My most prized possessions are not those that I’ve bought for myself, but the keepsakes that have been chosen for me. Gilded mementos given to me to carry on a tradition in my family.
Of course, the nature of an heirloom is that it comes with responsibility – after all, you don’t want to be the one who fails to pass on this rather precious parcel. Like golden catalysts for a generational game of Chinese Whispers, family heirlooms keep the stories of those who have left us very much alive – if not always accurate. And if you are privileged enough to receive an heirloom, you get to add to the plot too.
For their festive campaign, LoveGold invited me to reflect on my family heirlooms and to think about what I would want to pass on in the future; The sparkling treasures I will curate over the years and then gift to my children to cherish.
From my base in Stockholm, I started revisiting some of my favourite Scandinavian designers. Sophie Bille Brahe, who is a storyteller in her own right, and retells her tales via avant-garde gold jewellery; Efva Attling, a Swedish designer known for inscribing thoughtful messages on gold bands and necklaces; And finally LINE&JO, a duo crafting intricate pieces to suit any age or time. All these women, design jewellery I would feel honoured to pass on to those I love.
One of Scandinavia’s most celebrated rising stars is without a doubt Sophie Bille Brahe – a need-to-know name in jewellery design. She is a master in crafting contemporary pieces from high karat gold – think geometric bar earrings, pearls that climb the ear, or triple stack rings encrusted in diamonds. Her pieces have modern appeal, yet still feel timeless. Brahe explains that “I want to make things that are more than here and now,” and that she hopes “that people who have bought my stuff will give it to their daughters when they grow up.”
Brahe takes enchanting stories and imagines them on gold – her preferred medium. Several of her collections are inspired by the work of her great-great-great grandfather Tycho Brahe, the Danish astronomer and “observer of the Heavens”. She also references the myth that Cleopatra drank crushed pearls in wine as inspiration for her “La Pyramide des Perle” collection, and for AW13 she sculpted cityscapes of Atlantis out of gold and precious stones. I challenge you not to be swept away by the stories she has to tell.
Another great designer – and storyteller – is Efva Attling.
Finding meaningful menswear jewellery can be tricky. It can sometimes feel like you’re limited to cufflinks or watches, but Attling has perfected gold craftsmanship for men. A distinctive characteristic of her designs, is the inscription of poignant sayings and messages on jewellery pieces – take this ring for example, that reads “Pencez de Moy”, 14th century French for “Think of Me.”
This thick, 18k gold band is designed to be unisex, but I imagine gifting it to my boyfriend to mark a special milestone in our lives. Call me sentimental, but I love the idea of him treasuring it for years to come. And then, one day, passing it on to our son to commemorate a special occasion in his life.
Other thoughtful phrases include “Sic itur ad astra”, which is Latin for “the way to the stars” and “Amor Vincit Omnia” – “Love Conquers All”. All her inscriptions carry a certain weighty significance – it’s just selecting which you value the most.
I believe, that the jewellery you select to pass on, should be representative of the time in which you live, yet still feel relevant for years to come. That’s why LINE & JO pieces are perfect Future Heirlooms. The design duo launched their label in 2007 with the ambition of changing the way women wear jewellery. They take high quality materials, traditionally reserved for classic design, and reinvent them into contemporary pieces. Take their current “Balloons” collection, which applies clusters of pearls to golden arrows and dainty chains – the mood is playful without being overly feminine.
LINE&JO’s pieces carry a certain magic. They’re versatile and discreet, but still fashion-forward. Delicate rings and necklaces with diamonds are the perfect keepsake to be passed down to a daughter. These are not lofty items to be tucked away in jewellery boxes, but precious mementos that can be worn whatever your age, and certainly whatever the occasion.
So there you have it. A carefully curated assortment of golden goodies that represents the years I’ve spent exploring Scandinavia. If you’d like to read the Future Heirlooms stories of other bloggers, designers and editors – like the Man Repeller *swoon* – then See the Campaign Here. Or perhaps leave your own story on instagram tagging @lovegoldlive, #lovegold and #FutureHeirlooms.
Photographs by Victoria Stillwell.
Image 1: LINE&JO earrings, Efva Attling rings – Image 2: Sophie Bille Brahe ring & LINE&JO earring – Image 5: Sophie Bille Brahe & LINE&JO earrings – Image 6: Sophie Bille Brahe ring – Image 7: Efva Attling ring – Image 8, 9, 10 & 11 – LINE&JO earring, ring and necklace