Victoria Beckham and Emily Young piece together fragmentary jewels
In celebration of Victoria Beckham’s use of artist Emily Young's jewellery in its A/W 2017 collection, the label has launched an exhibition of the renowned British sculptor’s organic and figurative forms at its Dover Street store in London.
Victoria Beckham first took note of Young’s creations on one of her frequent visits to the Louisa Guiness Gallery. The space in London’s Mayfair specialises in jewellery by artists including Jeff Koons, Cornelia Parker and Man Ray. Young's series of small lapis and chrysomelanite pendants, hung on gold chains or suspended as small scale sculptures on miniature plinths, caught the designer's eye.
‘I love how each piece looks almost like a found object,’ Beckham says of Young’s work. ‘There’s something very raw and natural about them, but at the same time you can read into each piece – some look like a torso, others could be the profile of a woman’s face, and of course the stones themselves are unbelievably beautiful.’
It was Young's scaled down designs, made from the offcuts of her larger hand-carved works, which prompted Victoria Beckham to work with the artist on a series of curving catwalk brooches for its A/W 2017 collection. For the collection’s opening look, a fragment of mottled lapis was pinned, like a found object, to a deftly tailored navy blazer.
‘The pieces can carry the same concentration as a life-sized or bigger piece,’ Young says. ‘They become portable sculptures, carrying all the natural wonder and beauty of the larger works.’
These portable pieces, among other works, like Quartzite Head of a Woman I (2015), Cloud Fire Head (2015) and Alpine Jade Forest Torso (2016), lent to Victoria Beckham by Bowman Sculptor, are dotted around the minimalist, Farshid Moussavi-designed store. Young’s raw stone creations work in contrast to the polished stainless steel and concrete interiors.
Encouraging creative partnerships, Victoria Beckham uses the interior of its 560 sq m boutique as a blank canvas for artists. In celebration of Frieze London in 2015, the label recruited Martin Creed to recreate Work No 2497 – the artist filling the space with cloud-like mounds of white balloons. ‘For me, Dover Street has always been about showing other artist’s creations,’ Beckham says. The brand’s celebration of Young's work, which straddles London Fashion Week, London Design Festival and Frieze London, denotes a collaboration of fine form.