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Melissa McArthur Studio Visit

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Picking-gemstonesEscape with our gemstone jewellery collection from Melissa McArthur

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This season our Buyer’s Alison Skeates and Charlotte Kimber collaborated with jewellery designer Melissa McArthur on a very special collection; exclusively for our customers. Alison and Charlotte have long been lusting after the skinny and dainty jewellery favoured by the French. After trawling the shows at Paris fashion week they still didn’t manage to find quite the perfect jewels. They wanted soft corals and vibrant turquoise on delicate chain to create timeless gemstone jewellery. They managed to find their dream beads and took them to the queen of stones Melissa McArthur to help make their collection a reality. With an enviable array of beads from unusual cuts to rare gemstones, Melissa McArthur’s studio is a feast for the eyes!

Melissa-Jewellery-stylesAfter carefully picking through Melissa McArthur’s trays of gemstone jewels, Alison and Charlotte select their favourite styles for this season. They chose bold hoops and their favourite tiny bar bead necklaces.

Picking-gemstonesUsing a selection of our gemstones and some from Melissa’s treasure trove.  Alison and Charlotte (with a lot of help from Melissa) carefully curated a blend of gemstones to create the perfect colour clash. For the Silver jewellery collection the used a mixture of Turquoise, Appatite, Carnelian, Mother of Pearl and Jasper.

Picking-rubies

 Alison and Charlotte mixed warm summer tones of vivid pink Ruby, Carnelian, Mother of Pearl and Coral. Each piece of jewellery is handmade by Melissa and her team and due to the natural beauty of each stone every piece of jewellery that is created is unique.

So whether you are treating yourself or spoiling someone else we think our exclusive collection of gemstone jewellery by Melissa McArthur is the perfect jewellery box update this summer! Shop the collection in store and online .

COMPETITION | Instagram

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Competition Instagram EC One

We’re running a competition on Instagram!
To win a silver locket engraved with an initial of your choice, follow these simple steps..

Take a creative photo of you in your EC One jewels and post it on instagram
Follow and tag us (@econe_jewellery) and use the hashtag #ECOneLocket

We’ll then repost your image and the one with the most likes by 3rd July will win – the winner will be announced on 6th July via Instagram, and all we’ll need from the winner is their contact details and the Initial that means most to them.

Good Luck!

Shaun Leane Launches The Quill Collection

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On Friday the 8th of May our Assistant Buyer Charlotte headed off to The Victoria & Albert Museum to hear jewellery designer Shaun Leane talk about his collaborative work with Alexander McQueen.

 

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Amongst the decadent silverware, ornate ceilings and artefact laden cabinets of the Victoria & Albert Museum dwells their lecture theatre. Infront of a packed room of jewellery enthusiasts, jewellery designer Shaun Leane gave a passionate talk about his collaborative work with the late Alexander McQueen and how The House of Shaun Leane developed its iconic style. Leane spoke about the evolution of both of their house styles, and how McQueen helped him to develop his signature look a combination of “strength and elegance”.  McQueen wanted to create clothes that empowered women, Leane designed the jewellery; body armour to clad the modern female warrior.“It propelled me to a status of fashion jewellery; taking body adornment to a different level’.

 

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Both designers are traditionally trained, McQueen as a tailor on Saville Row and Leane as a Goldsmith in Hatton Garden restoring antique jewellery. Leane and McQueen had long been friends before collaborators. Leane explained how McQueen didn’t fully understand what he did for a living until he visited the atelier he worked in where he was constructing a tiara. McQueen was taken aback by the craftmanship and quality of the work; it was not long after this that Leane was asked to make jewellery for his catwalk shows. Leane spoke about how McQueen pushed his craftmaship to the limit, and how he grew whilst learning new skills such as silversmithing, modelmaking and taxidermy. Leane let us in on the months he spent drying out pheasant claws in his mother’s airing cupboard to create the pheasant claw & pearl shoulder piece for the “ What a Merry go Round” show.

