Shaun Leane’s million pound glove

Daphne Guinness gloveOh my. Have you seen the pictures of heiress fashionista Daphne Guinness modelling the diamond and gold glove created by top jeweller Shaun Leane (as featured on wwd.com)? Let’s start with the glove. It’s worth more than a million pounds (and yes, you don’t even get a pair). So what exactly do you get for your money then? Well it’s made from 18-carat white gold and 5,000 pavé white diamonds. Imagine a cross between chain mail body armour and an evening glove, with a flock of diamond birds fashioned in diamonds, and you might get an idea. Now that’s a piece of unusual jewellery, don’t you think?

Daphne reportedly chose Shaun to collaborate with her on the design of the jewelled glove as he had previously worked with the late, great Alexander McQueen to produce the dramatic jewellery for the designer’s legendary catwalk shows. Of course Shaun is one of this country’s leading jewellery designers and needs no introduction to those who know their baubles. The collaboration with Daphne, however, gave him the opportunity to really push the boundaries. And the result is pretty spectacular.

The showcase for the jewelled glove was possibly even more sensational than the object itself. Featuring the heiress draped in an Alexander McQueen body suit and a veil covering her face, she was meant to look as if she was lying in state, with just one arm (the one with the glove) exposed. All manner of fashion gods were there to witness the spooky event, including the one and only Tom Ford – who allegedly tickled Daphne’s corpse-like body (and no, by all accounts, she stayed in character and didn’t giggle…). The event took place at Jay Joplin’s Georgian townhouse, which, as the photographs suggest, provided the stunt with a suitably ethereal backdrop.

Now that’s given me some ideas for showcasing some of the upcoming new – though not quite as costly – Rok Chix designs. Oh alright then, perhaps not…

Kate and Jamie get hitched

Congratulations to Kate Moss and Jamie Hince, who got married a few days ago. No doubt you’ll have already seen the lovely snaps in the papers (if not, there are some nice ones on Grazia Daily) – they really do look happy, awwww.

But forget the impressive list of celebs in attendance. The real stars of the day – apart from the happy couple, that is – were the cute-as-button bridesmaids. I’m not sure how many bridesmaids and flower girls they had altogether, but in one photo I counted 14 – all dressed in beautiful, simple matching white dresses and flower garlands in their hair.

Now the advantage of being a bridesmaid, apart from being placed very firmly centre stage on the wedding day itself, is that it’s customary to receive a gift from those tying the knot. And that gift is quite often a piece of jewellery. I remember the first time I was a bridesmaid – I think I was about five or six years old – I was given a lovely necklace that had a little gold blossom pendant, inside of which was a white pearl. I cherished it then, and still cherish it now.

Finding the right gift for a bridesmaid or flower girl is a task in itself (as if you don’t have enough to do when you’re planning your wedding, eh?). So here are my recommendations for a few Rok Chix baubles that may delight bridesmaids of all ages…

True Love necklaceSilver Heart and Pearl EarringsSilver Star Stud EarringsSilver 4EVER Silver Charm BangleSilver Bow Studs

For details (l-r), see Pearl Necklace with True Love Charm (£55),  Silver Hearts and Pearl Earrings (£40), Solid Silver Star Stud Earrings (£35), Silver 4EVER Charm Bangle (£40) and Silver Bow Stud Earrings (£25).

How to do pearls with a twist

The new pearl collection from Comme des Garcons has arrived at London’s uber-stylish Dover Street Market – check out the collection on Vogue.com. I’m loving the heart pendant made from a cluster of magnificent, luminous pearls. Very nice indeed.

The collection, according to Vogue, includes necklaces fashioned from juicy, handpicked natural Pacific Ocean pearls as well as top-notch cultured Japanese pearls, so no wonder the least expensive of the lot will set you back a cool £1,700. Yikes, that hurts.

Rok Chix Charcoal Pearl and Silver Barbs NecklaceIf you’re short of the odd £1,700 too, the Rok Chix Charcoal Pearl and Silver Barbs Necklace is just (if not more, even if I say so myself) edgy. Okay, it doesn’t have the highly expensive pearls that the CdG pieces are made from (it’s made from freshwater pearls and handmade silver barbs, actually). But there again it will  only make your bank balance £45 lighter, which, in these cash-strapped times, sounds a bit more like it to me.

