When the DJG selection team visits New Designers to choose our six new jewellers for the year it’s a very democratic affair. Just like the buying public we all have our own personal preferences, which is great because then we end up with a more varied and interesting show. It does mean though that as much as I admire all our new makers, I wouldn’t want to wear all their jewellery myself. I was however immediately drawn to Alice O’Neill’s jewellery on a personal level, and would love to be able to wear it!
Alice is inspired by ‘functional paraphernalia’ and particularly things that relate to clothes and their making. In practice this means that she constructs necklaces and cufflinks from washing symbols, bases hair pins on scissors, and creates rings that reference needles.
One thing I really admire about Alice is the way she’s prepared to push boundaries and be a bit more adventurous in her jewellery. This image shows one of her trademark ‘button brooches’. These sleek silver brooches slide onto vintage buttons that the wearer sews onto their clothes… if you can bear to detach them from slither of beautiful antique fabric they’re sold with, that is.
This adjustable ‘hook and eye’ necklace combines beautifully finished gold-plated silver with a ‘chain’ of lace: very on-trend with it’s nod to burlesque.
Quirky, tactile, original, and contemporary: Alice’s jewellery is simply gorgeous!
You can still see and buy Alice’s lovely work at the DJG pop-up shop in the Barbican from 27th December – 5th January.