SUSTAINABLE STYLE: THE NEED TO KNOW AUSTRALIAN JEWELLER
Learn this name: Heart of Bone. The cult jewellery label by Melbourne designer Emma Abrahams is making noise internationally.
On a recent trip to Paris for fashion week, as part of the Australian Fashion Chamber showroom, she was interviewed by Carine Bizet, fashion critic for Le Monde, who asked her, "If you could see your work on anyone, who would it be?"
Abrahams has already made gothic chic pieces for some very famous people indeed (try, Jean Paul Gaultier, Slash, Marc Jacobs, Katy Perry and Dita Von Teese) but she didn't hesitate. "Karl Lagerfeld," she said.
The 84-year-old creative director of Chanel's penchant for silver rings, which he wears in multiples with his signature leather fingerless gloves, is well documented.
The universe was looking out for Abrahams it seems, because Bizet just so happened to be having lunch with King Karl the very next day. She took him a Heart of Bone portrait ring - a skull crafted in his image made especially for him, just, you know, in case… Lagerfeld loved it so much he invited Abrahams to the Chanel show.
This month also sees her collaboration with Harrolds Woman launch. Inspired by tattoo imagery, the 13-piece bespoke collection sells alongside fashion by Vetements and Balenciaga in Harrolds' new store in Sydney.
"We've just signed up with LA showroom The Residency Experience, which is co-owned by B.Akerlund, so I feel like everything is happening," says Abrahams, who has built her business through Instagram to date. Akerlund is a cult stylist who's worked with Lady Gaga and Beyoncé, so expect more celeb/Heart of Bone hook-ups.
Abrahams is herself a fashion insider who with her husband Justin was behind Melbourne's Husk boutiques (now sold). She trained as a furniture restorer after art school, and began hand-making jewellery when she couldn't find anyone to teach her how to make cutlery.
From her Melbourne studio, she carves each Heart of Bone design in wax - it's an incredible, slow process; I've seen her do it - then the wax original is cast into precious metals.
"I am inspired by the craft process, and also like to source sustainable stones where possible," she says. "I encourage clients to come to me with heirloom pieces that aren't relevant anymore, that they're not wearing, so we'll put nanna's stones into something you'll want to wear today."
It's this marriage between very traditional jewellery-making and serious edge that makes the brand stand out.