Sunday, 29 July 2012

Goldsmiths' Fair 2012

Pearl ring by Leyla AbdollahiWeek One: Monday 24 to Sunday 30 September (closed Monday 1 October)
Week Two: Tuesday 2 to Sunday 7 October
At Goldsmiths’ Hall

Admission by catalogue purchasable on the door
£7 for one week - £12 for two weeks

This autumn the annual Goldsmiths’ Fair momentously celebrates its 30th Anniversary!

While a 60th anniversary is associated with diamonds, 30 years are commemorated with pearls – spherical beads, made up of lustrous layers of minute crystals of calcium carbonate that develop in the living tissue of an oyster into exquisite natural jewels.

Rather like the pearl, over the past three decades Goldsmiths’ Fair has evolved into what is now universally regarded as one of the gems in the contemporary design calendar, beloved by designer-makers and collectors alike.

The first Goldsmiths’ Fair took place in 1983 and is now the most visual and high profile way in which the Goldsmiths’ Company supports its trade, something it has been doing for more than 700 years. With a considerable national and international following, the Fair today is the ultimate show-case of what is up-to-the-minute in the world of contemporary jewellery and silver, demonstrating stylish, innovative design, combined with high quality workmanship.

Over a period of two weeks 180 jewellers and silversmiths present – in person – their latest designs and collections to an ever-expanding, appreciative audience. There is jewellery and silver for every occasion and in a wide variety of styles and permeations – each piece reflecting the unique creativity and artistic personality of the individual designer-maker working in precious metal.

Aside from the incredible range of exciting jewellery and silver, one of the particularly special aspects of the Fair is being able to meet the designers themselves. This gives an insight into the whole making process from start to finish – something which is rarely achievable when buying off the peg from a shop. The whole experience is therefore more personal and comes with added value, while commissioning a new piece takes the whole process to an even more intimate and satisfying level.

Jewellery at Goldsmiths’ Fair ranges from breathtaking red-carpet creations by jewellers such as Ingo Henn, Alison Bradley, Lilly Hastedt and David Marshall, set with exquisite gemstones, to the quirky silver jewels inspired by microscopic cell life by Sarah Parker-Eaton and the flamboyant encrusted statement jewels of recent graduate Maud Traon.

Appropriately in the year of the Fair’s “Pearl” Anniversary there is an abundance of these beautiful, iridescent beads from the classic creations of Eric N Smith and Jane Sarginson, as well as less traditional but equally exciting pearl jewellery by Catherine Mannheim, Yen, Ornella Iannuzzi, Jesper Velling and Jane Adam. Two other jewellers Mikala Djorup and Josef Koppmann are using unusual faceted pearls.

The silversmiths similarly employ their considerable skills to provide a huge variety of different objects demonstrating Britain’s pre-eminent status in the field of contemporary silversmithing. There is a huge range of practical, yet simultaneously stylish silver such as jugs from Graham Stewart, sauce-boats from Brett Payne, ladles by Rauni Higson, to pieces which serve simply to decorate and highlight the preciousness of the metal. For example an exquisite, silver box by Adrian Hope opens up to reveal a gilded tree. Or there is Vladimir Böhm’s almost subversive treatment of silver where he moulds a sculptural form in wax which is then cast and the resulting highly fluid, sculptural silver form is brushed with liver of sulphur to create a dark, edgy patina that is far removed from the expected traditional look of shiny silver.

From its start 30 years ago, Goldsmiths’ Fair has not only been a platform for the most acclaimed independent designer-makers on the scene but has reached out to find exciting, emerging young talent. This year is no different. Ten graduate designers – five in each week – have been given free stands to exhibit their work to the discerning audience that attends the Fair. The contacts, relationships, knowledge – and best of all, the sales – made during the Fair are invaluable and provide these young graduates with a major boost at a critical moment in their careers. This is another way the Goldsmiths’ Company supports and fosters the development of young craftspeople. And who knows which of these bright young stars will turn out to be the next Stephen Webster or Malcolm Betts who both started their careers at Goldsmiths’ Fair. This year’s graduates include: Stacey Bentley (jeweller), Barbara Macleod (jeweller), Katie Roberts (jeweller), Kerry Seaton (jeweller), Maud Traon (jeweller), Petra Kapralova (silversmith), Jack Row (silversmith), Lee Simmons (silversmith), Louise Walker (silversmith) and MaxWarren (silversmith).

