Thanks to one of the most famous jewelry designers in England, a lot more London talent is coming to America. The migration began when Stephen Webster—who has bejeweled countless celebrities including Amber Heard, Diane Kruger and InStyle July cover girl Kate Hudson—asked the chief executive of the British Fashion Council, Caroline Rush, why there wasn’t a showcase for up-and-coming jewelry designers during London Fashion Week. Rush loved the idea and challenged Webster to make it happen.
The resulting success story is Rock Vault: a small group of around 10 designers with businesses operating from London chosen annually by a committee of editors and retailers spearheaded by Webster. They are presented during London Fashion Week at Somerset House and the esteemed week-long Couture Show of jewelry at the Wynn in Las Vegas. “These designers show off the amazing art school training we have here through their work,” Webster told InStyle in a telephone interview from London. “The array of techniques and fresh looks the 2014 Rock Vault winners employ is dazzling.”
An age-old enamel style can be found in Alice Cicolini stunning statement jewels. Sexy new jewelry silhouettes made with slinky gold snake chain and specially cut stones are Fernando Jorge’s specialty. Chunky nuggets worked into necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and double-finger rings make Imogen Belfield’s jewelry as bold as can be. Jacqueline Cullen transforms black jet, a material popular during the Victorian era in England, into edgy jewels dripping in gold. Jo Hayes Ward builds her fine jewelry gold brick by brick creating highly artistic work. Melanie Georgacopoulos has made pearls her medium and given the prim and proper marine gem a seriously cool makeover. Ornella Iannuzzi finds inspiration for her audacious designs in the drama of nature. Tomasz Donocik infuses his colorful jewelry with the elements from ancient myths such as his Phoenix Rising from the Ashes ring. Sculptors Yunus & Eliza reimagine their minimalist and maximalist aesthetic into art to wear.