As the SS15 orders start to arrive and hit our shop floor our buyers are already looking ahead to AW15 as they attend London Fashion Week. Our Assistant Buyer Charlotte Kimber shares with us a few of her favourite designers housed in the wings of Somerset House.
“I have long be admiring design duo Shimmel & Madden’s sleek and modern jewels, so London Fashion Week was the perfect opportunity to try on their lustworthy rings”. Made up of Emma Simone Madden and Luke Shimmel, this creative pair are one of the latest additions to the illustrious Rock Vault collective. Schimmel spoke about their trips to Germany to source beautiful mirror cut stones to complement their architectural aesthetic.
Rich forest green Tourmalines complemented the warm gold and came alive with the sunlight streaming through the windows. “Every piece of jewellery is a work of art, with the rings as beautiful on as off the finger”.
Another designer who champions minimalist designs is Charlotte Valkenries. Valkenriers’s work is a fusion between her Scandinavian heritage and British outlook, as she draws upon the culture of London our home away from home. Deconstructing shapes, the designs are described as masculine in form but feminine in detail, with Swarvoski crystals used to highlight angles and reinvented forms. Nominated for “New Designer” in the UK Jewellery Awards, we’re sure Valkenriers is soon to be the name on everyone’s lips.
And as the clouds draw in over LFW our buyers are busy prepping for Paris Fashion Week this Friday, as they search for even more new talent. If we have excited your interest to invest in some new jewellery why not check out our New In section or visit us in store.
K A T I E R O W L A N D
EC One Jewellers are delighted to be launching the hottest new designer to grace our cabinets; Katie Rowland.
Her beguiling colourful use of precious stones and dip-dye metal finishes add elegance to her fierce contemporary shapes. After all her brand philosophy is ‘elegance with edge’, personified by her long list of celebrity admirers which includes Cara Delevingne and Natalie Dormer.
Wawa Circle Rings
Prior to launching her own luxury brand Katie Rowland designed Agent Provocateur’s jewellery line, the perfect playground to develop her signature style: empowering and sensuous fashion-forward pieces.
Katie is an alumni of Central St Martins, in just four years she has taken the jewellery world by storm winning, amongst others, the Coutts New Jeweller Award and ‘New Designer’ at the UK Jewellery Awards.
Prepare to adorn and armour yourself.
As the owner of EC One, Jos has helped hundreds of couples take those first few steps towards marital bliss. Here he shares his top 10 tips for finding the perfect engagement ring.
1. Proposing with a ring is always much more romantic than being empty handed. You are much more likely to get a ‘yes’ when you turn up with a beautiful ring that you think she will like. Of course most women want to choose what they wear – long gone are the days when they had to settle for whatever they were given. So make sure the jewellers will exchange if it’s not quite right.
2. Research what you think she would like. Many partners make the mistake of buying what they like rather than thinking of what their partner would like. You were probably not drawn to her because she is just like you (let’s hope not!), so think about what sort of thing she would wear. Have a look in her jewellery box, and if you are really unsure, then take one of her friends along that you know you can trust.
3. Take a photo of her with you when you go shopping. At EC One we will often ask if the proposer has a photo of their partner. This can give us a better idea of what sort of person they are and what we think they might like. Practical things such as does she work with her hands and will she have to take the ring off when she is working may make a difference to your choice.
4. Don’t worry too much about the finger size. Most jewellers will stock an average size which can then be fitted once the ring has been given. If you can find a ring in her jewellery box that you know she wears then do take it to your jeweller. However, it is unlikely that she wears anything on her engagement ring finger, so bear in mind any other will be just a guess.
5. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Without a doubt, nothing says marry me more than a diamond. It is steeped in history as the most romantic stone and won’t be confused with a dress or cocktail ring when being given. Unless you know for certain she’s not a fan, diamonds are the biggest signal that you are serious. Diamonds are graded using the four Cs and a stone should be chosen in this order; cut, colour, clarity, and carat weight. Make sure you have a basic knowledge and above all trust the person who is selling you the stone. The Gemmological Institute of America has more information.