No one visiting the Fair can fail to be impressed at the sheer breadth of variety, talent and superlative craftsmanship on display. Thirty years on Goldsmiths’ Fair is still scaling new creative heights of excellence.:

 • The 30th annual Goldsmiths’ Fair (first Fair took place in 1983).
• A selling exhibition open to the public and trade.
• 90 exhibitors each week (jewellers and silversmiths).
• 115 jewellers and 63 silversmiths.
• All the exhibitors are vetted by the Goldsmiths’ Company.
• 10 recent graduates have been granted a stand, a bullion loan and £1,500 cash by the Goldsmiths’ Company. This years graduates include:

Stacey Bentley (jeweller), Barbara Macleod (jeweller), Katie Roberts (jeweller), Kerry Seaton (jeweller), Maud Traon (jeweller), Petra Kapralova (silversmith), Jack Row (silversmith), Lee Simmons (silversmith), Louise Walker (silversmith) and MaxWarren (silversmith).
• Prices at the Fair range from around GBP 60 to GBP16,000.
• All the silver and precious metal jewellery is hallmarked by one of the four UK Assay Offices.
• Goldsmiths’ Fair is financially subsidised by the Goldsmiths’ Company, itself a charity, but takes no commission from the sales.

Week One: 24 September – 30 September
Closed October 1 for change over of exhibitors
Week Two: 2 October – 7 October


11am – 7pm Monday – Friday (last admission half an hour before closing)
10am – 6pm Saturday and Sunday (last admission half an hour before closing)


Entrance by catalogue purchasable on the door (£7 for one week, £12 for two weeks)


Goldsmiths’ Hall,
Foster Lane,
London EC2V 6BN
Tel: 020 7606 7010

Licensed Café on site offering drinks and delicious food throughout the day

St Paul’s, Mansion House, Barbican, Bank, Blackfriars

8, 11, 25, 100, 242, 56, 521

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Hotter Shoes reveals uncomfortable shoes cost UK women £2.5 billion per year

Women across the UK are frittering away £2.5 billion each year on uncomfortable shoes they rarely wear a new study has revealed.

The average woman in the UK spends £136.52 on five new pairs of shoes every year, at a cost of £27.40 each. Instead of investing wisely in shoes they can wear more than once, three out of the five pairs of women's shoes end up at the bottom of the wardrobe having only been worn once or twice, because they hurt the wearer's feet.

The research, commissioned by shoe specialist Hotter Comfort Concept, also revealed that 40% of the 1000 women questioned admitted to choosing their shoes purely for how they looked and not how they felt on their feet.

Lisa McCarten from Hotter, said: "Shoes really can change your life: they have an impact on the health of your feet, can influence how you feel and play a significant part in how much you enjoy your day. Not only do uncomfortable shoes make for a bad day today, squeezing your toes into ill-fitting footwear can also damage your feet causing pain and discomfort in later life."

Worryingly almost a third of women (28%) who have tried on shoes and know that they will be uncomfortable, still purchase them as they can't resist how they look.

Lisa continued: "We all want to look our best, keep up with our busy lives and have fun; stylish comfy shoes are an essential part of the modern woman's wardrobe to help her tackle all three."

62% of women revealed that they spend at least one day a week wearing uncomfortable shoes with 48% hoping to wear them in until their feet get used to them.

More than half of women (53%) will keep uncomfortable shoes for up to a year before giving up on them and throwing them away despite only wearing them once.

They also revealed that they own at least four pairs of shoes just to be worn when sitting down or 'Dinner Shoes' that look amazing but are very painful to walk in.

Regionally, women in Chelmsford buy the most shoes, purchasing on average seven new pairs a year whereas women in Leicester buy the least purchasing just four pairs every year.

Women in Worcester buy the most uncomfortable shoes admitting that 70% of their shoe collection has only been worn once, whereas women in Cambridge are the most comfort savvy revealing that just 20% of their collection has been worn only once.

To assist with the problem of uncomfortable shoes, Hotter's website offers a handy shoe fitting guide, allowing customers to ensure their shoes will fit just right.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Topman releases denim style guide

Topman has revealed the 'Denim Room', a new, comprehensive online denim style guide, featuring a lookbook which showcases on-trend ways to wear the fabric as well as a guide to washes, fits and details, and a size guide.

The lookbook includes edgy fashion shots showing customers how to wear denim this season, with stunning photography that complements Topman's on-the-pulse approach to men's fashion.

