One of the reasons I love this time of year is there's time to be creative. What else is there to do in the grey and ludicrously cold days of our little cloud-shrouded island besides looking towards sunnier pastimes for inspiration? For me it's a completely uplifting experience--coming up with new ideas. Which brings me to the theme of today's blog.
The new 'Amalfi' collection, which became our best-seller during the Christmas season, was inspired by a "CineFilm" I watched of my parents' holiday on the Amalfi Coast before I was born. My father tells me that he used to go down to that part of the world in his open top MG. The essence of the area inspired him to open a restaurant called the Mistral--a play on the word "Mister Hall"-- in South Kensington after wrapping off his career as an opera singer (but that's another blog for another day).
Anyhow in the CineFilm, I remember my mother wearing a rather fetching 60s bikini, huge black glasses and her hair in a Bardot bouffant--brunette though she was. And my father in the background, the paradigm of an Englishman, in his chinos leaning on an ancient wall overlooking the ocean--I treasure the memory of that image. Ever since, whenever I've been to the Amalfi Coast, from Naples, Sorrento, Positano to Capri, I've been enraptured with the terrain and its wonderful romanticism, passion, and history...all those things rolled into one. Even one of my favourite books, "Volcano Lover" by Susan Sontag (the late lover of Annie Leibovitz), takes Amalfi as its backdrop. Set in Naples during the Napoleonic wars, it's about the life of Lady Emma Hamilton, courtesan, great beauty and lover of Lord Nelson.
Anyway, enough of harping on about my favorite novel. Back to the jewellery. I employed lapiderers to cut stones such as labadorite, amythest and smokey quartz to my own design. The cut of the stone encaptures the rugged rock formations lining the coast and their wateriness is reminiscent of the Mediterranean whilst the setting mimicks the movement of waves. All this wrapped up to create a collection of cocktail rings, bracelets, pendants and earrings which has proved to be one of the most successful collections I've designed in a while. Like the place itself, there's just something about Amalfi that keeps people coming back.
Spurred on by that success and unwilling to let Amalfi go, I'm now on to 'Amalfi Beach'. Adding to the collection jewellery that you could easily wear with your bikini or your kaftan as you sun yourself gleefully on the crags of Capri. Or, if you're stuck in drizzly London like me, at least to provide you with a little taste of Amalfi joy until summer actuall arrives.