La Maison Couture and Rock Vault link up at London Fashion Week
Online boutique La Maison Couture has presented a distinctive and thoughtful edit of jewellery brands since 2008, when founder and former Browns buyer Tania McNab launched the business.
This season McNab has linked up with Rock Vault, the British Fashion Council’s jewellery initiative, curated by Stephen Webster. It is a natural evolution for McNab, who has often emphasised her desire to support new talent. ‘While the Rock Vault programme offered fine jewellery designers exposure to press and trade buyers, there was nowhere that customers could buy their collections all in one place. As part of our philosophy, we offered to provide a dedicated shop for Rock Vault designers at La Maison Couture, where the six chosen jewellery designers can retail a selection of their pieces.’
Small cuboid studs in 18-ct rose gold, by Shimell and Madden
The six jewellers chosen exhibit an experimental, often mischievous, philosophy. Frances Wadsworth-Jones’ ‘Thieves’ collection features pearl and gemstone details, appearing to be carried away by tiny ants, which are crafted in 18-ct gold.
Shimell and Madden take inspiration from classical geometry; their ‘Cuboid’ collection features rose gold studs and white diamond studded pendants in square forms. Rachel Boston, too, makes use of clean lines; inspired by magic, her latest collection, handcrafted in 18-ct gold and precious stones, takes inspiration from the runic alphabet.
Other jewellers incorporate inspirations from the world around them. Dalia Daou’s designs include interpretations of light phenomena, from sparks to sunrise, while Completedworks’ half pillar marble pendants, embellished with white cut diamonds, take inspiration from faded architectural forms.
Lily Kamper continues to experiment with unusual jewellery combinations, her own solid marble column designs also featuring alongside pendants crafted in hand-dyed Perspex and resin, and earrings and rings set with colourful precious stones.
'Phoenix' ring in 18-ct yellow gold with opal and tonal diamonds, by Dalia Daou
The experimental nature of the pieces means they slip seamlessly into the La Maison Couture philosophy, which seeks out the best in responsible cutting-edge designers. ‘When the jewellery world consisted mainly of either traditional fine jewellery brands or “costume jewellery”,’ says McNab, ‘I became aware of a new genre of “artist jewellers” and contemporary jewellers using fine materials like 18-ct gold, diamonds and precious stones. It was a revelation.’
McNab hopes to give the Rock Vault designers maximum exposure, and for them the experience is invaluable. ‘Being part of Rock Vault has been incredible. The support and nurturing from the BFC, alongside many showcasing opportunities, has really helped us develop and promote our brand,’ say Shimell and Madden. Rachel Boston, too, is keen to acknowledge the support: ‘Being under the tutelage of Stephen Webster and the amazing roster of mentors that BFC has introduced me to has really helped me develop my brand and refocus where I see it going over the next five years.’