The month of romance is here, cupid is all a flutter with his bow and arrow and it’s the time to remind those that we love the most, just how much we do. This edition is dedicated to romance, friendship, taking time out to love ourselves and embrace those special people in our life no matter who they are. With that in mind Storcx is giving its guide to London’s best Florists, Chocolatiers & Lingerie to get you in the mood for love or simply to spoil yourself.
Let’s face it this would not be a Valentine’s special without something on jewellery. We are lucky enough to have New Zealand born, London-based Jessica McCormack gracing our newsletter. Jessica launched her jewellery brand in 2008 and is now the hottest jewellery brand.
S: TELL US HOW YOU FELL INTO JEWELLERY DESIGNING?
JM: I came to London from New Zealand to work as an apprentice in Sotheby’s jewellery department, where for the first time I saw 1920’s Cartier, Lalique, Russian imperial jewels; they blew my mind. I then went to work for a diamantaire who took a gamble on me and helped me have my first piece of jewellery made. Today, he’s one of my two business partners. We opened Carlos Place seven years ago and have never looked back.
S: WE ADORE YOUR DESIGNS AND VISION, WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
JM: Absolutely everything, and each design seems to arrive in a different way. Sometimes I’m inspired by a particular stone, or sometimes it’s mid-century architecture or modern art, or New Zealand indigenous culture or landscape. Wherever the idea comes from I draw every design by hand, and we make it all in our in-house workshop at Carlos Place.
S: WHAT IS FAVOURITE METAL MATERIAL TO WORK?
JM: Gold – its iterations and adaptions are endless; everything we make is from gold, whether yellow, rose, white or blackened. Of course, I love diamonds too, and how they can be adapted for every day is one of my obsessions. Recently, however, we’ve started making our first pieces without any stones at all, and now I wear the yellow gold Superdelic cloud ring every day.
S: HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
JM: Relaxed. My uniform is decidedly jeans based, with a little bit of Alaia, often with a Nothing Underneath Shirt too. And diamonds of course. At the moment I’m layering the Superdelic cloud ring I mentioned, with the rope thumb ring I never take off, and graduating sized Hex hoops in every piercing.
S: WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION IN THE JEWELLERY INDUSTRY?
JM: It would definitely be antique jewellery; my father was an antiques dealer and his knowledge and collections are perhaps my greatest influence. He taught me to appreciate forgotten eras and to really look at creations from the past which are often overlooked.
S: WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE YOU HAVE EVER DESIGNED?
JM: I honestly have a new favourite every week. It’s usually the newest piece or a bespoke commission that I’m having trouble letting go of. My latest love is a pair of conch pearl gypsets, I’ve never worked with pearls before and these are particularly rare and special.
S: YOUR TOWNHOUSE IN CARLOS PLACE IS EXQUISITE, SHOWCASING A WONDERFUL ART COLLECTION, DO YOU BELIEVE IN BUYING BEAUTIFUL, OR INVESTMENT PIECES IN BOTH JEWELLERY AND ART?
JM: Absolutely, Carlos Place has become a living collection of my journey and of JM as a brand. I’m constantly adding pieces to the collection here, whether new objects or books. The art is all curated from my partner’s collection and is an endless source of inspiration. Just like the jewellery we make it’s the thought and the curation behind each piece which makes it timeless.
S: WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
JM: Don’t sweat the small stuff. I know, it’s a cliché but it’s universally true. It’s one of those pieces of advice I wish I’d listened to more when I was younger, but I definitely do these days.
S: WHAT IS THE ONE THING PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO LEARN ABOUT YOU?
JM: That I’m from New Zealand! That’s until I start talking. My accent is still pretty strong.
S: WHAT IS THE BEST GIFT YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
JM: For my 40th birthday some great friends gave me the most incredible, huge Fluorite sphere which sits on my desk. Fluorite is said to help with decision making, mental clarity and clearing energy fields – who doesn’t need that?
STORCX VALENTINE’S GUIDE
This hidden gem of a chocolatier has to be the best of British. London’s Most Luxurious Chocolate Company creates Award-winning chocolates from the heart of Notting Hill, London. Fresh and sublime their chocolates are handcrafted in Notting Hill by Melt’s world-class chocolatiers. Melt’s Luxury gifts are boxed in beautiful minimalist designed packaging which is plastic-free to help our environment.
