This just in: acquiring unique and beautifully-made pieces from the best jewellery brands doesn’t have to mean parting with eye-wateringly large amounts of money.
There’s a whole host of designers, hailing from all over the globe, who are creating exciting jewellery with an inclusive price tag; from Sandra Alexandra’s uber-playful grocery-inspired collection, to Maria Black’s marvellously minimal pieces and Ejing Zhang’s wearable art.
Go forth and adorn!
Best for craftsmanship: Justine Clenquet
French jewellery designer Justine Clenquet is no newcomer to the industry, launching her eponymous brand in 2010 and opening her first boutique in Liles, Northern France, at the tender age of 18. Clenquet’s designs, which are all handmade in France, see the marrying of craftsmanship with the kind of cool-girl aesthetic we all go wild for (Jorja Smith and Lady Gaga are both fans).
Brass dipped in 24kt gold, palladium and Swarovski crystals give Clenquet’s designs their punk aesthetic. Think earrings made for mixing and matching, chokers that double-up as bracelets and, a personal favourite of mine, body chains and belts that will transform your T-shirts and jeans.
Best for a playful aesthetic: Sandra Alexandra
Sandra Alexandra’s jewellery designs might come to life in her London studio, but with a glance at her serotonin-boosting creations, it’s clear that she draws inspiration from all over, including her native Spain. Take her Groceries collection, for example, which wields little glass oranges, lemons and pomegranates on 18kt gold plated hoop earrings, while a series of glass chillies and cherries serve as embellishment for her chain necklaces.
Fruit and veg not your thing? Seek out her equally gorgeous heart and pearl collections. But it’s the rings that really have my attention. Handcrafted by artisans in Barcelona, these stackable delights come in liquorice stripes, as well as pastel and jewel tones. Yum!
Best for colour: Dinosaur Designs
Every so often I come across a brand whose Instagram or website I get entirely lost in for way too long. The reasons for this prolonged scrolling session vary, but in the case of Australian jewellery (and homewares) brand Dinosaur Designs, it’s due to the wonderfully unique designs that look both edible and otherworldly in equal parts.
Designers Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy, both former art students, create everything from chunky rings to twisted bangles out of resin, a material they equate to working with paint. Between the endless colour options, shapes and sizes, you might struggle to choose which of Olsen and Ormandy’s creations to make yours, but if you’re anything like me you’ll have fun deciding.
Best for minimalists: Maria Black
Danish-Irish jewellery designer Maria Black believes that personal style and creativity should lie in the hands of the individual and hopes that the pieces emerging from her Copenhagen studio will facilitate this. Innately pared back, Black’s creations encourage the wearer to put their own unique spin on them; quite literally via her Pop collection, which allows you to purchase different coins that can be ‘popped’ into rings and necklaces so you can change them up depending on your mood and aesthetic.
Other highlights include the single huggie earrings that you can add different charms to and the wear-everywhere chain necklaces and bracelets. Black’s use of IMPACT gold (a mixed alloy combining recycled gold and fairtrade gold), recycled silver and lab grown diamonds is the icing on top of a very chic cake.
Best for wearable art: Ejing Zhang
It’s Ejing Zhang’s combination of resin and textiles that give her jewellery designs their USP. It was, in fact, this technique that led to the designer being commissioned to create the trophies for the 2013 Global Fashion Awards.
Zhang, who set up her eponymous label in 2015, creates extraordinary pieces of wearable art, from her stackable resin rings to her customisable charm necklaces and bracelets (I’m obsessed with the mochi charms!). Besides her unique technique, it’s also the versatility of Zhang’s creations that I think makes them stand out. Whether you’re a white shirt-toting minimalist or a devout maximalist, I challenge you not to covet these.