Paula Rowan’s jewellery uniform of milestone moments

by Admin
Paula Rowan’s jewellery uniform of milestone moments

Unlock the Editor’s Digest for free

Good jewellery is a necessity for Paula Rowan. “It’s important for my business because I spend my time looking at other people’s hands and, inevitably, they’re looking at mine,” explains the Irish glove designer, whose accessories have been worn by high-profile figures including Catherine, Princess of Wales. “So I think the jewellery I wear needs to reflect what I do and my personality.”

Rowan, who describes herself as a “very visual person”, says her choices are “driven by aesthetics” rather than practicality, and a love for the designs as opposed to an eye on investment. “I’m led by my heart, not my head,” she says.

She buys pieces to mark significant occasions. “Jewellery is a form of expression . . . [it] says where I am in my life,” she says. It is the “longevity” of jewels that appeals to her for this purpose: she is assembling “heirlooms” she can pass on to her nephews and nieces. Perhaps, one day, they will receive the five favourite pieces that Rowan wears every day.

Boodles earrings (2006)

© Patrick Bolger

Her “uniform” includes the first fine jewellery she bought. Rowan treated herself to a pair of “subtle” 18-carat rose gold and diamond studs to celebrate the week, in 2006, when she both opened her first shop — a leather goods business in Dublin that she had acquired from her brother — and bought an apartment. “I wanted something that I could wear every day,” she says.

She bought the earrings from Boodles, the UK jeweller that had recently opened a store in Dublin’s Grafton Street, not far from Rowan’s own shop in Westbury Mall. “I felt there was a symmetry there,” she says.

Bracelet (c2008)

a gold bracelet made of several loops
© Patrick Bolger

Rowan marked the launch of her first glove collection in 2008 with an 18-carat rose gold bracelet, drawn to its delicate clasp that is set with a small cabochon sapphire. She has since added to the piece two rose gold charms: a ram she bought and a pig gifted by a friend.

She will often wear the bracelet so that the clasp is on view. “It’s funny because it’s actually the same on the Patek [Philippe] watch that I have,” she says. “More often than not, I turn the watch on my wrist so the clasp is what is seen and the face of the watch rests on the inside of my wrist.

“I find, when you look at a clasp generally on a really good piece of jewellery, there’s so much detail . . . I find that quite fascinating.”

Patek Philippe watch (1973)

an old watch with square face and golden strap
© Patrick Bolger

She bought her Patek Philippe watch not to tell the time but to wear as jewellery. The yellow-gold piece, which was made in the year of her birth, resembles more a bracelet than a watch, according to Rowan, because there is a cover that hides the face. “It looks like a vintage Fitbit,” she says.

She purchased the piece at auction in 2021, around the time of the release of House of Gucci, the film drama from director Ridley Scott about the Italian fashion dynasty. She says it represents both her achievement of working on her first major film, and resilience because her business survived the Covid pandemic. She designed gloves during lockdown for Lady Gaga to wear in her portrayal of Patrizia Reggiani, which Rowan regards as a “turning point” for her company.

Many of her milestones relate to her work. “I don’t have children, so my business is very much my family as well, a huge part of my life,” she says.

Chopard ring (2011)

This intricately designed ring features a round face with concentric circles encrusted with diamonds. It is placed on top of a mesh or chain
© Patrick Bolger

Rowan’s rose gold and diamond ring has the words “Happy Spirit” engraved around the side of the piece and a central “floating” diamond that moves, as does the inner of two rounded frames of diamonds. Moving stones are a signature of Chopard’s Happy Diamonds collection.

A surprise gift from her then boyfriend, the “very special piece” attracts attention for its design, says Rowan. “It still surprises me as to the reaction I get from people about the ring,” she adds.

Pinky ring (1950s)

a bulbous golden ring placed on the pinky of a woman’s left hand
© Patrick Bolger

Rowan had long been on a “mission” to buy a pinky ring but, aside from liking a jewelled Garrard piece that she missed out on at auction, it proved a fruitless search until 2022. That year, she spotted a vintage yellow-gold cocktail pinky ring when visiting friends at Gray’s Jewellers in Dublin. After this ongoing quest, “finally I found something that I wanted,” she says.

The piece has etched detailing on its bulbous top, which Rowan finds reminiscent of a hedgehog. She suggests that, perhaps, the purchase was subliminally “a pre-50th birthday gift from Paula to Paula”.

Rowan will continue to mark key moments in her life with jewellery. “As you get older, it’s important to do that — to reward yourself for what you’ve done, for your hard work, for your achievements, for reaching different milestones,” she says. “Being good to yourself.”

Source Link

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.