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The family jewels

The family jewels

Where ethically conscientious clothing goes, accessories must follow. In this regard, there’s no more appropriate jewellery designer than Sophie Harley, whose upcycled pieces will do justice to even the most principled outfits.

Harley started her upcycling service as a mere addition to her luxury, bespoke jewellery line (where each piece is made in England) to help clients who were presenting her with jewellery that they hadn’t worn in years or family heirlooms. They wanted to keep something of the existing piece but to make it more contemporary, creative and relevant.

And so that’s what Harley offers clients. First she questions them about their lifestyles in order to help her sketch out ideas; next she’ll use creative license, removing gemstones and converting them into something entirely new, beautiful and exclusive so that the whole process is totally individual and each completed piece tells its own story. The unique selling point of upcyling in this instance is that Harley can also trade the gold or silver on the customer’s behalf through her reputable bullion dealer and credit the amount against the cost of the commissioned piece.

Before and after photos of a Harley commission

And here’s a recent claim to fame: Harley was commissioned by Eon Productions to create the Algerian Loveknot worn by Eva Green’s character in the James Bond film, Casino Royale.  The necklace is currently on display at the “Designing 007” exhibition at The Barbican until September, when it will then go on a worldwide tour (we didn’t realise necklaces did that, but this one does…).

Never has the phrase “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure” been more relevant than in Harley’s work; here is one designer who believes that sustainability is possible within the jewellery industry. We at Lawfully Chic are rummaging around in old boxes for family heirlooms in the hope there’s something Harley can work with.

Upcycling is available at Sophie Harley Design by appointment only at her Notting Hill Studio. For more information, see | Tel: +44 (0) 207 430 2070 |