There’s so much to love about this column necklace by jeweller Lily Kamper, it’s hard to know where to start. It’s totemic, with an air of being once imbued with mystic power by an ancient civilisation. The column is a repeated motif in Lily’s work; it’s no surprise that RCA graduate was first inspired by the carved pillars of Eastern temples.
What’s more surprising is that the piece is made of resin, hand dyed to look like stone. It’s an entirely modern synthetic, which makes its totemic aspect all the more startling. We don’t associate mystic powers with 21st century materials. And this will translate, so that when you wear a Lily Kamper piece, people will want to know where it’s from.
For Autumn / Winter 2014, Kamper has looked to a mix of sources: the phases of the moon, photographs of the Earth at night, marble staircases. Hence, the collection’s evocative names: Blue Eclipse, Black Io. This is the Green Orion necklace.
The pillar is tipped with gold-plated brass ends; a silver centre piece, another texture again, interrupts the green. Kamper once said: ’I’ve always had a fascination with how different materials can sit alongside each other, ones that have different values or simply create different textures.’ You can see that philosophy at work here.
The ‘deception’ – resin masquerading as stone – doesn’t feel manipulative; you don’t feel ‘tricked’. And this is part of Kamper’s skill. To draw from a myriad of references and create something utterly fresh and universal is a tricky thing to do – as is making resin, usually a humble adhesive, so desirable.
Everything about Lily’s CV reads like a trajectory towards success: from presenting her collection at London Fashion Week to designing the trophy for WGSN 2012 Global Fashion Awards Ceremony. Her stockists include Colette Paris and Liberty London, hot stuff from someone who only graduated in 2012.
Lily’s work and attitude lend themselves well to collaboration. She’s already created bespoke pieces for her mate, knitwear designer Helen Lawrence’s Fashion East catwalk show as well as hardware for a rucksack for designer Steven Tai. She says there are more partnerships on the horizon. In the meantime, start here, with this tribute to the moon and marble staircases.