Last Thursday, Black Diamond PR managed to put guests in a summer state of mind with their Spring/Summer 2017 press day. From small, niche British brands such as Bianca Elgar and Annie Haak to big luxury behemoths such as Hugo Boss and Paul Smith through to ever popular yet affordable womenswear website Little Back Dress, there was something for everyone.
I had a few stand-out labels and products too of course: Annie Haak’s stack bracelets – a firm favourite was the one with the letter ‘S’ charm – Maria’s gorgeous handbags handcrafted by women manufacturers in Guatemala, Les Georgette’s delightful metal cuffs inset with vibrant reversible – and interchangeable – leather bands, Mezzanottes’s candy colour clutches, and affordable vintage look watches by William L. founded by Guillaume Laidet, who used to work in the swiss watch industry and launched his own brand on Kickstarter and reached 191 961 €.
In the business of fine jewellery for 25 years, Annie gets much of the inspiration for her designs from the magical island of Bali where she is based for most of the year. Her influences are gathered from many aspects of Bali life from the local flora and fauna, the magical people and the colours and patterns found in the local markets and villages.
Many of Annie’s designs are intended to carry a special meaning by way of mantras or symbols that represent luck, love, protection strength and well-being – an essential to Annie’s design ethos. Many of the pieces can be personalised with initials and a choice of mantra to pass on a special message to the recipient.
MARIA’S was founded by Alida Boer, former Miss Guatemala and International model; who had the dream of bringing to the world the most refined textiles with an ancient heritage and a social conscience.
Each bag is individually hand crafted, with three months to blend the tradition, originality and creativity of Guatemalan women with modern, trendsetting designs.
Every region has its unique designs: the fine embroidery covers geometric shapes, animals, landscapes, flowers and, in some cases, narrates stories and legends.
A small German/Italian company, Mezzanotte manufacture hand crafted bags made of finest Italian leather which are named after cities they reflect by the materials used, or the story shared.
Mezzanotte leather handbags are handcrafted exclusively relying on the tradition of experienced artisans to satisfy the highest demands on quality and on production facilities.
Guillaume Laidet inherited from my grand-grand uncle a beautiful unbranded vintage chronograph from the ’50s. It was rusty and full of filth, yet Laidet managed to get it repaired by a specialist of watch restoration in La Chaux de Fonds (Switzerland) and gave it a new lease of life on his wrist.
Inspired by friends’ reactions to his watch, he set out to make vintage look watches available to people on a budget.
“If you want to buy a watch like that from the 50s with a swiss mechanical movement, gold plated you can find one between 600 and 950€. Could be less, could be more it depends of the brand and the state of the watch,” Laidet explains,
William L. watches start from 149€.
Les Georgettes™ is a joint creation by Groupe GL Altesse, France’s leading jewelry manufacturer, and Texier, a leather goods manufacturer in Brittany. Officially recognized as part of France’s National Heritage (Entreprises du Patrimoine Vivant), both companies are part of the Renaissance Luxury Group.
The brand allows you to create your own collection of personalised Georgettes – a seductive coupling of leather and fine metal.
Les Georgettes designs are inspired by the spirit of the jungle, so you can choosd Zèbre or Girafe, Panthère or Perroquet, Poisson or Crocodile
With eight finishes to choose from, one can opt for silver, yellow gold, pink gold or ruthenium or go for our plain metal pieces with a discreet satin finish.
At the end of the tour there was yet more fun in the shape of one amazing goody bag. While getting a cute Mezzanotte clutch in gorgeous gold (pictured below with another lovely gift from Bianca Elgar’s ‘Out of Africa’ collection inspired by the designer’s visit to Marrakech) was a definite highlight equally exciting was the notebooks you could get embossed with a metallic finish of your choice.