 

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The working relationship began with McQueen asking Leane to produce work to coincide with the show, developing to McQueen showing Leane work and the pair both inspiring each other. Initially the large scale work was made in aluminium, an alien material to a trained Goldsmith such as Leane. At the heart of the House of Shaun Leane was the desire to work in the precious materials he was trained in, and as both of the designer houses grew the materials changed also. At the beginning finances had restricted Leane’s materials but not his craftmasnship and creativity. When the budgets grew he applied the same ethos allowing him to create the most show stopping jewels of the catwalk to date. Using his Goldsmith training he created beautiful new silhoettes and drew upon his years restoring antique jewellery. For the ”In Memory of Elizabeth How” show, he created the large Moon neckpiece in Silver fully set with moon stones, and a Victorian style star headpiece set with Topaz Swarovoski gemstones. This lavish show of jewellery, excited and revolutionised the boundaries of catwalk and fine jewellery for the modern era.


Leane reminisced about how he would turn up at the shows with his box of jewels for the models to wear as the finishing touches to McQueen’s collections. For the “Dante” Show he created a crown of thorns; laboriously working constructing the branches and thorns in silver. Upon revealing it to McQueen he got a “MMMmmmm”, Leane was not used to this response and on pressing McQueen he revealed he felt the piece needed more thorns. Leane had felt the same but held back, it was this “MMMmmmm” that taught Leane to be fearless with his jewellery and to create the bold and beautiful jewellery he is renowned for. The jewellery would fluctuate seasonally between statement neckpieces incrusted with silver orchids to fine silver wire earrings which would glisten as the models strutted the catwalk.

 

Corset-fitting


The coiled corset which became one of the most enduring images of McQueen’s work was just a seed planted in Leane’s head by McQueen. Both designers had a fascination with tribal body adornment . McQueen had wanted to elaborate on the earlier neckpiece created by Leane for his catwalk show “It’s a Jungle out there”. Leane spoke about how McQueen would challenge you to make the impossible possible. After McQueen planted an idea in leane’s head, he would spend a sleepless night working out the mechanics of making the dream designs a reality. With the coiled corset he decided they would have to make it the traditional Nepalese way and he would have to make it to fit a specific model. Leane cast McQueen’s fit model in concrete and then individually forged the aluminium coils, layering front to back. Leane let us in to the secret of its construction, using a mechanic’s glue which had metal fragments. Created for McQueen’s show “The Overlook”, the construction is the ulitamte body armour, framing the curves of the female form. It is this delicate balance which defines the era of Leane and McQueens work and still influences the House of Shaune Leane today.

 

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To coincide with the “Savage Beauty” exhibition at The Victoria & Albert Museum, Leane has launched his latest collection “Quill”. Drawing upon elaborate ear cuffs created for the Irere show. Ear adornment and the way earrings are worn has been a long source of fascination for Leane. At the end of a Safari holiday Leane was in a rural gift shop buying trinkets to take home, at the till he noticed a pot of black and white sticks, he enquired as to whether they were for sale and bought the entire pot. These sticks turned in to the porcupine quill ear cuff, with Leane recreating the pattern on these special stake style earrings as part of the Quill collection.

Leane’s collections draw upon the opulent pieces created for McQueen’s catwalk, with his darkly romantic jewels a wearable form of exstravagant corsets, crowns of thorns. Leane’s iconic hook motif is his Signature Tusk collection evolved on the catwalk.

Hook-Collection


I
 had the privilege of interning for Shaun Leane during the preparation for The Savage Beauty Exhibition at The Met. I remember being down in the archives trying to find these amazing pieces amongst mountains of tissue paper and boxes. It was a joy to unearth large spears, ear discs and Silver jaw bones. I am looking to own my own piece of catwalk jewellery history and will be investing in the Porcupine Quill Earrings for my jewellery box.

