We asked Chrissie, our designer, Asia and Philly a few questions about themselves to find out their personal tastes and styles.
Born and brought up in Mexico, as the daughter of two well-known British artists I was exposed from birth to creativity and the discipline of good design. I learnt from an early age the vital role of mixing colour, light and texture to achieve an effect that is pleasing to the eye. At the age of 28 having already fallen in love with the lustre of pearls I decided to specialize in them.
I first came across the diversity of pearls while living in Hong Kong and travelling extensively through Malaysia, Thailand, Burma, India, China, Cambodia and Vietnam. On my return to London my passion for pearls led me to create eclectic pearl jewellery designs; I was acclaimed the “Pearl Queen” by Lucia van der Post in the “How to Spend it” section of the Financial Times. This was a huge springboard for me. The article fostered recognition by many stockists worldwide and gave me the platform to share my passion for the quality, beauty and history of pearls with audiences around the world.
I love the challenge of addressing audiences from the GIA and the Gemmological Association in London, or selected guests at the V&A Museum, members of the Relais and Chateaux group or small groups at our Knightsbridge showroom. At these showroom talks various topics are discussed including the different types of pearls that
exist, how they are formed, how to choose them to suit you and how to look after them to preserve your investment, it gives me great joy to share my love for pearls.
I also find great delight and artistic expression in creating classic and unusual pearl jewellery designs. The part I enjoy most is to match each woman to her perfect pearl colour and shape, as this will have the effect of lighting up her face by enhancing her natural beauty. My favourite pastime as a child was looking through books of different costumes throughout the ages, which lead me to appreciate adornment within fashion. My “style icon era” goes from the Edwardian period to the 1920’s. The two women whose style I most admire are Grace Kelly and Coco Chanel. Grace Kelly had all the hallmarks of understated elegance and style, and I share Coco Chanel’s passion for pearls and her non-conformist attitude to wearing them.
I love London and love great food, for a special treat I have breakfast at Nopi or the Wolseley. My favourite cuisine is good organic Mexican food as served in Mestizo and La Taqueria, I also adore Thai food, Dim Sum and gastronomic Indian food which I have found in Amaya situated in Knightsbridge close to our London showroom. My favourite meal is English Tea with all the trimmings and I enjoy the tea served at The Capital in Basil Street, dangerously close to our showroom, as well as tea at Fortnum & Mason.
My favourite getaway is La Collina del Sole in Italy, where I enjoy angel hair pasta with shaved black truffles from a fabulous restaurant hidden in the Carrara marble hills in Tuscany. We have visited La Collina del Sole several times since our children were born. Another favourite haunt is Las Mañanitas Hotel in Mexico where I have stayed at while visiting family.
When in London I love visiting the V&A, The Wallace Collection and walking around different parts of the city exploring the many different “villages within”. I also adore Spa’s, one of my favourites is at the Grove Hotel near Watford, and for a real treat the SPA at the Jungfrau Victoria in Interlaken is exceptional. My favourite pastime is walking around cities, Florence in Italy is delightful. I love drinking in refined Latin culture in its beautiful sepia tinted light, I love visiting San Miniato, the Medici Chapel in San Lorenzo, San Marco and Santa Maria Novella which are all full of treasures with few tourists. The Gelateria dei Neri is a must for gelato lovers. Here are a few sites of places, goodies and treats that I like. My favourite time of year is late autumn as I gently collect Christmas stocking presents over a couple of months.
I find great joy in working at the Coleman Douglas Pearls showroom at 42 Beauchamp Place in Knightsbridge, London. I love meeting each client and working alongside them to find the perfect pearls and design to suit each occasion. The process is so enjoyable that we quite often become great friends, I am honoured that we have become the “Family Jeweller” for many of our clients. In fact I would say I have my dream job ; meeting interesting people, surrounded by naturally beautiful jewels in a calm atmosphere full of daylight and colour, my parents would be proud to see the wonderful creativity that makes me jump out of bed in the morning.
For my top 3 Coleman Douglas Pearls designs: now THAT is a tough one! Having designed most of them it is like choosing between children … impossible! But I would say that based on what I wear most of the time, definitely my Happy Necklace, the Tahitian Pearl and Sapphire Bracelet, and my diamond and pearl Huggy earrings.
I was born in Poland and moved to London with my husband several years ago.
My style icon is most definitely Audrey Hepburn. I love her elegant yet playful style, and who doesn't love her in the film 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'!
When it comes to favourite restaurants it’s hard to pin point one in particular, although I do enjoy going to La Lanterna, a wonderful small Italian restaurant near my home. You are always greeted like a long lost friend and the food is delicious particularly their seafood dishes.
My top 3 CDP designs are:
Spain would have to be my top holiday destination, particularly Barcelona for its architecture, food and of course the wonderful Spanish hospitality.
My favourite season is easy, Summer! I really enjoy the heat and colour of this season. Also around this time of year I usually go and visit my family and friends back home.
At the weekends I enjoy spending time with my husband and young son, as well as going to the park and seeing friends.
My love of London started as soon as I was born in St Thomas’s Hospital. The buzz and multi-cultural community makes this city so vibrant.
My Style Icon is Mary Quant with a hint of Elizabeth Taylor! I think Mary Quant’s cutting edge style is fantastic, but Elizabeth Taylor’s jewellery collection...well who wouldn’t want it!
I love dining out, so trying to choose one restaurant in particular is difficult. I suppose at the moment it would be La Barbe for supper, a superb French restaurant, and Fortnum and Masons for their Champagne Tea.
The V&A and Natural History Museum are my favourite museums. The architecture is beautiful, especially when they light up the buildings at night and place an ice-rink outside at Christmas.
My top 3 CDP designs are:
Thailand would be my top holiday destination. The rich colours are a feast for your eyes and the locals are so welcoming. I highly recommend going to the floating market as it is a hive of activity with ‘punts’ towered high with fresh fruit and the whole river packed with boats.
It’s hard to pick one season in particular but if I had to, then I’d say early Spring, as I love going skiing. The weather is getting warmer, flowers are beginning to come out and it is my birthday!