Some of you may recall that at last September's London Fashion Week I posted about the work of jewellery designer Little Glass Clementine. I caught up with her at February's London Fashion Week and got a preview of her Autumn/Winter collection. This time the designer Clementine James was there herself to answer my questions about the detail that goes into her intricate creations.
Each necklace is a wearable work of art painstakingly created from recycled objects. The wearer is guaranteed individuality as each piece is a one off which is literally jam packed with vintage charm. This is couture level upcycling. Her work recognises the aesthetic qualities of objects as being something to herald, making no distinction between the raw beauty of those from the natural world such as shells, wood and gems, to that of the artificial sheen of the smelted, wrought, engraved, painted and polished trinkets made by man. In each piece both worlds are allowed to collide in a harmonious chaos that celebrates their visual delights on an equal footing creating a poignant, poetic reminder that one set is not possible without the existence of the other.
Amongst semi-precious stones lurk discarded treasures like old timepieces, daintily painted ceramic, buttons and pieces of vintage costume jewellery. You can spend ages spotting and identifying the individual objects making up the whole. There are buttons from an old Chanel jacket interspersed between curtain ties, a silver Sardinian button charm, miniature Venetian masks, parts of brooches and earrings, pieces of daintily painted ceramic, even metal eyelets for curtain rails.
In a world dominated by the voracity of mass produced goods it is heartening that someone has the vision and creativity to see the shrapnel at the other end of the process of consumerism as being objects worth retrieving to be given a new lease of life. So much of the Earth's precious and increasingly rarer resources go into the creation of material things for our often too brief pleasure and when they cease to please us it is somewhat tragic that they are given over to waste. In producing beautiful works that restore unloved adornments to their former glory as valued and treasurable objects, designers like Clementine James make a statement of the beauty we can be blind to in the things we choose to throw away.
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