Dominic Jones Is Reissuing His Darkly Romantic Debut Jewellery Collection

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Dominic Jones Jewellery
Dominic Jones JewelleryPhotography by Camille Summers Valli, Styling by Elizabeth Fraser Bell

As the award-winning jewellery designer returns to his breakthrough 2009 collection, Jones speaks to AnOther about finding inspiration in nature

Sat at his kitchen table in 2009, celebrated jewellery designer Dominic Jones crafted a debut collection which would alter his future forever. Entitled Tooth and Nail, Jones’ hand-carved pieces transformed tools of predation and protection evolved in nature – fangs, claws, thorns, and teeth – into beautiful yet ferocious artefacts of silver and gold. “I wore the first two rings out to Bungalow8 the night that I finished them, the ‘Claw Ring’ and ‘Knuckle Duster’ ring,” Jones remembers. “I met Jaime Winstone that night and she ordered one off my hand. Alice Dellal took the knuckle duster off me and said I could have it back when I had made her one. That was night one. The collection exploded by the time I launched it for sale.” 

Tooth and Nail launched Jones on a whirlwind journey which would see him make history as the only jeweller to show on the official London Fashion Week schedule, and the first jewellery designer to win the British Fashion Council’s NewGen Award (which he won five times between the years 2010 and 2014). In this time, Jones’ designs also attracted a devoted cult following which boasted global superstars among its members, including David Bowie, Amy Winehouse, Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Karl Lagerfeld. Then, after five “rollercoaster” years, Jones quietly stepped away from his eponymous brand in 2014, instead consulting for storied labels like Thierry Mugler and Fabergé, and later serving as creative director of Astley Clarke and Links of London.

In 2021 Jones returns with two personal ventures: the launch of a Dominic Jones Jewellery archive project, the first release of which will reissue his breakthrough Tooth and Nail collection, and the debut of his new fine jewellery line Haesel. Landing on MATCHESFASHION in April and May respectively, Tooth and Nail re-emerges with a campaign starring singer Beabadoobee, musician Master Peace, and former Another Man cover star Wolf Gillespie – faces who represent “the creative spirit of today” – while the Arts and Crafts-inspired debut collection of Haesel, Nature Keeps Score, pays ode to the figures who have shaped Jones as a designer, including Alan Turing, British artist Peter Randall-Page, and Jones’ grandmother Hazel, the label’s namesake. 

Here, speaking in his own words, Jones reflects on finding inspiration in nature and re-entering the world of jewellery design in 2021.

“I’m a country kid. I’m also an only child, and sadly when I was four-and-a-half years old my father died quite suddenly. A lot of my early years were spent outside in nature on my own, either in Buckinghamshire or in the Lake District where my grandparents lived. I think nature, from as early as I can remember, was really healing for me, as growing up was a pretty confusing time ... I feel it is authentic and understandable that I always seem to return there when left to my own devices.

[Tooth and Nail] was all about the idea that in nature, and particularly in carnivores, the females of the species are often deadlier than the males. It is also inspired by the idea that when you then look at the tools that nature has evolved for them such as claws, fangs, thorns, they too are built up of what are perceived as very feminine curves. What initially reads as scary or threatening is actually built from very elegant and graceful shapes. I really liked the idea of delivering something that sits in a confusing place between aggressive and beautiful – which in jewellery at that moment [in 2009] really connected with people, and I think still does.

“2020 was a circuit break for most people, for me it was in a very real sense. I had just gotten my head around the abrupt end of Links of London at the end of 2019 when the pandemic hit. It gave me the time I hadn’t had before to actually work out what it would be like to bring [Dominic Jones Jewellery] back … As I was toying with the idea, I watched the explosion of TikTok and all these new people blowing up that all looked like people I wanted to dress in my archive designs. It just felt like now was the right moment to bring it back – not just for people that might have loved it before, but for a generation that was too young to know about it the first time. 

“Haesel is my next personal project, it’s where my own design language is at today. It’s quite different to what I was doing with my work in Dominic Jones Jewellery, it’s a lot more detailed, intricate and in a way delicate ... but still I hope very much me. I want it to grow a lot slower this time and it to be a gentle process, I’m not looking to replicate the rollercoaster of my first brand.

“[Launching these collections] has been quite cathartic in a lot of ways. It was a bumpy ending for me personally and emotional deciding to end Dominic Jones Jewellery. To get through that experience I felt like I had to reject that work to move on from it ... So, it feels quite healing to be putting love back into it, while also getting to know my own voice as a designer for myself again. It is something which I wasn’t sure back in 2014 I would want to do again.”

Dominic Jones Jewellery is avaiable to shop now via MATCHESFASHION. Five per cent of profits are donated to the World Land Trust.