The jewellers who do... Modern pearls
For a while pearls have been back -in all their irredcent glory- from their ‘old fashioned’ label of the 90s. No longer relegated to the twinset’s best friend they are now, dare we say, the chicer option to diamonds. The appeal of the natural ‘baroque’ pearl is particularly taking hold. But what is it about these otherworldly, glisetening objects that is so appealing? We look at five jewellers using pearls and find out why the love them...
Jessie Thomas Jewellery
‘I tend towards using large baroque pearls in my work as they don’t have ‘the old sloane lady’ feel of small round pearls,’ says jeweller Jessie Thomas. Jessie, trained under her father the renowned goldsmith David Thomas, is about to launch her first collection. She cites the otherworldly beauty of pearls as what draws her to them, forming the foundations of her inaugural collection. 'I like the fact I have to work creatively around them: with faceted stones it’s a much more specific, worked out process.’ The natural characteristics of their colour – especially white freshwater pearls – is another aspect of pearls that Thomas loves: ‘As long as the pearl is good quality it has a lustre which always brings a glow to the skin – universally falttering.’
Rebecca Hulbert, founderof Becca jewellery, has been using pearls in her work ever since she started designing 15 years ago. ‘There is just something about pearls: I can't put my finger on what exactly it is but they have a mesmerising and mysterious quality that just draws me in’ she explains. ‘My fascination goes back to when I was about eight and my grandma gave me a Gold pendant with a single pearl which I thought was absolutely amazing.’
Starting as a hobby after she finished studying scupture at the School of Visual Arts in New York, Mizuki Goltz would make jewlelery from pearls and wire. Her use of pearls has become one of her signature features, particularly her emphasis on the use of the chunky, natural kind. She often combines the rough beauty of the baroque pearl with the clean, refined lines of her very modern jewellery.
Leila Kashanipour has a knack for creating cult-status pieces: from her 'flora' to 'totem' collections, each piece is an investment with achingly cool appeal. But pearls have been one of the designer's quiet vices: running throughout the collections, they bring a little feminine touch to her jewellery. We love them most in the 'oculus' collection, where statement, graphic pieces set Kashanipour's jewellery apart.