One could start by saying that it’s perhaps something local as with the exception of Yollhee Koo, all the designers here featured are based in London. Two of them, namely Lili Colley and Lisa Watson, recent graduates from the BA in Fashion Jewellery at the London College of Fashion. However, going a little further down the map reveals similar approaches in the designs of Yoolhee Koo, South Korean living in Antwerp and also in the work of Amélie Riech, a Berlin based jeweller (check our post about her here). Not surprisingly, after comparing all these proposals we started to see a certain trend taking shape, one that explores the lucent qualities of materials. Mostly using acrylics – or perspex, plexiglass or lucite, names depending on the manufacturers – experiments are made using neon colors and transparencies which are very adequate mediums to conduct light but as well by including electrical components that add to the already quite extraordinary forms the conceptual element of thinking jewellery as devices. The latter perhaps a reminder of how demands for interactive features may influence jewellery design in the near future, as research in wearable technologies develops to more complex levels.
Notwithstanding no proper digital jewellery is to be found here, it is very interesting to acknowledge that in all designs shown, a certain futuristic and Sci-Fi ambience takes place. There is a tone of voice that no doubt points out to a technological dimension, furthermore not only to be seen in the designs, but pervading as well brand identities as one example can be found in the picture style. Sarah Angold showcases her jewellery against a black background highlighting brilliances that create a rather mysterious and high-tech allure. The fact that her pieces are often composed of dozens of thin laser cut pieces also makes here a contribution as the perception of patterns repeating themselves gives the impression of something fast and of a very precise nature therefore extremely dynamic and technical. The same can be said of Yoolhee Koo, whose lookbook presents a rather unworldly environment while on Colley and Watson’s work there is a play with large scale sizes and highly geometrized forms that seem to be saying they are not yet for now. Are they all some adornment for the future perhaps?
There is maybe more to it and we would like to go just a bit further and take the opportunity for another short comment on trend forecasting and reporting. We all hear and read immensely about trends these days. When talking particularly about fashion, whether about the recent geometric graphics, the new interpretations of East Asian shapes or Walt Disney’s Cinderella, sadly there is little or no enquiry at all about the reasons for the emergence or the occurrence of such trends. Not that there is a simple answer to it because there isn’t. Some trends are indeed just happening on a surface level and we are also not stating that fashion should always be discussed within a strong critical background. We do feel however somehow frustrated that not that much is being said about these phenomenons. As if such matters would be irrelevant and out of context, even maybe inappropriate to a fashion savvy audience. Instead, one reads descriptions and collections of statistics categorized in a very appealing way that extremely helpful as they may be, presenting trends in such a manner lacks in our opinion the effort to understand them. Why is a shape designed in such a way? Why are certain colours and shades being chosen instead of others? Why is a particular style now more often seen? What is it that is guiding and motivating us to have a preference for such choices?
When we look at the designs below, is it a concern with the immaterial both in a physical sense and in the form of a relation to what is yet to come that is there? Are these objects reflecting our concerns with the unseen and the intangible? Or is it anxiety of the future and a pursuit to accelerate time? Or perhaps, as it happens with everything that our mind wanders about, are they endeavours to visually represent a certain idea of energy or spirit, so strongly it entered our recent vocabulary as a subtle element pervading all things, yet invisible to the eye? The pieces here shown would then be a metaphor or the visual part of an attempt to a broader understanding of things, as we actually do believe that they always are.
Sarah Angold – Queus Bracelet – Laser cut Acrylic Glass, Brass.
Lili Colley – Octo LED’s Neckpiece (off) – Laser-cut Acrylic Glass, Brass, Light Emitting Diode (LED).
Lili Colley – Octo LED’s Neckpiece (on) – Laser-cut Acrylic Glass, Brass, Light Emitting Diode (LED).
Lisa Watson – Rings – Laser cut Acrylic Glass.
Yoolhee Koo – Neckpiece – Laser cut Acrylic Glass.
Sarah Angold – Brooch – Laser cut Acrylic Glass.
Lili Colley – Blue Geo Bracelet – Laser cut Acrylic Glass, Brass.
Lisa Watson – Bangle – Laser cut Acrylic Glass.
Yoolhee Koo – Neckpiece – Laser cut Acrylic Glass.
Lili Colley – Neckpiece – Laser-cut Acrylic Glass, Light Emitting Diode (LED).
Sarah Angold – Lacio Necklace (detail) – Laser-cut Acrylic Glass, Brass.
Lili Colley – Red Octo Neckpiece – Laser-cut Acrylic Glass, Brass.
Lili Colley – Red Deco LED’s Neckpiece – Laser-cut Acrylic Glass, Brass, Light Emitting Diode (LED).
Lisa Watson – Neckpiece – Laser-cut Acrylic Glass.
Yoolheee Koo – Neckpiece – Laser-cut Acrylic Glass.
Sarah Angold – Kingla Neckpiece – Laser-cut Acrylic Glass.
Lili Colley – Octo Cluster Necklace – Laser-cut Acrylic Glass, Brass.
Lisa Watson – Architectural Jewellery Landscape – Laser cut Acrylic Glass.
Sarah Angold – Cia Earrings – Laser cut Acrylic Glass, Brass.