6. Quality over size. Wherever possible always choose quality over size. A large diamond showing yellow colour and black carbon deposits doesn’t compare to a smaller, whiter more brilliant stone. In the same way a thin weedy looking ring won’t stand up to being worn day in day out.
7. Don’t buy a diamond ring without holding it in your hand. Two diamonds can look identical on the certificate, but small differences in proportion can affect the look of the stone. The size of the table (the flat top of the diamond), for example, can affect how it catches the light. A large table reflects more white light, a small table reflects the fire of the diamond. It’s really down to personal preference, and it’s something you need to see up close. You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it, would you?
8. How much should it cost? This is often referred to as the fifth C. Most estimates vary from one to three months’ salary. My advice is always to set yourself a budget and don’t go too far away from that. There are ways to make the most of your budget; you will be able to have a bigger stone if you go for white gold over platinum, for example, or several smaller diamonds over a large single stone. In defence of the jeweller, they are selling you something that (if it is well made) is expected to be worn every day for the rest of her life. Pretty good value really.
9. Buy from people you like and have a longstanding solid reputation. I am constantly amazed by the number of people who proudly show their bargain ring bought with cash in the back room of some dodgy office. Whoever you buy from, are they reputable, is the stone conflict free, and will they still be around when you come to buy a matching wedding band? All of her friends will ask your fiancé where the ring is from…
10. Finally – the proposal. Here at EC One we hear lots of amazing stories of different proposals. They range from The London Eye to scuba diving. Whatever you decide, asking for a woman’s hand in marriage is one of the most important things that you can do. Therefore, a good deal of consideration should be put into the timing and setting of this event. This is a memorable moment, which will be told and retold over the years to your friends, family, children, and grandchildren. Make it a story worth telling.
The Inspiring Independents initiative recognises truly outstanding independent jewellery retailers, with the winners chosen by other members of the industry. Hosted by Retail Jeweller Magazine, this is a collection of the 50 most inspiring independent jewellers, as chosen by their fellow retailers. A shop might be considered outstanding because of beautiful store design, clever marketing, brilliant product choice, or impeccable customer service – having previously come joint first in 2011, EC One has once again demonstrated it has all these qualities by being awarding the top place in 2014!
To read more about the award, and see pictures of the event, click here…
If you’ve walked down Exmouth Market in the past week you may have noticed something different among the independent boutiques and mouth-watering smells which waft from its array of international food stalls.
Over the last few months EC One has secretly been re-branding our entire business, from shop front, to packaging, to website.
It’s a different look for EC One as a company, moving from the feminine feel of the previous logo with its sweeping mauve colours and soft rounded shapes, to something with a greater sense of heritage, both more androgynous but also more fun!
This image overhaul is actually not that radical.
EC One is based in Clerkenwell, an area of London that from Victorian times until the present day has been its Jewellery Quarter.
The history of Exmouth Market has helped to distil the essence of what EC One stands for as a business, most importantly its core values of heritage and quality, demonstrated in the skill and traditional expertise of our onsite workshop.
Playing with ideas around the traditional signage of Clerkenwell, Jos and Alison created branding with a Dickensian feel. A playful use of colour and mischevious subtext keeps it modern and fresh.
The shop sign was made by ‘The Brilliant Signs Company’. Jos loved that, unlike some, they still use processes little changed from Victorian and Edwardian times, just like the Goldsmiths at EC One!
Pop down and see us soon!
Voting for the Three Finalists of EC One’s Graduate Design Competition, ‘Unsigned 2014’, closes at midnight tonight, on Tuesday 4th, so hurry to cast your cast & be directly involved in this fantastic award!
This year we’ve had a tremendous array of entries, from pretty to edgy; architectural to rebellious; delicate to minimalist. We’ve been impressed by the innovation and skill of all the designers, as well as the sheer breadth of ideas, and we can’t wait to see which three you will choose!
