For those readers who have followed me over from ohmyprada.com know that I’m not really a major fan of Jewellery (if I am totally honest). But this season 38 year old jewlery designer to the stars, Stephen Webster caught my eye with his turn to the British Isles for inspiration as the fine jewellery collection for 2014 pays homage to the best of British history, culture, art and design.
The collection is set with a rainbow of marquise-cut gem stones, carefully hand selected to create dynamic silhouettes, Magnipheasant depicts the iridescent plumage of the pheasant; an exotic bird ever present in our English countryside.
One thing that I mostly love is that the collection also celebrates the history of Webster’s early work, a strong reference to his use of vibrant colours to create extraordinary and eye catching pieces. I’m often saying the history of the brand in general is what designers really loose concept its great because Stephen hasn’t. We know that Webster is known for his colourful yet gothic background but this holds history, and completes the collection. The collection holds amethysts, citrines, topaz, opals, garnets, spinels and coloured sapphires, each piece is tipped in pave black diamonds to beautifully emulate the pheasant’s distinctive feathers and thats there the ‘Magnipheasant’ name began.
If you have not guessed already, the collection is inspired by the cultural icon David Bowie, the ‘Lady Stardust’ collection depicts the famous ‘lightning bolt’ motif featured on the renowned ‘Aladdin Sane’ album cover. Webster has captured Bowie’s pioneering style by translating this now iconic geometric pattern into beautifully articulated bracelets, elegant drop earrings, striking cocktail rings and pendants set with colourful Crystal Haze stones and pearls.
Drawing further on traditional British imagery, this collection also reflects the classic ‘herringbone’ motif. This chevron-like design is accentuated by the use of white and black diamond pave as well as brightly coloured sapphires which have been skillfully set to create a ‘dip dye’ effect, graduating through the full colour spectrum.
Take a look at my favourite pieces over on Instagram of when I went into Stephen’s Flagship boutique on London’s Mount Street.
‘Magnipheasant’ collection by @stephenwebsterjewellery incredible 13ct Garnet and white diamonds. Cc: @assiawebster
“Intrigued by the image and back story to ‘Albion Rose’ a William Blake illustration which depicts a mythological giant called Albion who gave his name to and ruled the island that was to become England over a thousand years before the Romans, I started to create a collection inspired by alternative interpretations of being British. There were many points of inspiration for us to reference and turn into collections from Blake and his story alone, however I couldn’t resist for this English story to expand to a few more Englishmen who have had a huge influence on me. The first; William Hogarth, social commentator, print maker and painter like Blake. Hogarth’s works; Rakes Progress, The Election, his depiction of Gin Lane and how the English lived, behaved and how London looked in the 17th and 18th centuries have always fascinated me. Then there’s the third Great Briton and the reason for me going to art school; the one and only David Bowie, to me the most diverse, prolific and creative rock star ever. We couldn’t possibly create a collection inspired by being English without paying homage to the chameleon from Bromley who still fascinates and inspires me today.” – Stephen Webster, Creative Director.