Styling / Art Direction
When I first asked Rachel, the Watch and Jewellery Director at British Vogue to write a piece about brooches I was worried they might be the stuff of Victorian high drama but she assured me there were some brilliant, modern designs out there and she was right. The bugs and sea creatures were so quirky that we created two scenes, intricately assembled within a cage and attached with fishing wire which is almost transparent on camera.
The first shot is a night time party of insects in the undergrowth with spiders, lizards, dragonflies and beetles. Gordon the Gecko was created as a unique jewel by Graff and when I went to see him I fell in love with his cute little face. The second shot is set in an underwater coral cave with seahorses, turtles and diamond rocks and was brought to life by prop stylist Lou’s carefully constructed set, made out of coloured paper. The flamingos were the finishing touch for our contents page and when I saw them at Chaumet’s Couture presentation in Paris I made a mental note to find them a home. Brooches have come a long way since they appeared on granny’s cardigan and hopefully this new generation will love them in a completely modern way.
Jewellery TOP Altea brooch with diamonds set in white gold, De Beers, POA.
MIDDLE, LEFT TO RIGHT Butterfly clip with diamonds and mother of pearl set in white gold, Van Cleef, £11,200.
Gecko brooch with diamonds and emeralds, Graff, POA.
BOTTOM, LEFT TO RIGHT Leaf brooch with brown and white diamonds set in 18ct white gold, David Morris, POA.
Diamond dragonfly brooch set in platinum, Tiffany, £9,325.
Late Victorian pearl, diamond and emerald spider brooch, c.1880, Bentley & Skinner, £7,950.
Enchanted Palace bug brooch with opal and diamonds set in 18ct white gold, Garrard, £4,000.
Beetle brooch in 22ct gold with sapphire eyes, Shaun Leane, £8,500/$11,160.
BOTTOM ABOVE, LEFT TO RIGHT Winston Cluster diamond brooch set in platinum, Harry Winston, POA.
Seahorse brooch with diamonds, spinel and citrine, Marina B, £37,755.
Rolling Waves recycled sterling silver brooch, Ute Decker, £380.
Tartaruga brooch in white gold, diamonds, mother of pearl, red coral and rock crystal, Vhernier, £10,600.
Akoya cultured-pearl brooch in 18ct white gold, Mikimoto, £3,360 / Flamingo – Chaumet.
Creative Team Stylist: Melanie Grant, Photographer: Caroline Leeming, Prop Stylist: Lou Blackshaw
Photographed for 1843 Magazine at The Economist in November 2018.