Can you believe that London Fashion Week is next month already?! It seems I barely got through posting about the last one before I got waylaid. Whilst digging out pictures of Mary Katrantzou for my post riot reflections I realised how many amazing designers I hadn't managed to get around to post about the first time. I'd like to revisit the work of some of the younger women who amazed me with not just their talent, but their entrepreneurial spirit in setting up their own businesses as designers. With tougher times being as they are over here and abroad, more showcasing needs to be done of inspiring examples of how young people can make a living by being creative and having the courage to strike out on their own.
Now with all the Autumn Winter stock hitting the stores one of those designers that has been on my mind a lot lately is the talented jewellery designer Merle O'Grady. At the last London Fashion Week I got a preview of her Autumn/Winter collection. It seems that the shot of colour that fashion received this Spring/Summer is sticking around for at least another season, permeating all the way to accessories.
Continuing on from the pale pinks, bright purples and turquoise of her Spring/Summer collection, Merle O'Grady has deepened her winter palette into vibrant blues and amethysts, deep purples and rainbow hued crystals. Magpies will love the use of colourful semi precious stones throughout the collection. Blue agate, amethyst and lapiz lazuli are fashioned into orbs and arrowheads adorning statement necklaces and earrings.
Fans of her spiked orb "bombshell" designs will be delighted with colourful new versions, one combining blue agate, white crystals and navy Swarovski pearls and another using amethyst with deep blue crystals and grey pearls. Urban glamazons will no doubt be hankering after her neckplates, gladiator cuffs, gold and silver torques all encrusted with Swarovski gems, as well as magnificent feathery bib necklaces, wrought in gold and silver chainmail.
Quoting sources of inspiration as varied as cinema, architecture and even infrastructure, Merle produces highly original work by her inventive use of chunky chains and links, interesting and contrasting shapes and colour to put a modern and individual spin on costume jewellery. I've never really understood the appeal of chunky knuckle duster rings but Merle's clean rectangular designs sporting gems in a choice of rainbow hues or a girly pink tint have won me over.
I have two of Merle O'Grady's necklaces and although they are very strong statement pieces, I find them very wearable, not to mention beautifully made. This season I'll be saving up for another bombshell necklace - though I'm having trouble choosing which! The collection is available now at her own website as well as My-Wardrobe.
If I was chart my pregnancy in terms of some of the best outfits I wore over a growing bump it would start with last summer at ...
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