The Washes section of the guide offers an insight into popular denim washes this season, with details on how different washes are created, and what kind of style customers can create by wearing them. This season, customers can find naturally aged vintage washes, black and grey washes and coloured washes, as well as raw denim and indigo men's jeans.

The Fit section details what consumers can expect from each denim style so they can decide what fit would suit them best. This season, Topman is showcasing a range of slim and skinny jeans, including traditional skinny fit jeans with roll ups, the stretched skinny fit, classic slim jeans, tapering at the hems and the super skinny spray on fit in figure hugging denim.

The Details section provides detailed information about different aspects of jeans, such as creasing, dyeing processes or rivets. This section will assist customers in understanding every design element of their jeans, and help them choose which ones they like best.

The Size Guide provides detailed information about how to measure jeans. The guide shows key measurement points that are used to create different denim fits and where each size swill fit on different parts of the body so the customer can make an informed decision and allowing them to order the right size first time round.

The 'Denim Room' also offers a sneak preview of the Premium Denim range coming soon to Topman. The range will cater to all fit types and will feature premium fabrics coupled with the finest metalwork.

Gracia Amico, Head of Ecommerce said: "It's the ultimate destination to find out all there is to know about Topman jeans. We're providing our customers with the tools to make the right decision for them, from our washes right down to the differing thigh measurements between styles."

Sunday, 8 July 2012

pHenomenal - Vita Liberata launch first range containing solely non-toxic ingredients and lasts 2-3 weeks

Vita Liberata pHenomenal Tanning MoussesIt sold out on and at Debenhams this week and sales have remained sky high throughout the week. Firmly established as the tan brand of choice on many red carpets, Vita Liberata pHenomenal is the world’s first 2-3 week tan and the Vita Liberata range is the only tanning range that contains solely non-toxic ingredients and contains no alcohol, perfume or parabens.
Developed by Founder and CEO, Alyson Hogg with one of the world’s foremost chemists, their mission was to create a tan that lasted 4 times longer than any other tanning products on the market, was highly moisturising and nourishing (great for sensitive skin types) and more importantly, packed with natural safe ingredients that don’t appear on the toxic list.

Found and CEO, Alyson Hogg says “Unlike many of the brands I have come across, we are proud to say our Vita Liberata formulas contain none of the so-called ‘toxic’ ingredients that are widely used by some of the biggest beauty brands. Neither do the products contain alcohol, perfumes or parabens, but they do contain a unique moisture lock system that brings water molecules to the skin’s surface and keeps it there. “

80% organic, odourless and lasting 2 – 3 weeks, the new pHenomenal Tanning Mousse range incorporates brand new technology (pHeno2) that works alongside the traditional active tanning ingredient DHA to ensure the formula takes to the skin in a way regular self tans can’t. Enhanced with a unique moisture-lock complex©, which dramatically enhances the skin's ability to maintain a perfect moisture balance, which helps maintain the coverage of the tan, ensuring an even fade after the 2-3 week period. pHenomenal is also packed with the same nourishing natural extracts as other Vita Liberata tans, such as silk proteins, seaweed and ylang ylang. Choose from light, medium or dark.

The pHenomenal Tanning Mousse £37.50 with free Mitt is available now from Debenhams stores nationwide, Boots stores nationwide and, House of Fraser and Gordons Chemists.

Bish Bosh Becca’s new charm

Exclusive jewellery designer Bish Bosh Becca is launching a new charm bracelets range that combines a golden chain and charms with black or white fresh water pearls.

This affordable bracelet is the ideal accessory for every occasion, from a dress down outing to your wedding day, when just a little bit of glamour is required to complete your perfect look.

When it comes to choosing your favourite mix of pearls and golden charms the choice is yours. white pearls will give that timeless classic look. For those who like to indulge their 'darker' side, the black pearl and golden charms will give you a sophisticated combination.

The eclectic mix of gold plated and gold coloured charms include: hearts; stars; fish; skulls; peace sign; fairies and doves. Each charm can be individually mixed and matched or moved around, as they all come with small lobster trigger clasps that attach to the bracelet. You can buy these individually or buy the whole collection of nine charms at a reduced price. Wear the charms that reflect your mood!

If you thought freshwater pearls were out of your price range, think again. The basic version of the bracelet includes a dragonfly and pearl charm for only £27. Additional charms can be purchased from £2 each.

