By Diana Kiernander
In a wintry west-end, Diana Kiernander uncovers the style secrets set to keep you warm all year long. Embrace the hot, demi-fine jewellery trends that will elevate your mood without breaking the bank. Afterwards, make a date with down the Hidden Lane where the spotlight is on fierce prints, fabulous fauna and strong sustainability.
What you waiting for? Turn your forever style up to 2024
Drink tea. Twist my ‘unwashed for 3 days now’ hair into a bun. Think about how scuzzy my gold fingernail polish has become over the festive season. Ponder if I should repaint. Spend about an hour looking for an old notebook, just because I know it has a pretty cover. There’s a really long list of timewasting rituals I’ve developed over the years, writing for magazines. But before I get side-tracked again. I really want to stop and tell y’all about the brilliant New Year vibe in jewellery form.
Bryony Bel is the demi-fine jewellery line, set up by bona-fide west-end girl, Emma Chassels with collections so big and thoughtfully curated, you can choose pieces that tap into your high-octane party soul or explore your softer side, with pretty pearls and natural gem stones.
Think crystal studs, silver herringbone chains, wishbone rings and chic statement earrings, like the ‘Annabel’ drop hoops in gold vermeil, which will always be a personal favourite of Emma’s, who recalls why she set up the company originally.
“There was a real gap in the market for anyone looking for sophisticated jewellery that looked great and felt special, but didn’t cost the earth.”
Back in the early pandemic days, with the business just getting off the ground, she ran with the ‘dress your top half with panache,’ trend that was the saviour of many an early Zoom business meeting.
“With people suddenly taking a greater interest on what to wear for an online call, good jewellery had to get more attainable,” says Emma, and for her, this meant drawing on skills she brought from a career working with high profile fashion, lifestyle and sports brands, along with solid advertising and design agency experience.
“I did an open house event in 2021,” she says of the early pop-up event she hosted at home, with feedback so spectacular, she knew she had to build the brand.
Elevating That Outfit
“People just felt they had finally found jewellery that was wearable, affordable and special,” says Emma, who sells mainly through her stunning online shop, but has gone on to tailor all the pop up events she does to match her widespread customer base.
“I’ve done events at the Merchant City Festival, Country Living Fair and Hillhead Bookclub and they all attract different consumer groups,” she says, when looking to the future.
Emma understands that the right jewellery can take an outfit to another level and works to elevate your mood and sense of self. Emma searches far and wide to source the best quality metals, gems and workmanship. Her bold pieces incorporate chains from Italy, precious stones and jewels from the Far East, striking beads from Istanbul and always freshwater pearls.
It’s all about blending grace and subtle, understated elegance and that is the hallmark of Bryony Bel. Emma has always had a keen eye for developing pieces that are classic, contemporary, timeless and cool.
It’s all about creating and feeling comfortable in the best version of you at any time in your life, whether it’s a dress up or dress down day. It’s a warm, wintry vibe that can make us feel fabulous, even in those Christmas comedown days.
RAISED BY DANGER
Saint Danger is the fashion moniker that Saija Cleary goes by and it’s a great name for the truly fearless artist and designer.
Days before Christmas, I’m wandering around the Hidden Lane, feeling mesmerised and excited by the beauty exuding from the brightly coloured string of independent shops, cake pantries and candle studios. It’s getting dark and there’s a dusting of sparkly ice sprinkled across the uneven cobble stones. The scene makes me believe in magic, just a little bit, and that’s when I see it.
A Design House And So Much More…
The A-Board directing you further down the lane to ‘Raised by Danger,’ the Finnish-American design house that has made Glasgow its first design-house home and fuses phenomenal art, fashion, interiors and sustainability in a new and breathtaking way.
I’m going to start with ‘The Birds & The Bees’ motto leggings in Noir colour-way, and not just because it’s the piece I loved most. But, by the time you read this, it’s going to be a brand new year, and I will be channelling my ‘looking glam as I dress down’ vibe. But for the not faint-hearted in the dressing up winter months, there are also dresses and crop tops too. I’m wildly impressed by the design work, that starts life as hand-painted acrylic creation by Saint Danger. She is a self-taught artist with an enduring love of nature that has led her to explore biophilia and incorporate it into her work.
“I think my work is a modern take on nature, but I create patterns that are timeless,” she says, referring to the vibrant palettes and energy pulsing through. You are invited to embrace the glorious celebration of insects, butterflies, birds, serpents and flora found on the colourful garments across the collection. The clothes are sophisticated, elegant, vibrant and ethereal.
Commitment To Sustainability
And it’s a design edge you can bring into your home too. Scattered around the studio are recycled velvet cushion covers, scented candles and unique wallpaper, all designed by Saint Danger.
It is however her devotion to sustainability that is really impressive. Growing up in Tokyo and living later in California, Saint Danger is hyper aware of how the climate impacts on our beautiful world and its ecosystems.
“I try to explore the most environmentally friendly materials out there that would also work well with the intricate detail in my designs,” she says. Cactus leather, an impressive bio-based vegan material is also part of the Raised by Danger story and some of the pieces across the different collections are made using this.
When Raised by Danger opened their Hidden Lane studio in August 2023, it cemented Glasgow as the permanent home for the very nomadic Saija and her photographer husband Nate. She’s lived in Africa, America and Tokyo in the past, but the westend seems to have stolen a chunk of her heart. She’s filled the space upstairs in the studio with more velvet cushions, candles, art prints and wallpaper. It’s definitely a place they will want to stay for a long time. I think it’s probably down to the way the Hidden Lane glistens. That’s when you can expect to transform your style and embrace the finest new year looks.
Raised by Danger
13 The Hidden Lane
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