The jeweller talks to Dazed Digital about his new collection and celebrity friends and fans
The British jeweller Dominic Jones has won many hearts with his fresh take on traditional hand craftsmanship. Although honoured by Anna Wintour and a five time winner of NEWGEN, his eponymous brand is still in its fledgling years, aged just three years old.
I think it has to be the mouth piece as it's probably the most surreal piece of jewellery I've made so far, it reminds me of the work Shaun Leane did in the early 00s for the McQueen catwalk shows
For SS13, Jones wants us to dress up with claw-like rings and metamorphic mouthpieces. He looked to the archives of Thierry Mugler and the metal work of Art Nouveau pioneer René Lalique for inspiration, which is apparent through the sculpted metal contours that seemingly bend and constrict around the body. We premiere Jones' SS13 film, catching up with the designer to learn more...
Dazed Digital: What is your favourite piece from your SS13 collection?
Dominic Jones: I think it has to be the mouth piece as it's probably the most surreal piece of jewellery I've made so far, it reminds me of the work Shaun Leane did in the early 00s for the McQueen catwalk shows. This was the first thing I ever saw jewellery-wise that really excited me. Beyond that I think it's also the purest form of my design hand, the curves, structure and flow of the piece really represent what I'm about. As an object on and off the body I think it has a real power as well as elegance.
DD: The pieces are hand-carved. How important is craftsmanship and the hand-made to you?
Dominic Jones: It's really important in terms of design as that is how I create. I don't really draw out my designs any more. The way I work is: I have a feeling of the aesthetic of the collection I want to make, I may have one or two of pieces already formed in my mind. Then, I just jump into carving while at the same time I'm building up a landscape of visual reference that guide my imagination while I physically realise the forms and structures of the pieces of the collection. If I wasn't skilled in making I would never be able to realise the work in the way that I do, as it is totally my vision and things always get lost in translation if you have to rely on others to create your designs. Also I think its my hand and my way of working that means that, although my collection each season are very different, the work is still recognisable as mine.
DD: You launched your range in 2009 and have already reached giddy heights of success. Would you like to have spent more time growing your business or does the quick nature of the fashion industry thrill you?
Dominic Jones: It's hard to answer that as this is the only business I've had and I guess I will only be able to answer that question properly in retrospect. But, I can say it's been a rollercoaster! It was really overwhelming that first year, I've had to work really, really, hard to ride the wave that was created. People don't realise when they think, "oh you know what I want is to be a designer..." You're not going to be just a designer for at least the first maybe 10 years! You're going to be a business owner and a boss, you're going to have to think about and deal with the production of your product, you're going to have to think about stockists – not just locally but internationally – payments, shipping, taxes. You're going to have start thinking about your work and company as a brand and how it's going grow and while maintaining the thing that made people fall in love with it, but also still keep it evolving, keep it exciting while being relevant, cool and directional. All of this is in constant growth and creation every six months forever. It’s daunting at times and completely overwhelming, but also really exciting and fulfilling!
But... when I launched in 2009 I didn't know my arse from my elbow so I had to do A LOT of learning. And fast!
DD: Celebrities have acted as ambassadors for your line. Do you find yourself designing with Beyoncé or Amanda Harlech in mind?
Dominic Jones: Not so much Beyoncé as, although I've met her, I don't know her on any personal level. But Amanda, Alice, Cara are all good friends of mine and because we have a similar mindset anyway, you can't help but have them in mind in some subconscious way. Though I don't try and make anything within the collections for an individual as that would be really limiting. And I don't think it is necessary.
Photographer: Alex Sainsbury
Film Edit: Ed Duffield
Art Director: Jonny Lu
Stylist: Victoria Young
Hair: Alex Brownsell
Make up: Lucy Bridge
Manicurist: Rebecca Jade Wilson
Model: Molly Smith @ Next