Jordan Askill, the pensive Aussie who’s swept London with his avant-garde jewelry and sculptures, is a sentimental character. The 30-year-old Sydney-born designer-cum-artist got his start by working with friends at Ksubi, and then with the legendary Hedi Slimane at Dior Homme in Paris. But in 2010, he found his true calling. “I realized I wanted to create something with sentimental longevity in which I could express my passion. And I always wanted to figure out how I could connect what I do creatively with something that’s good for the environment,” says the lanky redhead while propped on up on a desk in his East London studio. He fuses these concepts in two eco-conscious lines: Jordan Askill, a range of otherwordly nature-inspired jewelry and sculpture crafted from resin, silver, and hand-cut stones which he sources from Gemstones, an environmentally-friendly mining operation, and Jordy: a modestly priced range of heart, moon and star rings, many of which feature hidden birthstones on the back. “It seemed more personal and special to keep the stones hidden,” he says with a smile. His penchant for the emotive, as well as his talent for design, can be traced back to the age of seven, when he began pull the metal coils out of clothespins and twist them into rings. At the same age, his parents gave him his first treasured trinket, a little gold Taurus. “It was stolen about three years ago. But the memory is so beautiful and it’s my first memory have having something special that I really wanted to keep. That was very important for me.”
Aside from his fond childhood recollections, Askill pulls inspiration from the animal kingdom, the beauty of nature, and found objects. Swallows, which, in the past, have manifested themselves in sweet silver cuffs and fluttering sculptures, panthers, which previously appeared on a dramatic black harness, and horses, found on his resin jewelry box and majestic horse wave cuff, are his beasts of choice. “I see animals as such pure beings that haven’t really been tainted. When I close my eyes, I feel like I can be as free as the birds and the panther,” he muses.
His sculptures, which are essentially grandiose versions of his intricate, organic baubles, tend to come first in his creative process. “With the sculptures, I feel like I can be completely honest in what I want to create. But I think jewelry is like a sculpture that’s small enough to carry around with you,” he says, noting that the late Elizabeth Taylor and Pixie Geldof are two prime examples of the Jordan Askill woman.
Since launching his line two years ago, Askill has received NEWGEN sponsorship, as well as a 2012 Elle Style award. Aiming to do away with the concept of seasons, the designer has reworked previous motifs in his new collection, which will made its debut in an installation at the British Fashion Council’s new fine jewelry initiative, Rock Vault, this week. The collection will, however, feature a few new elements, like hand-carved citrine, with which the designer has not worked previously. “It has such good energy and I find the color very positive,” he says of his new material. The designer will also be showing a gem collaboration with Swarovski, which will play off his signature hearts and swallows, as well as a digital-loop film that he hopes will transport viewers into an ethereal environment. “I hope people leave [my instillation] feeling like they saw a little bit of the world.” No doubt his creations will show us a glimpse of his world. And what a wonderful world it seems to be.
JORDAN ASKILL IS AVAILABLE IN NEW YORK AT OPENING CEREMONY.