London-based jewellery designer Solange Azagury-Partridge discusses shopping on Westbourne Grove and collaborating with Ladurée on a rainbow-themed macaron box
When the Ladurée team approached me, I had a pop-up shop in Paris so I was on their radar. All of its macarons are so colourful and sweetie-like, so I thought the rainbow box that I designed (pictured below) was perfect. The edge of the box is reminiscent of the Ladurée ribbon motif, but I also took inspiration from my Rainbow ring.
My favourite sweet is the orangette, which is orange rind dipped in chocolate. I thought we should make chocolate and orange flavoured macarons. As a joke I suggested we call it Solangette, and it stuck.
The first piece of jewellery I designed was my own engagement ring. I was working for an antiques jewellery dealer at the time and was quite sure about what I wanted. I fancied a rough diamond rather than something bling – it just seemed a bit more natural.
I look for inspiration anywhere and everywhere. Jewellery should be worn as much as possible. People tend to fiddle with their hands or their bracelets, so it’s about taking that playful element a bit further and incorporating it into design.
For my latest collection, Poptails, I wanted to make the designs look like the central stone was growing and vibrating outwards. This idea evolved into a series of cocktail rings in a pop of colour, which is why I coined the name Poptails.
My favourite designs are my Magic ring, Rounds watch, emerald Cup ring and Chromance necklace. These are pieces I wear a lot. In my jewellery box, I also have some antique and sentimental items, such as my first ever watch, which was a Mickey Mouse one, and little necklaces that my children gave me when they were little.
I admire designers such as Miuccia Prada and Alexander McQueen. There’s an irreverence but there’s also an elegance about Miuccia Prada; she’s a woman’s designer. She has an intellectual sensibility.
My earliest London memory is playing football in the street in the East End. We started off there; my parents emigrated from Casablanca and we lived in Aldgate East for a year before moving to Westbourne Grove.
Westbourne Grove used to be a really good place for antiques. That’s where I used to go; I basically furnished my whole home from there. For food, there’s always Granger & Co., Chucs and Daylesford.
I live in Paddington now, and it’s super central. You can get anywhere. As I’ve lived in west London for so long, everywhere I go I bump into people I know. They say London’s just a series of villages, don’t they? That’s precisely how it feels.