The Emperor’s New Clothes collection first launched in 2017. Inspired by the world of high carat weight jewellery and record-breaking stones, the collection draws its name from Hans Christian Anderson’s eponymous fairytale, and plays with the themes of irony and illusion through its use of over-grown gemstone forms to give the appearance of the real deal.
“As a jeweller who has always preferred to concentrate on unique design rather than carat weight, the Emperor’s New Clothes collection was in my mind a particularly apt representation of my on-going desire to subvert the visual norm through humour and juxtaposition, thereby creating a world where record-breaking sized stones are affordable to all,” comments our Creative Director, Tessa Packard.
Re-purposing traditional jewellery techniques to create news-worthy sized gemstones in a variety of styles was a challenge that Tessa had long hoped to explore and one that is arguably very in-keeping with the brand’s playful, tongue-in-cheek aesthetic. This focus on the ‘design element’ in the jewellery, rather than the importance of a high carat weight presence in the pieces, tied in perfectly with the idea of working metal and enamel in such a way to create enormous diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and rubies.
Emperor’s New Clothes utilises a variety of metals, materials and techniques, including 18ct yellow gold and gold vermeil, silver, hand-painted enamel work, intricate pave-set gemstones and larger set gemstones – the latter two being a further play on the idea of the real versus the unreal, illusion versus truth. Perhaps the most notable feature is the exploration of enamel work, recently experimented with in the Lost and Found collection, launched earlier in the year. Here, flat planes of coloured paint are intricately hand-painted in painstaking layers to carefully recreate the subtle nuances of light, colour, shape and tone seen in the facets of real gemstones.