For Dominic Jones and Lady Amanda Harlech, fine jewellery is so much more than superficial adornment. Whether it’s a silver amulet or a carved cuff, they believe that each piece should have a story, a function and when worn, become an intrinsic part of the body – like a precious second skin or metal heart. The debut collection for the British duo’s new jewellery venture, Harlot & Bones, was born out of this sentiment. Comprised of poison signet rings, embossed locket pendants and hinged bracelets that open to reveal hidden compartments, the line is bold, romantic and steeped in mysticism. Swoon.
Dominic Jones: I first met Amanda properly at London Fashion Week several years ago. She came over to talk to me about my crocodile amulet [laughs] and then we just kept bumping into each other at different occasions and got chatting and discovered that we actually really like each other.
Lady Amanda Harlech: Yes, we actually really, really like each other! I mean Dominic is one of the smartest most inspiring people I have ever met. So, it seemed natural to spend as much time with him as possible and then make something out of that.
Dominic Jones: The feeling is reciprocated completely.
Lady Amanda Harlech: Ha!
Dominic Jones: We have a natural bond that is true and genuine, and we both communicate really easily. Working together was actually suggested by a mutual friend that I had met up with in Paris, who I had been speaking to about the fact that I felt that I needed to do some sort of collaboration outside of my own work. He said, ‘what about Amanda,’ and we both jumped on the idea. It all started coming together quite quickly…
Lady Amanda Harlech: Yes, I remember we were both standing on a street in Paris feeling really excited about the whole thing and started talking about about a name, and in the end we just shifted our own names a little bit so ‘Jones’ became ‘Bones’ and ‘Harlech’ became ‘Harlot’. So that’s where it all began.
Dominic Jones: I think the starting point for this collection was more like a message of intent. It’s a collection that has depth and time, that’s modern and references all of the things that we find interesting, you know?
“In the end we just shifted our own names a little bit so ‘Jones’ became ‘Bones’ and ‘Harlech’ became ‘Harlot’. So that’s where it all began"
Lady Amanda Harlech: Yes, we loved the idea of a modern heirloom, something that will speak to you forever and that you will want to keep close – this was very important. We also both share a fascination for moths, beetles, insects, skeleton leaves…
Dominic Jones: Fragility…
Lady Amanda Harlech: Fragility, yes – the idea of pieces being ephemeral.
Dominic Jones: Yes, but that also having strength.
Lady Amanda Harlech: Like love, without getting too soppy about it.
Dominic Jones: Exactly. But, jewellery should also make you feel protected. All of the pieces in the collection have separate compartments because we felt that each piece should have a function, so it’s not just decoration. They can carry something that you want to put inside them and keep.
Lady Amanda Harlech: Like your heart. Something that has a hidden meaning. Maybe it’s an amulet that can protect you like a shield. Or perhaps it’s something that you can open up like a poison ring.
Dominic Jones: For me personally, the Harlot & Bones collection has more depth that what I create with my own jewellery line. It’s less about the objects and more about the wearer. A beautiful piece that has the opportunity to become part of their heart.
Lady Amanda Harlech: Yes, it’s all about what it means to the person.
Dominic Jones: We also wanted to put a modern spin on classic materials and framing, so that it looks old, but the structure of it is still contemporary. Plus, we used fabrics that as such aren’t really being used anymore, like marcasite.
Lady Amanda Harlech: So that each piece should be ageless, timeless.
Dominic Jones: Exactly.
"It’s less about the objects and more about the wearer. A beautiful piece that has the opportunity to become part of their heart"
Lady Amanda Harlech: Actually, it’s funny because working together on this collection didn’t feel like work at all.
Dominic Jones: Yes, it’s genuinely really pleasant. I love spending time with Amanda because we have completely different aesthetics. She has a unique viewpoint that’s a lot more sensitive, more detailed. She sees things in a way that I could never think of in my structured, sculptural mind.
Lady Amanda Harlech: And Dominic is an artist, a sculptor. His sense of space is extraordinary. He knows how to make pieces open and close in a really interesting way. It’s incredible that we have connected creatively on so many levels. Not just musically and visually, for me it’s something that I can’t get enough of. I almost feel as though I’ve been a bit blinded up until this point. So it’s great, it’s really special. In fact, I really wish we had a shared studio! That would be amazing. I live in Shropshire, which makes it a little more difficult. Dominic works out of his own studio but I visit whenever I can and hopefully someday we’ll share a space together.
Dominic Jones: Though we’re always sending each other little ideas by text or email, as friends do.
Lady Amanda Harlech: Yeah, it’s all very natural. I think we both wanted to achieve a collection that had a real meaning.
Dominic Jones: I hope we have achieved that. I mean, I couldn’t choose a favourite piece from the collection. When you’ve made something that’s so precious to you, it would be like having to choose a favourite child.
Lady Amanda Harlech: Yeah! I think all the pieces are so beautiful that I really long to wear each one. I would wear all of the lockets right now, probably all at the same time in fact. All of the pieces inform each other.
“Dominic is an artist, a sculptor. His sense of space is extraordinary. He knows how to make pieces open and close in a really interesting way"
Dominic Jones: It’s a very powerful collection in that respect. Nick Knight shot our first look book cover and I think his interpretation really reflects this power.
Lady Amanda Harlech: And the potency that will be unlocked by wearing it!
Dominic Jones: We really wanted to give Nick the freedom to just be Nick. It’s his vision of what we have created and it was his idea to ask Amanda’s daughter Tallulah to model. I remember him being really excited about the images…
Lady Amanda Harlech: Yes, he was ecstatic.
Dominic Jones: I mean, the whole collection was about the sharing of a vision. Making something, giving it to someone else and believe that they are going to do right with it.
Lady Amanda Harlech: Yes!
Dominic Jones: But, there wasn’t really ever a game plan.
Lady Amanda Harlech: Well, the first collection took us a long time.
Dominic Jones: But now that it’s done it will be easier to build the next collection. We haven’t started working on that just yet, but there are certain people that I always turn to for inspiration, like (Art Nouveau pioneer) René Lalique. I loved his work, the elegance and movement of his pieces was very special.
Lady Amanda Harlech: I think Queen Elizabeth I was pretty amazing and wore jewellery in a beautiful way, in a very modern way, given the time.
Dominic Jones: And (20s Italian muse) Marchesa Luisa Casarti is another jewellery icon of mine. There’s an image of her wearing a gold python collar necklace that always springs to mind.
Lady Amanda Harlech: Yes! I mean, really anyone who wears jewellery with joy and abandon. That’s the key.
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