We are using our global digital presence to its best advantage with a series of Instagram Live Interviews with the most talented, interesting and engaging people in the world of jewellery. If you have missed them, replay the videos and read the articles of "Tea with Maria".
Pippa Small's fine jewellery pieces are instantly recognisable with their natural, tactile and earthy designs. Having collaborated with Gucci, Nicole Fahri, Chloe and more, her own collections have a raw, quite literally strung-together quality, which feels both effortlessly elegant and comfortably down-to-earth. As an anthropologist and humanitarian, Pippa Small spends much of her time with the poorest communities around the world from the Afghan jewellers of Turqouise Mountains to the slum children of Nairobi, helping them to create and bring to European and US markets their jewels - the income from which helps improve their lives. She is also one of the first fine jewellery designers to use FairTrade gold.
Established in Milan in 1967 by Pino Rabolini, Pomellato has already become one of the giants in European high jewellery. A forward-thinking company in its philosophy, Pomellato originally made waves with its prêt-à-porter collections, liberating women to take advantage of luxuriant elegance wherever they where, whatever they were doing. From its classic Re and Regina pendants through to "M'ama non m'ama" and the phenomenally successful Nudo stacking rings, its innovative and colourful use of precious stones makes for cuts that carry a softer shape than other companies, displaying an unquestionably unique style.
Solange Azagury-Partridge's fine jewellery collections blend pop-art immediacy with ancient mysticism - the pieces themselves bearing vigorous energy and bold craftsmanship. From the striking rock-and-roll colours of her enamel pieces to her wildly colourful Poptails cocktail rings, and her collaborations with Swarovski and H&M, there's much to admire here.
Stephen Webster is one of the few fine jewellery designers who merges fine crafstmanship with edgy design and a feeling for fashion. As well as being the founder of his own eponymous brand, he is creative director of Garrard, the world's oldest jewellery house, making him not only a leading British jewellery designer, but one who successfully combines traditional craftsmanship with chic aesthetic. His fine jewellery designs have been worn by Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera, Cheryl Cole, Rihanna, Charlize Theron, Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Lopez, Anne Hathaway and many more starlets. Stephen Webster is fast establishing himself as a go-to luxury brand for those who like to shake it up a bit when it comes to fabulous jewels.
Founding the company in 1982, Theo Fennell's eponymous fine jewellery brand has become something of a British treasure in its few decades, with every piece of jewellery and silverware meticulously handcrafted in its workshops above its flagship Fulham store. Classics such as the silver Marmite pot lid or skull rings all come from inspired collections combining artistry and craftsmanship, with one collection inspired entirely by bees, resulting in colourful, idiosyncratic, yet entirely gorgeous pieces. Forever carrying a sketchbook should inspiration take hold, Theo Fennel has ensured that his fine jewellery brand is one full excitement and a very particular variety.
Polish-born Tomasz Donocik is a trailblazer in contemporary jewellery, creating pieces that combine the traditional craft of an artisan with bold and inspired designs that take their cue from literature, architecture, surrealism and even 80s sci-fi. Named UK Jewellery Designer of the Year in 2011, his jewels win awards year after year, including the 2016 Couture Design Awards in Las Vegas for his Stellar earrings, pictured.
Sumptuous, brightly coloured jewellery and luxury watches are a signature of Bulgari, one of the most revered jewellery houses in the world. Bulgari is known for its architectural designs, iconic Serpenti jewellery and watches, and use of brilliantly coloured gemstones, favourites of which include emeralds and rubies. Bulgari has created some of the most valuable and exquisite jewellery ever auctioned. Whether they are worn in Cannes or at the Oscars, the red carpet is awash with colour whenever Bulgari jewellery is on show. Jessica Chastain famously wore Elizabeth Taylor's emerald brooch and ring, both by Bulgari, at the Cannes Film Festival, and Bulgari carries its bold and colourful approach through to its ladies' and men's watches. Bulgari approaches all of its creations, be it jewellery, watches or accessories, with rigorous care and precision, which ensures that, despite imitations, there is only one Bulgari.
London's Hannah Martin founded her very particular fine jewellery and accessory brand in 2005, aiming it at an audience often overlooked by other companies: men. Since then Hannah Martin has also designed collections for women, but regardless of gender, the ethos remains the same. Each fine jewellery piece is imbued with a carefree rock and roll approach, defined by strong lines and an extravagance with an almost cavalier attitude. Every design stems from Martin's firm belief that luxury is something that should have a lasting veracity, which stems from edgy, inventive, and genuinely unique craftsmanship.
Greek fine jewellery designer Melanie Georgacopoulos inventive use of pearls gives them a new lease of life as ultra-contemporary jewels. Sliced, diced, carved or caged, the London-based jeweller has changed the way we perceive pearls, using them in exactly the same way you would a precious stone. Melanie is among the talented British designers stocked at the Fine Jewellery Room at Fortnum & Mason. She was also one of seven independent fine jewellery designers invited out to Las Vegas in May 2013 for the annual Couture jewellery show as part of the British Fashion Council's Rock Vault - an initiative curated by Stephen Webster that aims to nurture and showcase the best jewellery talent in the UK .
Contemporary artist jeweller working from Todi in Italy, Giovanni Corvaja is considered one of the most groundbreaking and technically innovative designers of luxury jewellery of his generation. His Golden Fleece collection, made out of millions of gold wires, are some of his famous pieces, which have toured exhibitions around the world. His agent is Adrian Sassoon in London.
Jewellery royalty in her home country of Australia, Margot McKinney is a fourth-generation jeweller whose creations are a joy to behold. Inspired by her love of travel and the vivid colours she encounters on her exotic adventures, she has a soft spot for gems native to Australia, including opals and South Sea pearls, combining them with coloured stones to create bold statement pieces, each of which tells a story. She draws real pleasure from seeing women wearing her jewellery, and many of her customers become collectors of these wearable works of art.