Rachael Taylor gives her thoughts on the show on opening day.
Walking into Earl’s Court on the first day of International Jewellery London is always a moment of excitement and inspiration for me. This year, there is a little more anxiety than usual as the Professional Jeweller team introduces the IJL Show Daily newspaper.
Today, and every day of IJL, we will be reporting from the show floor, publishing the newspaper overnight, and delivering it to every exhibitor and visitor so that you can read all the news, views, and gossip over your first coffee of the day.
We have an exceptional team of reporters and photographers scouring the exhibition, so that by the time you have read this paper, you will know all the key highlights that should not be missed. We aim to help you to use your time effectively during what I am sure will be a hectic day.
IJL this year is bigger and better than ever, with a feast of jewellery, watches, gems and loose stones crammed into the exhibition. The first job for any visitor is to get your bearings, and there is no better place to start than at The Boulevard – the central avenue of the show, which leads you past some of the biggest names in jewellery, towards the Boulevard Bar at the end.
En route, you will be walking along the IJL Runway, a catwalk that runs the entire length of the Boulevard. The catwalk shows, which are sponsored by Danish jewellery brand Aagaard, will take place up to three times per day, running for 15 minutes each time, and will allow you to see a dynamic showcase of jewellery from some of the show’s leading designers.
Today’s first catwalk show kicks off at 10.30am with a presentation titled All that Glitters is Gold. This will be followed at 3pm by a not to be missed showcase by Daily Telegraph fashion editor Hilary Alexander.
In today’s market, it is less appropriate to give jewellers labels as simple as luxury or value retailers, but some stratification remains, and your next port of call after The Boulevard will be dictated by the customers you are looking to attract at Christmas. If you are hoping to service the casual gift buyer, it might be IJL’s brand new watch area that will provide the best ideas. Here, you will find established brands including Festina, Storm, Glam Rock and a.b.art alongside some new introductions from wholesalers MSS Watch, Classic Time, Since 1853 and Gift Time.
At the luxury end of the market is the Design Gallery, where some of Britain’s best creative jewellers are unveiling their new collections. No trip to IJL would be complete without seeing the work of Andrew Geoghegan, Babette Wasserman, Rachel Galley, Sarah Jordan, SHO, Jeremy Hoye and Deakin & Francis.
I will use this column every day to review the best of what I have seen the previous day, so make sure you pick up tomorrow’s edition from one of our team, or from the many magazine stands around the show. Enjoy today’s exhibition, and I’ll be back with more observations from the show tomorrow.