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Across Avenue Montaigne from where Christian Dior presented the “New Look” in 1947, the company which bears his name now has a boutique dedicated to watches and fine jewellery. Dior commissioned architect Peter Marino to create the space, where artworks by Damien Hirst and photographer Dana Buckley will also be on display. A host of new jewels has been launched in celebration, including five additions to the Archi Dior collection that was inspired by the designer’s passion for architecture. Among these, the Bar en Corolle ring has been reimagined in white and yellow gold, diamonds and emeralds.
German goldsmith Wellendorff has launched four unique necklaces only available until Christmas. Each piece focuses on a single large precious stone of a different shape: a blue square aquamarine, a yellow oval sapphire, a round seven-carat diamond and a heart-shaped Muzo emerald. They are all embedded in diamonds to intensify their colour, and are hung or set in gold — two draped like tasselled scarves and two set within striking collars.
Annoushka has created a bejewelled, kaleidoscopic menagerie with the help of Parisian jeweller Lydia Courteille, the brand’s latest guest designer. Ms Courteille is a gemologist and antique jewellery specialist, and has married her trademark use of unusual coloured stones and fantastical design with Annoushka’s pavé aesthetic. The collaboration is exclusive to the UK, but not for the subtle: bright pink rabbits drop from huge earrings, octopuses sit tangled in their own rainbow of tentacles and starfish form a multicoloured gemstone reef.
Astley Clarke, the British fine jeweller best known for its friendship bracelets and charms, has appointed Dominic Jones as its new creative director. Mr Jones studied traditional silversmithing and launched his own brand in 2009, producing a number of modern, geometric collections with edgy campaign photography to match. His first collection for Astley Clarke will not be released until February, but is likely to appeal to younger consumers. Mr Jones’ appointment has come soon after investment in the company by luxury entrepreneur Carmen Busquets, an early investor in Net-a-Porter, and Venrex, the venture capital firm that also backed notonthehighstreet.com, Just Eat and make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury.
Back to the future
Harry Winston will reopen its New Bond Street flagship in mid-November, following a nine-month renovation. The newly-designed salon will feature a restored façade that mimics the archway of the jeweller’s Fifth Avenue store, made using Portland stone from Dorset, in line with many of Mayfair’s Georgian buildings. Inside, antique bronze furnishings, chandeliers, black lacquer and beaded silk walls will hark back to 1932, when the brand was founded. The shop’s ground floor will be given over to bridal and fine jewellery collections, the first to high jewellery and the second to watches.
Let’s play Tetris
Discovering an antique mourning locket from 1910 inspired Amy Burton with a love of jewellery. Years later, having studied at London’s Gemmological Association and the Gemological Institute of America, the 35-year-old has now launched her own label and first three collections. These will be sold exclusively at London’s Hancocks jewellers, founded in 1849 and bought by Burton’s parents in 1992, who then moved it to Burlington Arcade. The designer’s first collections have sculptural rings and cuffs, joined by a Tetris-like gem-set necklace.
British fashion designer Jenny Packham — whose bridal dresses and ready-to-wear collections have a high-profile following, including the Duchess of Cambridge — has designed a fine jewellery collection exclusive to high-street jeweller Goldsmiths. She has drawn inspiration from the golden age of cinema, the Aurora Borealis and the night sky for three bridal suites that each include an engagement ring, earrings and a pendant.
Kat and the City
Young British jeweller Kat Florence has just opened her first shop, on Grafton Street in London. Since founding the brand in 2014, the former teacher has brought out two collections full of vibrant gemstones (peridot, apatite and rubellite, for instance) and unique pieces. Last year Ms Florence set up a philanthropic foundation and is working with non-profit organisation A Drop of Life to rebuild a school in Nepal that was ruined after the 2015 earthquake. Ms Florence is also collaborating with Sarah Jessica Parker on a collection of diamond jewellery, a first for the Sex and the City actress.