While I was visiting the family fashionistas in London, I just HAD to go to the Victoria and Albert museum - my favourite! To my delight I saw some of my best-selling jewellery designers available in the V&A shop.
The story began when I met the creator of Beloved Beadwork. She was the first person I started working with in Cape Town more than 10 years ago.
She has since created a network of beadworkers using traditional techniques and local, rural skills to make very unique and contemporary beadwork. The number has now grown to approximately 20 as she sources new talents. All of them create individual fine pieces of beads into rings, earrings,necklaces and bracelets. When you realise the amount of time and intricacy of their jewellery pieces, you can appreciate the value of each specially designed item. I still marvel at their work as I wear items that I've owned over the years.
Another designer I spotted was my friend Georges. I met him back in 1999 and immediately fell in love with his intricate work.
Back then he was already sourcing sustainably. Taking off cuts of wood mainly ebony and holly to transform them into plywood that he magically makes into jewellery. He and I have always seen eye to eye designwise and in 2015 we launched our first collection together here in Lagrasse. I am still amazed how people come up to me in the street, at exhibitions, the theatre, whichever country I may be and say: ahhh I recognise that piece! It's like a secret club that appreciates his craftsmanship and respects his sustainable attitude. I was delighted to return from my UK trip and find that his latest collection of rings and bangles had arrived ... and they are now displayed in my Lagrasse shop and available online soon!
Oh, and I haven't even started talking about the Mary Quant exhibition which was the main reason for going!