The Terre-et-Mer necklace is truly a modern & iconic Australian design. Inspired by two key Australian elements, the bush & the sea, this design came about through a very interesting collaboration with our friends at WhatKateWore, the blog dedicated to following the style of the Duchess of Cambridge, formerly Kate Middleton.
StyleRocks & WhatKateWore have collaborated previously; a marketing promotion tied to the arrival of Prince George in July 2013 helped raise funds for The Duchess’ charity EACH (East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices).
So when we discovered the Duchess would visit Antipodean shores, we thought long and hard around what we could do to commemorate this occasion through jewellery design. [We have previously written about how the Duchess is a new jewellery icon of our time.]
Truly the most difficult part of this was establishing what was essentially Australian. Sure, there are many Australian icons: the Opera House, Vegemite, kangaroos and so on. But how do you create something modern, that doesn’t remind you of those tacky tourist items found in shops at The Rocks?
We looked at much of the Duchess’ jewellery, as well as reviewing what ‘Australian’ jewellery is already found in the Royal Family. The Queen wears a wattle brooch, as we see here, gifted to her by Australia upon her visit to the Commonwealth as its new monarch in 1953. While splendid, it didn’t feel like something the Duchess might wear.
Image credit: Order of splendor
Australia is known for its natural resources – metals, gemstones and pearls; metals are mined in South and Western Australia, while the area of Broome in north Western Australia is famous for its pearling industry. So the intersection of the Australian bush – shown via a metal eucalyptus leaf – and the sea – through the pearl – seemed a perfect marriage.
It represents an iconic landscape, where the bush comes right to the edge of the waterfront. But more than that, it felt like something that you would wear as a modern fashion accessory, even if you weren’t into Australiana.
Being StyleRocks of course, being a customisable jewellery website, the idea was that you could customise your necklace exactly as you wanted to: choose your metal colour for your leaf – silver or gold and if in gold, white, yellow or rose. And of course, for a more affordable option, there’s always goldplate, where you create it in silver and then plate it (like paint) with yellow or rose gold. If you wanted to wear the necklace plain, of course you can do just that – but you could complete the look by adding a pearl: white, pink or black.
The standalone leaf is gorgeous – here we see it in yellow-gold plate with white pearl:
…and the Telegraph featured it in Five of the Best Royal Jewels over the Easter Weekend.
Another favourite is the rose gold and pink pearl option; so soft, so feminine, so…pretty!
But the most startling is the three leaf gold / white pearl necklace:
The name of the necklace, ‘Terre-et-Mer’ is a nod to the French adventurers who in fact missed out on settling Australia by a mere matter of days. ‘Terre’ means earth and Mer means sea…so the name again reflects that intersection of sea and bush.
Again, we will be contributing 10% of profits from all sales of this necklace to EACH.
How would you design your Terre-et-Mer necklace? With or without pearls? What colours? x