All About Alan

Jewels by Alan Anderson is Canada’s definitive couture fashion jewellery house.

Alan handcrafts each piece, prong-setting vintage crystals and stones to create one-of-a-kind pieces, all signed with his signature cartouche. He does not research trends; instead stays true to his personal style with an ever-changing collection of statement jewellery.

His pieces have adorned celebrities and magazine covers around the world. Dame Elizabeth Taylor owned an amethyst cuff which became part of the Christie’s auction of her collection, Katy Perry wore a topaz brooch for L’Uomo Vogue, and Viola Davis, a rose and olivine collar for the UK premiere of The Help.

His work, inspired by the glamorous sirens of Hollywood’s golden era, Newport’s gilded age and turn-of-the-century European Royalty, is an art form — timeless, collectable and destined to be handed down through generations.

+ What is your design philosophy?

I take inspiration from glamorous, opulent, old world Hollywood and from women who have their own distinctive sense of style. Basically, a woman who lives in technicolour – or wants to. And I believe that women can wear this jewelry every day in what I like to call random acts of glamour.

+ Who are your style muses?

I have many fashion icons: the Duchess of Windsor; CZ Guest; Daisy Fellows, Diana Vreeland, Queen Mary of England; Carmen Dell’Orifice. Glamour doesn’t have an age limit or a price tag. It’s about the man or woman who is polished, elegant, beautifully dressed and confident. Having your own sense of style and showing that confidence is key. I’ve also been inspired by my over the top aunts, English eccentrics always fabulously accessorized with gloves, jewels, hats and the perfect outfits to go with them.

+ What jewels do you see as jewellery essentials in a woman’s wardrobe?

A crystal necklace is the little black dress of jewellery. It can take you from a casual day in a white shirt and jeans with sandals, to a gala and anywhere in between. Button earrings are a striking wearable addition. A really big, chunky costume jewelry bracelet can be the focal point of an otherwise understated look and add a lot of impact. I would also have a great brooch – perfect on a lapel or even at the waist. And finally, your jewellery box should have something in your favourite colour, whatever that is!

+ Is there a piece of jewellery or part of the body you prefer to adorn?

A fabulous necklace is everything. It can be worn by a petite woman to elongate the figure; it can draw attention to the face in a flattering way. Because the proportions are flexible it can really be the best way to accessorize.

+ Are there historical periods you are most inspired by?

Definitely the Art Deco period – lots of silver, black and complementary colours like coral and green. That goes hand in hand with old Hollywood and the fantastic looks coming from that era. I also like the late 1940s, post-war era as the use and colour of metals changed to reflect wider availability. And of course, the really ornate pieces from the Belle Epoque era. Photos of Queen Mary literally dripping in jewels are a visual feast.

+ How do you see the current accessories landscape?

We live in a very dressed down culture; it’s hard to wear jewels with yoga pants. And while I understand the need for more casual dressing, it’s also worth noting that my jewels are not just for evening wear. It’s a misconception that being dressy is for special occasions only. I think we are coming to appreciate elegance and craftsmanship again, and the allure and desirability of the handmade, unique, one-of-a-kind item.

+ Who is your ideal client?

I have seen women of all ages – teens to 80s – buy and look amazing in my pieces. There is no age limit, look or demographic. They do appreciate that we are a luxury atelier, painstakingly hand making everything in a mass produced world. Our unique pieces allow them to heighten their own unique style.