London Jewellery Week 2011 – special post-show feature

So, after much excitement and a long build-up, the 4th annual London Jewellery Week has come and gone. With a packed schedule of events throughout the week, the trade, media and public had the opportunity to celebrate the capital’s collective effort in promoting the best of the UK jewellery sector. Established brands and upcoming designers showed their wares side-by-side, with many a rising star making their mark in this competitive industry. Expectations were shaky to start with, given that we are still under the shadow of a recession, but that did little to dampen the spirits of all those that took part. And, the jewellery industry did not disappoint. There were plenty of scheduled events and spontaneous activities to keep even the most discerning appeased. From open workshops to new collection launches, jewellery fashion shows and evening parties; it was indeed a successful week given the tough state of the economy.

There were numerous events taking place throughout the week, which all had the aim of engaging the trade and consumer alike. Many of the specialist jewellery retailers hosted open evenings and Champagne receptions, as well as offering consultations and a behind-the-scenes look at jewellery making.
Some of the key events of the week included the launch of the Platinum Heritage Collection, sponsored by PureJewels, the Hatton Garden Festival and the Royal Exchange’s jewellery catwalk event. Other highlights included the Central St. Martins Jewellery Award in association with Cool Diamonds, the launch of Alex Monroe’s Chrysanthemum collection at Liberty and Swarovski Gems, with Nadja Swarovski hosting the Gem Visions trend presentations for 2012 to a select group of invited guests.

Fairtrade and Ethical
The issue of Fairtrade and ethically sourced goods and services across all industries have been biting at our collective consciousness for years. We’ve seen how small communities have been exploited for their coffee beans and bananas, and further up the food chain, precious minerals and diamonds. However, up til now, gold has pretty much remained under the radar. But thankfully change is afoot and the issue of fairmined gold is gaining momentum as the general consumer becomes aware of the cost of mining to the small communities digging deep for our insatiable appetite for all things gold. So to launch Fairmined Gold and Essence at the ethical pavilion at Treasure, curated by Cred, the Fairtrade Foundation celebrated the occasion by hosting a VIP reception. Raising much needed awareness of the plight of small artisanal miners from around the world, and helping to raise standards through Fairtrade and fairmined certified gold, this was a tremendous opportunity to meet with some of the miners in attendance benefiting directly and the jewellery designers making a difference.

The designers showcasing at Treasure were a great mix of new and established names in jewellery. Over 120 designers and brands took part this year, which featured some great jewellery designs and concepts. Amongst some of my favourites were this year’s winners of the Treasure Designer of the Year award; Yunus & Eliza, showing some of their beautiful sculptural designs that have won them a big following from the movies and fashion circles. Others include Tomasz Donocik, with his fantasy collection, The Garden of Good & Evil. Jesper Velling, with his award-winning stunning vibrant colour diamond twist rings and Milena Kovanovic, with her clever use of vivacious gemstones inspired by by the natural world.

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