Dickson Yewn at Annoushka
This year has already seen some
marvellous jewellery from London-based retailer and
jeweller Annoushka with the help of Wendy Yue, and now
another guest designer is making waves there too. Chinese jeweller
Dickson Yewn has brought his own particular flavour to Annoushka with his very own collection as guest
designer. With a name that is a homonym for "luck", this should
come as no surprise.
At first glance it's clear to see
that Yewn, a dapper young man, holds on to his Chinese heritage
closely, embellishing even his more contemporary designs with
flourishes, including the peony flower, mostly seen in Chinese art.
Dickson Yewn told me when he was in London for the launch that
after studying Fine Art and then film he turned to jewellery. "The
story of Chinese art has been told but I wanted to continue a story
about jewellery that hasn't been told for 150 years." Yewn says
that frailty is his inspiration, be it in the delicacy of a rose or
a piece of porcelain. He loves the idea of beauty and frailty
combined which is why he insists on lightness in his jewels.
Founder of the eponymous jewellery
business and previously the co-owner of Links of London, Annoushka
Ducas says herself "I so admire Dickson's dedication to reviving
the fineness and beauty of Chinese arts and culture in his designs.
He is genuinely passionate about his craft and I love the fact his
work is imbued with so many cultural reference associated with luck
and good fortune". This heritage is combined with a period spent in
the New York art scene and the Fashion Institute of Technology in
the mid 1990s. One could say he pours influences from both sides of
the world into these creations.
The prices range from £7,400 to
£28,000, the pieces are fine examples of understated intricacy.
Colours are sparingly deployed but when they are it is to luscious
effect: take a look at the white gold, diamond, sapphire, tsavorite
and black rhodium plate Glorious Peony pendant. Besides the
seemingly miniature world he has created with bejewelled flowers
growing delicately out of a vase, we see yellows, pinks and greens
subtly playing of the white gold. Similarly, the white gold,
diamond and jade Wish Fulfilling Lattice ring features bold
geometric lines set with diamonds and topped off with a deep green
piece of jade. And this is the ring that caught the eye of design
savvy Michelle Obama who was spotted wearing at the dinner held for
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at the US Embassy residence in
London in August 2011. She combined Dickson Yewn's precious ring
with Tom Binns costume jewellery to dramatic effect.
Using various different
permutations on flowers we see intricate diamond settings
gorgeously realised in plain white gold. One of the highlights is
the diamond and black rhodium plate Glorious Peony necklace that
utilises the shape of the Chinese national flower to playful
effect. Elsewhere you'll find confidently realised flowers in
rings, earrings and necklaces.
For me though, the best examples of
Dickson Yewn's detailed design and exuberant celebration of Chinese
heritage are two totally different pieces. There is the seemingly
flowering white gold and diamond Paper cut bracelet that uses its
almost monochromatic zeal to give an added boldness to the
energetic shapes within. The other is the white gold, diamond,
tsavorite, sapphire Manchurian Garden bracelet that unlike the
Paper cut bracelet sees colour employed to devastating subtle
At the same time Yewn's pieces have
an antique air about them, a nostalgia perhaps for times past,
achieved by the use of rose cut diamonds and strands upon strands
of delicate pearls. Pearls, in fact were used in antique Chinese
jewellery rather than diamonds hence his choice.
Dickson Yewn has like Wendy Yue
previously, shown that Annoushka is somewhere where one can go and
find playful, intricate, and beautifully realised jewellery. You
don't need to have an intricate knowledge of Chinese culture to
know that who ever gets one of these is very lucky indeed.