Hoops are back online, everybody! After a brief interlude while we were refreshing the photography, my line of gorgeous, dainty little charm hoops is back with NEW charm options and some lush new pictures. New designs include rose gold hammered discs, and a gold nature charms collection featuring shells, leaves and crystal quartz chips.
I know, I know, it’s been a while since I posted, and there are a few good reasons for that, mostly:
BUT despite that, there have been a few things in the works, namely…
1) I’ve been refreshing product photography, which is why some of my most popular designs, like my charm hoops, have been down for a little bit. Hoops will be coming back on Friday 14 April, just in time for you to treat yourself after a hard week at work…
With the help of my ever-patient friends and family as models, photographers, and all-round ‘shall-I-just-hold-this-leaf-for-you’ grafters, I’ve had fun shoots ranging from standing in the Yorkshire rain in January to gathering all the items from my sister’s sickeningly Instagrammable flat:
I hope you’ll agree that the results were worth the effort, though!
Available via the shop tab above
The necklace at the bottom there is a new design which will be available from next Thursday 19 April.
2) I’ve got an exciting collaboration coming up with the talented and very lovely Alia-Michelle of Makeup by Alia-Michelle, where I’ve lent some Tiding of Magpies jewellery to style the models for two beauty shoots. It’s the closest I’ve ever been to fulfilling my fantasy of styling Next Top Model photoshoots… Seriously though, I absolutely loved picking out the right pieces for the theme of each shoot, and one shoot will even feature one of two new designs which will be available to purchase from Thursday 19 April. Watch this space for the photos!
3) My final news item is a very special one. I’m always delighted when my customers tell me the story behind the item they’ve purchased or commissioned, but last week I had a really lovely message from a customer who purchased my silver love knot ring…
She recently proposed to her partner, but while they’re waiting on a bespoke engagement ring, she ordered my little love knot ring as a stand-in to symbolise their plans to tie the knot – how ridiculously cute is that? It made my week – and a nice happy ending to this quick update post!
It’s International Women’s Day, so today’s spotlight had to be on trailblazing jewellery designer Elsa Peretti, who started out as the epitome 70s cool and continues to design gorgeous, innovative jewellery to this day. I mean, what’s not to love about a woman who casually refers to Andy Warhol (once a close friend) as ‘a bit of a shit’…?
Born in Florence in 1940, Peretti studied interior design before becoming a fashion model and moving to New York in the 1960s. It was in New York that she began to design jewellery independently, creating forward-thinking pieces in sensual shapes and elegant materials.
A significant member of the Studio 54 scene, in the late 60s and early 70s, Peretti lived a tempestuous life that was as glamorous and edgy as her designs. After several drug-fuelled years, she got clean, going on to win the Coty award for her jewellery designs in 1971. In 1972, Bloomingdale’s gave her her own boutique spot; the same year, she made her first Vogue appearance. She also designed for close friend and fellow club-scene-member, fashion designer Halston.
In 1974, Peretti joined Tiffany as a designer, and it was this partnership which made her a household name. It continues to this day, with the now-elderly Peretti designing from her Catalan bolt-hole, Sant Martí Vell. She still makes 10% of Tiffany’s profits from her designs, more than any other designer in the company.
So, why is Elsa Peretti such a significant figure in jewellery design? Part of her success lies in how effectively her original designs captured a moment and a mood, that of seventies New York. Rebellion, excess, disco, women’s liberation – it’s all reflected in the boldness and sculptural nature of Peretti’s designs, which are meant to take the wearer effortlessly from boardroom to dancefloor. From statement cuffs to stylised hearts and hoop earrings, it’s that most elusive of styles: wearable high fashion.
The young Peretti was no stranger to rebellion by the time she began designing; she fled her wealthy, conservative family for Barcelona at 21, before moving to America to model. Endowed with natural style and charisma, she modelled to pay the bills while pursuing her real interest: jewellery design.
Not content with simply designing, Peretti began to change trends in jewellery design as well, using silver in her work. At the time, silver was considered ‘common’ in fine jewellery, but Peretti’s elegant, exciting, silver designs soon changed that.
The first piece Peretti made was a tiny silver vase, hung from a chain and with a tiny rosebud inside it. Anyone who was anyone went made for the novel idea, and vases & bottles are a popular motif in Peretti’s collections even today:
Her simple, sexy designs were unlike anything that had come before, and her most iconic piece, the 1974 ‘Bone’ cuff was an instant hit with everyone from Sophia Loren to Liza Minelli. Even today, this design appears on the red-carpet wrists of the likes of Rachel Weisz and Rosamund Pike, showing its timeless appeal and eternal cool.
Peretti is also inspirational because of her take-no-shit attitude and enormous work ethic. She insisted on keeping her own name and intellectual property rights when she signed with Tiffany & Co., so her collection is ‘Elsa Peretti for Tiffany’. She also isn’t backward in coming forward about her success: as she put it to Vanity Fair, ‘I am very happy with what I’ve done. I knew a man wasn’t going to give me money,’
In 2000, Peretti took the money she had inherited from her family and put it into a foundation in her father’s name. The Nando Peretti foundation works globally to support human rights, women’s rights, environmental protection, and a host of other causes, and Peretti is personally involved in the work even now.
If that wasn’t enough, in 2012, aged 72, she signed a new 20-year contract with Tiffany!
The latest Paris Fashion Week finished last week, which means all the major fashion houses have had their say on this year’s Autumn/Winter trends. Apparently duvet dressing is still in this season (thank you, Mulberry, Preen and Margiela), although I’m going to take a hard pass on the socks-with-sandals look…
Amidst all the furore about the clothes, jewellery design can sometimes get forgotten in the main news coverage of Fashion Week, so I’ve compiled my favourite jewellery collections from London, Milan and Paris, and found a few handmade Etsy versions as well.
London, 17-21 February: Mulberry
Old meets new with crystal ear cuffs and vintage-style brooches and cameos alongside tweed, checks and embroidery. Love, love, love this aesthetic, and it’s actually achievable off the catwalk, too: grab a patterned shirt and cardie and you’re good to go. Stand-out piece: that gorgeous be-ringed hand pendant.
Amode Jewelry, Etsy
Sigal Shakked Jewelry, Etsy
Milan, 22-28 February: Dolce and Gabbana
The prints are cute, the jackets are cute, but let’s be real – the reason this was the runaway runway winner of Milan Fashion Week is the abundance of crowns. Sadly this look isn’t as doable in daily life (unless you work at Disneyland or you don’t mind getting some really weird looks at the Post Office), but how good would it be if you could actually wear a crown all day, every day? If, like me, you want a crown to wear around the house, Etsy’s bursting with choice. Most of them are ‘wedding’ crowns, but they’re surprisingly affordable, so I’m tempted to just buy one for myself. Sod the wedding! A couple of my favourites:
Paris, 28 February – 8 March: Dior
There are so many things to love about Dior’s AW17 collection, not least the fact it looks like high-fashion Beauxbatons uniforms. The delicate, layered necklaces in this collection are just gorgeous and, like the Mulberry stuff, easy to incorporate into your wardrobe. When it comes to subtle necklaces to layer up, Tiding of Magpies has you covered:
This one even comes pre-layered:
I’m working on a new line of multistrand necklaces like the one above, so check back in a couple of weeks for more…
Edit: The first new design has dropped. Check it out here.