It’s not every day that I’m introduced to a collaborative collection that combines two of my favourite things, but the brand new Kathy de Stafford for Fields the Jeweller range is exactly that. The former is one of Ireland’s finest bridal designers, the latter is a wholly Irish-owned company that has been a market leader since 1979. And now they’ve come together and have created a unique bridal jewellery range that is truly perfect for any and all brides-to-be.
Kathy de Stafford has been designing bridal wear for over 28 years, with three boutiques around the country and has proved that designing gowns has been her calling – ever since she was three years old. “My mother found me with a needle and thread, and a piece of the living room curtain, and I was making a dress for my doll!” Today, Kathy is renowned as a leading bridal designer, having won multiple awards during her career, two of which are the prestigious Bridal Designer of the Year and the Wedding Dress Designer of the Year, while de Stafford Bridal has also claimed a Best Bridal Store Award too. Dressing brides from around the world, this new venture is the perfect stepping stone for Kathy’s bridal career.
One of the most recognisable jewellery stores in the country, Fields the Jeweller has been offering its customers a customer-driven service since the late Seventies. Having been awarded the prestigious UK and Ireland Jewellery Award for ‘Multiple Retailer of the Year’ in both 2010 and 2011, whatever the occasion, Fields provides a broad variety of distinctive jewellery designs that cater to both brand lovers and magpies. A top choice for many when it comes to engagement rings, wedding bands and special occasion pieces, teaming up with Kathy de Stafford is a true match made in heaven.
The Kathy de Stafford for Fields range features three distinctive collections: Signature, Statement and Vintage. Overall there are 22 pieces in the engagement ring ranges, featuring dazzling diamond rings set in 18ct white gold. What makes each of the rings extra special though, is the inclusion of a topaz blue stone that adorns the shank of each ring, reflecting the de Stafford signature colour, as well as the de Stafford logo, engraved inside the band. Engagement rings are a big deal for many couples, especially for the one about to propose, therefore it’s wonderful that Kathy de Stafford for Fields will range from €995 to €4,500, ensuring all budgets are covered.
Attending the launch event last week (January 17th) in the beautifully decorated No. 25 Fitzwilliam Place, I was honoured to meet Kathy and have a first look at the new collection. Amidst harp playing, canapés and glasses of Prosecco, as well as three bridal dresses on display, I was also delighted that the designer allowed me to ask her a few questions for an exclusive impromptu interview!
What made you decide this was the time to design a jewellery collection with Fields the Jeweller?
Kathy: “I had been doing little pieces before in the past, mainly for friends and family. So when Fields the Jeweller came to see me, I was thrilled. It’s not something I had thought of doing myself, as it’s such a big thing to commit to, and I definitely would have needed a jewellery company to work with the shops. When Fields did approach me, at first I thought they wanted to do a photoshoot of my dresses for their rings, so I was delighted that it turned out they wanted me to collaborate on a collection. It was something I wanted to do at some stage in the future, therefore when this opportunity came out of the blue, it was like a dream come true.”
Will we be seeing future collections in collaboration with Fields?
Kathy: “Oh I hope so! This is the first time that I’ve ever collaborated with a company, and I’m the first designer that they have collaborated with in Ireland, doing bridal engagement and wedding rings. So, if this collection goes well, it would be an absolute pleasure to collaborate on something else. It’s fun, it’s hard work – from my initial sketches to all the meetings, it’s wonderful to see my sketches come alive.”
How long did it take to design the rings, from the sketch to the finish?
Kathy: “This first started around March/April 2017 when Fields came to me, then we had another big meeting in May where I talked about my ideas for the Signature, Vintage and the Statement Collections. So I had gone away with my little sketch books and journals, during which I started designing the rings for each collection. When I showed them the sketches and they really liked them, which was great! By the time Fields then chose their diamonds, I saw the first templates around September/October, and then the final pieces I only saw about a week ago (January 2018)!”
And as a general, which piece of jewellery is your favourite to wear on a daily basis?
Kathy: “My grandmother’s ring. This was my grandmother’s wedding ring, and when I inherited this, I had the little rubies set in as the ruby is also my birthstone. So to me, a ring is more than just a piece of jewellery. It’s a sentiment, it’s an emotion, it can be a good luck talisman.”
Kathy de Stafford’s Top Three
The Signature Collection – 18ct White Gold .75ct Diamond Round Trilogy Ring, €2,850: A trilogy ring represents love in its past, present and future state. There is no better way to express your affection than with this stunning diamond ring. From every angle this ring has the finest attention to detail and decoration, symbolic of Kathy De Stafford’s meticulous eye for design. The 3 diamonds are elevated in a layered trilogy setting with the main and centre round brilliant diamond sitting proud, creating a gentle peak to this stunning ring. The diamond shoulders have delicate milgrain beading along the edges, giving the ring a beautifully frosted sparkle. The setting sits upon a signature London Blue Topaz gemstone, lending future brides the ‘something blue’ tradition.
The Statement Collection – 18ct White Gold 1ct Diamond Split Band Ring, €3,100: Kathy De Stafford unveils another stunning diamond ring with flawless and unique design with this 18ct white gold diamond cluster master piece. An impressive three row diamond band draws your eye up to the main focal arrangement. A spectacular combination of round brilliant and baguette diamonds have been carefully designed in tiers, giving the ring perfect elevation. Beneath this is a signature London Blue Topaz that is nestled into an intricate filligree setting, a recognizable influence of Kathy De Stafford’s award winning bridal designs.
The Vintage Collection – 18ct White Gold .75ct Diamond Flower Ring, €2,950: True to Kathy De Stafford’s personal appreciation for art deco jewellery, this calibre cut inspired ring is tastefully ornate and creates a sensational statement on any finger. This 18ct white gold setting has no detail spared with thought given to the finest of design aspects. The shoulders of the ring splay symbolising pretty leaves into a floral concept of design where the main creation of the ring takes centre stage. Beneath this is a signature London Blue Topaz that is nestled into an intricate filligree setting, a recognizable influence of Kathy De Stafford’s iconic blue logo.
The full collection is available from February 1st
Not only have engagement rings been designed, but the new Kathy de Stafford for Fields Collection also features necklaces and earrings, as well as wedding bands. Perfect for completing your bridal jewellery on the big day, the necklaces and earrings would also make as special gifts to your bridesmaids, mother of the bride or groom. Furthermore, Kathy’s signature blue has been incorporated into one set in particular, the Sterling Silver and Blue Topaz Briolette Pendant & Earrings, that ensures a bride has that something new and something blue for her wedding day.
Wedding bands were designed to compliment the Kathy de Stafford for Fields engagement rings too, some with more unique designs than the classic wedding band. To ensure true romance, the rings are also presented in a pocket-size box, and each Fields purchase is also packaged in their famous green wrapping topped with a bow – perfect for that special moment.
Kathy de Stafford for Fields will be available to buy at Fields the Jeweller stores nationwide, and online at fields.ie/KDSforFields
A big thank you to Kathy de Stafford and the Fields the Jeweller teams for their generous gift, to Sarah and her team at Cloisters Media for the wonderful organisation and invite, and to the staff at No. 25 Fitzwilliam Place for their tasty treats!
Images © Nirina Plunkett, Kathy de Stafford, Fields the Jeweller