An International jewellery show which was at it’s height in the 1960’s is being revived in London this October. Masters of Modern Jewellery 2014 will run through to mid-December and will feature contemporary jewellery designers and crafts people as well as exhibiting jewellery from the 1920’s to the present. Taking place at the Beetles and Huxley gallery one featured jeweller is the inimitable Shaun Leane. Thorn have been lucky enough to work with Shaun since our launch in 2007 and his unique blend of modern styling and the finest techniques of traditional craftsmanship continue to make him a popular choice for both men’s and women’s jewellery. We absolutely love his Horn Tusk and Cross pendant and this piece remains a favourite with both ladies and gents, definitely a great addition to anyone’s collection. We can’t wait to go and check out the show and look forward to working with Shaun for many years to come.
This week we’re going retro and having a look back at some the truly iconic pieces from British designers whose collections we have featured both past and present. When we set up Thorn in 2007 people thought we were rather mad to create a site which focussed on Men’s Jewellery which made up such a small percentage of overall jewellery sales in the UK. We remained convinced and whilst we have added in a few pieces of women’s jewellery (we don’t want you chaps going down to the high street when it comes to birthdays, Christmas or Valentines!) we have stuck to our guns.
We’ve always aspired to put together a collection from both established and new young designers, featuring both innovative design as well as timeless classics. Which brings us to our first iconic piece, Stephen Webster’s Bulldog Cufflinks everybody loves them. For us they have proved to be such a fantastic line we still stock them and over the years we’ve sold these to city boys, wild boys and probably even lady boys!
Vivienne Westwood’s international appeal has made her one of our favourite designers. Her ever changing lines and new products make her a retailers dream as we always have something new to offer our regular clients. She has been the Queen of British fashion for many years and we know that her designs will sell. For us the Westwood Orb is symbolic of Vivienne’s work and the piece which we continue to sell is the classic Mother of Pearl Buckle belt.
We couldn’t let our trip to retro land pass by without looking at the work of the uber cool Shaun Leane. Back in 2008 we were asked to supply some of the jewellery for the Jake Gyllenhaal movie Prince of Persia and for us Shaun’s superb Interlocking Horn rings were perfect for the film. Apparently Jake liked the pieces so much he purchased them from the producers and added a few to his personal collection.
The Swiss designers and manufacturers Meister have always been a favourite of ours and also our customers throughout the world. In the last few years we have shipped unique wedding rings, compasses, sundials and cufflinks to every continent. When one of our regular Meister clients from Japan asked us to source the very stylish Meister Mother of Pearl pendant even though it was not on our list of products we were more than happy to help.
Hand crafted in titanium, white gold and Tahitian mother of pearl the dog tag style pendant hangs from a leather cord. The combinations of fine raw materials really complement each other and we weren’t surprised to find out that the Black Mother of Pearl from Tahiti is the best in the world. Mother of Pearl is the substance that lines the inside of the pearl oyster shell and the dark colour used by Meister is favoured for both its appearance and quality.
So the piece had some distance to travel, Tahiti, Switzerland, London and Japan. When it arrived with us in the UK we were so taken with it we photographed it, listed it and the pendant now appears in our range of Meister products, no doubt the piece will prove to be as popular as the rest of the collection.
Last week we took some time out to visit the incredible installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins marking the centenary of the start of the first world war. 888,246 ceramic poppies will progressively fill the Tower’s famous moat and it was an absolutely amazing sight. While we were there we had a chat with some of the Beefeaters, saw some Royal ravens and also took the opportunity to visit the Crown Jewels.
Apparently the tradition of the royal coronation is well over a thousand years old, but the Crown Jewels kept at the Tower of London are much more modern. Following the abolition of the monarchy in 1649 the early crowns, orbs and sceptres were destroyed and those on display have been made since 1660. They are absolutely incredible and well worth a visit. Of course we were reminded of our own Queen of fashion Vivienne Westwood when we saw the crowns and orbs and some of the fabulous pieces we keep in our vaults.
We hold over 50 lines of westwood designer jewellery and accessories and without a doubt it is one of the most popular ranges we carry. Our personal favourites are the stunning Chester Ring and the delicate sterling silver Key Pendant with matching earrings and bracelet. Definitely fit for a Queen !
These days it’s virtually impossible to find anyone who doesn’t own at least one leather bracelet. Go to introduce yourself to anyone whether in the boardroom or the bar and chances are their outstretched hand will be closely followed by a wrist sporting a stylish piece of leather. Famous fans of leather bracelets are amongst others, Kanye West, Robert Downey Junior, Jude Law, David Beckham and of course the Uber Cool Mr Johnny Depp.
It used to be the case that a few pieces of understated black plaited leather was all a guy needed to make a statement. These days the humble leather bracelet is so much more! In every conceivable colour and style the combinations are endless and men are wearing not just one or two but lots of them. At Thorn we have searched out the best of British and we have a fabulous selection of Leather bracelets in some stunning designs.
We’ve picked our top three (no way we could just choose one!) If you want to express your inner pirate take a look at Vivienne Westwoods friendship bracelet with skulls, beads and bones this is a great addition to any collection. The Stingray Bracelet from Alan K features premium stingray leather with 925 Sterling silver. Similar to pearls, stingray leather is thought to bring good luck and this beauty comes in five different colours. Shaun Leane’s Cord and Hook gives us the ultimate leather bracelet. With it’s iconic branded silver ties this piece is absolutely stunning for the man who wants to make a real statement…….this one says it all.