For more Rok Chix pearly delights, take a tour around our Glow collection

Making wishes come true

I’ve just come across the website of a New Zealand-born jewellery designer who goes by the name of Violet Darkling (yes, fabulous name isn’t it – not her real name, mind you, which is Louisa Richwhite… which is also quite exotic, wouldn’t you agree?). Now living in the UK, Louisa – or Violet, I’m not sure what to call her – produces some gorgeous gemstone jewellery. But it was her Wish Bracelets that caught my attention.

The bracelets, says Louisa/Violet, include a heart charm that’s a symbol of love and friendship. And, she continues, the Welsh legend says if you make a wish before putting the bracelet on, don’t take it off, believe in it and treasure it, then your wish will come true.

I thought that was a lovely sentiment – though, being Welsh myself, I’ve never actually heard of that legend (but I’ll buy it anyway as it’s such a nice idea).

Rok Chix Flower Power Friendship BraceletIf you like the Violet Darkly Wish Bracelet (£45), you’ll love the Rok Chix Flower Power Friendship Bracelet (£25), which is part of the Rok Chix collection that’s sold exclusively on notonthehighstreet.com. I can’t guarantee it will make your wishes come true, but if you buy one for a treasured friend she won’t be disappointed.


Rok Chix goes to church…

hove-arts.jpgIt’s May already, and if like me you’re a resident of the amazing city of Brighton you’ll know that can only mean one thing – the festival is almost here. Each year the Brighton Festival runs throughout the month of May – well, three simultaneous festivals, that is, namely the original Brighton Festival, the Fringe Festival and the Artists’ Open House Festival. For those of you who don’t live here, the Artists’ Open House festival runs during the festival weekends and is a collection of venues – artists’ houses, many of them – that open to the public. On show in these venues/houses is the artists’ work – everything from traditional painting to street art and everything you can imagine in between.

So why am I wittering on about artists and festivals, you may wonder?  Well because this year you can see and buy Rok Chix jewellery at an Open House venue in Hove, called Art @ All Saints (All Saints is a church, in case you were wondering). Since Rok Chix jewellery isn’t available in many shops it’s the ideal opportunity to browse through our baubles – and very handy if you’re in Brighton for the festival anyway. You can find All Saints church on the corner of The Drive and Eaton Road (or click here for a map).

It’s well worth a visit as the church itself is such an inspiring building and also because there will be 20 artists/craftspeople exhibiting there – so lots to see, including painting, photography, ceramics, textiles, lighting, glass, furniture and mixed media. Oh, and of course, jewellery.

So if you’re in Brighton this month, don’t just sit on the beach (though of course that’s a big part of the Brighton experience). Come and say hello – we’d love to see you there…

Love is in the air

thmblove_dogtagover.jpgThere is definitely a touch of romance in the air right now – maybe it has something to do with a rather big wedding happening later this week or maybe it’s just the effect spring has on us, who can tell? But if you too are feeling the love, why not shout it from the rooftops with one of our most recent additions, our Silver Love Dogtag Necklace, £45?

This incredibly pretty handmade silver necklace features a 2cm-long silver dogtag stamped with the word ‘LOVE’, which hangs besides a vibrant pink tourmaline gemstone on a 50cm silver belcher chain. Why pink tourmaline, you may wonder? Well there is a reason, and it’s not just because it’s such a beautiful colour. Pink tourmaline – like other similarly coloured gemstones, rose quartz for instance – is said to attract love, especially when worn near the heart. But you probably guessed that already.

So go on, show the world you’re a hopeless romantic. It’s quite the thing right now, apparently…

Spread a little happiness

thmbhappy_dogtagover.jpgIt’s a very good time to get into happiness. Only the other week, a campaign called Action for Happiness was launched – even the Dalai Lama is a member. And you can join too, just sign up on the website for regular updates on how to be happy by doing things for other people and getting enjoyment out of the little things in life that money just can’t buy.

And in support of the happiness movement we’ve introduced our Happy Thoughts Dogtag Necklace: a classic silver dogtag stamped with the words ‘Think happy thoughts’ and coupled with the most beautiful blue tourmaline gem. Why blue tourmaline, you may be thinking? Well, according to our gemstone bible, it dissolves sadness and helps prevent negativity. And if you don’t buy into the power of gemstones theory, just gaze into the beautiful aqua hues of this blue tourmaline and you’ll understand why some people say it makes you feel more positive and more peaceful.

A very pretty necklace with an important message. It will make you smile, we guarantee.

