An engraved personal message on a coin necklace cast from antique small change; an assemblage of pastel-coloured sapphire gems, prismatic nuggets that separate beams of light into a spectrum of colour; gold-plated rings with calligraphic flourishes that spell out touching messages: these are constitutive of the delicate eclecticism of Laura Lee’s jewellery designs. The label’s eponym, Laura Lee, was first attuned to the wonder of jewellery from her mother’s ‘amazing charm bracelet’ that she used to adore when she was a little girl. ‘Borrowing’ this bracelet at regular intervals, Laura Lee has at her design core an inspiration from personal objects that are laden with sentimentality. Following her nomadic family through the rich scenery of Asia, Europe and Australia, Laura Lee mixed this pull towards the sweet and the heartfelt with a palpable sense of wanderlust, with what can be seen in far flung galleries, museums and markets. Her passion for the exotic beads and trinkets from her travels was to know no bounds.
Laura Lee launched her jewellery label in 1985 and has since been lauded for blending the seasonal trends of Fashion Weeks with a structural and aesthetic purity that devotes itself to the use of natural gemstones. The result is a stunning collection of contemporary pieces that does not dismiss an everlasting appeal. While her designs are stocked in some of the world’s eminent boutiques and department stores, including Harrods, Le Bon Marché and Barneys New York, Laura Lee opened her own boutique in 2004. In the heart of Covent Garden, the store is a veritable treasure trove, whose window displays are as beautifully creative as the jewels onto which they offer a gleaming, transparent aperture. Wanderlust is transformed into windowlust, with the window having undergone a tattoo processed that the store team have affectionately branded ‘Pretti Graffiti’. Whimsical messages past and that have decorate the bracelets, rings and necklaces inside past and present have been hand drawn onto the window for browser’s pleasure.
the Laura Lee Shop Window.
For Spring/Summer ’13, the label create pieces with ‘The Girl with the Kaleidoscope Eyes’ in mind. As the title suggests, the collection boasts a delicate sequence of gems that refract light into a spectrum of colour and geometric shapes that add a directional structure to rings and necklaces. Once more, Laura Lee drew inspiration from her adventures abroad for this kaleidoscopic collection. The luxuriant atmosphere of the Rajasthani Palace, with its powder-puff sapphires and hexagonal landscaping, both feature in pieces such as the lilac sapphire multi-gem bracelet, large moonstone earrings and engraved hexagon necklaces. while the allure of amber in pendants and drop earrings was inspired by the intense cultural magnificence of the Amber Palace in Jaipur. A fresh and minimal look is thus evoked for 2013.
A bevy of celebrities have fallen for Laura Lee’s charmingly eclectic pieces. Anna Friel, Keira Knightley and Alexa Chung have all been accessorising their looks with the label’s designs . Alexa Chung, so pleased with a Laura Lee piece, took to twitter to announce her love for her new horse cameo ring, in a social media move that gives the label the ultimate seal of approval from the BFA’s Most Stylish Woman of the Year, no less. The press, too, have been quick to style their shoots with Laura Lee pieces. The October edition of Vogue saw Cheryl Cole on the front cover wearing a pearl ring from the label. It is no matter of coincidence that this number was called the ‘Pure Style’ issue.
Picture tweeted by Alexa Chung with the Pony ring -Cheryl Cole wearing Laura Lee pearl ring in 'Pure Style' issue of Vogue.
is a freelance writer and enjoys writing about fashion and sharing her experiences as she travels through the depths of the world, exposing her adventures whilst in search for her clothing. For more about the latest styles of Shoreditch fashion please visit www.start-london.com.
All Images curetscy of Laura Lee or Laura Lee Press.