Fascinated by the healing power of crystals and the talismanic nature of jewellery, London-based designer Theodora Warre launched her namesake line in 2014. Having visited and fallen in love with India as a child, the country has shaped her eclectic aesthetic – and she works with a fourth-generation stone broker in the northern city of Jaipur to source unique gems for her pieces. Sketching out designs in her west London studio, every piece is then masterfully crafted in the Indian city she holds so close to her heart. Intrigued, we asked Warre to talk us through her creative journey…
How did you hone your craft?
I studied at Chelsea College of Art and Design, followed by London College of Fashion before going on to work for Russian Vogue and Glamour. My love of jewellery was cemented in Jaipur where I studied gemmology and worked at the Gem Palace: it was here that I met the suppliers and stone-dealers that I continue to work with today.
"I believe in the power of stones and the positive effects and benefits they can bring to the person wearing them. I hope that my jewellery brings something positive to the wearer, whether it’s a sense of protection or an inner-confidence."
Can you tell us about your creative process?
I design my collections in my studio in London but all of my jewellery is made in Jaipur in northern India, which is where my workshops are based. India is a constant source of inspiration for me: I often adapt my collections depending on the stones that I find there. I'm obsessed with colour and there really is no better place than India for sourcing unusual coloured gemstones.
How would you describe the aesthetic of your jewellery?
Eclectic. I use a mix of semi-precious and precious stones in my designs, set in matte and high-polished silver settings with 18ct gold plating. Each piece is unique and tells its own story. I design my collections with a free-spirited woman in mind: the Theodora Warre woman is a constant traveller with a love of exploration, discovery and new experiences.
How do you envisage your pieces being styled?
My jewellery looks its best when layered, sometimes less is more but often I think more is more! I design my earrings to be worn asymmetrically or stacked up the ear; my pendants are designed to be worn at varied lengths but always with a larger statement one on a long chain.
Is there a feeling you hope to evoke from the wearer?
The mysterious and magical - I believe in the power of stones and the positive effects and benefits they can bring to the person wearing them. I hope that my jewellery brings something positive to the wearer, whether it’s a sense of protection or an inner-confidence.
When did you first visit India?
I first visited India as a child and told my mother in no uncertain terms that I wanted to live there when I grew up! Sadly, this never came to fruition but being able to spend as much time there as I do is the next best thing.
What do you find most inspiring about Jaipur?
The colour palette is extraordinary: the women there wear the most beautiful brightly coloured and intricate saris that could not translate anywhere else. And of course, the stone markets: stall after stall selling everything from strings of pearls to hand-carved Hindu gods... a jewellery designer’s heaven.
Can you tell us about some of the people you work with?
I work with a few different workshops: one in the main city and another larger one in a jewellery district about 20 minutes from the centre. I also work with a wonderful stone broker who is fourth generation: he is very knowledgeable and learnt the trade from standing at his father’s side from a very early age. Most of the crystals used in my jewellery are hand carved, sometimes there are imperfections which I think gives real character to the jewellery.
What are your favourite things to do when you’re there?
A visit to the Gem Palace and the many wonders on M.I road, followed by dinner at Palladio at Narain Niwas Hotel. And I always have an Ayurvedic massage when I'm there - there really is no better place in the world for one.
Has London also informed your aesthetic?
Very much so - I am constantly inspired by my friends' style here in London and typically want to create jewellery that they will want to wear.
What are your favourite stones and why?
Tough question! I love Amethyst - purple is my favourite colour and I believe it to be a very protective stone. I frequently use Rose Quartz for its femininity and association with love.