The Rockstar Jeweller: Stephen Webster

stephen webster, jewellery designer

The rockstar (left) with his Crystal Haze cuff (top) and Fish Tail earrings (bottom)

I first met Stephen Webster about six years ago at The Peninsula Hotel. I remember it well because it was a bit like having lunch with a rockstar, although I later found out that he was the one who actually dressed them in his edgy yet luxe jewels (the list includes Kate Moss, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna and Christina Aguilera, who is still is one of his biggest fans and supporters).

Stephen is probably one of the industry’s most prolific jewellers – he has been working in it for 30 plus years – and can be credited for creating the rock-inspired/gothic aesthetic that was later picked up by peers like Loree Rodkin, Delfina Delettrez and Jade Jagger. Stephen is a true original – in every sense of the word.

I was happy to hear that he will be visiting Hong Kong this Friday, where he will host an intimate cocktail at Lane Crawford. We managed to catch up with him before the event to chat about how he has stayed ahead of the curve and what makes him tick.

You launched Stephen Webster over 20 years ago- how has it evolved since then?

The philosophy of our brand has always been based on a combination of exquisite craftsmanship and creative design.  We have a lot of pieces that attract a certain type of a person, someone who is confident and likes to be in the spotlight or at least, have their jewellery noticed and talked about. Don’t be mistaken though. Our collections have something to offer to the most conservative jewellery wearer too.

Sum up the Stephen Webster style in one sentence…

To cultivate jewellery collections that push all creative boundaries, are high on innovatory and are unreservedly glamorous.

From all your designs, which has been the most memorable?

I would have to say our Crystal Haze collection; it put us on the map and it is still something people recognise.  It is a concept I developed after years of playing with crystal and coloured gemstones; we use a faceted layer of rock crystal on top of a thin layer of coloured gemstone, creating the most breathtaking colour combinations and light effects within a piece of jewellery.

Are you making anything special for Lane Crawford this season?

I have created a collection of bespoke designs called “Enter the Dragon,” and inspired by the Year of the Dragon and Hong Kong’s vibrant culture. It blends China’s rich history with my signature style. There are two statement Dragon cocktail rings, a one of a kind diamond-set Dragon brooch and an exquisite Snake and Lotus Flower ring set with rare and exotic gem stones.

What influences your style?

I have always taken inspiration from so many great jewellery designers and traditions; I try to take traditional themes and create a modern twist to them. However I would say that mostly my inspiration comes from the objects, sights and people around me… the sea, gems, film noir, tattoos, architecture, broken glass, even fish bones.

If you were to pair your jewellery with a particular fashion brand, it would be…

Thomas Wylde, Balmain, Christian Louboutin and Alexander McQueen.

What one piece of jewellery should every woman have in her jewellery box?

Our Classic Crystal Haze ring.

When you started you were a pioneer, but now many others have followed.  What’s your point of difference now?

All of my work is a reflection of my personality.  I am fortunate that selfishly, I have pursued topics and inspirations from my life’s experiences and translated them into our many collections.  Within all of them there is vibrancy.  I am a cheery fellow.

If I wasn’t a jewellery designer, I would be…

A writer. I write a column for Russian Rolling Stone magazine and I’d love to write a book one day.

Stephen Webster is available at Lane Crawford, ifc Mall, Central, Hong Kong, tel: +852 2118 3388. www.stephenwebster.com

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