AN INTERVIEW WITH JEWELLERY DESIGNER LULU KACHOO
The wedding journey begins that moment your loved one pops the question. Those beautiful words, a romantic proposal, and a gorgeous sparkler! Lamare London were delighted to meet with the absolutely fabulous jewellery designer Lulu from Lulu Kachoo over Americano coffees to talk about her work as well as trends in jewellery and design.
What emerging trends have you noticed for engagement ring styles? Although the classic solitaire is still incredibly popular and will never go out of fashion, men are becoming a lot more inventive when it comes to designing an engagement ring and are using different shapes and styles, as they want to design something unique.
There is also an emerging trend to play with different metals: rose gold in particular, which is a very good metal to use as it's extremely hard wearing and looks beautiful against a diamond. Platinum, however, is still the most popular choice. With its deep lustre, it is the perfect metal to offset the brilliance of a diamond. It is also the strongest metal and there is no need for rhodium plating to keep its colour, as you would with white gold.
The hottest emerging trend of all has been the return to coloured gem stones. This has been really popular amongst celebrities recently. In fact, coloured gem stones are not something new in royal circles, they have been around for generations and it is because of Kate Middleton's blue sapphire engagement ring (once Diana's) that we have seen a resurgence of interest. Of course you should stay away from soft stones, such as topaz, but sapphires comes in a variety of colours and are the next hardest gem stone after a diamond.
I think a lot of the recent trends are down to knowing what is available, which is why it's important for me to educate my customer as much as possible. Finally, another recent trend is combining the antique/vintage look with something that is fashionable and current so your design remains timeless. This is my favourite look.
Do you have a personal source of inspiration when designing jewellery? My inspiration comes from many sources, art, photography, films, books, exhibitions, and travel. Last year I visited the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, which is a beautiful medieval bridge draped in jewellery shops. This has been a huge influence on me recently and inspired me to combine traditional with modern jewellery giving traditional a 'cool' edge.
What is your advice to men wanting to design an engagement ring? Be inventive, take time to look around at different designs and buy something you love, aside from it being a fantastic investment this is something that will be with you forever. Be aware of how your girlfriend dresses, is she traditional or would she prefer a modern look. Ask your jeweller about coloured stones, if you want to use diamonds why not combine the two?
How do you advise brides to keep their ring looking sparkly? I have my ring polished at the workshop professionally which is a perk of the job, but it's important not to do this too much as it can wear down the ring. A very simple and effective way is to boil the kettle and once the water has cooled down a little, add washing up liquid and using a very small soft toothbrush (a child's one is always good) brush it from the back so you can get into the back of the stone.
What should brides and grooms consider when selecting their wedding bands? A lot of brides come to me initially wanting a simple platinum/gold band as they don't want to deter away from their engagement ring. However I think it should be more about complementing your fabulous sparkler and there are many delicate diamond bands that look stunning against any engagement ring. My favourite is the 'fish tail' setting, which allows more light into every stone and is so beautifully intricate. If you do want a plain gold band I would make sure you ask about all the different options available. Most men are not used to wearing any jewellery so a ring that is courted inside is the most comfortable and is a good choice. I have done a lot of 'brushed' platinum wedding bands for men, this is a very elegant style. It is not as shiny as normal platinum and is a more discreet style of band.
ABOUT LULU KACHOO: Lulu grew up in the jewellery industry and from a young age has been fascinated by the vibrancy of precious and semi-precious gemstones and the intricacy of handmade jewellery. She spent a number of years working for luxury jewellery firms in Mayfair until she joined the family jewellery business, designing bespoke jewellery. Lulu’s vision has always been to create a timeless and effortlessly chic British brand.
Lulu works very closely with each client to make sure every piece of jewellery has been tailored to meet their style. At Lulu Kachoo we do not compromise on quality. Each piece is handmade and carefully crafted using precious metals. Our supremely skilled craftsmen are trained to the highest level and have received some of the most prestigious accolades obtainable. Lulu will bring your vision to life. Working with your choice of stones, materials and designs we can make a one-off piece making you stand out from the crowd. From the finest sapphires to the most exquisite rubies we work with some of the most stunning gemstones around the world. Lulu Kachoo will re-design, restore and remake jewellery, inspiring you to make something special.