Houses of Dreams
This is the first collaborative collection for Simone Jewels (the brand turns 12 this year). Why did it take so long?
Simone Ng: There’s a theme for each year’s collection. Usually, it’s based on culture or history. This year, I chose the history of Britain. Jason (Pomeroy, of Pomeroy Studio) and I have been friends for many years and we’ve always talked about creating a collection together. Since he’s from Britain, I thought it made sense to work with him.
Why British architecture specifically, and how was the choice of the six buildings to take inspiration from made?
Jason Pomeroy: Well, I am from the UK and I studied architecture in Britain, so it’s a field of reference I’m familiar with. The six pieces demonstrate the evolution of British architecture from medieval times to the modern style of the 20th century. Each chosen building also has a particular resonance in my life.
The first is the Pomeroy castle, my family’s castle that’s now an abandoned relic. Then we move on to the Gothic era of King’s College, Cambridge University, which is where I studied. The Renaissance era is represented by Queen’s House, which I’ve always thought of as a marvel of Renaissance structural ingenuity. St Paul’s Cathedral is a fantastic example of baroque architecture. My father brought me there when I was eight and it was what inspired me to become an architect. I used to run past the neo-Gothic Houses of Parliament either in the morning on my way to work or in the evening on my way home. Finally, the Gerkhin – I could see it from my bedroom window.
Is there any significance behind the coloured gem used for each ring?
Ng: Pomeroy castle has a lot of greenery around it and the apple is also significant to it (Pomeroy comes from the French words “pomme” and “roy”, which means apple and king respectively), so we decided that the peridot would be perfect for it.
Pomeroy: When we play sports at Cambridge, we wear blue and white stripes. So what better way to represent Cambridge than with the aquamarine, which probably comes closest to that particular shade of blue. We chose the Malayan garnet for the ring inspired by the Houses of Parliament because at sunrise or sunset, the buildings’ stonework looks almost red. Pink zircon was used for St Paul’s Cathedral because it has a significant quantity of marble and when the light hits it, it turns slightly pink. The Queen’s House has the blue tanzanite because the wrought iron filigree of its spiral staircase’s balustrade has a blueish tinge to it.
Finally, the Gerkhin. The building has a twisting effect that’s achieved by using two types of glass, a darkened smoky glass and a clear one. To create a contrast between the bright metal parts of the ring and the stone, we decided on a very dark amethyst.
Why have you chosen a more abstract interpretation of the buildings instead of crafting them in miniature, which Simone had done for her previous collections?
Pomeroy: I think it’s important to leave things to the imagination. It’s important to allow people to create their own stories and finish those stories. I also find that there’s a greater craft involved in being able to capture the essence of something than replicating something.
Ng: Since this is a capsule collection, it has to be different from the other collections. Besides, a woman may not want to wear an entire building on a finger. It will not look very feminine or be very practical.
How has the experience of collaborating with someone else been?
Ng: It has been very interesting because we come from different backgrounds. Jason’s a professionally trained architect and a professor so he brought a lot of structure and sequential processes to the work. As for me, I’m self-taught. My style is very organic, and I go by my instinct, gut feel and emotions. Our working styles are very different but they give the best of both worlds.