 You can shop Shaun Leane’s collections instore and online here

 

Open Call: What Happened

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Our annual event, Open Call, invites jewellery designers to come and see us for one day only, to seek advice and a professional opinion on their work. We had the first designers knocking on the door shortly before 10am and we didn’t stop talking till nearly 6pm. There were so many budding designers willing to show us their work and it was an absolute pleasure to see it all, try it on and offer the best guidance we could!

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Whether they are established jewellers showing fully formed collections or part time designers working out where they sit in the market, each designer had a 15 minute appointment with both of our buyers Alison and Charlotte, and a second appointment with our head Goldsmith Jude Huntley. During these appointments they received one to one mentoring on everything from how to finesse the manufacture of their work to price points, customer bases and wearability.

They were all bursting with great passion about their work and how to move their collections further, we came away with a real excitement for jewellery – you can’t help but get swept up by their enthusiasm.

Sorry to all of those that we couldn’t manage to fit in on the day, but we already can’t wait for next time, so keep an eye out if you’d like to join in next year!

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“It is always enjoyable meeting people as passionate about jewellery as we are! Alison, Jude and I met a range of designers, from those wishing to develop a hobby into a job to people coming back to the trade after a long absence. What I love most about holding our open call is that every party learns from it, for the designers it is how to approach the right jewellers for their work and how to build, develop and grow a collection. With one budding brand I learnt that the “Love lock” phenomenon actually started high up in the mountains in China. There were so many different designs with rib cage rings forming perfectly to the finger, striking double sided earrings built from layered wire appearing like sculptural adornment, to fretwork lockets of Shakespere’s “Romeo & Juliet” . We saw some covetable jewels which I would love to have in my jewellery box.” Charlotte, our Assistant Buyer.

 

Clerkenwell Design Week 2015

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Espresso-Martini

We are blessed to be based in the exciting creative hub of Clerkenwell. Every spring we love the buzz of Clerkenwell Design Week.  The UK and international brands, throw open doors to their stunning showrooms to display their latest interior and design products, and catch-up with designers and architects. It is a truly inspiring week filled with tastes, sights and sounds.

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The best part of the week is getting a sneak peek inside architecture that we pass all the time, but never get to visit. It was a surprise and a delight to go into Sessions House for the launch night, and see it in its stunning state of mid-renovation.  The walls with their rough stripped plaster; an organic painting of history and time, and the incredible ornate domed ceiling over the staircase.

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We drank delicious espresso martinis from Kru Café, after sitting in body hugging chairs by Wagner, surrounded by lush planting by Indoor Garden Design. We went on to Knoll for Aperol Spritz and canapés, finishing the evening at Icons of Denmark where we were treated to Swedish snaps, then off with Icon magazines to read on the train, carried home in beautiful tote bags from Gubi.

Gubi-Bag

It is our Buyers love of architecture and design that informs buying jewellery with a strong urban edge.  An architectural aesthetic is present in Shaun Leane’s Quill Collection’s structural forms, and Katie Rowland’s edgy elegance, through to Clarice Price Thomas’ Metropolis Collection: inspired by the shapes of Art Deco Architecture.  The City is imbued in the work of Jewellery Designers Hiroshi Kurokawa’s minimalist urban wit, Myia Bonner’s graphic outlines and typography, Zoe Chicco’s discrete detailing, right down to the nuts and bolts of construction in Alice Mentor’s statement necklaces and cuffs.

Inspired by our week, we have created a special edit: Shaped by the City

Ruth Tomlinson’s Treasures

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Seek out alternative engagement rings with Ruth Tomlinson’s treasures

Ruth-Tomlinson-studio

Driven by a passion for the earths natural beauty; the magic of minutiae, tiny intricacies, small imperfections; jewellery designer Ruth Tomlinson creates lust worthy treasures. Seeking out the unconventional beauty within and this fuels my creativity, whether in the rarity of material or a curiosity in nature.

