Jewel in the crown

Vicky Lew crafts delicate yet stunning jewellery that combine Eastern sensibilities with Western design concepts. — Pix courtesy of Simon B. Armitt for Vicky Lew London
The Golden Chrysolampis Mosquitos Ring — Pix courtesy of Simon B. Armitt for Vicky Lew London
The Thalurania Colombica Earrings — Pix courtesy of Simon B. Armitt for Vicky Lew London
The Thalurania Colombica Brooch — Pix courtesy of Simon B. Armitt for Vicky Lew London

EVERYONE likes pretty trinkets, but how many can actually design them? Vicky Lew certainly can – and she's doing it with great aplomb.

This young creative graduated from Central Saint Martins, London with a first class honours in jewellery design. Armed with her experience working in Cartier and Swarovski during her university days, as well as her passion for jewellery making, she founded the Vicky Lew London design house.

"My ambition has always been to have a successful jewellery brand. Hence, after my graduation, I decided to take the plunge and pursue just that," said Lew, who has been living overseas for over eight years.

While this was a risky move, it definitely paid off as her unique, sleek, and innovative design pieces gained popularity and recognition within the industry.

Shortly after, she cemented her success with a Silver Award for Fine Jewellery at the Goldsmiths' Craft & Design Council Awards, and the Best Design award at the Theo Fennell Awards.

In an email interview with theSun, Lew divulges on life as a jewellery designer, her design aesthetic and her future plans.

Walk us through a (work) day in your life.
I wake up at 6.30am and have a simple cereal breakfast, then I am off to work via the underground in London. When I arrive, the first thing is to have a cup of hot green tea to start my workday. Depending on my schedule, I could be meeting clients for potential commissions, sourcing gemstones or designing my collection. After ending my work at 7pm, I'll go to the gym for a workout session. I'm usually home by 8.30pm.

How would you describe your jewellery?
I would describe them as conceptual fine jewellery – beautifully made with high quality craftsmanship, the pieces explore the relationship between the wearer and the audience, with a hidden theme that surprises and delights.

At a glance, your creations come off as futuristic and sleek. Do you agree with this? And was it intentional?
Yes, I would like them to be antiques of the future.

Whenever you design a new piece, does it start with an idea first or with a preferred stone in mind?
I always start my collection with an idea then develop it from there, before finding suitable materials to work with later on.

According to your website, your "design aesthetic is rooted in the classical Japanese philosophy of wabi sabi". What is it about wabi sabi that attracted you to it?
Wabi sabi is about finding beauty in imperfection, impermanence, and in-completion. For example, a rose on the vine and a fallen rose on the ground are equally beautiful. I think that this philosophy on imperfection and impermanence is fascinating. After all, it's a bittersweet feeling to enjoy beauty that is fleeting.

To you, a good piece of jewellery is...
Well made, supported by good design and concept.

If you can accessorise a celebrity with your jewellery, who would you choose?
I would like to see Tilda Swinton wearing one of my pieces.

Despite your tender age, you have won quite a few awards. How do you feel about this?
I am humbled by this and feel grateful to have the support and recognition from the industry so early in my career.

Was it difficult for Vicky Lew London to break into the scene?
The jewellery industry is indeed saturated, especially in Europe. However, I feel that having a distinctive design aesthetic and concept help me to stand out among competitors.

What can fans expect from you in 2017?
I will be releasing a new collection in August at the Goldsmiths' Fair in London.