When asked about her favourite era in jewellery-making history to plunder for design inspiration, Sophie’s answer is always the same: the Art Deco period. A movement that emerged in the early 20th century, Art Deco left an indelible mark on the world, influencing the design of everything from fashion to furniture. It is the architecture of the era, however, that fascinates Sophie most, specifically its emphasis on clean lines, geometric forms and a bold use of colour, which translate beautifully into her One-Of-A-Kind ring designs.
“I love the Hoover building in West London,” says Sophie, who has studied the architectural philosophy of the time and frequently refers to it in her designs. “It is quintessential Art Deco and still looks incredibly modern, more than 90 years after it was built. The perfect balancing act between architectural functionality and decorative flourishes, you can see the thought that has gone into every line and every detail.”
Designed around the same principles that produced masterpieces like the Hoover building, Sophie’s Art Deco inspired One-Of-A-Kind rings encapsulate why the era continues to exert such a strong influence. “Art Deco pieces are a lot less bitty than contemporary jewellery,” she explains. “With their geometric shapes and considered use of colour, symmetry and balance, there is a clean and minimalistic elegance to Art Deco jewels that, 100 years later, is still incredibly relevant.”
A signature detail on many of Sophie’s One-Of-A-Kind rings, baguette cut diamonds are synonymous with the Art Deco period. With their long, rectangular shape and step-cut facets, they are ideally suited to recreating the sleek, symmetrical lines that are characteristic of the period. Another nod to the era, Sophie loves to use geometric centre stones, in particular emerald cut gems in vibrant colours – sapphires, emeralds and tsavorites are favourites – framing them with baguette cut diamonds or stones of a different hue to create clean channels of colour and a harmonious contrast.
Prior to the 1920s, jewellery was predominantly made in yellow gold, but in the Art Deco era tastes changed, with a preference for white metals, in particular platinum, which gained popularity thanks to its exceptional durability and pure white colour. Mixing metals also became fashionable, with a combination of white metal and yellow gold adding depth and contrast. Sophie chooses her metals in a similarly rigorous way, using the uniform colour of white metal, or the contrast between a white metal setting and yellow gold band, to emphasise the symmetry of her designs.
Sophie’s love of Art Deco extends beyond architecture to the tailoring of the day - something she also takes inspiration from. With the streamlined silhouettes, precise stitching and structured shapes of clothing from the period, with no extraneous details, there was nowhere to hide. Artisanal expertise was essential, and the exquisite craftsmanship that underpins Art Deco tailoring is also a hallmark of Sophie’s designs.
Driven by a strong sense of purpose and intentionality, perhaps the biggest influence from this prolific period of design is the simple premise that there is a reason behind everything. With Sophie’s Art Deco inspired rings, each line, shape, stone and metal has been carefully thought out. Back then, this emphasis on simple, streamlined design reflected a desire for order and structure in a rapidly changing world. Today, they represent the purest form of modernism and elegance – essential ingredients for a jewel to be truly timeless.