The ring you can take for a spin

The latest addition to the Rok Chix collection of chunky gemstone rings is our Silver and Gemstone Spinning Ring, which is available in a selection of gorgeous gems.

thmbspinringover.jpgIt’s based on an uncomplicated idea. A round gemstone sits between two open sides of a sterling silver band, held in place by a riveted silver rod. The gemstone turns around, hence the name. What I like best about this ring, however, is its simplicity. As anyone who’s familiar with Rok Chix jewellery knows, we don’t really do fussy designs. The gemstone is always the main focus of the piece, because, well, we love gemstones and we think they don’t need much adornment (they’re already spectacularly beautiful).

And before you ask, the Spinning Rings are really comfortable to wear – you don’t even realise you’re wearing one half of the time.

Now let’s get down to the gemstones available. There’s a lovely pink rose quartz, as well as a sparkly clear quartz and a chocolate-coloured smoky quartz, plus a charcoal grey labradorite with lovely flashes – all of these gemstones are faceted too, by the way. Plus, because I am mad about tourmalinated quartz, I’ve added one of these gems to the range too, and to finish off, a Rok Chix first – pyrite. Also known as fool’s gold, pyrite is a fascinating gemstone in that it looks like metal rather than a gem. I think, out of all of them, the pyrite is my particular favourite. Or perhaps the labradorite, or the tourmalinated quartz.. Oh I just can’t make up my mind.

Available for the bargain sum of £45, these are rings you’ll want to wear every day.

And before you ask, many apologies for the lack of blogging lately – I’ve been busy designing lots of new pieces for you, so look out for news of other new baubles and trinkets coming up very soon.

The drawback of buying cheap jewellery

 

Rok Chix jewellery is nickel-free

If you’ve ever suffered a nasty rash after wearing jewellery, you’re not alone. Millions of people worldwide have an allergy to a metal called nickel, which, when it comes into contact with skin, results in itching, burning, redness and even swelling and blisters if you’re particularly allergic.

Nickel is commonly found in cheaper jewellery – that is, jewellery that’s not made from a precious metal such as silver or gold (if it was cheap and doesn’t have an official hallmarked, it’s probably made from a metal alloy containing nickel) – as well as coins, belt buckles and even some mobile phones.

The reason I’m talking about this now is that scientists from Germany think they’ve discovered why nickel triggers a reaction in some people. Nickel, say the researchers, binds to a protein (TLR4, incase you wanted to know) that is involved in the immune system. When nickel binds to TLR4, the immune system believes it’s a threat and fights back by triggering inflammation. The report has just been published in the medical journal Nature Immunology (again, just incase you wanted to know).

What they don’t say however, is why some people react to nickel while others don’t. But bearing in mind that anyone can develop an allergy to anything at any time, it’s best – whether you’re allergic to nickel or not – to stick to silver, gold and platinum where jewellery is concerned (unless you like the red raw look, that is).

Having said that, some unfortunate people are also allergic to precious metals, though it is fairly rare.

Rok Chix jewellery is guaranteed nickel-free (apart from the slight trace of nickel that may be present in some sterling silver, that is – though this shouldn’t be anything like enough to trigger an allergy in even the most sensitive allergy sufferer).  We only ever use sterling and fine silver, never any other metals. Our gemstones are all genuine too – we don’t use man-made crystals such as Swarovski (not that I’ve ever heard of an allergy to manufactured crystals or glass, that is).

Rok Chix jewellery is hallmarked according to UK legal requirements, which means some of our lighter jewellery – earrings, for instance – don’t have hallmarks as, by law, only items where the total silver content weighs more than 7.78g have to be hallmarked. There again, many of our items that weigh less than 7.78g are hallmarked (because we know people like to see a hallmark). Usually it’s just the earrings and tiny little charms, where there’s no room for a hallmark anyway, that aren’t.

So remember, cheap jewellery may seem like an irresistable bargain, but you could end up paying for it through your skin.

Check out our review

Our Rok Chix Chunky Silver and Gemstone Charm Bracelet has just been reviewed on YouTube by the lovely Kelsey Simpson.

It’s well worth taking a look.

Kelsey has her own tube channel, where she reviews a range of fashion and beauty products. It’s a really refreshing change from the reviews you read by professional fashion and beauty editors (who receive so much stuff for free, they have to have entire rooms in their magazine’s offices to accommodate it all).

Nice one, Kelsey.