Two years in the making and comprising over 50 styles, Extraordinary Jewels is the comeback collection from V by Laura Vann.
Q&A WITH LAURA
1. ARE THE PIECES IN THE NEW COLLECTION EASY TO LAYER OR MIX & MATCH WITH OLDER V PIECES?
The pieces in our new collection layer up really nicely with some existing V pieces. This was a key consideration when I was designing the new collection as I wanted everything to feel like it matched and worked well with styles that we already had, as this ensures pieces remain relevant season after season. Our Vintage Heavy Link Chain is a great example. It’s one of our key styles and is a real staple piece - I wear it every day - and it works really well alongside all of the necklaces in our new collection, particularly the Marlowe enamel stick bar necklaces (my personal favourite is the brown). They sit so well together and layer really beautifully. You could also pair one of our pendant chains, such as the Daphne Circle Necklace, with one of the Marlowe necklaces. Our bracelets also layer well if you wanted a multilayered bracelet look, such as a Marlowe bracelet with either our Luna Tennis Bracelet or Vintage Link Gold Chain Bracelet.
2. WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE NEW COLLECTION?
The inspiration behind Extraordinary Jewels stemmed from my return to work from maternity leave. My life was a mess, my house was (and still is) a mess, and I loved that joyful disorder of having a crazy kid and being totally dishevelled but knowing that the pieces of jewellery I had put on two or three days ago were still on, making me feel a little bit elevated and seem, outwardly at least, like I had it all together. When I was designing this new collection, I wanted to create pieces that would elevate the everyday. A lot of people have asked me if I think that V is everyday and the answer is yes; you can dress our jewellery up with a beautiful outfit but you can also wear it with a t-shirt and jeans at the pub. Throwing on one of our necklaces or a pair of earrings will be the thing that gets you the compliments. Wanting to create elevated pieces led me to the enamel route and the use of big baroque pearls, as I wanted these pieces to stand out and make an ordinary outfit extraordinary.
3. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO USE ENAMEL FOR THE NEW COLLECTION?
The reason we chose to work with enamel for this new collection is because although V is all about timeless jewellery, we also want to be fresh and relevant. In order to maintain that relevance we apply a timeless aesthetic to contemporary trends. Enamel is a reemerging trend at the moment but it’s also very rooted in history which is why it is a trend I was happy to apply to our new collection. Rather than working in neon colours and bright fluorescents as a lot of other brands are, I wanted to bring our grown-up, more tonal colours to the collection. We have some lovely deep greens, a brown and some whites which give Extraordinary Jewels a fresher feeling. In this sense, the collection is a real take on our version of enamel. A lot of art deco jewellery also had enamel application to it, so it is not only a relevant and contemporary trend but is also deeply rooted in history and has the timeless nature which we love to work with.
4. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE FROM EXTRAORDINARY JEWELS?
My favourite piece has to be the Marlowe necklaces and bracelets which are named after my little girl. They are so different but are really wearable, which is why I think they’re really special. I never want to create anything so avant garde that it is completely unwearable, but at the same time, I want every V design to allow people to receive those compliments like, ‘wow, what is that piece?’ I love all of the colourways of the Marlowe as they have a different purpose for all occasions. The white ones feel really fresh and summery, the white and green stones especially as they would look so beautiful on holiday, and the white with clear stones are great for bridal. The brown is my absolute favourite, I think it’s super different but pairs really well with clothing, especially now that brown clothing is having a big moment. The green is a hugely classic colour and is very synonymous with V thanks to our use of green stones.
5. WHICH PIECE FROM THE NEW COLLECTION HAVE YOU WORN THE MOST?
The pieces I’ve been wearing the most, other than the enamel necklaces and bracelets, are probably the pearl earrings as they’re so easy to throw on with a t-shirt and a pair of jeans. I particularly love the Nicola earrings; they’re really gorgeous and have a large baroque pearl at the top which cascades down into a smaller pearl. I love the graduated look. The Kerry earrings are also really unique and sweet, and the Emily earrings with an elongated pearl are super statement. You don’t really need to be wearing any other jewellery with them as they have a lovely impact on their own.
