Jewellers must collaborate more with fashion

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A lack of LFW catwalk jewels means jewellers are missing a trick.

I know that I am probably going to upset some of the traditionalists amongst us, but I wanted to get a little something off my chest. Over the past couple of years I have noticed a distinct lack of collaboration between the jewellery world and the fashion industry, and it’s about time this changed.

At London Fashion Week this year there was a lack of catwalk jewels and, so, collaboration. What better time to get British jewellery talent at the forefront of consumers’ consciousness than seven days when the whole world is looking at fashion in our capital city?

Walking the halls at the exhibition for London Fashion Week, I was impressed with the number of jewellery brands that made sure they had a presence. Lola Rose, Erickson Beamon and Sam Ubhi were just some of the brands showcasing new products and attempting to whet the appetites of fashionistas and style queens. But although the halls were brimming with jewellery, unfortunately the catwalk was missing that added bit of sparkle.

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One jewellery designer told me that it is equally important for their collections to be seen at London Fashion Week as it is to have them seen at BaselWorld; it’s about raising the profile of the brand and getting it seen by the right eyes. So why not extend this to the fashion catwalks and capture the imagination of the mainstream fashion press and fashion-loving consumers?

Look at the collaborations with the late great fashion designer Alexander McQueen and über jewellery designer Shaun Leane; both visionary pioneers in their fields. When you put a piece of Leane’s catwalk jewellery on a bespoke creation by McQueen, you get sheer magic.

And it seems that despite the lack of catwalk jewels this year, fashion is turning to jewellery for inspiration in other guises. Fashion designer Mary Katrantzou created a graphic print using photographs of Mawi jewellery, which was then used on a shift dress on the catwalk.

I know that some amongst us feel that the fashion and jewellery industries should be kept separate, but like it or not, jewellery is being influenced by the world of fashion and vice versa. Collaboration keeps both industries fresh and vibrant, and teaming up with fashion labels is key to getting jewellery in front of the mainstream fashion audience. So more jewellery-fashion collaborations at next season’s London Fashion Week, please.

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