Bright Young Gems

06 Sep 2015

As part of its Diamond Jubilee celebrations, IJL is delighted to introduce the tenth group of Bright Young Gems – a select group of five new talented jewellery stars, fresh out of college, nominated by a prestigious panel of journalists.

Initiated in 2005 and working with many of the major UK universities and colleges, the IJL Bright Young Gems project is recognised by the industry as one of the leading commercial opportunities for emerging designers.

This year’s selection panel comprises award-winning fashion journalist, Hilary Alexander OBE, Vivienne Becker of the Financial Times’ How To Spend It, Annabel Davidson of Vanity Fair magazine, Claudia Mahoney of Glamour magazine and Bec Astley Clarke MBE. All of whom were especially impressed by the standard of entries this year – so much so, that two additional entries were named as Highly Commended Bright Young Gems.

“The 60th anniversary of IJL showcases the very best of the new jewellery designers since I first became involved in Bright Young Gems in its inaugural year in 2005. The scheme continues to provide the most important launching pad in the industry for tomorrow’s jewellery stars”, comments Hilary Alexander OBE, Editor-at-Large, Hello Fashion Monthly.

“It has always been a pleasure to judge Bright Young Gems, the level of talent is consistently, exceptionally high and this year is certainly no different – there are some truly inspirational designs in the mix for 2015”, adds Bec Astley Clarke MBE, Founder and Executive Chairman of Astley Clarke.

Caroline Broadhead, Course Leader, BA Jewellery Design, at Central St Martins, supports this. “It is wonderful that two graduates from Central Saint Martins have been selected for Bright Young Gems, it is a fantastic opportunity for young designers to get this sort of exposure and promotion”.

Caroline Price, Course Director, School of Jewellery Birmingham City University, added “To exhibit at IJL with Bright Young Gems is an unparalleled opportunity for graduates to view their work within the wider industry context and to fast track their careers. To have the opportunity to discuss their future aspirations with the people that can make it happen at such an early stage in their career is a huge benefit and can make every difference to their success, within this very competitive industry.”

Sam Willoughby, Event Director, concludes:
“The Bright Young Gems is a real show highlight and this year’s chosen five have really excelled themselves. They are all totally unique in their approach to design and it is really exciting for IJL to present them to the industry. Congratulations to them all!”

This year’s Bright Young Gems are:

Beau Han Xu is a graduate of the Royal College of Art. His pieces freeze frame inspirational moments, drawing on nature and the ethereal, as well as real objects. Using a unique metal-less technique and innovative materials which transcend the constraints of traditional stone stetting, his work highlights the maximum reflection of diamonds and other gemstones to create the vibrant SPLASH collection.

“I am thrilled to have been chosen as a Bright Young Gem. I am very grateful to have this opportunity to launch my SPLASH Collection to such a prestigious group of retailers and buyers.” Beau Han Xu

Charlotte Garnett studied jewellery design at Central Saint Martins. Her ‘Cure for the Itch’ collection explores the subject of anxiety driven habitual behaviours. She has optimised ergonomic design to offer personalised solutions for repetitive, anxiety driven actions. By sympathetically combining the textures, colours and qualities of metal, ebony and personalised resin encapsulations, Charlotte maximizes their comforting qualities, inviting wearers to occupy their fiddling fingers with these discreet solutions to tackle day-to-day anxiety.

“I am honoured to have been selected as a Bright Young Gem and am excited to utilise this opportunity to begin establishing myself as a British designer. I feel privileged to be able to take part in the 60th anniversary of IJL and make use of this prestigious networking platform to showcase and discuss the potential of my collection and career showcasing and discussing the potential of my collection and career, whilst learning about the broader aspects of the industry and trading.” Charlotte Garnett

Crystal Ching-I Chien is an independent jewellery designer and maker creating bold, high quality, luxury jewellery. Crystal takes much of her inspiration from nature and gemstones. Playing with different shapes and coloured gemstones, Crystal combines them - creating new patterns with every unique piece. She recently graduated from Birmingham School of Jewellery.

“I am delighted to have been selected for Bright Young Gems and pleased to be able to show at IJL this year, as it is such an important trade event in the UK. I’m looking forward very much to getting valuable feedback from professionals in the industry.” Crystal Ching-I Chien

Charlotte Asherson has just graduated in Jewellery Design from Central Saint Martins. She was raised in Singapore in a modern city in the Far East and she has used some of this city’s architectural influence in her final degree collection ‘2300’. ‘2300’ represents a futuristic jewellery aesthetic - clean, smooth, flawless lines and bold forms, with a finish that speaks of perfection and precision.

"I am honoured to be selected as a Bright Young Gem and being given the opportunity that this exposure presents. Bright Young Gems gives me direct access to the world renowned IJL 2015 and I am very excited about interacting with top international designers, the trade media and business contacts in the industry. IJL has a long and successful history and it has become the premier platform in the industry.” Charlotte Asherson

Boky Lee recently graduated with a MA in Jewellery & Metal from the Royal College of Art. She designs wearable, classy and witty jewellery. Her current collection ‘Mirage’ is inspired by scaffolding and is made up of highly organised and planned structural objects and their connection parts are based on those used to join pipes. She believes that the basic role of jewellery is to temporarily support the body and mind, in a similar way as scaffolding supports a building. These pieces express her take on this principle, as it shares similar aspects and configuration. While being playful, it also takes into consideration her view on aesthetics in buildings, jewellery and the wearer.

“When I was visiting IJL last year and learnt about Bright Young Gems, I thought that it would be such a precious experience to be one of the nominees - and this has happened now! I am already immensely excited to show my collection and to share my ideas in such a famous environment. I believe that an experience like this will help me grow personally as well as professionally.” Boky Lee

Bright Young Gems Highly Commended

Karolina Baines
Woven through her collection are seemingly unrelated influences, including the character of Venice, the living traditions of basketry and weaving, and the pleat-work of Issey Miyake.

Her process is deeply rooted in mark-making at both the sketchbook stage and in the etching of metals to create patterns that fascinate and invite interaction, suggest rhythm and direction, and instil a sense of movement. The finished work is transfused with deep and vibrant enamelled colours. Karolina recently graduated from Edinburgh College of Art.

Amy Stringer
This collection expresses the beauty found in our immediate environments. Taking architectural and found materials, Amy has created a collection of contemporary jewellery that connects the wearer to their surroundings and shows them the value of these overlooked materials. These materials were chosen from the environment of Sheffield city centre. Amy recently graduated from Sheffield Hallam University. Bright Young Gems can be found on Group Stand T30 in The Design Gallery.

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