For over 20 years Pierre Marcolini, founder of the Maison of the same name, has perfected the art of making chocolate – from the bean to the bar. Every year he travels across the globe, searching for the rarest cocoa with which to make the finest chocolate.
With a rich British heritage and over thirty-five years of expertise, Rococo Chocolates bring tastes and experiences to our customers for the first time, and believe in setting trends, not following them. They use only the finest ingredients and the care and attention to detail that they put into each of their chocolates is evident from their exquisite taste
ARTISAN DU CHOCOLATE
From conching and refining their own chocolate bars to sending chocolate gingers into space or purveying 3 Michelin starred restaurants, Artisan du Chocolate has broken the mould and redefined modern luxury British chocolates since 1999. All their chocolates are hand crafted in their atelier in the Kent countryside.
La Perla’s atelier is dedicated to the art of conserving craftsmanship. It is a place where historical knowledge is reinterpreted into something new. Over the course of 60 years, founder Ada Masotti introduced three signature techniques. Today, they celebrate
our continued support of artisanal crafts and the enduring brilliance of Ada’s hand.
British Lingerie brand Agent Provocateur has been a firm favourite since launch in 1994, founded by the son of the acclaimed Vivienne Westwood, Jospeh Corre. Renowned for their provocative marketing campaigns and gentle venture into S&M apparatus and adventurous threads, nothing says excitement than these racy sets!
RIGBY & PELLER
Rich in British heritage and established over 80 years ago in 1939, Rigby & Peller was founded in London by two female corsetieres Bertha Rigby and Gita Peller.
Rigby & Peller evolved into one of the most talked about British brands. Having built a world-class lingerie destination, June was coined by the UK media as the ‘Queen of Bras’ due to her technique of fitting by eye and her reputation for dressing some of the most iconic women, from rock royalty to crowned heads.
FEBRUARY GIFTING GUIDE
One of the most exciting jewellers, effortlessly melded the traditional with modern.
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS
The Sweet Alhambra jewellery creations by Van Cleef & Arpels have featured delightful lucky motifs in miniature form since 2007. Light and delicate, they are a discreet way of bringing happiness to each passing day.
Prices from £1100
Oval shaped mother of pearl and central diamond cufflinks in sterling silver
DANSEUSE BY RAFFAELLA BENETTI
Perfectly poised and beautifully formed, Danseuse by Raffaella Benetti is an exceptional bronze sculpture that will add movement to a space.
Prices From £1254
Made in Italy from black leather, Mansur Gavriel’s holdall is capacious enough to hold everything needed for a weekend away and opens wide for easy packing. Keep your boarding pass and ID in the internal pocket.
FEBRUARY EVENTS IN LONDON
February 8th-March 8th
Immerse yourself in the tropics this winter by exploring the wonders of Indonesia through Kew’s iconic 25th annual orchid festival.
Rainforests and volcanoes will be brought to life inside the Princess of Wales Conservatory through an exotic array of vibrant orchid displays.
Enjoy this annual ceremony from the comfort of your home watching all the glitz and glam of Hollywood while celebrating international recognition of excellence in cinematic achievements!
LONDON FASHION WEEK
14th – 18th February
Various London Locations
London Fashion Week takes place twice a year in February and September, showcasing over 250 designers to a global audience.
Go behind-the-scenes of the London Fashion Week Hub to discover an immersive innovative experience which includes Designer Catwalks; Creative Installations; the Discovery LAB: an experiential space where fashion meets art, technology and music and a #PositiveFashion Designer Exhibition where the creative work of progressive designers explores the most compelling stories around sustainability, community and ethics.
Don’t forget to celebrate the ones you love this Valentine’s Day. London is an awash with wonderful romantic things to do, from the theatre, opera house, a ride on the Thames or dining in one of London’s romantic restaurants. If you feel like being adventurous why not escape to the countryside for a weekend getaway.
PANCAKE DAY CHARITY RACES
Various London Locations
Pancake Day, otherwise known as Shrove Tuesday can be enjoyed by all the family. Embrace this traditional British day by joining in on one of the Pancake Day races in London which often raise money for charity.
Top celebrations include the Flippin’ Good pancake races at Greenwich Market, the Better Bankside Pancake Day Race in Borough Market and Leadenhall Market’s pancake races.
Remember Keep Life Simple – #storcxit xx