Last week I had a run in with a dry ski slope and came off worst (read: carpet burn to the face and a ski cutting my shin). Aforementioned tumble was around an hour before I was scheduled to shoot this project with Monica Vinader – shout out to Dior Skin Star for successfully but not entirely painlessly helping to conceal the hundreds of little scratches along the side of my face.
So, clumsy mishaps aside, this is the time of year to sparkle and shine and when Monica Vinader got in touch to ask me to pull together an edit of pieces I’d put under the tree for a loved one, I couldn’t have been happier to oblige. The jeweller’s trademark simple and delicate but distinctive designs need no introduction; during my Vogue House days it was a firm favourite and we’d flock to samples sales like magpies. Anything we got our mitts on back then are still treasured possessions today: bracelets, rings and pendants that I’ve come to feel naked without.
And honestly I think it’s better today than I’ve ever seen it before. I’m powerless before the hammered rose-gold pendants, the thin stacking rings and – at the higher end of the spectrum – the diamond ear climbers, plus of course the signature fine chain and friendship bracelets built around gemstones like agate and quartz (though it’s the amazonite and black onyx in particular that have stolen my heart). Needless to say it’s all right on the money.
And the sentimental streak in me adores the fact the brand’s roots stem from Holkham on the North Norfolk coast. It’s an area I’ve been visiting for years and years: a special corner of the country I hold close to my heart and our true happy place.
Two collections in particular have me hooked. Anything that draws inspiration from the sea is speaking my language. The Nura collections delivers shapes derived from sea-tumbled pebbles, reef fragments and high-polished shells and nuggets; pieces from Nura I’ve shot include the rose-gold teardrop earrings I’m wearing with the beret, the rose-gold Reef pendant and bracelet and the decadent ear climbers I mentioned earlier. Secondly, the geometric Art Deco-inspired Baja collection is where I’d look to for my gemstone fix – pictured here are the amazonite bar bracelet, black onyx deco bracelet and labradorite bangle.
If that’s not enough to convince you, here are 3 key reasons to love Monica Vinader:
1) It’s all about the personal touch – pop into the shop with your favourite piece and they will engrave it for you
2) The beautiful designs don’t break the bank
3) You can wear the pieces with everything from tomboy denim to black tie
For Christmas deliveries, the team at Monica Vinader are still taking orders up until 3pm tomorrow (21st December) – a blessing for last-minute shoppers and a surefire way to be proud of the presents you give (which let's face it is the most exciting bit). Package up some of that sparkle and shine to send with someone into the new year.