When PUSH comes to shove

Introducing…Carol Woolton
November 8, 2010, 10:34 am
Filed under: Fashion, Jewellery | Tags: , ,

Carol Woolton is a name the jewellery industry knows well. Previously at Tatler, as their first jewellery editor, Woolton now resides at Vogue in the same role. She has written widely on antique and contemporary jewellery for The Times, The Financial Times and Art Quarterly.

In her new book, Fashion for Jewels (available to buy now), Woolton demonstrates how fashion and jewellery have become inextricably linked over the last century through beautiful glossy pictures taken from the archives at Conde Nast, Sothebys and many fine jewellers.

Why did you decide the write the book Fashion for Jewels?

I wrote the book because I felt there was a gap in the market – no one has traced the merging of fashion and jewellery trends.

Which designers have really stood out since writing the book? Both past and present?

Currently I’m having a bit of a love affair with geometric shapes whether designed by the modernist French designer Jean Despres, jeweller of the Machine Age  who used geometric motifs having worked on aeroplane design during World War 1 who described his strong masculine pieces as ‘a wholly modern discipline based on precision, robustness and the rejection of anything useless or complicated’. Having said that I’m also admiring the spiralling ultra complicated new designs of wheels and circles by Lorenz Baumer like explosive precious Catherine wheels.    

Did you have any surprises whilst writing the book?

That the first women who wore floral chintz dresses were attacked in the street by the anti-calico movement, started by the woollen industry  objecting to the new imports from India.

Do you think the relationship between jewellery and celebrity is still as relevant today?

I think celebrities today have a less defined jewellery style as they tend to wear borrowed pieces possibly not reflecting their own taste unlike Joan Crawford and Mae West who wore jewellery they bought for themselves or given by admirers ‘Somehow a gifted diamond shines so much better’, said West.

What would you say has been the most exciting jewellery trend in past 100 years?

The fashion movement into jewellery started by Coco Chanel in 1932, Dior, Gucci, Louis Vuitton all have important fine jewellery collections which has really pushed design and creativity in the world of haute jailer. 

How did your love affair with jewellery begin?

With lumps of rose quartz and tiger’s eye trinkets from South Africa – I had to wait a bit for diamonds.

How does jewellery make an outfit?

It’s the way to add individuality to your look – it completes the costume – its the most personal item we all wear every day and often the only thing that no one else has which makes it unique.


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