A year and a half ago up-and-coming British jeweller Dominic Jones was living in the notorious London squat known as "Squallyoaks" because he said "there was more drama there in one week than the omnibus of Hollyoaks". Then he came up with a jewellery range of high-end looking fierce pieces made using gold plate ten times thicker than the usual, but with an affordable heart. His idea was to create jewellery that his generation could afford and not just love from afar. I remember meeting him at a Dover Street Market party to launch Stephen Jones perfume, and being impressed by both his grey/blue hair (he is definitively ahead of the fashion curve), his endearing manner and his clear talent; he was wearing his own instantly covetable fang jewellery. He set up his business with funding from the punky model Alice Dellal, one of his best friends, and his first season saw his jewellery go global. Then Anna Wintour came knocking; then he got NewGen sponsorship.
Could he sustain the hype for his second collection? This is the all important question with any young designer, and having seen his new collection go from an idea he told me about over coffee in my Paris hotel last season, "I'm thinking about skulls," I can say he is moving steadily in the right direction! Here is an exclusive preview of his Autumn/Winter collection.
The new collection is both beautiful and challenging inspired as it is by skulls, scorpions and beetles. "You would run a mile from these things in real life, they are pretty intimidating, but I hope I have made them desirable," says Dom. The model shown is 15 year old Daphne, who is represented by Union. The Dutch girl is already a hot property and has been modelling for just one month. She won't be allowed to walk for a catwalk show until she is 16. The "Vampire Bat Skull Heart Pendant," was initially created by fusing two anatomivally correct and to scale Vampire Bat skulls. We will bring the rest of the collection to you on Saturday. Thanks for the preview Dom! Good luck (you won't need it).
- Melanie Rickey
Image: by Aitken Jolly
Styling: Francesca Burns