“ This new lace heart collection was inspired by the idea of fossils in amber - immaculate, fragile beauty suspended in a crystal clear casement”. - Lily Gardner
ever wanted to find a piece of jewellery that had something extra special about it? London jewellery designer Lily Gardner did. Aware of the huge popularity of heart necklaces, it was inevitable that she would have her own creative take on the subject. She wanted her version of the perfect heart necklace to be different. To add more emotional value and meaning.The final result needed to elevate the expected to the unexpected; to create something rare and precious.As a starting point, Lily set about making a completely new material as a focus for her pieces. She devised an ingenious method of embedding the finest black couture lace inside clear Perspex. This unique innovation combined one of the world’s most artisanal, traditional textiles with very contemporary material famed for its clarity and protective strength.
The material she uses is no ordinary lace. It is imported from Northern France, where it is still made today in extremely limited quantities on 19th century looms. These huge machines were smuggled to the small lace-making town of Caudry in Northern France from Nottinghamshire, England, during the Luddite revolution.This was at a time when English artisan makers were threatened by the industrial age. The last thing the lace makers wanted was a machine that could take away jobs.
Both English looms and French Jacquard machines could produce lace. But the brilliant integration of the two mechanisms delivered a production process that could replicate the extreme delicacy of hand-made fine bobbin lace. Bad news for the artisans, although the much higher production volumes allowed many more people to enjoy the benefits of such a fine and delicate material.Today our lace is made and finished to an exemplary standard in the same place that produced lace for Amal Clooney’s and Kate Middleton’s wedding dresses, as well as garments for Jackie Kennedy, Princess Grace of Monaco, and Marilyn Monroe.
From France the lace travels to the Lily Gardner studio in London. There it is carefully combined with Perspex and then laser cut into heart outlines. These shapes are then smoothed and polished. The final process is adding the necklace itself. This varies between an onyx-beaded necklace or a fine sterling silver chain necklace, depending upon the piece.The exciting news is that in January 2020 we moved a significant step forward and perfected a method of setting the finished lace pieces in sterling silver. This means you can now wear our beautiful lace heart encased in silver as a necklace.The silver used is, of course, sterling silver proudly bearing Lily Gardner’s own hallmark, granted to her by London’s Assay Office. This revered institution exists to put a royal stamp on all solid silver pieces it has weighed, giving assurance to their purity.If you own a sterling silver heart necklace it will bear this mark and you can be assured of its heirloom status.
The centrepiece and most popular heart in our lace jewellery collection is the traditionally-shaped Lace in Silver heart necklace.
If you are looking for a delicate, feminine and small pendant necklace for someone who loves smaller items for everyday wear (and indeed they may be petite themselves), our small lace heart necklace is ideal.
To make a stronger impression, the slightly larger ‘medium’ traditional heart necklace is another solid choice. This is a handsome item and a standout piece offering more lace pattern while remaining a compact size.
If you are giving to someone who prefers unusual jewellery that is still minimal and original, then Lily Gardner’s Wild Heart silver necklace is a certain solution. It hints at the traditional heart profile but then goes its own wild way in a long elegant V shape. This pendant really favours a V-neckline which echoes its shape. It is therefore an ideal necklace for shirts or necklines with a certain plunge about them!Discreet yet dramatic, it’s a sharper, less traditional alternative heart. It looks slightly dangerous and is part heart, part arrow - Cupid would surely approve!