The Scribblaire’s latest job provided the opportunity to attend an exhibition in London’s Kensington Olympia. Not only does the venue play to my interest in Victorian architecture, but the exhibition in question was International Jewellery London. Surrounded by fantastic nineteenth century ironwork and a huge range of fabulous jewellery, I was in my element!
The exhibition is held annually and is for trade only so I was lucky to be able to attend. In the past the show has been held at Earl’s Court. As the future of that venue is uncertain it was moved to Olympia. The Scribblaire considers it to be perfect for a jewellery show. The large main hall was the focus for larger stands and companies and included specific areas for gemstones, diamonds and silver jewellery. There were also specific areas organised by geography, including Hong Kong and South Africa. The hall is covered by a glass and steel curved roof, which gave a light and airy feel. Around the edge of the hall is a balcony which could be reached by a specially build staircase and via stairs at each corner of the hall. The balcony was the focus for designer brands and included a wide range of innovative and highly creative jewellery.
Most of the designer stands were fairly small and included individual stands and some shared areas with several designers, each with one plinth to show their wares.
Although almost impossible to whittle a selection down to a handful of stands, these were some of the Scribblaire’s personal favourites.
My choices are almost all from the designer gallery, but there was one stand on the main floor which I returned to several times. W Hamond manufactures and sells Whitby Jet and there were some lovely designs which tempted me. The Scribblaire’s taste is generally quite contemporary but I have always been interested in Jet. This despite (or perhaps because of) it being best known as mourning jewellery popularised by Queen Victoria! Some of the designs on display were very modern however, including some lovely organic shaped pieces of jet in silver settings.
Some of the designers that caught my eye included Angela O’Keefe and Hannah Tommola, both of whom were on the Ireland Cork Pavilion. Pieces by Sarah McAleer and Malcolm Morris were very interesting. There was a fantastic collection of new designers in the Kick Start section of the gallery. Much of what was on show in that section was as much art as fashion I thought.
The piece of jewellery which most tempted me was made by Sophie from Essemge. I have subsequently been in touch with Sophie and bought the piece in the main photo above. I can’t remember having seen anything like this and think it will look stunning with a plain outfit. It is striking enough to wear to a formal event, but also fun and very modern so could be worn for more casual outings. I love it!
Talking to the designers has made the Scribblaire want to learn how to make jewellery. Maybe it’s something I will look into ….