Tue 22nd Mar, 2011
Alex Monroe - "I like people who like my jewellery. they are not slaves to fashion; they tend to be more concerned about personality and craftsmanship. They care about quality and they like things that are quirky and individual."
British jewellery designer Alex Monroe grew up in Suffolk surrounded by fields, rivers and the plants and creatures which inhabit them. He trained at Sir John Cass School Of Art in London, and uses nature to inspire his whimsical, intricately beautiful jewellery.
Established in 1986, his core aspirations remain unchanged; to make great quality, wearable jewellery, which is originally designed and well priced.
The Ebury Collection wedding blog. Photography copyright 2011 Alex Monroe
Nature has always been Alex’s greatest inspiration. Whether from travels in Pakistan, walks along the hedgerows of Suffolk or even the Tuscan hills, his designs always remain inherently English. Alex always makes the original by hand in sterling silver, which gives his work its distinctive signature of such exquisite detail. He uses his skills to craft jewellery that is slightly quirky, sometimes cute, but always very feminine. The jewellery is both pretty and humorous, but consistently wearable.
Rather than compromise quality and have the jewellery produced in a factory, everything is still hand made in Alex’s London studios by skilled craftspeople.
In 2008 Alex was awarded the prestigious ‘Designer of the Year’ award at the UK Jewellery Awards 2008, saying ‘‘His quality is perfect and his style is so consistent'
What are you working on at the moment?
"We have just finished working on our gorgeous Autumn / Winter collection 'Chrysanthemum' which is very lady-like and glamourous, with a focus on statement necklaces, big stud earrings and cocktail rings.
Even more exciting though, we are working towards opening our first ever boutique in June!"
Tell us about your bespoke service?
"We offer a very personal bespoke service, whereby clients can visit our studio and have a one-to-one consultation with one of our advisors.
Our pieces are usually Silver and Gold-Plate, so bespoke commissions mean that we get to work with 18ct Gold and Platinum and use lots of beautiful stones - which is a real treat for us too!
Designs can be completely bespoke, or based around an existing Alex Monroe design, we often just adapt designs slightly, for example by using a larger stone, or a different flower, which is a great way of creating a unique piece within a budget."
What jewellery trends are you seeing coming through?
"Rose Gold has become very popular lately, and given it's slightly Victorian look, there is a real growing trend for Vintage / Antique looking jewellery.
We don't usually work with Rose Gold, but have created a very pretty range exclusively for Harrods, which is available on-line:
Our new collection 'Chrysanthemum' has a real antique edge to it, and we love this air of nostalgia."
What would you recommend for someone who's looking for something unique for an engagement ring?
"If you are already a fan of Alex's jewellery, then having your engagement ring made by us is the perfect choice.
Customers often want to continue the delicate nature themes of the jewellery they already own into their engagement and wedding rings, which is very hard to find elsewhere.
We can create a piece that has all of Alex's design trademarks, but also gives a nod to a traditional engagement ring.
A great example of this is a recent commission in Platinum, where the band was a twig, and the setting for the Diamond a little bird's nest.
The 'sticks' from the nest then formed the setting for the Diamond.
This was a truly unique piece, as it had the feel of a traditional solitaire ring, but the subtle details of Alex's design."
What's your favourite piece and why?
"My favourite piece changes every time Alex comes up with something new, but at the moment it's a Cupped Chrysanthemum Pearl Ring - so elegant!"
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