Anabela Chan Joaillerie x Vanity Fair
CALL OF the Wild
From the luminosity of elusive ocean dwellers to the appeal of familiar meadow flowers, these new collections crystallise the captivating naturaI beauty of both land and sea
“This year I’ve been travelling through friends’ eyes, it’s been like therapy” says London-based jewellery designer Anabela Chan. During lockdown she reconnected with two old friends whose far flung adventures helped satiate her wanderlust, and inspire a glorious new technicolour collection. A Mermaid’s Tale is the result of a collaboration between Chan, Valentine Thomas – a corporate lawyer turned freediver and champion spearfisher – and Lily Wang, a black-water diver whose images of luminescent sea creatures are like something from a sci-fi fantasy. “Their happy place is the ocean and they capture the beauty of what’s out there,” says Chan.
Thomas, who Chan describes as “a real-life mermaid”, is an advocate for sustainable fishing and protecting the marine environment, having seen the devastation caused by oceanic waste first-hand. “I wanted to collect some of that waste and reuse in jewellery,” says Chan, who works with recycled aluminium refined from sea and land waste.
Vibrant cascading earrings, an organic open choker and sumptuous cocktail rings are set with lab-grown gemstones in designs inspired by Wang’s deep-sea photography. “The phenomenal colours of these creatures and organisms are out of this world,” Chan continues. “The kelp forest is the ecosystem that makes the biggest difference to life on land, and I loved the idea of capturing its movement and fluidity in jewellery.”
Forming the latest chapter in her “trash to treasure” story, the collection perfectly encapsulates Chan’s whimsical aesthetic, rooted in serious desire to change our planet’s fortunes.