In the third instalment of this six-part summer series, we speak to the jewellery designer Victoria Tryon about what she's loving, reading, doing, consuming and looking at.
Favourite Things: Victoria Tryon
Born into a creative family with a dress designer for a mother, Victoria Tryon spent an idyllic childhood in a picturesque Wiltshire village on the river Avon in England. The colours, textures and forms of her natural surroundings provided huge creative inspiration and she fearlessly embarked on a career in fine jewellery-making, becoming a certified diamond grader along the way.
After honing her skills at master jewellers including Cartier, Boucheron and Harry Winston, Tryon established her own label in 2009. Though she designs all collections at her appointment-only studio in London's exclusive St James's, international travel provides Tryon with regular creative stimulus. Her Alia collection is a case in point, with the sky-reaching domes of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi captured in a timeless pair of diamond and blue topaz drop earrings.
Despite having developed a reputation for her imaginative use of fancy diamonds and semi-precious stones, Tryon's long list of private commissions spans the range of styles and materials. She prides herself on being able to capture the emotional meaning behind each bespoke creation, to develop something truly unique, richly symbolic and deeply individual.
Currently on my bedside table is The Complete Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales - research for my new Once Upon a Time collection - and The Arabs: A History by Eugene Rogan.
My favourite performer is Shakira. She's such a talented singer and a fantastic dancer. She also seems to have a lot of integrity, doing a lot for charity, which I admire.
My favourite film is The Thomas Crown Affair - I can watch it time and again. It has everything that I look for in a movie; romance, intrigue and mystery, punctuated with glamour.
I am fortunate enough to travel a lot and I visited Beijing recently, which was a fascinating destination. The enormous palaces and opulent temples exhibit such immense historical significance. The Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Great Wall are well worth a visit.
One of my favourite labels is Rena Lange; elegant, refined and sophisticated. It's luxury ready-to-wear, great for every day. It's beautifully cut and wonderfully feminine. Another favourite of mine is Azzedine Alaia, whose designs are as relevant today as they were 30 years ago.
I would have loved to have designed a piece of jewellery for Elizabeth Taylor. She had such a great appreciation and passion for jewels. It would be worn in an elegant fashion by a beautiful woman who would really treasure it.
One of the last things I bought and loved was a piece of art by the Abu Dhabi-based artist Tini Meyer, a lightbox featuring a playful silhouette of a girl in an abaya.
My favourite food is Japanese and I love Sushi of Gari on the Upper East Side of New York. It's very informal and you basically eat what you're given, which is, without fail, completely delicious!
My perfect weekend would be spent in Paris, eating delicious food, visiting museums and exhibitions and exploring small boutiques.
If I were to live in any other city it would probably be Abu Dhabi. I feel so at home there and have accumulated some great friends. There is always so much of interest going on in the region. There's a really creative energy and a feeling of anything's possible.
I get inspiration for my designs primarily from my surroundings. I was brought up in the English countryside and have always been taught to appreciate my environment. I also find travelling a great source of inspiration. When I am removed from the hectic pace of everyday life, I find the time to stop and reflect - these moments are often the most valuable.
My greatest achievement so far was being nominated as a Bright Young Gem, a jewellery initiative that aims to identify the jewellery industry's fastest rising stars.
Being stylish means developing one's own individual style based on what suits you and having the confidence to carry it off.
The person I most admire is Queen Elizabeth II for embracing such a hugely daunting role at such a young age. Also my husband, who is undoubtedly the most all-round exceptional person I have ever encountered.
My guiltiest pleasure is afternoon tea at the Lanesborough hotel in London; a real treat and something I would highly recommend. The Rose of the Orient tea is my favourite.
For more information, visit www.victoriatryon.com