Tag Archive | Cara Tonkin

Styling post #2 – day to evening LBD

In the run up to Christmas we thought it was time to run another styling post, this time looking at those situations where we want to take an office outfit with us into the evenings.  There are lots of tips and tricks from the beauty bloggers out there about how to adjust make up, but we think that simple jewellery boosts can do the same trick but in a quicker and more effective way…that doesn’t involve leaning over the sinks in the office toilet to get your eyeliner right and soaking your dress from the spillage that your colleagues didn’t clean up…but maybe that’s just the toilets in my office!

Anyway, to this end we have selected a generic black dress with a V neck (below) and we’re going to have a look at a way of taking it from day to night.

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To give you an idea of my normal work attire I would team this with something really classic, as an example we have a ruby set below.  The ring and pendant are very simple and smart (I work in an office in the city) but the earrings (also ruby) are a drop so add some interest.  You could use simple studs (either a ruby or a plain silver/white gold stud) to match with this set for a really professional look, but if, like me, you have some flexibility or leeway in your work “uniform” I think the longer drop add some interest to the very plain outfit.

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The joy of a LBD is the magic that can be worked with the right accessories, for moving onto an evening outfit you can really go crazy!  The current trend for large collar type necklaces won’t really work with a deep V-neck like this, but you can use the opportunity to go really over the top with your bling!

As we’re planning a work do we haven’t gone too far over the top, sticking with a classic silver look we have gone large and chunky to really distinguish the change of accessories.  We’re using a fabulous set from Oliver Bonas by way of example, but there are similar beautiful looks out there both on the high street and in designer boutiques, we’ve listed a couple of our favourites later in the post.

 

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You can see in the picture below that there’s a lot of detail and size in the design without being too fussy – you could get away with something much sparklier depending upon the nature of your evening do.

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Wearing a matching set keeps this formal enough to reflect a slightly smarter occasion, such as a work event, rather than a more casual evening with friends.

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So for alternative suggestions for your evening ‘do’ how about blinging it up with a Swarovski Stardust bracelets, which would go brilliantly with the Swarovski Baron collection from Ernest Jones.  There are also some fab neckwear pieces in Ernest Jones from Adami & Martucci whose mesh pieces would have a really effective look with a plain dress.

A plain dress can happily take something structural such as the artistic designs of Ute Decker.  Even if you want to remain with more daytime jewellery how about topping it up with a statement ring from Tina Engell.  The Cara Tonkin Vesper collection (below) would add real movement to an outfit such as this.

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On the high street this statement necklace from Accessorize would be great for the evening.  We also love Alexis Bittar for fantastic statement pieces, ideal for the party season!  If you’re all about the colour how about the bright and bold Phase Collection by Lynne MacLauchlan.

 

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Through the Loupe with…Nude Jewellery

We’ve been lucky enough to know Nikki for a little while now and it was great to finally meet her (you can read all about this in our last blog post), and we’re delighted that she agreed to be our first subject as we go “through the Loupe” to discover what goes on behind the scenes at Nude Jewellery, an exclusive yet friendly boutique in the heart of Mayfair:

 

Tell us a bit about the inspiration behind Nude Jewellery?

 

I always wanted to run my own business, even from a young age. I’m very competitive and quite a motivated person I’ve been making jewellery since I began an art foundation course when I was 18 and appreciate the work of many jewellery designers so representing other designers came naturally.
How did you get into this industry?

 

I studied jewellery design at art school, once I graduated I began selling my jewellery through galleries whilst also working in night clubs, then, when I outgrew working in nightclubs, I started up a stall at a craft market selling my own jewellery and building up my gallery outlets.  Four years later, and with a good following of customers I eventually took the major step and opened Nude Jewellery, that was almost 12 years ago now. (Where did all of the time go!?) [eek we know exactly what you mean!]

 

How would you describe the collections stocked at Nude Jewellery – we’ve noticed that there’s a real mix of both design, material and texture!

 

I love unusual jewellery, sometimes a customer calls in and asks if we make all of the jewellery, my reply is always the same “I wish I could take credit for all of the imagination used to create the jewellery we sell” I love innovative jewellery and find that the small independent jewellery designers tend to be the most creative [we completely agree and it explains why there are such a diverse range of collections].

What are your personal influences?

The Glitter Ball collection is slightly inspired by Mary Quant and the sixties style which I love.

 

[We love this collection too – the cuff is my personal favourite, the texture really draws the eye]

 

 

Silver Glitterball Cuff by Nikki Galloway – Nude Jewellery

 

Silver Glitterball Multidisc necklace, by Nikki Galloway, Nude Jewellery

 

 

 Who inspires you?

I think that would have to be my mum she’s a very independent, hard working lady and a little eccentric!

 

What sort of jewellery do you like to wear?

I love bold jewellery, chunky rings and necklaces. Although as a complete contradiction I am coveting a pair of simple diamond stud earrings.

 

What’s your favourite piece of jewellery?

There are too many and my favourite changes all of the time. I love a lot of the jewellery we stock at the moment at the moment my favourites are:

Volute Double Curl ring – by Cara Tonkin

 

[featuring Smokey Quartz – one of our current favourite gems]

 

Stunning, this is the Ultra Pink Silver ring by Radek Szwed

 

[this absolutely defies belief, although I must confess that the Caterpillar Eternity ring is my favourite from the Radek Szwed collection]

 

Vesper Interchangeable Full Swing Necklace by Cara Tonkin

 

[I couldn’t agree more, the weight and movement of this piece make it just stunning, absolutely love it]

 

What’s your favourite gemstone?

