WORDS BY ASHLEIGH GRIBBON
Innovative settings, mood-elevating colors and dazzling cuts — David Morris gives exceptional fine jewelry a new lease of life with modern, artful styles that push the boundaries of traditional design. For the family-run maison, finding the perfect stones for each masterfully made piece takes time — an earring, ring or necklace can take several months to finish as its artisans hold out for the most flawless gemstones and minerals.
To celebrate the launch of a new collection, CEO and creative director, Jeremy Morris, and FARFETCH’s head of jewelry, Min Lee, shine a spotlight on everything you need to know about the brand’s one-of-a-kind approach. From its reenergized take on craftsmanship to the sourcing and rarity of each precious gemstone, here’s everything you need to know about the revered fine jewelry house.
The history of David Morris
With an inherent talent for jewelry creation, David Morris began his career at 16 when he was taken on as a young bench jeweler — an artisan who uses a combination of skills to make and repair jewelry — in London’s prestigious Hatton Garden. Opening his debut store in 1962, his eponymous maison quickly became renowned for its exceptionally rare stones and a flawless approach to design. ‘Ours is one of only a few family-owned jewelry houses remaining on London’s Bond Street,’ notes David’s son and now CEO and creative director, Jeremy Morris. ‘We still craft each piece of jewelry by hand, honouring traditional methods passed down through the generations that have worked there, some for more than 30 years.’
With Jeremy at the helm, the design house’s modern, playful take on high jewelry calls upon the latest technologies to push the boundaries of traditional design. ‘We’ve become known for sourcing the world’s rarest-of-the-rare diamonds,’ notes Morris. ‘An extraordinary amount of preparation goes into the design of our high jewelry pieces, and we’re increasingly calling upon 3D print modelling to meticulously plan the pieces digitally before a design is placed into the hands of our in-house team of artisans — a level of detail that enables me to envision how the finished piece will look and feel. This painstaking approach to design and planning means that we’re able to create pieces of increasing daring and creativity.’
'David Morris is renowned for collecting fine gemstones over the course of several months in order to perfectly match each stone in its incredible rings, earrings and necklaces,’ explains Min Lee on the maison’s unwavering approach to each piece’s creation. ‘These stones really are of the highest quality and extraordinarily unique.’ Morris continues: ‘It usually takes us around three to four months to create a piece, but we can spend years designing something. I don’t like to rush to make something just because I’ve got the stones, I prefer to wait until the inspiration comes and the piece looks magnificent.’
The quality of every material used isn’t the only thing the design house applies their exceptional artistry to — each and every design is perfectly engineered to compliment the way the body moves. ‘David Morris artisans consider so many elements when creating each high jewelry piece,’ says Lee. ‘From the softness of their movement to creating articulated curves and lines that move naturally with the body — a hand piece that is both a bracelet and a ring, or a highly embellished structured choker that appears constricting, but it is quite the contrary. It’s this unique approach that makes even the most statement, rare and innovative adornments wearable.’
Mood-lifting colors and cuts
Meticulously crafted in the maison’s London atelier, this latest collection sees an emphasis on creative, colorful designs — brought to life in emeralds, rubies and 18kt white gold — in modern shapes such as sculptural ear cuffs and highly embellished structured chokers. ‘I love to buy old stones because they have an incredible richness of color which is difficult to find in contemporary stones,’ explains Morris. ‘If you see an old ruby compared to a newly mined one, or an old Colombian emerald compared to a new one, the colors are cleaner, more open and vibrant. I try to source old stones where I can. [With diamonds], I like slightly older cut stones too — ones that have been cut in the 1950s and 1960s have bigger faces. Today, the stones are cut a lot heavier because people like the lustre, but I'm more interested in the overall appearance of the stone – stones with charm that you can’t find anywhere else.’
High jewelry for all occasions
'Thanks to the modern engineering of these pieces and a wearability that aligns to all moments in people's lives, we’ve seen an evolution in recent years. High jewelry is no longer being reserved solely for events, weddings and formal occasions,’ explains Lee. ‘David Morris’ unique pieces push the boundaries of traditional design, giving truly special fine-jewelry pieces a new context.’