TELLING TALES: Stephen Webster wouldn’t normally put initials on his rebellious jewelry designs, but when the idea of initials — and underwater creatures — surfaced, he changed his mind and a new collection called Fish Tales was born.
The collection consists of 26 dainty gold and diamond charms that show sea creatures entangled with a letter of the alphabet. The collection is accompanied by a short book that captures Webster’s ongoing fascination with the underwater world and tells the stories of the different types of fish featured in the new range, starting with Angelfish and ending with Zebra Turkeyfish.
“Every now and again I have an idea that’s a little outside the box, just like the knives we created last year. Those are the collections that end up becoming our signatures because we always like that element of surprise,” said Webster, who debuted the new collection with a cocktail at Hix restaurant in east London.
An avid writer who published a popular autobiography in 2015, Webster often pens columns for different publications such as the Hix magazine and is always looking to tell stories about his jewelry.
“Jewelry provides a great means of storytelling, you can narrate your way of doing things. This collection has a real story, it’s 26 chapters, 26 illustrations, 26 pieces of jewelry. It feels like exactly what we should be doing,” said the designer, adding that the way a brand communicates its message to its clients is becoming more critical in this creative age.
“Being a veteran, I’ve got to think where we now fit,” he added. Webster has also been experimenting of late with man-made diamonds in partnership with Swarovski, strengthening his online business and putting more of a focus on film.
A film — produced by his elder daughter Amy — that captures him creating the Fish Tales charms in his workshop, has just been released on the brand’s web site while a new collection featuring man–made diamonds is set to debut at the Las Vegas Couture show later this year.
“I really enjoy (working with man-made diamonds) because there’s a purpose to it. It’s also modern, you couldn’t have done a collection with man-made diamonds ten years ago, no one knew how to make them,” said Webster. “That doesn’t mean there’s no use of diamonds extracted from the ground anymore, that’s the bulk of the industry. But it’s OK to be part of the conversation where you consider what will happen when the world runs out of resources. There are different ways of looking at things, it could be fur and fake fur or real and man-made diamonds. There’s room for it all, right now.
It’s just the way things are shifting in the industry that I’ve been in for 42 years.”
The new range — priced at 875 pounds — will be sold at the brand’s boutiques and shops-in-shop at Harrods.
Webster is set to debut another collection dubbed Altered Perspective at Las Vegas’ Couture Show. He said it captures his thoughts on life at the moment. “It’s about being unsettled, but embracing it rather than trying to fight it,” he added.