As Ham Yard Hotel reopens its doors, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to check back in with some of the amazing makers in the Ham Yard Village boutiques.
From art and design at Dinosaur Designs to fashion at Zelle Studio, there are lots of specialist stores to browse. One of which includes Anabela Chan Joaillerie.
Anabela Chan is an artist who makes sustainable fine jewellery. Her pieces are unique and exquisite, rather like the stunning birds of paradise they sit alongside. Stepping into her showroom, you are transported into a magical vivarium. It is no wonder her work is often seen twinkling on Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and many other superstars.
She started working in architecture, where she learned the sensibility of scale, proportion, geometry, materiality and story-telling – all very similar traits shared between architects and jewellers and then went onto work in the world of fashion.
Working with the likes of Richard Rogers in New York, she also designed intricate prints and embroideries for the runway shows at Alexander McQueen. These experiences had a profound influence on her as a jeweller; “Working at McQueen was a total submersion in creativity and craft at its best; pushing the boundaries of wearable art and design.”
Her biggest source of inspiration comes from nature, where the most beautiful colours, geometrics, textures and proportions can be found. Obsessed with exotic birds and butterflies, her collections have wonderful names like ‘Morpho Bloom’ and ‘Tutti Frutti’, focussing on their mesmerising colours and variety.
Anabela also has a fascination with flowers in all their glory. From the spring buds to full blossoms and their decaying forms, ‘Morpho Bloom’ was inspired by her butterfly bloom sculptures, creating floral forms with Blue Morpho butterfly wings, where their geometries lend themselves to a series of rings and bangles set with white diamonds.
All her pieces are handcrafted in limited numbers. What is unique to Anabela is that she also creates one of a kind heirlooms for her clients and friends; “My favourite thing about my job is to be able to create magic and see women light up when wearing my creations.”
Much like our design ethos, ‘Every Room Tells A Story’, Anabela too tells a story through her collections. She starts by creating a moodboard. Then sketches different designs and pairs each of them with interesting gemstones.
Every story begins by hand-carving the designs in wax before casting in parts, then assembling, polishing and engraving in meticulous detail. Every stone is carefully selected for its brilliance and colour; then cut, faceted, polished and set painstakingly by hand using artisan techniques.
Like us at the studio, she loves colours and textures. Her jewellery captures a fragment of magic in nature; “When I see a shimmering hummingbird, I also see dazzling green emeralds, citrus peridots, fuchsia pink sapphires and violet amethysts. I love snorkelling across coral reefs. It took us 6 months to achieve that exact shade of violet purple for the interior velvet of our jewellery boxes, to match a piece of sea-coral I saw in the Maldives on our honeymoon.”