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Designer spotlight: Why you need to know fine jewellery designer Shaun Leane
“Soft,” “light” and “playful” are not words that immediately come to mind when one considers the intricate, sculptural creations from the House of Shaun Leane—but that’s exactly how the master jeweller, who famously collaborated with Alexander McQueen as well as designed custom pieces for Sarah Jessica Parker, describes Aerial, his latest collection.
“I wanted to create something that was light, of the air, but still had the strong silhouette I’m known for,” explains Leane. The London-based designer reimagined his signature tusk shape as the delicate frame of a wing—a swish of white gold decorated with diamonds and gemstones. “I wanted to capture the beauty of wings but in my own handwriting.”
Leane, who began training at age 15, was immediately drawn to classic pieces. “I used to go to museums and get inspiration from the masterpieces of past jewellers,” he says, citing the Victorian and art-deco periods as his favourites. “I hoped that I, too, could one day inspire generations that come after me. The longevity of jewellery is what I love so much about being in this trade.”
Leane’s fascination with history is also why his favourite material to work with will always be diamonds. “The youngest diamond in the world is 900 million years old,” he says. “It’s really an honour to wear something that old—something that is so connected to the earth.”