‘Vincent’ is a tale about an oligarch of the underground, a shadowy patriarch of a Russia imbued deep in the flesh of the London underworld. Vincent, the man, is a true gentleman gangster – suave, sophisticated and deadly dangerous. Barely seen by anyone besides those he wishes to seen by – perhaps you just catch a glimpse of the back of his perfectly tailored coat as he dashes off down a dark alleyway, or the flash of his diamond cufflinks as he stalks out of an underground drinking den…
I designed these cufflinks for Vincent, my enigmatic muse. Because the narrative was so heavily influenced by my gentleman gangster, I spent a lot of time researching classic gentlemen’s accessories – from vintage lighters, through old watches and their chains to signet rings. The signet ring has significance not just in its tradition but also in its use as a sign, a symbol, to tell somebody who you are and where you came from, and perhaps what you have done along the way.
Working in yellow gold, onyx and diamond reflects the classic material combinations of a signet – but I gave the shape a thoroughly modern twist.
The ‘facet’ motif appears throughout the collection, in many guises. The graphic lines and architectural sculpture were drawn from my explorations of Russian monumentalist architecture, 50’s Soviet propaganda graphics and post-modern Russian artists such as Malevich, amongst others.
What tied these references together for me were the brutalist lines, and clean graphic forms – they have incredible understated power. It was this I wanted to portray in these signet-inspired cufflinks - an understated symbol of power and strength that Vincent could be proud of, or so I like to think.