giovedì 14 luglio 2016

Kate-Inspired Purchase Review: Soru Jewellery Baroque Pearl Earrings

There was quite a buzz when the Duchess of Cambridge stepped out for an Art Fund gala dinner at the Natural History Museum on 6 July 2016 in a new pair of earrings - as she usually favours smaller, more delicate style, it was a nice surprise to see her experimenting with something bolder (particularly as I'm quite the magpie and prefer to replikate her bigger styles as they suit me best!).

The earrings didn't remain unidentified for long, luckily, as Kate wore them again the following day, when she watched the Ladies' Single semi-finals at Wimbledon and this time we were able to get much clearer, higher-definition shots:

It turned out that the earrings are the Baroque Pearl Double Sided Earrings in Gold, by Anglo-Italian duo Soru Jewellery:
Hand-crafted with iridescent baroque pearls edged with multi-faceted Swarovski crystals, the earrings are made 18ct yellow gold vermeil on sterling silver. They're part of Soru's A/W 16 collection and are priced at £130.
There was a bit of confusion to start with as to exactly which style the Duchess was wearing, with Soru Jewellery initially claiming it was the rounder, non-double-sided, current season Baroque Pearl Earrings in Gold:
Soru, which aptly means "sisters" in Sicilian, was founded in 2013 by Sicilian-British sisters Marianna and Francesca, who were inspired by their summers spent in Sicily and the way in which the Sicilian women adorned themselves with jewellery. The brand had a well-established celebrity status even before the Duchess of Cambridge wore one of their pieces, having been worn by the likes of Rita Ora, Georgia-May Jagger, Millie Mackintosh and Rosie Fortescue.
I'll admit, being Italian myself, I was immediately intrigued by the Italian heritage of the brand. The very name Soru for me evoked a whole imagery of Dolce & Gabbana citrus-print scarves, summer holidays spent island-hopping in the Aegadian Islands, fluffy cannoli and piles of Inspector Montalbano novels. Clichéd? Maybe, but having read here, I don't think I'm too far off the spirit of the brand!
Plus, my name is Marianna, as one half of the Soru duo, so that was the tipping point really, I had to have a pair of their earrings! :)
I didn't wait for the actual pair worn by Kate to be available, and ordered straight away the smaller Baroque Pearl Earrings. Although I toyed briefly with the idea of cancelling my order when the ID mistery was cleared, I elected to just keep to my original choice as I actually like the 'chubbier' Baroque Pearl Earrings best.

The only difference with Kate's is the style of the pearl, which is more elongated and, of course, double-sided in the new season version.
Apart from that, the earrings are both priced at £130 (approximately €152 / $168, although exchange rates fluctuate a lot these days). You get 10% off your first purchase if you subscribe to their newsletter, plus orders over £100 qualify for free international shipping with Royal Mail, bringing the price down to £117 (€137 / $151).
Both styles are now sold out (the Kate effect!), but expected back in stock soon.

You can get on a waiting list for them, by emailing either Soru or their London stockist Baar & Bass:

The ordering process was pleasantly straightforward - Soru Jewellery certainly didn't seem overwhelmed by the 'Kate-effect', as happens to some brands, and that was reassuring! I ordered the earrings on Thursday afternoon, straight after they were identified, and they shipped on Friday.
I received my Soru parcel on the following Thursday.
The earrings came in a lizard-embossed black and gold box tied with personalized ribbon. A handwritten note was included, which was a lovely touch:

The earrings were stored in a black velvet pouch with the Soru logo embossed in gold. Now on to measures, since I couldn't find them anywhere on the Soru website - the shorter style I ordered is approximately 4.2 cm long and 2.2 cm at its widest point. The round ear post is 0.9 cm in diameter.

While Kate's feature double-sided baroque pearls, mine have a plain back in hammered gold vermail, featuring the name Soru rather prominently and stamped with the 925 silver hallmark:

A brief note on pearl was included.

And how they look tried on:


Overall, they have a pleasantly solid, well-made finish (the crystals don't look like they're about to fall off, which is sometimes a concern with cheaper jewellery and would be disastrous here as there are so many), they sparkle beautifully (the photos don't do them justice at all) and the pearls have great lustre. I can see myself wearing them a lot! Has anyone pre-ordered the ones Kate actually wore? If so, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts when you receive them!

venerdì 1 luglio 2016

Battle of the Somme Centenary Commemorations

Engagements in France for the centenary of the
Battle of the Somme, 30 June - 1 July 2016

 30 June 2016 - Attending a vigil on the eve of the centenary of the Battle of the Somme at Thiepval Memorial in Picardy, France.
New coat: long snake stitch coat by Missoni; unidentified black dress; new hat: unidentified black felt pillbox hat with bow trim (interestingly, the Duchess wore a hairnet to secure her updo); "Eugenia" silver-tone faux pearl and crystal ear cuffs by BalenciagaMulberry "Bayswater" clutch in black suede; Gianvito Rossi black suede pumps (Daily Mail article here).

 1 July 2016 - Attending the official opening the new Thiepval Memorial to the Missing Visitor Centre.
New dress: bespoke peplum detail day dress by Jenny Packham, overlaid in cream lace by French textile house Sophie Hallette (the same that made the lace used for Catherine's wedding dress and shoes); "Lion Tamer" perching hat in ebony sinamay with ostrich feather trim by Sylvia Fletcher for Lock & Co.; Classic Baroque Pearl earring drop by Annoushka suspended from Kiki Classic 18ct yellow gold and diamond hoopsMulberry "Bayswater" clutch in black suede; Gianvito Rossi black suede pumps; fabric poppy and cornflower corsage, the French flowers of remembrance (Daily Mail article here).

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attended events at Westminster Abbey in London (my blog post on the Queen's outfit can be found here, Daily Mail article here).