Hot 100 2013: Rachel Boston

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A whirlwind debut for one of East London’s most intriguing designers.

The unique chic of east London simmers menacingly in Rachel Boston’s designs. The Spartan sense of cool, the dark undertone, the refined versions of natural forms – we’re talking beetle antlers here, not flowers. And just check out her website – all tattoos, androgynous styling and monochrome design.

So you can forgive us for feeling a little bit scared before embarking on a conversation with her. Three words later and it’s panic over. She’s lovely. Of course she is. It just so happens that she is also one of the most creative designers in London right now, a fact rubberstamped by her being picked to exhibit at the Museum of London alongside six of the capital’s other most innovative jewellers from November.

It’s been a barnstorming debut. Her brand, Rachel Boston Jewellery, only sprang into life last year and already she can namedrop stockists and press with the best of them, selling through the likes of Paul Smith and My-wardrobe and adding spice to the pages of Vogue Italia, Elle, Glamour, The Evening Standard and many more. If you know your jewellery then she is pretty much unavoidable right now.

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Plus she has stockists as far afield as New York, the UAE and Melbourne. So you can’t even get away from her in your jet stream. Not that you would want to.

This supremely erudite young woman has the skill to back up her creative side. After graduating from Central Saint Martins she studied at the Gemological Institute of America in New York, all the while honing her making skills in workshop internships.

When she returned to London she made her first collection in her flat and now works in a Hatton Garden workshop as well as operating as a freelance consultant, which sees her return to the Big Apple and enjoy the odd jaunt to Mumbai.

But just what is it that makes her such a special talent? Maybe her stubbornness? “It’s both a blessing and a curse. I don’t budge from my good ideas but then again I’m pretty terrible at admitting when I wrong.” Perhaps it’s the advice she got from her workshop manager at Shaun Leane, where she used to work. “Measure twice, cut once. I always try to remember this when I’m being hapless in the workshop.”

Or maybe it’s because she is not hostage to trends. “I think jewellery is most special when you treasure it and it has meaning to you, so if I was to base my collection on a trend then I think it has the ability to lose meaning a lot quicker.”

Perhaps it all comes down to this: “I just want to make beautiful pieces that appeal to people who have an eye for things with beauty and fragility but with darker undertones.”

Rachel Boston was selected as a NexGem in the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2013 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers. To read the digital edition of the Hot 100 book in full online, click here.
 

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