Fascinated by the way jewellery accrues layers of meaning as it’s passed down through generations, Wanaka-based jeweller Alice Herald turned to a medium that worked in a similar way as the starting point for her new Once Upon A Time collection — fairytales.
Exploring how classic folk stories had started, how small, subtle storylines would change depending on the moral priorities of different countries, and whittling down the core aesthetic motifs of each, Herald conceived three capsule collections called Obey, Grace and Virtue that evoked the essences of Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and Beauty and The Beast.
“I wanted to make a narrative collection to highlight design and storytelling because that is what I do,” Herald explains, “I story-tell for my clients, putting their personal narrations into a piece of jewellery.”
As such, most of the pieces are designed to be inspirational, with Herald explaining that clients can add their own personal touches if they would like. The designs also remain largely true to the jeweller’s underlying imperatives of versatility and wearability — even in the most intricate pieces.
The Drops of Happiness earrings, for example, fall under the Grace capsule, inspired by the moral message of Cinderella. The earrings evoke honeysuckle leaves (historically considered symbols of happiness) and can also be worn in cuff versions, or asymmetrically.
But beyond its overt messaging, what Alice Herald’s new collection is really reminding us to do, is to use our most precious jewellery as conduits through which we tell our own stories, and that the generations after us can use to tell theirs, too.