Right good mood we’re in this morning on receipt of our very first look at Dominic Jones’ debut collection of sparklers for Astley Clarke, the London-based jewellers where he was made Creative Director last year. Though, admission: it’s not actually the first time we’ve laid eyes on the collection (entitled Astronomy) and the accompanying campaign starring the gorgeous Adwoa Aboah – we had a sneak peek earlier this week. How else were we supposed to know what to talk about with Mr Jones? One doesn’t want to come underprepared to these things. So enjoy our natter about all things jewels – what’s good, what’s vulgar – and why he chose to go astro for collection number one. Please also note that yes, we do know the difference between astrology and astronomy. At least, we do now.
JACK MOSS: What jewellery are you wearing now? Thoughts on men and jewellery?
DOMINIC JONES: I’m wearing this antique gold ring that that has a leopard crawling through this abstract landscape, I was given it by my friend Isa Summers, she found it in a pawn shop in San Francisco, it used to be a really large men’s ring but at some point it was resized by someone who took out a big section that had all the hallmarks on it so it’s guess work…but I think its 1970’s Cartier. I struggle wearing my own work as a designer… it’s a bit like a singer walking around singing one song from their album all day every day.
JM: You first collection for Astley Clarke is called Astronomy. What’s your star sign? Do you believe in all that?
DJ: My star sign is Cancer and apparently I’m pretty typical – I’m not really interested in astrology beyond knowing my star sign, I don’t read horoscopes as I’m happy to take life as its served to me! That said, a friend of mine read the birthday book to me and it was scarily accurate – like it had been written just for just me.
JM: Each planet has got its own stone – how did you match them up?
DJ: I treated it a bit like a painter’s pallette – matching the tones and textures naturally found in the stones with each distinctive planet.
JM: What’s your favourite piece?
DJ: I guess the one I will be wearing myself will be the Earth pendant – 10% of the sales from the Earth pieces are being donated to the wildlife conservation charity World Land Trust to protect our home planets most endangered eco systems and biodiversity.
JM: What does Astley Clarke under you look like? How are you shaking things up?
DJ: It looks fresh, it’s inclusive and with product that has care, detail and personality.
JM: Why did you choose Adwoa Aboah to be your Astley Clarke girl?
DJ: She has a confident personal style and the way she wears clothes and jewellery is her own. She’s completely democratic in what she wears mixing old and new, fine and contemporary; it’s that freedom that I think represents Astley Clarke..
JM: Have you always been about jewellery? What’s your first memory of it?
DJ: My grandma Hazel wears really nice jewellery and when I was little I used to pretend her jewellery box was pirate treasure, then my uncle had a long-term girlfriend that was a jeweller so it was in my head from a young age…
JM: What do you think about the way most people wear jewellery?
DJ: I think young people now mix a lot of old pieces together which is really fun, I think they wear so much vintage because there isn’t really a brand that makes jewellery with that sensitivity anymore – it’s all super modern looking in a way that losses the emotion jewellery used to have attached to it.
JM: Why should ladies be buying their own jewels?
DJ: Because it’s something beautiful that you can treasure, wear with pride, but unlike your shoes or handbag, that will wear out, you can pass it down to your children and grandchildren.
JM: What’s good design? What’s vulgar?
DJ: Good design is emotive, it tells a story and it becomes part of your story. Vulgar is bling – a big stone stolen from the earth immorally, shoved in a sparkly setting and costs millions of pounds to sit on one person’s finger.
JM: What’s coming up next at Astley Clarke?
DJ: More collections and a collaboration with Adwoa and Gurls Talk later this year.
by Jack Moss