Once the EC One customers have picked their final three, Jos and Ali will chose a wild card. These four designers will then present their work to our panel of judges. This year, these include: London-based Jewellery Designer, Tomasz Donocik; Kathryn Bishop, editor-in-chief of Professional Jeweller magazine; Kate Baxter, from jewellery advice blog ‘The Cut’; Katie Jamieson, our 2012 Unsigned Winner; and – of course – our Director, Jos!
The lucky winner will have the chance to sell their jewellery collection with us, with full marketing and design advice from EC One – a fantastic opportunity for any budding new designer!
After much deliberation we have drawn up our 10 finalists for EC One Unsigned 2014!
The 10 designers to go through to the voting stage are….
Congratulations to the final 10!
To see your favourite become one of the final four, it’s now up to YOU to vote!
To Vote, either:
i. ‘Like’ their image in the EC One ‘Unsigned 2014′ Facebook Album
ii. Click on your favourite designer’s dedicated post on EC One’s Blog, & click the Facebook ‘Like’ at the bottom of the blog page
iii. ‘Like’ their image on our Instagram feed (@econe_jewellery)
The 3 designers with the most votes, along with a wild card chosen by EC One, will be invited to meet the judges and show their work. But hurry! You only have until midnight on Tuesday 4th of November to cast your vote!
Finally – thank you to all of the entrants! Without exception, we were incredibly impressed with the standard of work submitted this year!
VOTE FOR JO BY CLICKING THE ‘LIKE’ BUTTON AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST
Crafted from recycled silver, Fairtrade gold and a by-product of the meat industry (carved cow bone), Jo’s work is not only aesthetically beautiful but also ethically impeccable.
Jo Gordon is the creator of Fera, bold luxurious designs in recycled silver and Fairtrade gold. Her work is inspired by her time spent living and travelling abroad, and features cow bone which has been hand carved into custom shapes and set like stones into the pieces alongside precious gemstones with intricate detailing. An unusual and beautiful material with ivory-like qualities, cow bone is a by-product of the meat industry. Transformed into a treasured and precious material in the ANIMII Collection, it creates some truly eye catching, statement jewellery pieces.
VOTE FOR GRACE BY CLICKING THE ‘LIKE’ BUTTON AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST
Focusing on Art Deco architecture, ‘The Fortune Hunter Collection’ from Grace Honeybul has a fabulous, chunky fashion edge.
Ornamentation and decoration in architecture are influential throughout Grace Honeybul’s body of work. Fascinated with detailed features and patterns, her main source of inspiration stems from her London roots, growing up – as she did – surrounded by historical architecture.
Her new project, ‘The Fortune Hunter Collection’, focuses on Art Deco architecture, re-imagining ornamentation found on New York’s ‘Chrysler Building’ and ‘The Carreras Cigarette Factory’ in Camden.
Within her collection, Grace explores design through new technologies, specifically 3D printing. She feels it is important to have the final production stages finished by hand in order to maintain a high finish quality. The collection features pyramid cut Amethyst and Lapis stones and 3D printed nylon.
To see the other finalists for ‘EC One Unsigned 2014′, click here to visit our Facebook Album.
VOTE FOR HAYLEY BY CLICKING THE ‘LIKE’ BUTTON AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST
EC One absolutely loved Hayley’s colourful, fanciful silk cuffs and collars. Forming a personal tale of finding one’s place in the world, they feature prints of tree silhouettes and beautiful, autumnal skies.
Hayley’s graduate collection, ‘Found in the Forest’, is an exploration of the importance of creativity and imaginative freedom. Inspired by the memories, imaginings and visual enchantment that woodland walks and our ever-changing British skies evoke, each piece features silk that has been digitally printed with layered photographs of tree silhouettes against beautiful skies, using techniques of creative pattern drafting and precision sewing. These intricate prints are then combined with delicate silver embellishments to create depth, intrigue and atmosphere.
To see the other finalists for ‘EC One Unsigned 2014′, click here to visit our Facebook Album.