My favourite colours are green and purple, which is probably why I like green tourmaline and tanzanite, although green and blue diamonds are also gorgeous!

 

What are your aspirations for the future?

I would love a second shop, more holidays, more time to relax….

This year we want to launch two new collections at Nude Jewellery and are working on these designs now, at the moment they are at the beginning stage, I’ll probably be sketching and developing the ideas tonight, possibly with a glass of cava in hand!

[how exciting, but yes that must be a lot of work – although with cava who can complain!]

 

How difficult was it to set up your own business?

If you think about things too much then you will always talk yourself out of the things in life you want to do that scare you, I (nearly always) look on the positive. So just hold your nose and dive in, what’s the worst that can happen? Looking back it was hard work and still is, the way people shop has changed so much with the Internet in such a small space of time. But if it was easy then where would the challenge be?

[Great advice – I am going to use that phrase in the future!]

 

How do you maintain a work life balance when running such a successful business?

I am a bit of a workaholic, always have been, so I start work as soon as I get onto the train in the mornings, checking emails, website orders etc, then again on my journey home.  I generally am only in the store 4 days a week so once the my children are in bed I can catch up with work, drawing sketches and designs which never really feels like work!  At the weekends we have family days out but I’m never far from my phone to keep an eye on what’s going on, when it’s your own business it’s never just 9 – 5.

 

What did you do before Nude Jewellery?

I was at art school, Central St Martins whilst there I worked in a few nightclubs so once I graduated I continued to work in the clubs for a short while. I was young and it was fun. Then at around the same time I started selling my own jewellery collections, one is the gold ball which we still sell in-store now.

 

What’s your favourite jewellery material – white gold, yellow gold, or something else…?

I like working with yellow gold and the look of it, but I tend to wear silver as most of my jewellery is chunky.

 

 

Thank you so much to Nikki for giving us an insight into your work – if you’re inspired by this piece you can visit Nude Jewellery itself, view the tutorials on the website (such as the one below) and they even offer classes for budding jewellers.  We really hope you’ve enjoyed this post, if you are a designer, jewellery or work in any aspect of the jewellery or gemstone industry and fancy coming Through the Loupe with us please do get in touch at adventuresthroughtheloupe@outlook.com.

 

An evening in Nude….Jewellery

Sorry about the title, we just couldn’t resist!  We were lucky enough to be invited along to Nude Jewellery last month to celebrate the relaunch of this amazing boutique in the heart of Mayfair.  The store showcases the best of up and coming contemporary designers and a trip to the store is akin to visiting a gallery, there’s a real range of texture, material and style.  It’s located in a lovely leafy square and on a sunny summer afternoon it was a great part of London to be in.

 

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Naturally greeting us with cupcakes and bubbles tends to go down well (note to future friends 😉 ) but having admired Nude Jewellery from afar it was really great to meet Nikki and Clara and explore the store.

 

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What is particularly lovely about Nude is the level of knowledge they have about their jewellery and designers, it’s a really personal approach and this is clearly something that is important to the owner Nikki Galloway.  Her drive to bring new designers to the public means that there is an ecclectic mix, and her enthusiasm is contagious.

Particular highlights for us were:

Discovering the amazing design talents of Rosie May – her delicate functional designs are unique and interesting.  Miniature cogs and spokes that can be rearranged by the wearer.  These have an amazing finish and thank you to Clara for doing a fab demo for us.

 

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It was hard to choose where to look next, but this fabulous Vesper collection by Cara Tonkin caught our eye, it’s a really unusual style made up of swinging strands of silver chain oxidised in part to give a cascade of shadow.   The bracelet was amazing to try, it can be attached to a chain to convert it into a statement necklace too which is amazing.  It’s a really striking collection, very weighty and the movement from the pieces is really appealing.  They are real red carpet pieces at first glance, but they would actually set off pretty much any outfit – incredibly versatile.

 

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Having enjoyed the entries for the Nude Jewellery Graduates in the Spotlight competition I had been particularly looking forward to seeing Dovile Bertulyte’s work in the flesh, and it was well worth the wait!  They really are brilliantly designed and truly creepy, they have a surprising weight to them and I couldn’t really not try one on!

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There were so many fantastic designs we can’t possibly mention them all, a special word for the Spin collection  (below) which was stunning:

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The acrylic and lace pieces were a really unusual take on jewellery, we loved the light yet chunky effect.  We haven’t seen much in this sort of style before, they are particularly interesting as each piece is individual.

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The Crevice collection by Jessica Nam also captured our focus because it has such a contemporary look which really draws the eye into the gems.

 

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The Skyline collection pieces were mini works of art, really incredible

 

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I wish I’d taken a closer look at the Lava collection by Carina De Jager, and the Andrew O’Dell collection but my husband is grateful (for the sake of our mortgage payments) that I didn’t invest in my favourite piece…I’ve got it on my wish list

To be fair it was hard to find anything not to like about any of the jewellery in store when we visited.  As a designer herself we had a chat with Nikki and we look forward to sharing this with you in a future post!