Leaves of gold

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A new collaboration with Evans brings jewellery designer Alex Monroe's nature-inspired creations to the high street. Gemma Hayward reports

Although the price-tag often makes jewellery a long-term investment, it has trends just as much as other sectors. Alex Monroe's designs however are the kind that don't go out of fashion – subtle enough to be worn every day but still individual enough to get noticed for that. Nature has long been Monroe's greatest inspiration – think tiny gold-plated honey bees on delicate chains and charm bracelets decorated with sweet trinkets of flora and fauna.

Since starting in the business 25 years ago, British-born Monroe has enjoyed a steady stream of popularity – winning the designer of the year at the UK Jewellery Awards in 2008 and gaining a healthy roster of celebrity fans – Sophie Dahl and Sienna Miller to name but two.

Along with stockists world-wide, last year saw the opening of Monroe's first stand-alone shop in London's Borough Market, but now, thanks to a new collaboration with high street chain Evan's, it is even easier, not to mention more affordable, to get your hands on his gems.

"I was interested in the notion of a young girl watching her mother dress for a glamorous evening in the 1950s," says Monroe of the collection. "Sitting at her dressing table and deciding which pieces of jewellery to wear." Staying true to his understated aesthetic was important to the designer too, "to ensure it wasn't an out-of-reach glamour."

The eight-piece collection, entitled Alouette, also draws inspiration from the designs of the textiles of William Morris in the form of gold leaf stud leaf stud earrings and skylark motif cameo pendants proving nature remains close to Monroe's heart.

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