by Meredith Fisher
When it comes to current jewelry trends, there's still no shortage of enormous beaded necklaces and shoulder-skimming earrings. Plus, who isn't just a wee bit sick of the ongoing fascination with goth imagery (aka: skulls, daggers, and crossbones)? So, coming across a simple Tahitian pearl necklace or labordite drop earrings from Conroy Wilcox's newest collection seems like a breath of anti-bohemian fresh air.
The two former editors, Gillian Conroy of Vogue Paris and Danica Wilcox of Japanese Vogue, used their position behind the fashion pages to expand their knowledge of jewelry and its increasingly fashion-forward role. "We wanted to create something that was both traditional and contemporary," recalls Gillian. "Designs that reflected our modern sensibility but also the history of the jewelry-making craft."
To that end, the two have traveled to Jaipur, India, and continue to work with local artisan jewelers to develop their line. "We take the skill of those craftsmen and apply it to our more modern designs," says Gillian. The result is a subtle collection of wearable and workable pieces each with an intriguing story to tell. There's the pearl story, told through elegant bangles, one of 18-karat gold lined with rows of pearls and another of white gold with a slipknot clasp and a solo pearl.
18k-yellow-gold Abacus freshwater pearl bangles, $3,855 each
Natural and organic forms are another thread linking the duo's designs. Birds, branches, and thorns all make an appearance in one form or another—a bracelet with diamonds, a clasp for a necklace, and even as a set of white-gold cuffs—but their presence adds an element of individuality rather than detracting from it. "We try not to look at what everyone else is doing," says Gillian. "We see all the trends around us, but we don't necessarily incorporate them into our designs. We want each piece to be something that the owner can buy in the present, but grow into over time."
Looking to the future, the two hope to grow into the collection as well, staying closely involved with both the design and production process, a formula whose initial success is rooted in their ability to give people jewelry they didn't know they wanted, but still simply just have to have.
18k-white-gold Thorn cuffs, $3,675 each
Conroy Wilcox ushers in the cleaner side of jewelry.