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10 questions with Lily Gabriella

Global Blue’s online managing editor Kirsty Welsh speaks to jewellery designer Lily Gabriella to learn about all things jewellery-related and her favourite London restaurant and shopping highlights

Kirsty Welsh
Kirsty Welsh,

How did you get into jewellery design?
My grandmother has always had an eye for jewellery, but what has probably influenced me the most is her quest for perfection, her attention to detail and her knowledge of gemstones. I was always trying on my grandmother’s jewellery and studying it, paying close attention to the craftsmanship and design of the pieces.

I went on to study gemmology at the GIA, which led on to an amazing opportunity valuing jewellery at Christie’s in Geneva. While I was there, I was reintroduced to a family friend, jewellery designer Joel Arthur Rosenthal, who encouraged me to develop my own brand. I started creating bespoke commissions, but in 2011 I launched Lily Gabriella. I now have six collections with another two coming soon.

You are stocked in Kabiri in Marylebone and Harvey Nichols; do you have any other favourite London stores?
I love shopping in London’s department stores as they offer such amazing and diverse designers that you are always spoilt for choice.

Do you have any favourite eateries or shops in London?
I’m a foodie for want of a better word, and have been lucky enough to travel all over the world and try such different cuisines. So living in London is wonderful, it offers such brilliant and varied restaurants. I guess for a fun night out I would head to Park Chinois in Mayfair which offers Chinese food with live music playing. For Sunday brunch I would head to Chiltern Firehouse in Marylebone.

Which are the best-selling Lily Gabriella pieces?
Spira was one of the very first collections I designed and has become my signature; it comes in seven different precious gemstone colourways as well as four different plain gold versions. However, the Love Me collection, which includes ear cuffs and choker necklaces featuring a series of quirky phrases, has fast become a favourite. Maybe people are looking to be more playful with their jewellery nowadays.

Which is your favourite of your designs?
All the collections are quite special to me as they all have a different aesthetic and a different inspiration behind them. In terms of bespoke, I have created pieces that were meant to celebrate a milestone or a special moment in someone’s life, so those are pieces I take to heart as I know how much they mean to my client. I love to wear my rose gold and diamond Ouh Lala ear cuff when I’m out in London as I always get so many compliments and questions about it. It feels great to let people know they can get their own, in whatever colour gold they like, with or without the gemstones.

Who would you like to see wearing your designs?
I want to see independent, culturally diverse women wearing my jewellery – women with a discerning eye who dare to be bold and empowered by their own style.

Which are the most treasured pieces in your wardrobe?
One of my most treasured items in my wardrobe is my very first couture dress, which I wore to a black-tie event – a black silk organza Empire line evening dress with hundreds of embroidered white camellias that I know took many hours to make. I appreciate the craftsmanship behind making it extra special, and the result is simply stunning.

Where are your top travel destinations for design inspiration?
Each of my current collections has been inspired by different parts of the world. I think that’s why their aesthetic is very different. For instance, the Damali collection that I launched in December was inspired by the artwork, architecture and spiritual energy of the Middle East region, while Spira was inspired by the tribal jewellery of the indigenous tribes of South America.

What’s next for Lily Gabriella?
I’m working on two new collections, one of which is going to be unisex. I often get comments from male friends and colleagues that there isn’t much choice out there when it comes to men’s jewellery, so I’m hoping to change that.



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