This British jewelry company has been in existence for 35 years with Dinny Hall at the helm of its eponymous brand.
And it all happened when, straight out of Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, her graduation collection was purchased by the famous Liberty London store. She decided it would be a good idea to start her own label and the rest is history.
At first I played with scale, exoticism, and fashion statement, but over time, craftsmanship started to interest me more. I started to reduce the shapes to be simple but as perfect as possible. Jewelry is a very personal thing and should not invade the wearer but be part of it.
Combining gemstones ranging from diamonds to amethysts and all the gorgeous stones in between with silver, yellow gold, and rose gold, expect some standout pieces (cocktail rings that Lizzie Taylor would love) to more delicate delicacies to enhance your everyday look. Sign us up!
Felicity Carter: What was your first memory of jewelry?
Dinny Hall: Find and buy a black brooch with colored eye and lip stones for 4p at a village flea market. The brooch turned out to be Cartier made of ebony and set with sapphires, rubies and diamonds. Even at the age of six or seven, I had a keen eye for jewelry.
FC: How, when, why did you enter the industry?
DH: I left Central Saint Martins with a degree in jewelry design and set up a workbench in a jewelry workshop in Soho in 1984. I was a waitress at night to support myself, but a combination of the right location, a great time and a particularly talented set of peers from Central St Martins gave me the start I needed and I’ve never looked back.
FC: How would you sum up the aesthetics?
DH: Definitely ‘less is more’ – I like to reduce shapes to clean lines, repeating patterns that have a sort of symbolic meaning, shapes that are pleasant to the touch and to wear against the skin. I love being contemporary and yet I want the wearer of my designs to cherish them for life.
FC: What is luxury for you?
DH: a hot bath with Ortigia (Indian fig) bath oil, fluffy white towels followed by bedtime with a good novel in crisp white sheets, not an iPhone on the spot; time and relaxation are a luxury for me. Wearing diamonds everyday is maybe a luxury that I take for granted!
FC: Who is your client?
DH: A cultured person. I like to think that the income bracket is not really relevant. Age or gender isn’t a barrier, but I think the common thread is someone who appreciates that there is complexity in a simple design aesthetic.
FC: What are the cornerstones of your business?
DH: To make our designs desirable and relevant over the decades. To provide the best customer service, promote trust and be as ethical and environmentally friendly as possible. I think we are and always have been modern luxury.
FC: What is the very first piece you designed and how did it come about?
DH: It was a Mondrian brooch in silver and acrylic. I was taking a Foundation for the Arts course and learning 20th century art – I was a bit obsessed with the Dutch 1920s De Stijl art movement, my next piece was inspired by Pop Art!
FC: What was on your current mood board?
DH: Pre-Raphaelite photos from a collection I made for the National Portrait Gallery – there are more models to come! Still life photo ideas and color swatches for our Spring-Summer online images. And lots of things that I intend to do but haven’t had the time!
FC: Currently what is your favorite piece and why?
DH: My favorite piece is always what’s about to be, it’s what drives me to create. But my favorite pieces that I love to wear over and over again are the Queenie 10k gold hoops and a handmade hammered long necklace from a collection about 10 years ago.
FC: What is your career highlight so far?
DH: A very long time ago I won the British Accessory Designer of the Year award and met Princess Diana at the presentation at Albert Hall. I had so many flowers that I couldn’t get into my design studio. Then I opened my first store in Westbourne Grove, which was a great achievement.
Shop the brand online and get your ears pierced at the Covent Garden store as part of their monthly Luxe Piercing events.