Jewels, shoes and a brick wall

Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby were the names of the Houses in my girls’ school. In some ways it was a competitive environment where cliques formed and tribal behaviours began. I was voted in as Head of Ruby House and found that I had the ability to get people to work collaboratively. I learnt how to negotiate, listen and justify my opinions. I also found that some people can think differently.

It is with these thoughts that I look forward to London Fashion Week. I imagine that many of the designers will have stories of where their passion comes from, who inspired them and of the challenges they face every day. I think it is important to support designers – their tribe is one of thinking differently.

A few years ago I was given a gift of a brown conflict free spirit diamond ring made by Marion Autrum, a jeweller who experiments with precious stones and the infraction of light. I listened to her story of the intricate diamond cutting process and of how she chose the gold to wrap around the diamond.

And just recently I met Aase Hopstock, a gifted shoe designer. She came to my MSL office with two large bags of shoes for me to try on. They were all so beautifully hand crafted with her unique signature serial number on each sole. I slipped the various shoes on and they were comfortable, something that I don’t often associate with 9cm high-heeled shoes. I bought two pairs, both black, one with a detail of ruby on the heel.

In a recent interview I was asked what I do when stopped by a brick wall. I replied jump over it or dig underneath it using a precious jewel. Enjoy Fashion Week as I will!

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