Set sail with Alex Monroe “Beyond The Sea”
Our Buyers Alison and Charlotte visited Alex Monroe’s HQ to unearth their favourite pieces. “Beyond the Sea” is overflowing with pieces inspired by the sea, billowing ships and swooping swallows. We invite you to dive into Alex Monroe’s SS2015 collection to discover the treasures that lay in the depths below.
Alison and Charlotte love visiting Alex Monroe’s showroom and meeting with his team to view the new collection and trawl through classic jewellery designs. They spend time trying on every single piece to build a careful edit for the EC One customer. EC One was one of Alex Monroe’s first stockists and are proud supporters of British jewellers. All of Alex Mornoe’s jewellery is handcrafted in his South London workshop, due to the handmade nature of the jewellery each piece is slightly unique; we think this adds to the charm.
Our Buyers fell in love with the cheeky Diamond Stealing Crab Necklace, and have chosen some of Alex Monroe’s jewellery in Rose Gold plate for the first time this season. They also enjoyed the intricate engravings, detailing ships with billowing sails and sweet nothings to a darling left back on dry land. The swallow is symbolic to sailors as guides across the ocean. We adore the swallow jewellery, especially the Swooping Swallow Silver Earrings ;as they are worn the delicate swallow charms appear as if they are in flight. Our buyers have also recognised the trend for signet rings and have picked Alex Monroe’s quirky Ship at Sea Ring. Engraved on the inside with the words “Not all that wonder are lost”. The “Beyond The Sea” collection is full of beautiful love tokens, with some of the concealed engraving reminiscent of secret love.
We hope that you love Alex Monroe’s latest collection as much as we do, you can shop the collection at our Clerkenwell boutique and online.
EC One has teamed up with Stylist magazine to offer you the chance to Win a Handmade piece of Bespoke Jewellery, just in time for Mother’s Day!
Buying the perfect gift is never easy. At EC One we try to take the hard work out of buying jewellery, by selecting an edit of the best jewellery designers and their collections. This Mother’s Day our buyers have selected their favourite pieces to treat mum, whatever your budget
We also have a skilled team of Goldsmiths who work within our EC One Boutique; based in Clerkenwell the heart of London’s Jewellery district. With over 55 years of jewellery making experience amongst our Goldsmiths they can make any dream jewellery design possible. As experienced jewellers they have handcrafted everything from unique engagement rings, one of a kind wedding bands to re-modelling antique pieces into modern heirlooms. So if you can’t find what you’re looking for in our cabinets our designers and Goldsmiths can make it for you. To find out more about the process of having a bespoke piece of jewellery made from our London workshop read our blog.
Champions of traditional techniques and new technology EC One is at the forefront of the jewellery industry and is proud to be supporting the apprenticeship program. Find a Future, the organisation that brings you The Skills Show, has partnered with The Goldsmiths Centre, the leading charity for the professional training of Goldsmiths to bring someone the chance to win a unique necklace or ring. As part of the competition you will win the opportunity to design a Bespoke Necklace or Ring with our award winning apprentice Sharon Alvarez. Sharon was awarded a Bronze Medal at The World Skills UK competition final in 2014. Mentored by EC One’s Director Jos Skeates a Freeman and trained Goldsmith himself; Sharon is part of a new generation of Goldsmiths keeping craftsmanship and creativity alive. Once you are happy with the design Sharon will make your unique piece of jewellery. For you chance to win enter here.
Paris Fashion Week A/W 2015
Last Friday saw our buyers Alison Skeates and Charlotte Kimber head to sunny Paris to seek out the best new jewellery designers! Attending all the major shows our buyers were on the hunt for the most covetable jewellery this Autumn/Winter to adorn yourself with and fill your jewellery boxes. Trawling Premiere Classe our Head Buyer Alison was instantly drawn to the glittering cuffs by Thot Giolielli. AW15 sees the brand draw upon the opulent jewels of the Roman Empire, with the striking cuffs making an instant update to any LBD. The resin cuffs reminded us of vintage Chanel cuffs that used to be made in Ivory and studded with gold and gemstones.
Our buyers met with Ruth Sibbald from jewellery brand Zoe & Morgan, where elaborate feather necklaces and shooting star earrings are on the agenda for AW15. Zoe & Morgan’s SS15 collection will be arriving in store this week so watch this space for more rope textured love tokens, shop the current collection now.
Jewellery designer Fiona Paxton can be relied upon for her bold statement pieces, with her jewellery blending textitiles with tribal body adornment. The hardest thing when selecting from Fiona Paxton is what to chose as there are so many covetable pieces, of course our Buyers use it as an excuse to try everything on! They particularly liked the chain draped collars and exstravagant feather earrings. Our Head Buyer Alison has several of Fiona Paxton’s eye-catching necklaces in her wardrobe, shop our edit of Fiona Paxton’s jewellery here.
One of our favourite jewellery designers Joanna Cave has developed some exciting new pebble jewellery, drawing on the landscape of the Aegan Islands she grew up on. The smooth forms are bought to life with coloured enamels, we particularly liked her whimsical initial charms for bracelets and necklaces. This season sees Joanna Cave use the positive and negative form of the pebble, with her signature organic texture and rustic vibe. Joanna Cave’s SS15 collections have already arrived in store, you can shop her classic jewellery collections online.
They then headed over to the box to catch up with jewellery designer Douglas Poon who has added to his Lucite jewellery collection with more extravagant cocktail rings, we are excited to be Douglas Poon’s only UK stockist shop his collection here.
After all that hard work trying on jewellery our buyers Alison and Charlotte had a pit stop meeting at Le Pain Quotidien for copious amounts of bread and cheese, all washed down with their delicous fresh lemon and mint juice.
The final show our buyers visited was Trannoi, regarded as the most fashion forward of all the French Trade shows. It was there our buyers met with Julie Hannay from jewellery brand John & Pearl. Fifty Shades of Grey may be the hot topic at the moment but it was the three shades of grey for John & Pearl’s silk ribbons that was on our buyer’s minds metal grey, charcoal or silver?
Alison and Charlotte’s final stop of the day was a showroom visit to meet with L.A. jewellery designer Zoe Chicco. Diamonds are a girls best friend and Zoe Chicco’s timeless and fresh fine jewellery is the ideal investment. Our buyers used the opportunity to try on all of Zoe Chicco’s must have pieces, they particularly liked the three diamond necklace modelled by Alison below. Alison and Charlotte also enjoyed trying on Zoe Chicco’s numerous ear cuffs and jackets. There has been a trend in ear adornment and Zoe Chicco’s jewellery is the perfect fusion of elegance and cool. We currently stock an edit of Zoe Chicco’s classic jewellery pieces which feature geometric lines and shapes studded with diamonds, explore the collection here.
Whilst meeting Zoe Chicco, we were also introduced to vintage styled jewellery brand Workhorse jewels. Workhorse Jewels is a collaboration between Zoe Chicco and twin sisters Amber and Nicole from Archive Jewelry. It draws on the antique inspired world of Archive Jewlery, unearthing flea market and heirloom jewellery finds, turning them in to provocative pieces intended to act as the “Workhorse” in your jewellery box. Our Buyers loved the moon and star trinket style rings and the sword necklace.
After a hard day’s work of trying on jewellery our buyers boarded the Eurostar and headed back to London. There is a lot to look forward to for AW15, we wonder which of our buyers favourite pieces will be hitting EC One’s shelves. Keep up to date with all our jewellery designers and SS15’s new arrivals and shop new in.
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!