6. WHAT IS THE MEANING BEHIND THE NAMES OF THE PIECES IN THE NEW COLLECTION?
All of the pieces in our new collection are actually named after the women in the V team who have helped me navigate life since having my little girl. We have the Erin hoop earrings, named after Erin who has supported us massively with wholesale, the Kerry pearl earrings for Kerry, the person who helped us with The Bling Ring and was so generous with her time and contacts to bring that project to life. We have the Nicola pearl earrings for Nicola who helped to design the new collection with me at my kitchen table! Extraordinary Jewels is a real homage to all of the women who have supported me. They are all doing amazing, extraordinary things and I really wanted to thank them through this collection.
7. WHY IS THERE A PRICE RISE IN THE NEW COLLECTION?
In keeping with the notion of ‘elevating’ with our latest collection, I wanted to elevate the materials we were using. I wanted to use gold vermeil, which is a heavier thickness of gold plating on recycled sterling silver, so that those pieces really do stand the test of time. We do offer a replating service at V but at the same time I wanted these pieces to have a higher level of plating thickness. We have also started using white topaz in place of clear cubic zirconia, especially with our new enamel signet rings which feature a really large asscher cut stones. Whilst there is of course a difference in price, we have tried to maintain a level of accessibility whilst also ensuring an amazing quality piece. We feel like fair pricing is very key to our brand so while prices may have increased, they are still very competitive for the level of quality in the pieces. Especially the hand- painted enamel pieces which are all set with white topaz. There is incredible value for money in this collection.
8. WHAT ARE THE ETHICS BEHIND YOUR JEWELLERY?
We are so proud about the ethics behind V. Everything is made using recycled silver which is sourced from one of the largest refiners of precious metals in Europe, and the workshop that we use is audited by the globally recognised independent body, SMETA. They check for environmental ethics and conduct anonymous interviews with employees to ensure they are feeling heard and valued, which is one of the most important things to me. The factory that we work with is family- owned - my Dad began working with them 15 years ago and now I’m working with the next generation. At the core of what we do at V is creating pieces have longevity. I have a 360 approach to ethics, it isn’t just about what things are made from or who is making them, it’s also about are these designs going to stand the test of time. That’s why I was so keen for the new designs to layer up with our older styles. Any trends which we work with, we add a timeless approach to them so that we’ve got a real longevity to the collection.
9. WHAT ARE THE BESTSELLERS FROM THE NEW COLLECTION SO FAR?
One of the most popular pieces so far is the Isobelle Necklace. It features baroque pearls interspersed with round pearls and tiny gold detailings which make it feel familiar but a bit different, which is what we always try to achieve with V. We want people to feel comfortable wearing it but it isn’t too out there. The Isobelle is great for summer and really well suited to bridal. The Fleur pearl earrings have also been really popular. We wanted to give our pearl jewellery a V stamp as a lot of brands are doing pearl at the moment, so we’ve added step cut stones which we’re really well known for alongside the signature V green. Finally, the rings have done incredibly well. I absolutely love how the skinny enamel rings stack together, particularly against the enamel signet rings. You can wear them together or separately and they’re set with white topaz and are hand painted.
For the first time, V is using 18ct gold vermeil alongside white topaz and an array of freshwater baroque pearls. Our foundations of 30 + years of family jewellery expertise is exhibited in its craftsmanship of meticulously hand-painted enamel; where rich browns, deep greens and pure whites give an air of heritage to a contemporary trend. While our signature deco inspired use of step cut gemstones add a unique touch to pearl jewellery that elevates the ordinary to the extraordinary.
“Returning to V after maternity leave with a life that had somehow managed to be even busier, I was inspired by the feeling jewellery gives of always making you appear, outwardly at least, polished. Coming back to work I was always late, utterly disorganised and regularly off with nursery’s latest bug. But I gathered an amazing team who believed in me and supported me throughout this chaotic time. So each piece of this collection is named after them. A thank you to all of the ordinary women, doing extraordinary things, every single day.”— Laura Vann, Founder