I'm so excited to finally reveal the collaboration I'm working on with London based jewellery artisan Lee Renée! Annielka, the designer jewellery e-boutique is the exclusive Singapore stockist for Lee Renée. They thoughtfully linked us up and got me behind the scenes with the London based jewellery designer whose best selling items are available at the Annielka online shop (think Pineapple everything: Pineapple Ear Studs, Pineapple Ring and Pineapple Necklace). It was an absolute joy to be invited to Lee's home studio at the quaint Kentish Town where we sat through a late afternoon talking about chasing dreams, jewellery making and inspirations. I also had the chance to see the latest collections and some work in progress pieces, which were all so exciting my first personal experience with jewellery making.
Lee Renée is a personable and down to earth lady who sat me down with coffee before humbly speaking of her label's start from a small collection of voodoo inspired pieces to having her Miami collection featured in Vogue (twice) and now having 10 stockists internationally with a base of celebrity clients and bespoke clients (and mystery Billionaire daughter as well as confidential fashion celebrity engagement ring!). Lee was no trained artisan from young. She was a veteran in the advertising industry who ditched her job, went back to Central Saint Martin's and spent three years training under London Hatton Garden's finest silversmiths before launching her namesake label of childhood dreams. Everyone's secret dream right? She took the courage to make it happen!
'Jewellery design was my first love. It's my childhood facination' She said.
What attracts me from the jewellery were their unusual designs translated from usual themes. Lee takes most of her inspirations from black romance, movies and music (her beau is a musician), then creating micro stories or names for jewellery pieces first before putting her thoughts into designs on paper and finally hand making every single piece of jewellery personally. Each piece of jewellery is never just a piece of aesthetically admirable product but in most times, include hidden motifs and messages such as hidden hearts, ancient myths and other symbols of love.
It's not difficult to travel through her thoughts and inspirations for each collection. The Star-Crossed Lovers Romeo and Juliet inspired collection was full of darkness, tragedy, elegance and beauty. At the same time, with a twist in the mood created by clever architecture of gold, silver, stones and dark pearls - elegantly represented in the Black Pearl Ring and White Sapphire Bangle (available in both sterling silver and rose gold). Perfect fashion forward jewellery breaking traditional understanding of the seriousness of jewellery.
'I want to create bolder pieces with unisex designs for those who reward themselves with good quality, trans-generational statement jewellery that can transform outfits.'
Lee's jewellery are made for women that have good taste, savvy, confident and are looking for fun, regardless of age. Indeed, I can imagine wearing some pieces for years and passing them down to my daughters who will love them equally. With her extensive collections, Annielka has carefully curated a series of some of the best sellers and brought them to Singapore as her exclusive distributor.
I was told to expect a new summer collection in 2015 focused on festivals and holidays, with smaller and tighter key pieces with experimental gem stones of different cuttings and facets and more choices of precious metals. I wonder how Lee manages all these with her upcoming collaborations with fashion brands, including one for men's collection! So keep your eyes peeled ladies and gentlemen - with 2 day free shipping from Annielka to Singapore and Malaysia it's just much easier to buy with each collection! Plus, you can get extra 10% if you sign up as an Annielka Insider now!
By the time I said bye to my new friend Lee I had found my new understanding for jewellery and left with about a dozen pieces I wanted to put my card on. But on second thought should I just save it up for a unique customised piece? We'll see!