your jewellery box should reflect your (capsule) wardrobe says penny mccormick with pieces you’ll have and hold onto for life …
In 1985, American designer Donna Karan launched her concept of “Seven Easy Pieces” based on the idea that with the right basics to flatter any figure (including a bodysuit, white shirt, cashmere sweater, a tailored jacket), women could accomplish anything. Karan’s prescient capsule approach still has currency today and can be transferred to the realm of jewellery. Who hasn’t dithered about the correct accessory, or wondered if they are hitting the current trend?
This season sees baroque pearls, abstract pendants, chunky gold, marine-inspired motifs and coloured diamonds enjoying a moment. But looking beyond the now, I believe the Seven Easy Pieces that can take a woman anywhere include: a chain bracelet, a diamond ring, a statement necklace, drop earrings, a cuff, a medallion and a posh brooch. Each has its occasion (and neckline). But how do you select which aesthetic best suits your own? “If you don’t know jewellery, know the jeweller,” advises Warren Buffet. So we recommend enduringly fabulous pieces by established jewellery houses and Irish goldsmiths.
In Ireland there is a long history of exceptional jewellers – many of whom have trained at the intensive two-year programme delivered at the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s Jewellery and Goldsmithing Centre of Excellence in Kilkenny. Now in its 24th year, the DCCoI course includes specialist subjects such as engraving, enamelling, gemmology, stone setting and silversmithing. Alumni include Ann Chapman and Helena Malone of Stonechat, whose forte is clean, sharp silhouettes and contemporary reworkings of heritage jewels. Stockholm-based Michael O’Dwyer is known for his expertise in stone setting and his signature style is vibrant gems surrounded by smaller fine diamonds. Goldsmith and RDS Craft Award-winner Nigel O’Reilly’s haute joallerie pieces (sold at Ashford Castle and at his studio in Castlebar, Co Mayo) are inspired by the beauty of the Connemara landscape. Also worth a visit is The Collective, at 24 Drury Street in Dublin’s creative quarter – a treasure trove of contemporary jewellery showcasing 22 emerging and established Irish and European designers. It has also launched new four and nine-week jewellery making courses at its in-house workshop.
Diamond Halo Art Deco ring, €4,300, Michael O’Dwyer at Stonechat, 3-4 Westbury Mall, Dublin 2.
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