Alice Temperley and Annoushka Ducas have collaborated on a range of bridal jewellery. Alice Cairns finds out more.
It’s official: Alice Temperley and Annoushka Ducas have tied the knot. For years, these design icons have shared a gift for bringing out the boho beauty in their clients.
While Annoushka works in fine jewellery and Alice specialises in gowns, the pair are joint masters of the casual-luxe aesthetic that’s prized by brides everywhere.
Which is why the release of Annoushka x Temperley is big news. This new bridal jewellery collection is a true marriage of minds, a glittering range of non-traditional rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets driven by Alice and Annoushka’s shared vision of what a contemporary wedding should look like.
“People don’t come to Alice Temperley looking for a wedding dress” Alice tells me. “They come for a very beautiful white dress that they can wear for their wedding, and then keep on wearing, because it’s not overtly bridal. We wanted the same to be true of this collection: we wanted to create pieces that brides could stack up and wear in new ways, long after their big day!”
That meant that demure pearls or simple diamond studs (“quite twee” according to Alice) were out. Instead, Annoushka x Temperley is made up of surprising and versatile pieces: detachable earrings that can be worn as studs or drops; glittering disco rings studded with aquamarine and pearls; diamond chokers that can be accessorised with dangling charms.
“It was so important to us that these pieces should have movement” says Annoushka. “The way a piece of jewellery feels is just as important as the way it looks. When jewellery doesn’t move, it can feel very heavy, and you can spend the whole day thinking ‘I’ve got to get this off.’ These pieces have beautiful movement, which works so well with the fluidity of Alice’s dresses.”
And while this collection certainly has a contemporary feel, it doesn’t shun tradition entirely. The use of recycled gold not only protects the planet (“we don’t need to be digging up our world any more!” says Annoushka), but provides a bride with her ‘something old’. A tiny blue sapphire hidden on the backs of the earrings supplies the ‘something blue’.
“We also used doves, which are symbols of love, and pearls, which are symbols of purity,” explains Annoushka. “Jewellery is all about telling a story.”
At the centre of this story is the bride – in this case, a woman who loves to blend the contemporary with the traditional, and isn’t afraid to push boundaries on her big day. So which muse did the pair have in mind when designing the collection?
“Me!” say Alice and Annoushka at once.
“I always design for someone like me, who wears things with a little bit of edge” Alice explains. “If we were designing for someone who wasn’t anything like us, we’d be doing something quite weird!”
“It’s a completely authentic way to approach design, doing it for yourself” Annoushka agrees. “I don’t design anything that I wouldn’t wear myself – I really don’t. How selfish is that!”
On the topic of muses – as on so many things – Alice and Annoushka appear to be in total agreement. But though their collaboration may have been a match made in heaven, their union hasn’t been all wedded bliss.
“It was really interesting collaborating with Alice” Annoushka says. “Usually, there’s a bit of reluctance to upset someone, but that wasn’t the case here! At one point, Alice actually looked at what we had so far, and said ‘I don’t know what’s gone on here, but it’s dreadful.’ And it was! She was right. So I would say she pushed me to do things I wouldn’t have done on my own, and the collection is all the better for that.”
These (refreshingly honest) negotiations took place over Zoom, in the depths of the pandemic, at a time when most weddings were being postponed, cancelled, or drastically reduced. Luckily, Alice and Annoushka’s designs are perfect for an industry that’s bouncing back in new and exciting ways:
“Weddings will probably stay smaller and more individual” predicts Alice. “Dresses may be more toned down and casual. But the industry will always survive– weddings will always happen! Hopefully it’ll be nice for brides to come into the showroom and see a real collaboration, which is all about celebrating love in a beautiful, individual way!”
Annoushka Boutique, 41 Cadogan Gardens