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Each piece is handmade by Tomlinson and her skilled team, due to the handcrafted nature of the jewellery each piece is unique. We feel this adds to the character of each piece, with every ring in EC One’s edit one-of-a-kind. Our buyers Alison Skeates and Charlotte Kimber selected pieces from Tomlinson’s new “Hoard” collection. The “Hoard” collection consists of an opulent array of precious gemstones, which glisten amongst rich layers of 14 carat Gold. Each precious piece Tomlinson crafts is imbued with a sense of discovery evoking the grandeur of times past.  The jewellery has notions of buried riches, with Tomlinson drawing upon ancient jewels housed in museums.

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The jewellery Tomlinson creates are modern antiques, with the organic and rustic charm of her jewellery reminding us of weathered ancient jewels plundered from fields.  Driftwood, rock pools, moss covered stones and the rawness of rugged landscapes  combine to influence the texture Tomlinson applies to her jewellery. Weathering the gold to replicate Mother Nature.

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Since graduating with an MA from London’s Royal College of Art in 2005, Tomlinson continues to investigate the unpredictable and push boundaries of perceived preciousness in her critically acclaimed jewellery collections. Considered by industry experts as one of the leading influences in the current generation of UK jewellery designers, with unique jewellery and luxuriously wearable adornments all conceived with the notion of being treasured forever.

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Choosing a selection of rings with Champagne Diamonds and Blue Sapphires we feel that the rings would make beautiful alternative engagement rings, or as a cherished momentos to mark important milestones.  You can shop Ruth Tomlinson’s collection of jewellery online or visit our Clerkenwell boutique.

Put the sparkle back in to your jewellery!

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The sun is out and the flowers are in bloom,  it’s time to Spring Clean your jewellery!

 

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Here at EC One we would love to put the sparkle and shine back in to your jewellery for free this Spring. Just pop in to our Clerkenwell boutique from now till 31st of May * with your old EC One jewellery, and our talented Goldsmiths will get it looking as good as new!
It’s just a part of our excellent customer care.

 Even our Head buyer Alison had a jewellery box full of bespoke pieces that needed a bit of TLC.
You’ll be amazed at the difference a good Spring Clean, or as Alison says “sprinkling” can make!
Watch our video of Jos lovingly cleaning Alison’s jewellery including her beautiful Bespoke Emerald-Cut Cocktail Ring.  Watch the transformation here.

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*This offer is only for jewellery bought at EC One.
We will happily clean and polish your other pieces of jewellery, but this will be charged at our normal rate

 

Open Call at EC One

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Open-Call-blog-image

 

 Calling All Designers!

It’s that time of year again! On June the 7th we will be running our third “Open Call” at EC One as we search for new jewellery designers. So, what exactly is it and why do we give up a precious Sunday to hold it? In essence, it’s ‘buying appointment’ meets ‘speed dating’!  With each appointment being only 15 minutes it could be really meaningful, but you’ve got to make it count on the day!

Like any store, EC One is always looking for new collections and designers that are unique.  As Head Buyer it’s a lot about work that I fall in love with and hope our customers will too. In a bid to find new work I go to trade fairs, graduate shows, sift through zillions of invitations and look-books, scour the internet …… (you get the general idea).  ‘Open Call’ is a way I hope to meet designers who are maybe not yet established enough to be making full time, but instead spend their evenings and weekends making and selling.  It’s also a chance for them to get feedback and advice but could lead to the opportunity of stocking with us.  That might not sound like a very remarkable opportunity, but because I get dozens of requests from designer’s week in and week out, I can only realistically see a few. So, ‘Open Call’ allows you the opportunity to apply to pitch your designs – you get a guaranteed 15 minutes of our attention and experience.

