The wait is finally over. For me, rather than you! My new jewellery collection designed in collaboration with Missoma has been in the works for almost a year, a plan hatched whilst in L.A together last October, so it really does feel like a bit of a baby I’ve slowly been hatching behind the scenes… Although thankfully no painful labour involved hopefully!
Having been working with Missoma since 2014, this is our third permanent collection together and without doubt the most personal collection I’ve designed to date. Called 1987 after the year I was born (a vintage year I like to think), this collection is all about nostalgia. Nostalgia in it’s truest, rawest most whimsical form. The kind of nostalgia that’s tangible, bittersweet and and can be triggered by the simplest of things; a smell, the opening bars of a song, the feeling you get driving down a certain road. I grew up in the 90s to the sounds of Alannis Morrissette and The Cardigans blasting out of my sister’s rooms and later, TLC and Tupac out of mine. Mailed mixtapes were the ultimate sign of affection, no bedroom was complete without a peeling Athena poster or two and Drazik and Anita in Heartbreak High were the ultimate couple in my eyes. My mum and two older sisters meant there were always copies of Vogue and Harper’s & Queen lying around and I fell in love with all the OTT glamorous editorials and later, the simple grunginess of ribbed tank tops, gold hoops and Levis. I once heard in an interview with Alexa Chung many moons ago that the silhouettes and sartorialism you grow up with is the stuff you’ll keep returning to year after year (she cited horse riding when she was little as a reason she was so at home in skinny jeans and ankle boots). So maybe my love of high-rise denim, oversized jackets and vintage t-shirts is all down to a childhood amidst the age of the Supers and the iconic style of Cindy, Christy and Naomi to list just a few of the hallowed names of the day.
Big, gold jewellery was a staple of the time; you couldn’t open a glossy magazine or later an MTV music video without seeing some kind of big earring, chunky chain or gold crucifix so I couldn’t design a nostalgic collection without referencing these icons of the era. I wanted this collection to be full of timeless essentials, the sorts of pieces you didn’t know what you did without or have always been searching for. The perfect gold hoops, the never take-off chains and crosses, the go-with-everything signet rings. Timeless yes, but with a definitive nod to the golden years of late 1980s and 90s style and reminiscent of some of my ultimate girl crushes growing up, from Liv Tyler and Rachel Green, to Cindy Crawford and Carrie Bradshaw. A lot of the pieces are directly inspired by vintage pieces from my mum’s jewellery box. The waffle hoops are almost exact replicas of the ones my mum always used to wear out for dinner when I was growing up and the lucky charm necklace and bracelet are a re-jigged version of a gold, glass and enamel lucky bracelet of my grandmothers. We even copied the lucky emblems from her antique version. Given we’ve done two collections before, we really wanted this collection to be layered with all the others. The snake chains and curb chains layered up with Roman coins; the mini fang necklace with the cross pendants, I love imagining all the different parts from my longstanding collaboration with Missoma working together as one well-oiled machine.
We shot the campaign in L.A because I honestly couldn’t shoot this anywhere else. I’m not American, I’ve never even properly lived in L.A and yet this city means a huge amount to me. Cutting my teeth (or square eyes) on the likes of Pretty Woman and Beverley Hills 90210 while growing up in the sleepy English countryside and only going outside of Europe twice before I was eighteen, the city of angels became lodged in my imagination as somewhere almost exotic and incredibly cool. The first time I landed in L.A in 2012 aged twenty five, it felt like Deja Vu. The lilac skies, palm trees as tall as buildings, rusting motel signs and neon lights lining the roads from LAX down to Venice Beach were the stuff of silver screen memories to me. I felt like I’d come home and gone back into my childhood memories all at once. I stayed in a classic clapboard Venice bungalow for a week, watching the skaters at sunset, discovering avocado fries and driving down the PCH to nowhere and felt like I was living in my very own movie. It was cheesy but magical as all cheesy things usually are when you’re in them. That whirlwind romance with the city grew into a long term love affair, and I still get butterflies every time I touchdown on L.A tarmac to this day. I’ve fallen in love in L.A, I’ve broken up in L.A, I’ve made great friends in L.A and I’ve carved out a little piece of it for myself over the years. There’s nowhere quite like it, the good and the bad, and that West Coast light can’t be beaten. If you’ve ever seen the sky turn orange from the Hollywood Hills or driven west down the 110 at dusk, you’ll know what I mean. I couldn’t shoot in L.A without a little nod to where my love affair began, the Venice skate park. Cheesy and touristy yes but I love it always nonetheless. From there, we worked our way up the city, from Venice through to Compton, studio city and Glendale and later, finished in a mid-century dream house high up in the Hills which included a fully-clothed swim as the sun went down. A love letter to the city if you will and I’m so proud of how it’s turned out.
We had the best week in L.A producing this campaign with the dream team and I couldn’t have done it without each and every one of them. We were all running on adrenalin the entire week. Up at 5 A.M with jet lag, in hair and makeup at 6 A.M followed by long, laugh-filled days of location-scouting, shooting, filming and driving the length and breadth of the city, ending with multiple margaritas in Hollywood before falling into bed sometime after midnight and doing it all over again the next day. I loved seeing my vision come to life and getting to breath context and meaning into the pieces we’ve been working on for so long. A huge thanks to everyone involved from Missoma who helped turned an idea into reality to the creative team on the ground, but mostly a huge, huge thank you to you guys and each and every person who has bought, worn and loved pieces from my previous Missoma collections. Without the amazing amount of support you guys have shown my previous collections, this one wouldn’t have come to fruition so THANK YOU for allowing me to continue working on creating my dream jewellery collections and having the most fun while doing so. You’re the best and I hand on heart couldn’t do any of this without you.
So without further ado (and there’s been a lot of ado), meet the 1987 collection, the latest instalment to the Lucy Williams X Missoma collections.
Shop the collection HERE.