Call me strange but I have this thing about jewellery. If it’s a little trinket buy, something along the lines of a marketstall find, I’ll buy without a second thought and walk away happy with a cool new accessory to add to my wardrobe. If I’m shop buying – especially boutique shop buying – I find that my whole experience is changed by knowing who the person behind the creation really is. This has a lot to do with what I call my “part with level.” This is the amount of cash I’m willing to lay out for a piece I love. Usually, if I fall in love with the creator, we have reached Amex approval level spending. I’ll forgo eating for a month (ok maybe not forgo… as you go can tell by the size of my ass… but scale down) so that I can wear said designer and share their magnificence with the world. I somehow feel I’m giving back to the artistic community. I’m operating in supporting a trade that’s just an important as the fine arts we see in galleries – at least in my opinion.
Yes, this is all leading somewhere and it’s leading, more or less, to a massive introduction to a woman I now worship entirely. A few weeks ago I found myself in a little shop in Westbourne Grove, London, called Dinny Hall. And who did I spend a half an hour speaking to? Well, Dinny Hall herself of course. This woman is a personality that is larger than life, yet humble as pie. She has designed jewellery for some of the biggest names in fashion, but you wouldn’t see any of that on display or bragged about in store. Oh no. You have to be invited into the back room, where you’ll find an entire wall covered in magazine covers and editorials featuring every top model you can name. I ask Dinny if this is her inspiration wall and she so sweetly and nonchalantly replies that these are all pages from magazines over the years that feature her work. Excuse me while I pick my jaw up off the floor. Inside this woman’s head is a treasure trove – quite literally. And that is reflected just as much on this wall as it is on the floor of her perfectly formed corner of bling in Westbourne Grove. All of her work is conceived in the back rooms of the store and the finished product is proudly on display for the world to take in.
Now ashamedly I must admit that Dinny Hall is a store I have walked past a dozen times. I have always admired the windows but it took a little shove to get me in the front door for the first time. In fact, the shove this time was led by the window display of hula-hoopers. You see, at the moment, Dinny Hall is celebrating 30 years of creating the classic hoop in jewellery. They are celebrating it in a big way and the windows are only the start. So, I went into store, met the magnificent Dinny Hall and of course walked away with a new purchase in hand – the beautiful golden cushion drop earrings.
I mention this whole exchange now because we are in the run up to a rather important present buying season, and there are some pieces in store that would light up any woman’s face on Christmas morning – whether you are buying for yourself (as perhaps your partner asks you to do that sort of thing), your sister, your best friend or your mother. I, just dropping this in, am quite frankly obsessed with the beautiful rings that Dinny was displaying for us. See this… and know that I must buy for myself one day…. Quite simply smitten.
Visit Dinny Hall online or in Westbourne Grove, 200 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2RH.