Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Friends of Portobello

  I was a little sceptical when a friend of mine told me he was going to make jewellery from silver bits and pieces he had found on Portobello Road. Miles Chapman had been an editor at Vanity Fair magazine in the heady days of Tina Brown and it was during the same era, the late 1980s and 90s, that I used to sell my jewellery in some very classy New York stores. Miles used to take me to the Oyster Bar at Grand Central station, nearly every time I visited and gossip about the celebrities of the time. So his venture into the realms of jewellery making surprised me (in a nice way I might add). Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease a few years ago, his doctors advised him to do something focussed with his hands as this can help with keeping symptoms of the condition at bay for while. Before long Miles had created some wonderful pieces of silver jewellery from antique chains, perfume bottles, charms, pen holders, tweezers and all manner of trinkets and was selling to some of those very classy stores that I used all those years ago.

  I am delighted to be showing some of his jewellery pieces in an exhibition at Dinny Hall Westbourne Grove called Portobello Plunder until the end of June. You also have the opportunity to own a little part of the Plunder until the end of the exhibition.

On the subject of Portobello Road I do have a special love of the place.  I came to live in Notting Hill whilst still a student and nearly all my clothes came from there; in fact it was the second hand cashmere stall that gave me a taste for expensive knitwear and I think I bought my first Gucci handbag from Portobello.
  Sadly, change must come to all things but we should do our best to keep at least some of Portobello’s charm since it is very gradually disappearing under ones very nose! So check out if you too want to see Portobello survive and thrive.

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