When an iconic jeweller and renowned illustrator collaborate, magic happens.
It “breaks the mould” according to the New Zealand Herald reporting on the luxury collection featuring settings of 18-carat yellow gold, black diamonds, platinum accents through to a one-off six-carat diamond.
“We had an idea to create with someone outside of jewellery,” says Joe Tattersfield, managing director of Walker and Hall.
Enter, Kelly Thompson, renowned illustrator and creative consultant who has worked with some of the world’s top fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands.
On their first meeting, Kelly brought key pieces from her vintage jewellery collection as examples of what she loved, which Joe explains, was a meeting of minds.
“She pulled out pieces picked up over the years that she liked the texture, angle, movement, and construction of. I instantly thought, ‘Wow, that’s similar to my aesthetic’,” he says.
“We also shared a similar appreciation for period design styles.”
Quite quickly the pair developed designs for two collections featuring a pair of earrings, a necklace, bracelet and ring.
“Kelly definitely pushed the limits, with her designs,” says Joe. “There was quite a bit of time spent in how to create the collection.”
He believes they’ve stayed true to Kelly’s original designs.“If you saw the first sketches she provided then you’d think it was an exact representation in what we created in the end,” he says.
The two collections referencing the 1920s and 1970s are a juxtaposition – innovative design with simplicity – vintage recaptured through modern eyes. Pulled together they’re perfect pieces for the modern woman and now link the next generation to a jewellery institution first established in 1899.
“There are a whole lot of circular references like that in this collection,” Joe says. “Fashion itself has lots of cycles – one stage is followed by a pendulum swing to the other.”
Forget minimalised design that’s “micro this and mini that”, instead think bold, stronger, more confident statement pieces in either sterling silver or gold. Inspired by vintage ’70s wallpaper and art deco buildings, Kelly has played magnificently with metals, contours, shapes and textures.
The second collection titled #20 channels art deco. Only 15 pieces exist crafted out of rose cut black diamonds set in 18-carat yellow gold. One bracelet of only two ever made contains 12.34 carats alone.
“The #20 bracelet is a true signature piece, that can be passed down for generations,” Joe says.
His favourite must-haves include the six-carat ring which he admits was the “ultimate indulgence” to make, plus the glamorous #70 earrings.
“They have enough detail to be interesting but not over embellished. I like how they move, the reflection, the flat surface, and how that interplays with the light which is really interesting.”
The ring was a real departure from a normal setting. “There are quite a lot of elements – changing and graduating through the ring. The aspects and angles made it quite complicated,” Joe says.
Taking a step outside the tried and true way to get a design perspective that says, ”Why don’t we try this or try that?” has opened a new door for Walker and Hall. You can see that the collaboration has absolutely broken the mould.