What is the Britain of the past centuries? It’s been a Britain of three qualities: rebellious, reckless, and fearless!
In the last ten to twenty years, the British have not changed all that much: they are the same hipsters they’ve always been to this day, although I would call them “elite rock ‘n’ rollers” now. Biker jackets have been replaced with austere chequered clothes by Chanel and Versace’s lacquered leather, whilst Dr. Martens lace-ups have gone out to thick-soled Prada boots or Yves Saint Laurent buckle shoes; the style has stayed but the materials are more expensive.
Using safety pins as accessories isn’t fashionable any more: steel has been replaced with silver, white gold, titanium, and yellow gold, whether glossy or mat. To this end, white and black diamonds, sapphires, onyx, and spinel have worked to complement them.
Forget about tacky spike-studded neck collars – the era of rock ‘n’ roll fine jewellery is here!
Since my visit to the Rock Vault, curated by Stephen Webster, at the London Fashion Week Exhibition, I’ve wanted to throw some light on this fairly recent, as I like to call it, “rock-chic” trend in the jewellery industry.
The items made in this style are nothing like classical pieces or those which we readily associate with jewellery made out of gold and diamonds. Jewellery can also be alternative and daring; whatever is interpreted through its colour spectrum, its structure, the cut and fitting of the stones, the precious metals and their finish depends on how the jewellery is meant to be worn and is worn.You only need to see the things which Webster himself has created to understand what I mean.
Aside from the maestro himself, there are a few less well-known designers who have proved capable of changing widespread opinions about how we should look at jewellery. They were chosen by Stephen Webster to exhibit their work in the special “Rock Vault” of London Fashion Week. So here they speak for themselves expressing views on their creations or who the jewellery presented at the Rock Vault is for.
“There is a world in between fine and fashion jewellery and this is what we represent here in the Rock Vault. These are precious materials like pearls, gold and diamonds but with fashion mentality. We play with colour and different shapes and try to approach a fairly young audience who has all the classics, want something different but still want to invest in a piece.” – Melanie Georgacopoulos
“It is all about the creative process for me as I came from product design of a jewellery manufacturing company. I have always been attracted to the actual process of turning an idea, a drawing into the final product. This process is even more attractive when it comes to jewellery as this is something beautiful, something you want to touch and manipulate. I think that when a man is attracted to jewellery he has this pure lust for the material.” – Fernando Jorge
“We would describe our jewellery as rebellious wearable art where futurism meets classicism. There is strong influence of sci-fi, mythology and history in our work. A lot of what we do is surreal art as every other piece of our jewellery comes from our dreams. They influence us a lot and it constantly happens that we wake up because of some great idea that comes to our minds.” – Younus&Eliza
“My special one-of-a-kind pieces that I presented at the Rock Vault are in a way miniature sculptures. They are based on minerals and precious stones in their natural state, not carved or polished. At the Rock Vault I presented some emeralds, rough diamonds, rock crystal, garners and aquamarines. I really wanted to introduce in a way new stones to jewellery…there are lots of amazing specimens out there that are even more beautiful in their natural state than when they are carved.” – Ornella Iannuzzi
“A lot of my work is about fusing materials, for example a lot of leathers with silver as this is something I am very passionate about. I do lots of leather installations and I love using precious stones. In the next collection that I have designed already there will be even more stones! Talking about inspiration…some of my collections are based on stories or literature and some, like Gardens of Good and Evil, on my imagination when I try to visualise that world.” – Tomasz Donocik
Photos of the Rock Vault, Tomasz and Ornella are by Katerina Perez, the rest are by Darren Gerrish.
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