June 14, 2010 / 1:37 PM / 7 years ago

London Jewellery Week flaunts design, artisan flair

3 Min Read

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - London Jewellery Week wrapped up a celebration of the UK's artisan skills, highlighting new creations by up-and-coming designers and brands.

"Treasure" was the show-stopping event, featuring lines by young designers such as Joanna Dahdah, and brands such as Swarovski, and retailer PureJewels from the Green Street, east London South Asian jewelry quarter, which showed off a new platinum collection.

"There are some extraordinary designers using all sorts of different materials and techniques, and having amazing inspiration," said Della Tinsley, a director of the London jewelry week (LJW).

Dahdah won the New Designer award as Treasure launched at a glittering party in central London.

The diverse shapes, colors and textures in Gustav Klimt's paintings are the main inspiration for her debut collection.

She explored various assortments of circles and squares highlighted by a warm and glowing color palette to recreate the sensuality and richness conveyed by Klimt's work.

Dozens of designers and retailers, including ethical UK jewelers Leblas and Cred, showed off their latest pieces.

"LJW went very well indeed. It looks like a busy summer ahead," said Ute Decker, who exhibited her sculptural jewelry in ethical silver at Treasure.

Ethical jewelers campaign for "good practice" from mine to jewelry box, striving to apply the most sustainable practices, using recycled silver and packaging materials.

Big-Name Support

Stephen Webster, a top UK designer known as jeweler to the rock stars for his longstanding ties with Christina Aguilera who wears his flamboyant pieces, showed up at the Treasure launch party to show his support for young British talent.

Webster spoke about a shift to silver in upmarket designs in light of soaring gold prices.

He said the financial crisis had had the biggest impact on the mid-market, while the top tier remained strong.

"It is the middle that has been squeezed hardest," Webster told Reuters.

Other jewelers said the combination of rising rough diamond prices and the economic downturn had eroded diamond jewelry demand in the mid-market, despite resilient bridal purchases.

London Jewelry Week, which this year held its third edition, is expected to be back next June with a bigger sponsors lineup and could tie up more closely with London Fashion Week.

London's Hatton Garden diamond jewelry district staged a street festival on Saturday where stone setters, polishers and engravers demonstrated their craft amidst stalls selling food and drink and children's events including a Punch and Judy show.

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