A JEWEL DATE WITH LUIS-MIGUEL HOWARD

When questioned, most jewel enthusiasts will reply that their Love and exploration of jewellery began in their mothers jewellery box.  As a child I would sit transfixed at my mother’s dressing table and run her beaded necklaces and pearls through my fingers.

Designer Luis-Miguel Howard’s (LMH) relationship with jewels began like my own.  & as a boy he was fascinated by the jewellery worn by the women around him.   At the age of 8 his fascination love took on a slightly more professional air when he became somewhat of a jewel auditor for his sisters Godmother.

As we sat in his study a week or so after meeting at the London Jewellery show Luis-Miguel told me how his summers were spent in a grand dining room polishing and preening the prestigious jewellery collection of his sister’s Godmother.  The fact this task was entrusted to a 8 year old child speaks volumes about the type of person LMH is.  Even at a tender age his love and respect of jewellery shone bright for all to see.

16 years later it is no surprise that LMH has established himself as a designer who is able to take the precious and intimate pieces (be

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Tourmaline-and-Seed-Pearl-necklace

it a treasured heirloom or loose stones bought for her by a loved one as he travelled the world) of a woman’s jewellery box and transform this into a new treasure that retains the sentiment and origins of the original piece.

LMH’s portfolio shines bright with decadent up-cycled pieces, such this choker (pictured below), which was formerly the base of a tiara.   I know, I too winced at the thought of a piece of this magnitude being split in two.   But it was the only fair  way to share the tiara amongst two sisters

Star Choker

Star Choker: Luis-Miguel Howard
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As he walked me thorough his design process for the choker  LMH explained he wanted to take the essence of the original piece and honour it’s design and so he incorporated the star formation which mirrors the stars which were at the top of the tiara.

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Chokers are not a typical piece of jewellery. They haven’t had their moment in the spotlight for quite some time. But as LMH points out, who cares. Jewellery unlike clothing is free from the constraints and trends of the must have now  lists of fashion editors.   Jewellery is a place of indulgence, fantasy and artistry.

& so Luis-Miguel sets upon representing his clients indulgences and passions in the jewellery he creates for them.  Take the fondly named ‘Ring of Passion. ‘ The lucky, proud owner of this gem is a self confessed fiery and passionate Italian woman.

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The Ring of Passion: Luis-Miguel Howard
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A graduate of the Kent Institute of Art and Design (now known as the University of Creative Arts), a former employee of Boucheron, LMH draws upon his accomplished training and takes forth this knowledge and upbringing and brings this in to his designs .  These elements he combines with inspiration he draws from the great works of Faberge, Indian lifestyle & heritage and architecture.  A sense of structure is deeply apparent in LMH work, though this doesn’t overshadow his ability to create a sense of movement and fluidity in his pieces.

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Images: Luis-Miguel Howard

Along side his bespoke pieces, LMH also has a diffusion line; the Pret Pret-a-Porter collection which offers us all the fantasy and essence of a Luis-Miguel Howard design, but at a more affordable prices.  It was actually a piece from this collection that got me and LMH talking at the jewellery show.    When I first saw the 5ft  Gold Star Lariat Chain my heart stopped.   I had to know more about it and the man behind the design.

Star Lariat (detail) 2

Star Lariat Chain: Luis Miguel-Howard
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One of the beauties of the Star Lariat Chain is that it has no clasp.   So you can wrap it around yourself as many times as you please.  Be it worn as a necklace or bracelet or headpiece.  One of the questions I had for LMH when he most generously gave me his time a few weeks later was; Where does a piece like that come from?

And then he pulled out a necklace from beneath his shirt which I had  not noticed since I had  been there and said, from my family.  Luis- Miguel Howard is man who wears minimal jewellery.   Instead he choses to wear just a few cherished piece, including this necklace; on which four solid Gold Stars hang upon it.  One for each of his two sisters, their mother and himself.  Each star is inscribed with one of their birthdays and the year they were born.

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And so I find myself coming back to were I began this piece,  Luis-Miguel Howard is a man who respects jewellery.  Not only does he see it for the art form it is and replicates this in his fantastical designs but he understands and truly respects the relationship a wearer has with a piece of jewellery.  Jewellery the ring especially is seen as the ultimate symbol of devotion and love, and every now and again we come across designers such as Luis -Miguel Howard who are are able encapsulate and represent this through their designs.

Huge thanks and gratitude goes out to Luis-Miguel Howard for inviting me to his home and allowing me to enter the world of Fantasia that is Luis-Miguel Howard.

For news on Luis-Miguel Howard and a list of stockist or to discuss creating your own LMH bespoke piece please contact Luis-Miguel via his website.

All Designs and Images are Copyright of © Luis Miguel Howard.

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