V Jewellery LFW Interview
Laura Vann of V Jewellery gives us the lowdown on her new SS17 collection and which jewellery designers she’s lusting after herself.
Tell us about where you trained in jewellery design?
Originally I wanted to go into fashion journalism so I moved down to London from Birmingham and studied English at Kings College. My dad had always owned a jewellery business ever since I was really young. When I finished university I moved back home and was working for Cos, and at the same time was working for my dad and really got involved in it. I loved the idea of applying all of the practices that I learned at Cos to jewellery and realised I had a really lucky foundation with my dad having the business. Since then I’ve gone to the School of Jewellery in Birmingham and trained more on design.
Tell u about the inspiration for the SS17 collection?
So our signature style is an Art Deco and it’s been quite well received in the sense that we revised the idea of Art Deco jewellery and made it more fresh and contemporary for the modern women and our SS17 collection is taking our bestsellers from previous collections and reinventing those. It’s called the Greatest Hits collection so it’s got an eighties vibe, we’ve added some beautiful pink sapphire to some of our signature pieces and we’ve done these eighties inspired hoops called droppers so it’s really fun and playful.
Describe the collection in three words?
Accessible, classic and chic.
What was the most difficult part about bringing the collection together?
It’s always a bit difficult to find inspiration but somehow it always seems to fall into place. I’ll have an amazing holiday, or visit a different city or go to a friends wedding and it will really inspire me somehow. I suppose there’s always a fear of inspiration running dry and you do get a bit writers block with it sometimes. The design process can be tricky but eventually you overcome it.
What are your ways of dealing with a design block?
I think a lot of my training showed me how to look at things from outside the box and to also take inspiration from the smallest details you can find; which are often the most interesting. They key is never to just focus on a specific idea or concept; always keep your mind open let it flow and eventually you’ll come to a point where you don’t recognise the beginning of the process and you’ve created some really innovative and inspirational stuff.
You’ve worked in both clothes and jewellery – what is the biggest difference?
Photography! It’s so much easier to photograph clothing and to make it look right. That’s definitely one distinction. Another thing actually is the customer approach to jewellery versus clothing, especially working with silver, which is quite a soft metal.
Teaching customers about the gemstones and the metals is so much harder because if you think about clothing you’ll know that silk is a precious material to look after and leather is always going to be expensive.
Whereas with jewellery it’s a process of educating the customer and showing them that even though our prices are accessible; its more expensive than something you’ll pick up off the high street. It’s all handset and plated with rhodium to stop tarnishing and we use precious to semi precious gemstones and gold plating. I suppose that’s quite challenging for us but very rewarding too.
What kind of person would wear your jewellery?
We’re aiming to sell to women such as myself. We want to cater for the mid market where it’s a woman who is transitioning away from throwaway jewellery but at the same time isn’t inclined to buy fine jewellery on a regular basis. So I created a collection with myself in mind, being a student and not being able to afford dinner let alone a piece of jewellery. But it’s kind of had a bit of a knock on effect with the fact that the designs are classic but they do does transcend age. My mum is covered head to toe in my pieces so ideally it would be a woman like myself but its lovely that it appeal to different ages.
There is a lot more colour in this collection than your precious ones – did you set out to do that or did it happen organically?
Well our SS16 collection had some colour in it and that was inspired by a visit to Miami, with its beautiful architecture. I was also quite bored and I wanted to add a punch of life into that collection. So for SS17 I wanted to go a bit more daring and pink sapphire can be quite a sharp, punchy colour but with the confidence that I had from the SS16 collection I felt as though it would work just as well.
Who is your favourite jewellery designer at the moment?
We’ve just done our first bespoke engagement ring, which was really fun working with fine jewellery and choosing the stones to go in it, so that’s something I’d definitely love to explore. I’d quite like to do some more larger press pieces, I think that would be quite fun, as we’re quite a commercial brand. I would like to push the boundaries out a little bit more and still have a commercial element but with something eye catching for press.
Words/Pictures: Mahum Masood