Some designers use this as a traditional buying appointment to show their completed collection, while many others take the chance to get input into how they should progress and advice about what they need to have ready to approach stockists. Because at our last ‘Open Call’ so many designers were also after help with production questions, you will once again have the chance to speak with EC One’s Goldsmiths Jude Huntley. With over 30 years’ experience he is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to all things jewellery related.

The applicants who come to the ‘Open Call’ are a gloriously varied group and there are some good (and not so good) themes that emerge from it. It is a reminder that trying to get your business off the ground is tough. However it is inspiring to see designers who have real passion and are tenaciously plugging away in a bid to make jewellery their full-time job.  A frustrating trend however which I also see at shows and exhibitions, is how many designers talk about their brand, their packaging, their PR and so on without actually having enough pieces to warrant all this extraneous fluff. Sometimes it feels that the idea of being a designer is very alluring and that it’s easier and more exciting to design the packaging and write a press release rather than to design a collection –and so that is what they do instead! With this in mind my plea to any jewellery designer; whether coming to our Open Call or not, is to focus on the jewellery. Because let’s face it, if it’s gorgeous and beautifully made, customers will buy it and wear it regardless of what colour your logo is!

Hopefully we’ll unearth some hidden gems on Sunday the 7th of June – I’ll keep you posted!

If you would like to book an appointment to see myself, Assistant Buyer Charlotte and Goldsmith Jude please e-mail us at opencall@econe.co.uk hurry as spaces fill up fast!

Alison x

We are hiring!

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Store Manager

Clerkenwell, London

EC One is the award winning jewellers based in Clerkenwell, London renowned for offering designer and precious fine jewellery, as well as in-store bespoke services.

We are currently looking for a full time Store Manager to join our happy team.

The role will involve:

• Delivering exceptional customer service

• Creating beautiful displays and retail environment

• Liaising with the buyers and workshop

• Organising and running small scale events

• Working towards sales targets and KPIs

• Monitoring and mentoring staff

• Creating staffing rotas

• Reporting to Directors

As a Store Manager you’ll be critical to our on-going success – focused on maximising sales, increasing profits and promoting fantastic customer service. You’ll take ownership of our store, creating an experience that will meet and exceed our customers’ expectations. As we offer in-house production you will be asked to help liaise with our Goldsmiths to create bespoke pieces as well as dealing with the designer makers we stock.

A good knowledge of jewellery and an ability to understand good design is important but a happy, helpful and positive attitude is essential.

Salary:Competitive plus commission.

To Apply:

We are looking to recruit as soon as possible so please don’t delay.

Please send your applications with a CV and a covering letter with your

salary expectation marked for the attention of Jos Skeates, Managing Director to: jobs@econe.co.uk

Or in writing to:

Jos Skeates, EC One, 41 Exmouth Market, London. EC1R 4QL

 

Diamond Keepsakes, for Now and Forever

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Diamonds-Hero

Diamonds are for everyone, always.

With this special one-off edit from our buyers, we’ll help you choose that something special for your special someone.

Whether you have a loved one’s birthday coming up, want to surprise a relative, or fancy a little ‘me present’, Alison and Charlotte have put together a selection of diamonds for every girl, with every style, to suit your budget.

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Simple and understated jewels, in simple shapes that let the tiny diamonds shine. Pieces from Zoe Chicco and EC One let the sparkle glisten in modern styles, set in yet more traditional yellow gold and millegrain settings.

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Striking classics, these timeless diamonds are the perfect present that suit every style, and can be treasured through many fashions to come. Buying for her, or for yourself, these white gold set jewels are a gift not to be missed.

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Diamond jewellery that’s designed with vintage in mind, these modern antiques subtly hint at diamond settings. These particular pieces are not only beautiful to be worn everyday, but one day can become wonderful heirlooms to pass down through generations.

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Diamonds in the rough, this selection has everything the alternative girl would want, from organic forms to unusual cuts and coloured diamonds. Upcoming fashion trends boast champagne diamonds, rose gold and rose cuts.