Former Creative Director at French jewellery house Boucheron, Solange Azagury-Partridge, is now owner of her namesake label and one of the most well-recognised fine jewellers in the UK today. She takes an innovative, eclectic approach to design and experiments with precious stones and materials as well as a kaleidoscope of colour and shapes. Here, we look a little closer at her work and career to date to get you up to speed on one of London’s most sought-after jewellery labels.
Born, raised and still residing in West London today, it seemed only right that Solange Azagury-Partridge should open her first boutique in Westbourne Grove back in 1995. At the time, her business was small, launched after the success of her first piece – her own engagement ring. It’s an undoubtedly striking piece, comprised of a rough diamond left almost exactly in its natural state and placed atop a silver band. People who saw the ring were taken with its uniqueness – it offered something a little less classic to that of other jewellers, and thus started her commissions.
In 2010, Azagury-Partridge opened her flagship London store on Bond Street in Mayfair, a prestigious location perfectly befitting for its inhabitant. The interiors reflect the whimsical, other-worldly approach that continues throughout the label’s aesthetic and every piece of furniture found behind its doors has been hand-picked by the artist herself. The personal touch doesn’t stop there. Now boasting locations in New York and Hong Kong as well as in London, the designer pays annual visits to each store and hosts intimate dinners with her top customers – a true sign of a business owner who is as close to her client base as she still is to her collections. After all, fine jewellery is a very personal investment.
Perhaps that’s why Azagury-Partridge has garnered such a loyal and iconic celebrity following over the years? Emma Watson, Sienna Miller and Thandie Newton have been known to own and wear pieces from her collections and her work appeared in the films; Sex and The City 2 and Snow White & the Huntsman.
When it comes to making jewellery, Azagury-Partridge takes a unique approach which coincides nicely with the individuality of each collection. The process starts with sketches of an item from multiple angles before a mock-up model is made to check scale and dimensions and then finally, the design is crafted from precious metals and gemstones. She claims not to place too much focus on stones within her work, concentrating instead on the architecture of each design and adding the gems at the end. But is that so surprising when you take into account the architectural elements of each collection? Fine jewellery, it certainly is, but not as we know it.
Singature pieces include the Hotlips rings which take a Pop Art-inspired approach to decorative design but there are so many elements that make up the Solange Azagury-Partridge collections that there’s really no way to summarise her overall aesthetic. Unless, of course, you use sweeping descriptors such as eclectic and innovative… One thing’s for sure – keeping the customer guessing is exactly what she does best. For now, there’s a stunning interpretation of nature that sits under the Supernatural collection – a series of fine lines and sharp corners that mimic lightening and icicles in equal measure and a colourful, statement series of items embody Black Rainbow. Variety considered, it’s no surprise that her work has been showcased in both the V&A and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs – a true acknowledgement that it’s as much a work of art as it is an item to be worn.
Discover the current Solange Azagury-Partridge collection here.