In a converted 19th century coachouse in Central Brighton Chris Hawkins creates some of the most unique and stunning jewellery we have ever come across. The beautiful workshop is the setting for the development of designer collections such as Glacier, Antennae and Angels and Daemons as well as the bespoke commissions which Chris has become renowned for. A traditionally trained jeweller, Chris completed his five year apprenticeship with the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths in 1994 and has been producing remarkable pieces ever since.
It is almost impossible to pick one favourite collection let alone a single piece but for pure aesthetics it has to be the Stingray Ring with diamonds. This wide ring in oxidised silver has proved popular with Thorn customers all over the world and the 5 diamonds set in yellow gold compliment the stingray textured band to perfection.
Chris combines a keen eye for detail with technical skills and craftsmanship to produce innovative jewellery which has a timeless appeal to both men and women. Over the years he has been inspired by fashion, smooth sculptural forms, bold textures and of course the natural world of the beach. So congratulations Chris on your Silver Anniversary, 25 years since you started your apprenticeship, we wish you continued success and look forward to working with you for many years to come.
No we haven’t gone mad and started selling diamond encrusted dog collars. Marilyn Monroe claimed diamonds were a girls best friend but how about the men out there? It has become clear over the last few years that men want more from their jewellery and although it’s been popular for a while to have a small diamond set into a wedding ring it’s only more recently that diamonds have made an appearance in other pieces too. Meister have lead the way in terms of the innovative use of diamonds in rings and as well as a superb range of wedding bands they also use a diamond in the incredible sundial ring.
Black diamonds seem to be particularly fitting for men’s jewellery design and have featured in William Cheshire’s East side ring and also been used to maximum effect in Shaun Leane’s Birds Skull Pendant. These dark coloured diamonds look superb set into silver and have proved to be incredibly popular increasing demand from diamond dealers worldwide.
We really love the iconic BR Republic Successor Pendant Bobby Whites classic design is now incredibly rare and we are very lucky to have acquired one. This Silver Pendant with Round Cut Diamonds sits on heavy black rope silk ‘chain’ with a sterling silver BR clasp.
So what do you think, diamonds…..still just a girl’s best friend ?
James Bond has over the years kick started many trends including what men drink, wear and drive. The men playing him have become style icons and Daniel Craig is no exception, the actors appearance in a midnight blue tux in Skyfall last year has seen sales of coloured suits rising. For the first time in John Lewis’ 150 year history blue suits are outselling black ones and a blue suit is apparently sold every four minutes.
Fashion buyers and journalists alike put it down to one thing, versatility, whilst a black suit limits the wearer to just a change of weave or cut there are so many different shades of blue the options are endless. We love a blue suit at Thorn and the lads here all own one, from a bright blue ‘hand made in Brighton’ to an off the peg slate blue from Paul Smith.
So the question is what jewellery are men sporting with these fabulous suits? Cufflinks of course feature high on the list and Shaun Leane’s iconic Eagle Skull’s with black spinels were definitely a favourite as well as Vivienne Westwood’s Jermyn cufflinks in black and grey. We are certainly looking forward to seeing some more adventurous fashion statements in the future and maybe a whole myriad of coloured suits.
Thomas Sabo was established in 1984 but it is since the 1990’s that the company has become best known for its collection of silver jewellery. Of course the incredible success of the charm club really put Thomas Sabo on the map and the innovative designs have become collectable all over the world. Celebrity fans include Rumer Willis, Nico Rosberg and the new face of Sabo, Georgia May Jagger.
History shows that good luck charms were first used in Neolithic times by hunters, the Christians in Rome carried carved fish to symbolise their beliefs, the Egyptians buried charms encrusted with precious stones the Pharaohs and the Victorians wore them as luxury fashion items. It’s true to say the humble charm bracelet has certainly taken on many forms over the years and Thomas Sabo is surely the King of Charms for the 21st Century.
At Thorn we carry a range of charms, carriers, chains and leather necklaces suitable for both men and women. We absolutely love the Motorcycle Charm this real statement piece from the rebel at heart range is superbly finished and perfect for both men and super cool biker chicks. If you like the idea of carrying a Guardian Angel with you then check out Sabo’s Silver Curved Wing Charm The fine detailing of this beautiful sterling silver piece is classic design at its absolute best and could go some way to bringing you that sought after charmed life.
It’s the Summer of Love and we've been very busy with weddings at Thorn. The summer is of course a traditional time to tie the knot and we are absolutely delighted to have worked with lots of couples selecting their wedding bands as well as gifts for the best man and bridesmaids. We've discovered that despite the different types of wedding (we've been involved with a Steam punk themed affair and a ceremony taking place in Iceland) the rings are a central part of the day. Whilst we can trace the wearing of a ring by a bride back to ancient Egypt it seems that it was only in the 20th Century that grooms also started to do the same. Meister’s sundial ring has been a popular choice this summer and with its Swiss precision engineering combined with Titanium, Rose Gold and a brilliant white diamond it is a stunning symbol of eternal love. There are also some lucky best men out there who will be receiving some fabulous Thorn cuff-links to mark the special occasion and bridesmaids who will be wearing some beautiful Vivienne Westwood necklaces on the day.