Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Little London - Astley Clarke

Living in London I forget how many amazing shops, museums and sights we have here.  So I'm starting a new feature called My Little London to bring these delights to you, the lovely reader, wherever you are!  Not only to introduce you to the city but also to re-introduce myself to the wonderful place I'm lucky enough to live in.
First up it's a visit to a little treasure trove just off of the Edgware Road.  Quite literally a treasure trove because it was a press day at the showroom of retailer Astley Clarke. If you're a regular reader of Little Doodles I'm sure you must have gathered by now that jewellery is a passion of mine.  So being let into a whole showroom full of new collections is a bit like letting an excitable little girl into a sweet shop!
Granted, these sweets aren't quite at pick n mix prices but I'm really happy to say that the new collections are fantastic in terms of design as well as price.  Astley Clarke are known for the beautiful high end jewellery, which although wonderful to gaze at, it's not in the price range for some of us if we wanted to treat ourselves to some new baubles.  But, having really worked at their own brand collections, the price points are really affordable and help to establish Astley Clarke's identity and place in the market as designers too.

Of course, there are still the luxury items but the point of the new collections was that each element has really been considered so they can be mixed and matched.  This means maybe you can start with one little piece, and then add to your collection at a later point knowing that what you buy will exactly fit in with what you've already purchased. 
For example these pieces from the Takara collection can be layered up so you can wear as few or as many as you like.  The same applies to the AC Colour collection  (ranging from £45-£195...see?  Love those prices!), which were designed based on 'Colour Theory' so you can mix and layer the pieces depending on what colours you like (and there were a myriad to choose from).

Continued ranges from some of my favourite designers like Pippa Small (just take a look at her Peacock Collection, wowsers), Shaun Leane and Carolina Bucci were also on show.  The wide bracelet at the front was great, you can remove the band wrapped around the middle and wear it as a ring...two for one!

 I loved these pieces in particular, by Carla Amorim and Miguel Ases

Surprisingly my favourite collection was the AC Silhouettes, described as "jewellery that you love already."  Despite my love of statement pieces, in truth I tend to favour little personal items that I can wear everyday.  The kind of ring or necklace that sometimes only you know you're wearing, so it's something you wear for yourself.  Very clean in design with a beautiful simplicity each piece comes in a variety of precious metals and with the option of having whatever you wish inscribed upon it.  It's these little touches that really spoke to me because it means you can choose exactly how you want this special item to be.  Again, prices were fantastic starting at £35.

  The locket was lovely because it opened inwards which emphasizes the "personal" aspect and the chunky rings...I have to say I have never tried on a ring that was so comfortable!  As someone who spends all day drawing normally larger jewellery distracts me but these were actually soft to wear (if that's the right word?!).  Simply put, comfort in jewellery!

A big thank you to Astley Clarke for inviting me, I can't think of a better way to start My Little London!

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