These emerging stars of the contemporary jewellery world are selected from final year students at colleges and universities across the UK by a prestigious panel – comprising Hilary Alexander, OBE: Editor at Large Hello! Fashion Monthly Magazine, Vivienne Becker: jewellery historian and Contributing Editor to the Financial Times - How To Spend It Magazine, Claudia Mahoney: Executive Fashion and Beauty Director of Glamour, Annabel Davidson: Editor of Vanity Fair on Jewellery and, for the first time, Shaun Leane, British luxury Fine Jewellery Designer. All were very impressed with the high standard and diversity of work presented, with competition so fierce that two additional designers were named as Highly Commended by the judges.
“This year’s Bright Young Gems have been distinguished by a considerable degree of technical virtuosity, allied to an innovative approach to high-tech and traditional materials. The winning submissions each display the thorough knowledge of the jeweller’s craft with exceptional creativity. It is young jewellers such as these 2016 Bright Young Gems who are helping to ensure the future of the industry”, explains Hilary Alexander OBE, Editor-at-Large, Hello! Fashion Monthly.
Shaun Leane adds: “Platforms such as Bright Young Gems are essential. They allow our flourishing young designers to grow in all areas of their careers. It is so important that we nurture their talents and aspirations as they are the future."
Claire Price, Course Director BA (Hons) Jewellery and Silversmithing – Design for Industry, Birmingham City University, also observes: “For recent graduates to gain exposure at International Jewellery London is fantastic and such a valuable opportunity. It is significant for them to show their work to a wider audience, receiving recognition at this level and making contacts to launch their careers. This platform makes a huge impact on our graduates, whilst providing retailers with innovative products - all shaping the future of the industry.”
Sam Willoughby, Event Director, concludes: “To date this initiative has introduced 55 talented young designers to the industry. It is so rewarding to be able to provide them with their first commercial platform to showcase their work to such an influential audience. Our thanks go to all the universities and colleges who have helped make this possible, our judges who invest an enormous amount of time in making their choices and, of course, our visitors to the show. This year we welcome the support of the National Association of Jewellers. Good luck to our chosen five – have a great show!”
This year’s Bright Young Gems are:
Talisa recently graduated in Jewellery Design at Central Saint Martins. Her final collection addresses current socio-political issues from her home country, Turkey. Juxtaposing ancient symbols of Turkish cultural identity with humour, she creates surreal narratives which echo the political climate in a more accessible light and aim to intrigue and engage the wearer. Each piece is based on a different incident and tells an individual tale. Talisa uses wax carving and enamelling, incorporating precious metals and stones in her work.
“I am thrilled to be chosen for Bright Young Gems, it truly feels like the big first step in my career. I am looking forward to getting to know people from all different areas of the industry and being in a professional environment like IJL.”
Katy Tromans completed an Art and Design Foundation in her home town of Stourbridge, and has recently graduated from the Birmingham City University School of Jewellery. She creates highly detailed, narrative jewellery based on stories. Her jewellery is functional and wearable, and when not worn becomes an objet d'art. The hero pieces of her collections are very decorative - precious metal rings which become a part of a sculptural stand. Inspired by these pieces, Katy produces more commercial affordable, but just as detailed, pieces of jewellery.
“I am so excited to be selected as a Bright Young Gem this year and have the opportunity to showcase my work at such a prestigious event as IJL. To be able to talk to and grasp the advice of experienced business people and tradesmen, as well as gain an in-depth amount of knowledge to improve my own branding and business, is a superb opportunity IJL is a fantastic environment for new and upcoming designers to be a part.” Stephanie Wills
Stephanie has just graduated from further study at Birmingham City University in Design for Industry. Stephanie uses her background in 3D Design to create mechanical jewellery in precious metals and gemstones. The inspiration behind her Concealed Jewellery series comes from looking at repeating patterns and structures, an aesthetic derived from looking at repeating Spirograph patterns, to then construct pieces of detailed decorative jewellery. These change through moving mechanisms within each piece, creating versatile kinetic jewellery that can be worn in many different ways.
“I am so grateful to have been selected as a Bright Young Gem. This prestigious award provides me with the opportunity to meet some very inspiring designers and jewellers at IJL. Being able to showcase my collection to them will help to grow my knowledge of the jewellery industry and help to establish my career as a jeweller and designer.” Rebecca Wilkes
Rebecca Wilkes is a recent graduate of the BA Design for Industry course at the School of Jewellery in Birmingham. Now working as an independent jewellery designer, her current product range exploits the potential of 3D printing, a technology that is impacting on the jewellery industry. Rebecca takes her inspiration from the natural world and translates it into a modern look with the use of 3D printing. Rebecca’s unique collection takes the use of 3D printed nylon to a higher level of quality and exclusivity, as demanded by the jewellery industry
“I am delighted to have been selected as a 2016 Bright Young Gem and I am eager to start networking with a wider community of people within the jewellery industry. I look forward to using this prestigious platform to exhibit and discuss the potential of my new collection to those who may help to make my dream a reality. It really is an honour to have been given this opportunity at such an important UK based jewellery trade show.” Shiyun Chen
Shiyun Chen is an international graduate in Jewellery Design at Central Saint Martins. Her ‘Skin’ Collection, is inspired by the quality of human skin and how it communicates a state of health or illness, evidence of injury, and even embarrassment. She is interested in how these signals affect the skin, and also how they can affect how others perceive us. In her work she translates these effects to create jewellery which is more than purely decorative. Her work uses a variety of colourful gemstones in pieces which reflect the changing nature of skin.
“I am so glad to have been selected as one of the Bright Young Gems this year. IJL is such an important jewellery event and offers me a fantastic opportunity at the start of my career. The show gives me an open platform not just for jewellery design itself, but also a chance to experience the relationship between clients and designers. I look forward to receiving lots of different feedback at this event.”
Highly Commended:Yoonkyo Bae
Royal College of Art
Using organza, Yoonkyo creates lightweight volumes through building tubular structures. Properties of the material and the process she has developed - fusing fabric - enable her to make large volumes that are both physically and visually light. Alongside, a translucency of the fabric makes a visual ambiguity which reacts to surrounding colours and lights. Her jewellery collection ‘Tubular Air’ has different ranges: from a small ring for everyday to extravagant arm pieces for occasions. Stephanie O’LearyBA Hons Jewellery & Accessories, Middlesex University
Drawn to the simplicity and elegance of clean lines in architectural design, Stephanie O’Leary is influenced by geometric structures which jut-out, protrude or extend from the existing ‘frame’ of their environment. Specifically scaffolding, cranes and power lines. By focussing on an element of movement, Stephanie uses universal hinges and industrial materials to create kinetic urban structures, which mimic the minimalist and fragmented aesthetic of London.
This year’s participating universities and colleges include Birmingham City University - School of Jewellery, Central Saint Martins, Edinburgh College of Art, Middlesex University, Royal College of Art, The Cass - London Metropolitan University, University of Lincoln, University for the Creative Arts.
For more information, please go to http://www.jewellerylondon.com/brightyounggems
Free online visitor registration for IJL 2016 is open - www.jewellerylondon.com/register
. Register in advance online for the chance to win either an exclusive Champneys Pamper Spa Day for two or an Aston Martin Thrill Day at a famous motor race circuit.