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Sucking Lemons is the jewellery label jazzing up your resting bitch face

From supersized pearl bracelets to chunky, sculptural rings and kitschy, the recently-launched jewellery brand spotlights independent designers re-imagining accessories as wearable art

“Jewellery can be chic and timeless, but it can be fun too,” Finn Atkins, founder of jewellery retailer Sucking Lemons, explains. With a name originally coined as a fuck you to men who made fun of her “resting bitch face”, the retailer spotlights independent designers transforming traditional accessories into imaginative, wearable art. Think supersized pearl bracelets, chunky, sculptural rings, kitschy smiley-face bracelets and swirling asymmetric earrings and you’ve pretty much got the idea.

Although Sucking Lemons officially launched in December, Atkins has been working with jewellery since 2012 when she launched her own independent jewellery label after studying silver soldering and design at Nottingham Trent University. “The practical side of soldering and the attention to detail needed wasn’t for me, but I still love jewellery,” she explains. “I wanted to create a boutique that spotlights the other independent designers out there.” 

Now, Sucking Lemons boasts an impressive roster of next-gen designers, all of whom rail against traditional notions of what jewellery should look like. Just a few names on the line-up include Barcelona-based designer Cristina Junquero, French jeweller Selda Gunduz’s label Pearly & More, German-Brazilian creative Carolina De Barros, and London-based Rachel Shaw’s brand Ruifier.

“Cristina Junquero is one of my favourite designers ever,” says Atkins. The designer’s mother owned a small jewellery shop in Chipiona, Cadiz in the 1970s, with Junquero growing up to establish her own line of Andalusian-inspired pieces. Each one merges childhood memories of religion with humour and playfulness, with the result all the more enticing because of how personal it is. Completely hand-made using wax moulds and recycled gold, her work features smiling Camafeo medallions, flower-shaped pearl earrings, and statement rings. “It encapsulates everything I want Sucking Lemons to be about,” Atkins continues.

Meanwhile, Gunduz’s Pearly & More stacks together oversized pearls with bright blue jade beads, coral gemstones, and black onyx – all inspired by the excitement of a child wearing their mother’s jewellery. Here, baroque pearls come knobbly and mis-shapen, the irregular beauty of Gunduz’s jewellery offsetting it from classic, clean pearl designs. 

“The bigger and bolder, the better... I love nothing more than slicked back hair with big earrings” - Finn Atkins

Similarly, Carolina De Barros distorts traditional jewellery shapes into glistening, wearable sculptures, each one inspired by textures found in nature, as well as her Brazilian roots. Stand-out pieces include the Perla I ring, which draws inspiration from the way that water and wind can erode a rock formation, and the Alga earrings, which are modelled into spiralling, mis-matched lines to represent the asymmetric movement of algae at the bottom of the ocean. Elsewhere, Shaw’s Ruifier plays into Y2K nostalgia – celebrating the “fun side” of jewellery with its colourful, slide-on smiley face bracelets.

“The bigger and bolder, the better,” says Atkins, who seeks out a combination of timeless and more artistic, over-the-top pieces for her own jewellery collection. “My style varies from quite sporty to quite smart, and I love nothing more than slicked back hair with big earrings.” She adds: “[I’m] loving my new Chopova Lowena bunny earrings!”

With plans to introduce a new designer in the next few weeks and a collaboration with a London-based jeweller coming this summer, Atkins hopes to draw attention to the sense of identity that jewellery can bring its wearers – an idea that she feels is often overlooked in fashion. “Sucking Lemons focuses on changing this by celebrating individuality in all its forms,” the brand's website states. To get your hands on your own statement pieces, visit Sucking Lemons here.