Q&A with Jewellery Designer Rachel Boston

30.09.2014 | Fashion | BY:

London born and based jewellery designer Rachel Boston showed her first fine jewellery collection at London Fashion Week. Full of beautifully wrought, geometric pieces, the items in the collection have the potential to become treasured heirlooms. Twin chats to the New Designer of the Year nominee.

When did you decide you wanted to go into jewellery design?
I knew that I wanted to design jewellery from very early on. I always liked working with my hands so would use my parent’s toolbox and take apart my sister’s jewellery and put it back together in different ways – which I’m sure she didn’t enjoy too much. I then started basing all my projects in my Design and Technology class around jewellery so that I could build up my portfolio and work towards getting in to a jewellery course at university, which I did.

Why did you decide to study at the Gemological Institute in New York rather than stay in the UK?
I grew up in London and also stayed here for university at Central Saint Martins, so really felt like I needed to experience what it was like to live somewhere else, even for a short while. New York has always had such an allure to it for me that when I found out they did the course there it seemed crazy not grab the opportunity. It was the best decision I ever made. I met so many amazing people on the course from all over the world but also met my boyfriend whilst living out there and we’ve been doing long distance for almost 3 years now, which seems crazy to most people but works really well for us.

You showed your first fine jewellery collection at LFW; why did you decide to move into fine jewellery?
Making jewellery that wasn’t trend based and seasonal has always been very important to me. I’ve wanted to create pieces that could be worn forever and passed on as gifts to others so I decided it was necessary that the materials reflected this also. The price point is higher because it’s 18ct gold now instead of plated, but you have the reassurance that these are pieces that will not tarnish, the gold will not fade and you can theoretically pass these onto your grandchildren and they will stay in good condition. The history and the meaning that is given to jewellery and how people become attached to it is one of the reasons I fell in love with it in the first place, so making fine jewellery has happened very naturally.

Do you craft each piece by hand yourself?
I do. As of right now every piece is made in my studio off Hatton Garden (London’s jewellery district) and all the materials are sourced locally. As the business keeps growing this won’t be feasible for me making every piece as it’s a huge amount of work but I’d like to keep it in the studio and based in the UK as I’m a big supporter for British craftsmanship.

What is your favourite piece so far?
It changes all the time but from the new fine collection I think the Jera ear cuffs or the hinged Dagaz ring. The hinged ring is really comfortable and I barely notice I’m wearing it so it’s a great statement piece you can wear everyday. I love the Jera earrings because they fit the ear really nicely and I have the white sapphires specially cut here in London so I they’re very special because it’s such an unusual cut to have.

What is your favourite item of jewellery? Earrings, necklaces, bracelets or rings?
With me more is always more so I like layering necklaces, playing with different lengths and piling rings on for more of a statement. I tend to dress quite casually for the studio, generally just jeans, plain tee and a leather jacket so I love wearing a lot of rings to create more of a statement.

What are the key jewellery trends coming up for SS15?
The market is definitely leaning more towards fine jewellery these days, which I’m really happy about. I think people are starting to realise how much better it is to invest in one significant piece then spending lots of little bits of money on high street jewellery which falls apart so quickly.

What are your plans for your brand – where will you be this time next year?
I’m doing a lot more bespoke engagement ring work which I adore doing. It’s a huge honour to be asked to create someone’s ring that they intend to wear forever and I love working with couples to create something unique, so I definitely would like to do more of that. Otherwise I want the brand to keep growing both in the UK market and internationally and at some point open a small store in London.

What would your advice be to someone who wants to go into jewellery design?
I think it’s important to learn patience and how to figure out your own path and style. I definitely think you have to build a strong foundation on the technical side as well and not just fob it off and give everything to someone else to do for you, you don’t learn that way and you don’t end up pushing yourself.

Who is your ultimate jewellery/fashion inspiration?
Most of my favourite fashion muses are from bygone eras but I love the androgynous style of my heroines like Patti Smith and Joan Jett; they exude this amazingly powerful energy and are such strong women so anything they wear looks automatically cool.

rachelboston.co.uk

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