Award-Winning Jeweller Imogen Bellfield Tries on Her Gold-Plated Glove at Her Rock Vault Booth.
LONDON - Rock Vault, an exhibition space for 12 of Britain’s top young jewellers, was held last month during London Fashion Week at London’s Somerset House.
Rock Vault puts jewellery at the heart of the fashion industry. You could say it’s the definitive jewellery show for fashionistas – just with a twist. It certainly has some compelling fashion credentials.
Its curator is Stephen Webster – a man who makes jewellery for the likes of Madonna, Jay-Z and Kate Moss. Participating jeweler, Jordan Askill, honed his skills at Dior Homme before setting up on his own. Photogenic Tomasz Donocik - who looks like he could just as well be on the catwalk - was largely responsible for the first ever men’s jewellery collection from De Beers.
Alex Jefford's 18ct yellow gold Oakland ring from the Font series.
The pieces on show were edgy and intriguing. Many shared a common theme – jewellery depicted as a gentle, soft, beautiful thing with an injection of a harder, sinister, sometimes disturbing element.
Half of the pearls in Melanie Georgacopoulos’ beautiful necklaces have been surgically sliced in half revealing what lies within, and each is different. Askill’s boy’s head pendant opened to reveal, like a luminous brain, a semi-precious stone. The sides of Yunus & Eliza’s claw ring were sharp to touch. Multi-award winning jeweller Imogen Bellfield’s gold plated glove comes from her Warrior collection, and Tomasz Donocik presented his popular gun pendants from his Guns n Roses collection – the bullet in the latest version is crystal.
Imogen Bellfield’s Vagabond Glove.
But there were other themes too. Alex Jefford takes fonts as a starting point and her striking, tactile pieces are a hit with geeky graphic designer types.
Some Rock Vaulters confessed they regularly sell designs from previous seasons since jewellery is perceived as far more enduring than fashion, and has the power to transform an outfit so effectively. Eye opening.
Claire Adler writes on jewellery and watches for the Financial Times and Sotheby's. She consults as a writer and speaker for De Beers, Boodles and the World Gold Council.