Can you shed some light on your background and tell us how you established a fine jewellery label that is today internationally renowned?
I’m from a creative background, one full of art, design and learning. Both my parents were in education; my dad and brother are artists, and my mum is a teacher and craftswoman with an absolute passion for fabrics. Further back in the family, engineers and scientists. I’ve inherited a mind equipped with a creative mix of artistic and engineering thinking. Jewellery being a sublime mix of the two, I was destined to be a jewellery designer.
I studied jewellery in London. In 1986, after leaving college, I set up an atelier and created my first fashion collection, which is when I introduced London to my work. A day visiting boutiques and stores with my precious creations was to bring good fortune when one of the boutique owners phoned a friend at Vogue and insisted I was the next big thing. I was at Voque House within the hour with a gaggle of Vogue editors. It took off ! After winning an award for newcomers, I started showing silver collections in London and Paris during Fashion Week. The collections became very popular and sold to boutiques all over the globe.
I had a break from the hectic show rota while I lectured at Central Saint Martins for 13 years. It was an amazing time during which I met and taught some impressive talents. It also gave me the opportunity to hone my skills and think about ethics. By the time I left in 2014 I had created new work in recycled gold and continue to create fashion collections.
What materials do you work with?
I use a lot of metals and love gold; its warmth, softness and possibilities. It’s a dream material.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
My inspirations have come from archaeology, culture, anthropology, geology, the history of metalwork and flora so it’s pretty broad I’d say. I’m curious by nature and have never stopped learning. Recent collection have been inspired by 19th century botanical drawings and microscopic fossils called diatomites.
What are you currently working on?
I’m working on a number of different things which will appear later in the year. One is a gold collection based on the forms in ‘Botany’ which I’m very excited about. Tiny versions of the award winning earrings from the collection launched at Paris fashion week.
Can you tell us about your work with Kalmar… What inspired you for the designs?
For Kalmar, Karen and I dreamed of a women to create jewellery for, a free spirit, an international traveller and an art collector. I keep her in mind whenever I am designing for Kalmar and look to 20th century artists who created jewellery as part of their practice, like Alexander Calder, Max Ernst and Jean Cocteau.
Where would you travel to for a sweet escape?
It has to be by the sea. I’m from a seaside town in Dorset and miss the sea terribly living in London. The first thing I do when I’m home is take off my shoes and scrunch my toes into the warm sand.
What is your all time favourite piece of jewellery that you have designed for Kalmar?
I’m most fond of our serpent earrings. On first glance they look like big statement disc earrings; but when you closely inspect the spiral of dots you see the pattern along the serpents spine. The ear wire is its tongue!
Your favourite piece of clothing from the Kalmar collection?
I have two. I couldn’t decide. The Farah jumpsuit in super bright stripes and the Sultana kaftan in coral aqua. Both pieces just look like a summer day and in my imagination, transport me to the sea.
What is next regarding your work for Kalmar? Can you give us a teaser?
Well, that would be telling! I can say that the serpent makes an appearance… and there are new statement rings and earrings on the way, very much aligned with the Kalmar vibe.
At Kalmar we strive to make women feel empowered, beautiful, and at ease in our designs. How does jewellery come into play to inspire women that feeling of gorgeousness and confidence in themselves?
Our jewels are designed to be confident effortless luxury, statements that are easy to wear. They finish an outfit, framing ideas about identity.
How would you describe Kalmar in 3 words?
L a i d b a c k l u x
How do you define wellbeing?
Contentment; not happiness as that is such an active word. Contentment suggests peacefulness and comfort which can only come from wellness and being at one with the world.