Fifteen years of Tatty Devine

London-based jewellery twosome Tatty Devine are celebrating 15 years with a romp through their abundant archives of bijoux based on everything from fruit to fauna to facial hair, discovers Rebecca Armstrong

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Fifteen years ago, Harriet Vine and Rosie Wolfenden had a very busy weekend. They had met on Chelsea School Of Art’s Fine Art degree course and, after graduating, started making leather cuffs to sell in the markets of Portobello and Spitalfields. Then came the call from a certain fashion magazine. “Vogue asked us to bring our first collection to their offices and we sat stitching glittering gems and jewels on to leather belts all weekend in our bedrooms,” says Vine. Despite the DIY approach, the pair’s jewellery was a hit, and it was featured in Vogue’s Millennium issue. Tatty Devine had arrived.

A decade and a half on, Tatty Devine pieces delight, surprise – and always get commented on. I should know – I have a few, from two lobster necklaces, one giant and one small, to magpies and swallows as earrings, foxes for my neck, cats for my fingers and a sausage dog pinned to my jacket. My moustache (necklace) is currently tucked in my jewellery box and the golden wings are in my ears. Past collections have seen items inspired by fortune tellers and flamingos, anchors and antlers, burgers and fried eggs. Where do the pair, who have seen their creations worn by pop stars and have worked with fashion designers such as Louise Gray and artists including Gilbert & George, get their inspiration?

 

“When we’re beginning the design process, Harriet and I always come together and talk about why we want to make something new, the mood it should have and when you would wear it,” explains Woilfenden. “We pull together all the things we’re interested in and excited by at that very moment.” And surely their personal jewellery collections are something to behold. “I’m lucky that I have bespoke pieces like the one-off yellow giant Dinosaur Necklace that I wore to collect my MBE ceremony at Buckingham Palace last year,” reveals Vine (above, with Wolfenden). “Surprisingly, there are still a few things that I don’t have in my own collection yet. I like to hang my jewellery up around the house so I can see it. Some people have pictures on the wall, I have necklaces!”

To celebrate Tatty Devine’s quinceañera, 15 pieces from the company’s archives are being reissued (“It was extremely hard to choose!” admits Wolfenden) on 4 September, when the brand takes over the Royal Festival Hall’s shop. As well as showcasing the final 15 for a month, each Saturday and Sunday in September there’ll be drop-in classes from 1-7pm for customers to have a go at creating their own conversation starters in the form of necklaces.

It’s going to be a busy month. Still, that’s the way that Vine and Wolfenden like it, and they’re planning for the next 15 years. As Wolfenden puts it: “There is still so much jewellery to imagine and so many dreams to make into a reality!”

www.tattydevine.com

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