On the search for unusual and unique pieces of jewellery, my internet research all seems to lead to the same shop – Kabiri. I have been reading up on the Vogue jewelry blogs and two that were of interest to me sent me straight to Kabiri, one was a review on the new jewellery designer Gisele Ganne – who is actually not so new as I hadn’t realised at the time that the reviews were more than a few years old.
The gisele ganne jewellery is similar to the very on trend fashion of animal skulls but with the added delicacy of minute flowers in gold and soft colours. It is said to have Victorian influences which makes sense as to why it appeals to my taste.
The second vogue blog was on Brunini, which was also said to be stocked at Kabiri, there was an image of a Brunini ring that was so beautiful –
The simplicity of the style and the gorgeous colour of the silver metal with this soft grey green pearl and just the hint of diamonds.
So I had been successfully directed to Kabiri Covent Garden by my adoration of these items, and Covent Garden was said to be stocking the edgier items – Yes please!
Imagine my joy when I go onto the Kabiri website to take a quick peak before setting off into the world that they also stock the delicious Clare English Magpie Swag ring !
So no matter what else happened that day, my mission was clear to get to kabiri and try on some rings !
The day started with a boring transaction needing to be at Urban Outfitters who overcharged me for a sale item, with this completed, my boyfriend and I set off through the backstreets of Soho towards our goal of Covent Garden. He has lived in London all his life but still looked like a lost pup, so I grabbed his hand to weave my way through this land of London like a sailor through iceberg riddled water.
On this journey I start to tire, my low blood sugar is making the decisions now, so we decide to stop for sushi, we dive into China town and walk down the main street to soak up the colour and sounds, and end up standing outside of the Tokyo Dinner a favorite sushi place of mine, we look at the menu – mouths watering and decide that we would have to spend a fortune to fill ourselves with sushi and that perhaps a more sensible option is chinese dim sum. So we walk on and spy a little dark looking restaurant, there are lanterns above each individual wooden table and it looks most inviting, so I make the impulse decision and we scurry in. Inside it is no disappointment, the walls are a deep rich wood the same as the tables, it has a simple beauty and we happily settle down to what turns out to be a most delicious meal of dim sum, king prawn noodles, tom yum soup and amazing honey roast ribs. All for a mere £25 at Beijing Dumplings just off china town.
So with food in our bellies we continued with the journey towards gold. A quick walk from china town and with a naughty stop on the way at a tempting sweet trove buying the closest thing to red vines our country has to offer and some sugar coated marshmallows. We continue and finally arrive at the covent garden market, we start walking around and duck into Links London to ask where Kabiri is. A man with the neatest bushy beard I have ever seen admits that he has never heard of it, but that they have only been there for 5 weeks, this makes me slightly nervous. He also directs us to a charms style unusual jewellery store, N2, that we made it to later, although not to my taste it was rather fun to look round.
Walking round the market we walk into another jewellery store and ask the same question, to my utter dismay they say that it was next door but closed down a few weeks ago. NO !
I walk next door and pretty polly has replaced my anticipated treasure trove of Gold! The legs with frilly tights lining the shop window seem to be mocking me, pretty polly indeed!
This has pushed me towards a spiral into gloom, my inner spoilt child comes to the surface and pouts, leaving my boy to make all the decisions about where to next and with the job of cheering me up, or looking at gloom face for the next few hours.
We head for regent st, he is saying on route how we will find the most beautiful jewellery stores and they will taste all the better for all the hard work that we have put in. So I put gloom on hold for a moment and we skip through the manic post christmas streets of London. We’re on Carnaby Street and he pulls me into this native american looking jewellery store, I state perhaps a little loudly that it is not quite right and then we ask where does unusual jewellery and I add in that we are after slightly smaller pieces that are more designie, obviously realizing how rude that this sounds after I have said it ! We are directed around the corner and like a beacon of light, I see it ‘Beyond the Valley’ finally a shop that I know will have at least one thing that I love in it. Now as much as these boutique’s are the best way to shop you do pay for the good taste in produce by always having to put up with a moody manager, who looks at all customers like they just let there dogs poo on her brand new white rug. I think that it must be in the job description, we want people to know that we are a cool shop we need a horrid moody manager and then a flurry of very cute nice young girls to take the edge off, standard fashion boutique package. Anyhow I got to try on beautiful Naomi Klien and violet darkling rings which I had not yet seen in the flesh. And we saw the lovely undergrowth’s Tina Tsang’s white patterned crockery that we have known and loved for a while!
And then onto liberty’s for more trying and not much buying. We decided that Kabiri would have to be a mission for another day as it was getting late and there was not much chance of getting to the marylebone! I called the head office and a very helpful person talked to me about the new store in Kings Rd and whether the Clare English ring was stocked there.
I did finally make it to the Kings Rd store and was surprised to find that I was actually a big fan of the more traditional jewellery by Arik Kastan. When lying next to the magpie swag ring you could really tell the quality difference – not to say they don’t have their own unique beauty, but the Arik Kastan pieces are things that will grow with you, they have a unworldly beauty rather than a fantastical facade.