‘Made’ makes my day at LFW

When it comes to jewellery, I don’t ‘do’ girly or glitzy (dahlink!) – for me, chains have to be chunky or it just feels all wrong. To my mind, there’s just something a bit inauthentic about the glittery, flimsy chains and glued-on diamantés that flood our high-street stores. I long for something a bit more robust, a bit earthy… Which is why I have always loved fair-trade jewellery brand Made’s gorgeous pieces.

I finally treated myself to their recycled brass loop necklace earlier this year and, although it stung my wallet a wee bit, I have very much got my money’s worth out of it since. I even wore it to collect Uplift’s Cosmo Blog Award earlier this month – and got complimented on it in the comments section on that blog!

I should, of course, be telling you that the reason I love Made jewellery is because it is an inspirationally modern business  project that works with East African artisans, paying fair wages and providing support at every level, with the aim of bringing disadvantaged communities out of poverty through a ‘trade not aid’ ethos. This is true; this is, indeed, one of the reasons I love Made.  But I think the fact that they create genuinely great, clunky, charming jewellery pieces is just as important. If they didn’t, if their range was lack-lustre and un-inspired, then the whole thing would fall flat… and where would that leave those that they support?

To keep things fresh, Made team up with a host of collaborators to design one-off ranges. Big design names such as Jamie Rubin, Brian Crumley and even starlets such as Alexa Chung have had a hand contributing directional pieces in the past… so when it came to visiting the Estethica exhibition at London Fashion Week this month, I naturally made a bee-line to Made’s stall to check out the talents they had enlisted this season.

Central Saint Martin’s trained jeweller Hattie Rickards is the new designer in the Made fold. Her collection (some of which is shown above) draws on the natural world, casting from fish bones, shark teeth and seed pods to create a colourful, magpie-like pick and mix collection. I expect her pieces won’t drop until spring, so we’ll just have to wait with baited breath until then.

The big name on board for September is Laura Bailey, who has created some incredibly covet-able pieces that trip along a fine line between delicate and sturdy, simplistic and elaborate. More importantly, she has become a great ambassador for the company – having written a piece for The Times on their work and putting her fine features into the frame for the campaign.

Laura Bailey for Made from Made on Vimeo.

After spending far too long salivating over all these new designs (making me late for the next show, oops!) I was very lucky to be presented with a lovely freebie – a collection of beaded bangles. True to the Made design ethos, they are simple, striking and have that personal feel (you can see the lathe marks on each metal disc, the idiosyncrasies in each glass bead) that makes sure your mind will turn to the good work that Made do whenever you wear it. Whilst this little freebie really made my day, it’s great to think that Made are making lives, one day at a time, for those involved in and supported by the project.

By: Sarah Barnes, 26.09.2010 | Comments (0)
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