence whilst chain fringing, velvet and semi-precious stones make their presence felt too. I left the AKONG stand, with a note to self: ‘One to Watch’…


 To read all our posts in our London Fashion Week Jewellery Trends Issue 1, click here.

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