It’s a Family Affair – Geoffrey’s London, designer Juliette and her mother Jane Collins

I’ve known Jane Collins for many years — we both used to deal in antique jewellery. I’m now stocking her daughter Juliette’s beautiful debut fine jewellery collection.

Juliette Collins trained as a graphic designer and typographer at the LCC, after a Foundation course at Bournemouth. She always knew that she wanted to be a designer, and started a stationary company after leaving college. But the family genes have played a huge part in Juliette’s new venture, Geoffrey’s London. Named for her maternal grandfather Geoffrey Johnson who owned jewellery shops in the West End of London and Sloane Street in Chelsea, Juliette has taken to it like a natural.

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Mother Jane Collins started working in her father’s shops at the age of 8, and her father encouraged her to take a stall at the legendary King’s Road antique market Antiquarius when she was just 18.

Jane’s mother Juliette Johnson (daughter Juliette Collins is named for her) started the iconic maternity wear shop Just Jane in Baker Street when she couldn’t find any flattering or modern clothes whilst pregnant with Jane. It proved so fashionable that it appeared in the 1961 film ‘Darling’ when star Julie Christie shops for maternity clothes. Juliette Johnson opened her second shop in Sloane Street in 1966 and family life centred on Chelsea.

A stylish woman, she was a fashion-forward early adopter of new design.  She bought  pieces from me when I dealt in antique tribal jewellery in the 1980s. Recently Jane came across the original receipt with a pair of Turkoman cuffs that I sold to her mother.

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After his wife died Geoffrey continued to run his Sloane Street shop, and Juliette Collins remembers her grandfather with huge respect and affection — hence naming her company after this sophisticated and stylish man.  Like Jane, Juliette also started young in retail, accompanying her mother on buying trips to jewellery trade shows and Fashion Week in Paris and London for Jane’s shop ‘Sixty6’ in Marylebone High Street.

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Juliette Collins’ design aesthetic is modern and understated, with clean dynamic lines and geometric shapes. She designs jewellery she would like to wear, and her influences have been the Art Deco and Modernist furniture, reference books and art she grew up with. Jane has always combined fashion, vintage jewellery and Mid-Century furniture in her shops.

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This is not disposable jewellery; for a younger market, it is the first affordable piece of ‘real’ jewellery they can buy for themselves – or a boyfriend will buy as a special present. It is delicate but not whimsical or too dainty, and priced from £800-3,000.

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Juliette is methodical and precise in her designs, which originate on paper as drawings first. She cuts out the shapes and tries them out to work on proportions and dimensions. Juliette finds that as she gets older she can appreciate bolder designs.  Jane loves pattern and colour; although Juliette loves simple monochrome clothes, her exposure to textiles has been transformed into geometric form in her own designs.

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Geoffrey’s London produces an affordable, wearable, everyday collection. Discreet and low-key — for how we live now.

Available from Talisman Gallery Harvey Nichols – prices from £800 – £3,000 in 18ct white, rose and yellow gold with diamonds

Category: In the loupe