2020 may always be remembered as the year of the micro-wedding, but it also marked 30 years of marriage for Annoushka and her husband John—an important milestone and a great reason to start her first bridal collection Love & Commitment—inspired by the very first piece of jewellery she designed—her engagement ring.
I can hardly believe we have been married for 31 years! Here we are, four children and two businesses on and still going strong—I feel very very lucky.
John had to be quite persistent with his proposals, I wasn’t in the right headspace to make a big decision about marriage when he first asked, he persisted a few more times, but I kept putting him off. A few months later, when I thought he had either forgotten or perhaps given up; we were having a late-night call between London and Hong Kong, where he was working. I asked if he wanted to ask “that question” again, and in a typical male fashion, he responded “what question?” In the end, I had to rather unromantically spell it out, but as they say, the rest is history!
As we approached our 30th wedding anniversary last year, I couldn‘t help thinking about how designing my engagement ring had shaped my career.
The very first piece of jewellery that I designed for myself is one that I wear every day and likeall jewellery, it symbolises a very special story.
I couldn’t find an engagement ring I liked; nothing was quite right but I could picture in my head the exact ring that I wanted. Much to John’s horror, we found ourselves in a well-known jeweller at The Mandarin hotel, who showed me lots of different stones, which was the next stage of bringing the design to life. I had originally thought that an emerald was the stone for me, I adore the vivid colour of Columbian emeralds, but when I put them against my skin, it just wasn’t quite right and didn’t work with my skin tone. In the end, I fell in love with a ruby, which was for some reason the one stone I really thought I didn’t want, but somehow the richness of the stone just worked on my skin. Whenever I am speaking to clients now, I always insist that they try all sorts of different stones on, and they are very often surprised by their choices, which I love.
My instinct was that the ring needed to be classical but somehow modern and tactile as well. I have always been drawn to the Art Deco movement because I love the symmetry and there’s something in the balance of the pattern which felt significant too. After a lot of deliberation, I chose to channel set the shoulders with baguette rubies on either side of the central stone, which gave it a really striking and typically geometric Art Deco feel.
When I was designing the ring, I knew I didn’t ever want to take it off, so it had to be evergreen—a classic which would never date, but also something practical I could always wear and not interfere with daily life. 31 years on, I truly have never taken it off, which I think must be a testament to a good marriage and a long-lasting design! I started thinking about what makes a design enduring and a collection that could be worn forever, every day.
I realised the one thing my ring isn’t is versatile, which decades later is now at the heart of the way I design all my jewellery. Playfulness is also core to the way modern women wear jewellery—we don’t save our jewellery for best and just like a classic pair of hoops or a chunky chain, my clients want their commitment rings to feel part of their jewellery wardrobe—designs that can be changed according to their style at that moment. After all, why should you wear one ring, one way, forever?
If you are lucky like me and remain married for many years, then your commitment rings should evolve with your relationship. The Love & Commitment
collection is designed to be built on, it’s playful and completely nonprescriptive, allowing you to create a combination that is personal. I designed the range to sit alongside my Marguerite
collections, so there are endless ways to wear your rings and when you have a baby or like us, arrive at a milestone moment, you can add to your stack. Like the rings in a tree, everyone represents time and growth.
Love and Commitment
is testament to my belief in ever evolving love, with a modern perspective.