It’s hard to believe that last year Dinny Hall celebrated 30 years in the industry, as the head of her eponymous brand. Her jewellery is elegant and timeless, the brand is well-known for its signature hoops and bangles which looked as good in the ’80s as they do today. I recently visited their Westbourne Grove store and workshop, and witnessed Dinny busy at work perfecting one of the new necklaces in her fine jewellery collection; she’s still very much involved in the design of each collection.
She has kindly allowed me to interview her.
How have you seen the jewellery industry change over the last 30 years?
It’s now such a huge industry and there are a lot more jewellery designers around competing with each other than when I began my career. I think it’s much harder to be original, this is true in popular music, art and literature too; because of this I don’t think many younger individual designers will last through the decades.
How have you adapted and managed to stay at the forefront of British jewellery design?
I’m not afraid of change and always think that I can do better! Also I am interested in style and fashion and don’t like the idea of being caught in a particular time so I do push my ideas forward.
Which design is your most popular? And, why do you think that is?
My most popular designs are my Hoops – somebody called me the Queen of Hoops recently! It has to be because I love Hoops myself and in any new collection I’ll incorporate a Hoop design. Hoops can be sexy and what’s more they flatter both the ear, face and neck – they are based on the universal ‘circle’.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
To save time for love and family.
Describe a typical day in the life of Dinny Hall:
Wake up at 6.45am and immediately make a cup of tea, drink tea in bed. Once up I may prep a couple of emails especially to the Far East, then I somehow never manage to leave home until 8.30am. I’ll take Bo my miniature schnauzer for a walk then go to the Westbourne Grove store where our headquarters is based. The workshop and main offices are behind the Westbourne Grove store and once there it’s a continual stream of non-stop things to do. I carry a sketch book with me and often jot down new ideas and I do yoga and pilates regularly. I’m home by 7.15/30pm usually and my partner and I take turns to cook supper – I am a keen cook and lover of a good TV series – The Night Manager and Line of Duty most recent favourites.
Is there a piece that you own or have designed that has a particularly wonderful story behind it?
My Almaz collection has the most personal meaning to it. I was going through a particularly hard time and I wanted to design a collection relating to diamonds, as they are indestructible. Everything in the range is diamond-shaped which signifies this period of my life.
Do you have a muse, or have you ever?
I do design with certain people in mind sometimes and I named a collection Talitha after 1970s Ozzie Clarke model and muse, Talitha Getty. Her image in an iconic fashion editorial shot by Patrick Lichfield set in Morocco inspired a whole collection.
Gold, silver or platinum?
For me, gold.
With the summer holidays nearly upon us, tell me which pieces you would choose to take away with you?
I’ve got a gold leather jewellery container given to me by my best friend; in it will be various little diamond studs, Planished Hoops and Bangles to stack, mini crescent Bijou Hoops, Long Star Bijou Necklace and a short three gemstone gold necklace from my Elyhara collection. I’ll be mixing solid gold with gold vermeil and layering up.
What was the first thing, you saw or did, that inspired your latest collection, Lotus?
I have an interest in Buddhism and the Lotus flower appears repeatedly throughout Buddhist temples and art, its meaning being rebirth. Then seeing the most amazing Lotus flowers at the Chiang Mai botanical gardens in Northern Thailand the floating flower and the strong beauty of the shape of the petals – I had to design a collection around the flower.
Dinny Hall has just opened a new store on Chelsea’s popular Kings Road, her third in London, in addition to a concession in Liberty London. Alongside the opening she launches The Singles Bar, an in store area of the Kings Road store where you can mix and match stud earrings from the new Lotus, Toro and Geode collections.
You can shop the full collection on their website DinnyHall.com, and as a special treat they’ve offered my readers a 15% discount if you use the code: STYLE15 (valid until 12th June 2016).