To match your brand new bracelet you might want to have a look at their fabulous range of pearl jewellery which includes:

rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces and pendants

Bish Bosh Becca also has a range of jewellery in miniature just for little girls. Their children’s jewellery makes a special present for a little princess. They are also the perfect gifts at Christenings, birthdays, or as a thank you to flower girls.

Bish Bosh Becca has a collection of unique and affordable jewellery featuring sterling silver, gemstones and freshwater pearls. Each piece is made by hand in Somerset by designer/maker Sarah-Jane Hill.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Hunter wins New Footwear Product of the Year at Shooting Industry awards

Hunter’s Balmoral Hawksworth shooting boots received the prestigious ‘New Footwear Product of the Year’ award at the recent IPC Shooting Industry awards. Competition was tough with leading field sports brands competing for the title. The Hawksworth stood out with its combination of classic design and modern technology.

These innovative shooting boots use an original time-served Hunter design as the base, complemented by new technology including Sympatex® lining and rugged tread for a style that looks smart, gives great ankle support and lasts well.

Thanks to the lining, the shooting boots are waterproof, breathable, and comfortable for day-long wear. Their Balmoral multi-layer outsole with multi-directional cleats offers excellent traction and mud release in all conditions. Pull tabs allow the wearer to remove the boots with ease.

"Hunter Balmoral Hawksworth boots really are the business. You can walk in them all day long," said one of the judges of his decision to award the footwear.

“The recognition from the industry that Hunter is continuing to develop and pioneer is very rewarding for us. Hunter continues to be "outstanding in every field”, and without doubt offers the best boots for the serious field sports enthusiast,” commented Chris Dewbury, Sales Director at Hunter.

The Balmoral Hawksworth combines tumbled and full grain leathers. It features a unique multi-layer outsole, and a mud-guard that forms a protective barrier around the side of the foot, providing excellent protection against wear and tear.

Two sets of shock absorbing insoles allow the wearer to vary the fit, making the shooting boots ideal for those who want optimum durability and exceptional comfort in the field.

The Balmoral Hawksworth is available in sizes 8 – 14. RRP £285.

Love Is Dating - New Online Dating Site Aims To Bring People Together

Brand new dating website Love Is Dating launches this week with the aim of bringing together more UK couples. Love Is Dating is celebrating the launch with a free prize draw to win a GBP50 luxury gift hamper.

"Love Is Togetherness. Let Love Is Dating bring you together," says Love Is Dating marketing spokesperson Karen Barr.

This month sees the public launch of a new online dating website aimed specifically at the UK market, Love Is Dating. The launch will be supported by media advertising campaigns along with strong social media involvement and a celebratory competition to win a luxury gift hamper for one lucky member.

It's estimated that the UK now has around 15 millions single adults, and Love Is Dating aims to capture all of them. "We believe the right relationship makes you happy," says a spokesperson for Love Is Dating. "And everyone needs a little happiness in their lives."

Love Is Dating offers a free signup for everyone, and the ability to upload photos and bio information, and search for other members based on a number of criteria.

"Choice is everything when you're looking for the right partner, and we already have a database of over 2 million singles in the UK who are looking for the right partner. Your ideal match could already be signed up and waiting for you to join!"

Over the last decade, online dating has gone from being something that was frowned on or considered a little kooky or even dangerous, to something that the majority of people would now consider as a relatively normal way to meet a partner. In fact, a recent survey by the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) revealed that over a third of us have tried online dating, with users in their 40s and above being the most likely to have signed up at a dating website.

For women in particular, the attractions of online dating often revolve around security issues and intentional dating rather than leaving things to chance. Whereas younger people are more likely to take an attitude of "I'll meet someone at some point", older people are far more focussed on finding a partner through actively going out and looking, rather than passively waiting for a potential mate to appear in their life.

The rise of online dating in the UK appears a trend which is likely to continue building over the next few years, as more and more people meet their partners through this medium and success stories continue to come out.

"Ten years ago, if you told someone that you met your partner online, you would often be the recipient of a shocked look or some rather prurient questions," said Ms Barr. "But as the internet has become so much more a part of people's lives, internet dating has lost that sort of nerdy or seedy aura that it used to have and is now accepted as a very efficient and safe way to meet potential partners. In another ten years' time we might all be asking not "How did you meet?" but "So what site did you meet on?" And we'd like to think that a large proportion of the answers will be that they met their partner on Love Is Dating."

Visit Love Is Dating at