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Bath in Fashion 2016 was a Wylde & wonderful success!

title ico Zandra Rhodes helps make the event shine with our one-off pendant charity raffle...
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The fashion pack descended on picturesque Bath recently for the annual Bath in Fashion week (which took place from April 18 – 24) and Nicholas Wylde managed to steal the show with our spell-binding designer catwalk shows that left many spectators enthralled and delighted.

Now in its fifth year, Bath in Fashion is becoming a ‘must-see’ on the fashion circuit and this year saw the biggest and best of all with many top designer names adding to the fashionable mix including Nicholas Oakwell, Julien MacDonald , Barbara Hulaniki (Biba), Erdem and Dame Zandra Rhodes.

Zandra collaborated with Nicholas to design and produce a sumptuous one-off pendant that we raffled off with 100 per cent of proceeds going to support three worthy charities: People against Poverty, RUH Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now. The raffle was very well supported and we sold 100 tickets raising a fantastic £2,000 for the charities.

Our lucky winner pulled out of the hat was Pam Twohig who is now the proud owner of a truly unique item of jewellery. Well done Pam and congratulations!

550 px image Our catwalk shows took place on Friday April 22 and both afternoon and evening events were completely sold out. Taking the theme of ‘Colours’ (as light reflected in a diamond), our catwalk models wore dresses designed by Nicholas and hand-made in Vietnam, along with see-through rain-macs and umbrellas studded with hundreds of colourful gems. To the music of The Beatles and The Stones and headed up by a drama-infused scene with a wonderful ballerina, our shows received rapturous applause and many agreed they were the highlight of Bath in Fashion week.

550 px image You can watch a video of Nicholas in conversation with Zandra Rhodes, explaining how the pendant collaboration came about here: Zandra interview

And you can watch our exciting catwalk show at Bath’s gorgeous Assembly Rooms here: Catwalk video

Photographs from Bath in Fashion by Chris Daw 550 px image The staff of Nicholas Wylde following our successful catwalk shows 550 px image Nicholas meets Zandra at our Bath store, April 21, 2016 550 px image The delighted raffle winner was Pam Twohig, from Bath, who commented:

"It's amazing to have won this wonderful piece of jewellery from two designers I admire greatly. Nicholas is one of the best jewellers in the world and I have long been a follower of Zandra’s career and have worn clothes designed by her in the past. I couldn’t believe it when I was informed that I'd won and now that I’ve seen the pendant in person I'm captivated by its beauty.

I will cherish the pendant and wear it on special occasions only. It’s first public outing will be when I wear it for the Bath Music Festival later this month"

Pam won the raffle with ticket number 13, certainly not unlucky for some!

title ico Three steps to sparkle!
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We had another delighted customer in our Clifton, Bristol store recently and it’s always a pleasure for us to hear from them.

Alison Byrne had a gorgeous commissioned item that boasted three stones to sparkle!

Alison brought in one diamond and we used this as the principal gem in a stunning three-stone ring consisting of a principal diamond with a smaller diamond either side, all in platinum claw settings and mounted on a platinum shank.

It looked simply stunning and Alison wrote to us:

"I am delighted with my recently commissioned diamond ring - this is the fourth ring that Nicholas Wylde in Clifton have designed and made for me and I continue to be impressed by the excellent service I receive. It often takes me a while to make a final decision and I am never pressured into speeding up that process! I would definitely recommend Nicholas and his staff and continue to trust them with my jewellery acquisitions.".

Creating jewellery destined to be loved and cherished is what Nicholas Wylde and his team enjoy doing the most.

Bring your imagination and desires to us and see what wonders we can create for you.

title ico Bristol breaks a leg with oldest working theatre in world
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Nicholas is proud to be part of Bristol’s retail scene with our branch located in the fashionable Clifton district of the city (just a short walk from the historic suspension bridge).

Bristol has always been a vibrant, forward-facing city with strong links to the arts world and an upcoming anniversary of global note illustrates this perfectly.

2016 represents an extraordinary moment in theatre history as Bristol Old Vic, the oldest continuously working theatre in the English speaking world, celebrates its 250th birthday.

To mark this momentous occasion, the theatre is planning a weekend of celebrations over the May Bank Holiday (28-30 May) to mark the extraordinary survival of this unique theatre and its 250 year love affair with the city that built it.

The celebrations include three days of entertainment, free events and one brilliant street party. Head over to the Bristol Old Vic’s website for all the details.

Of course, the Bard of Theatre is also celebrating a special anniversary as 2016 also marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare.

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) have unveiled the newly-restored Grade II listed Swan Wing . Built in 1879 and the oldest part of the RSC’s theatres in Stratford-upon-Avon, the Swan Wing has been the subject of a nine month restoration, made possible by a £2.8 million award from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

A highlight of the restored Swan Wing is For all time, a major new artwork commission by Brighton-based artist and designer Steven Follen.

550 px image For all time is made of 2,000 stainless steel stars suspended from the ceiling by fine wires to make the shape of a 3-metre tall human face. The three-dimensional artwork will have an ethereal quality to it, reflecting light and moving gently in the air. The face will be surrounded by further metal stars, which will loosely reflect the position of the constellations on Shakespeare’s birthday.

title ico May’s birthstone: Emerald
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"Who first beholds the light of day
In spring’s sweet flowery month of May
And wears an emerald all her life
Shall be a loved and happy wife"

— Gregorian birthstone poem

For those born in the month of May, emerald is your birthstone, a symbol of rebirth believed to grant the owner foresight, good fortune and youth.

Emerald is the grass-green variety of the mineral beryl, its beautifully cool green colour deriving from the presence of chromium and vanadium and found in granites, pegmatites and schists.

The ‘Emerald Cut’ is a step cut which is used for many gemstones, removing the corners while reducing the risk of damage during setting as emerald is a brittle stone, formed from a hexagonal crystal structure.

Most emeralds used in historical jewellery can have their origins traced back to Cleopatra’s mines in ancient Egypt around 1300 BC, when the gem was revered as a symbol of fertility and life. They were the first recorded example of sunglasses, as Emperor Nero wore flat emerald crystals to watch the gladiator games in the Italian sunshine.

Emeralds symbolize immortality and faith and are associated with the heart chakra, promoting loyalty and sensitivity in couples.

ico Nicholas Wylde Guide to Gemstones
title ico Gem Folklore #1 - The Legend of Vala - India
Every month we will take a look at gem folklore for legends and myths throughout history and across the world
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It’s not surprising that we associate gemstones with myths and magical stories as they have been mentioned in many old fables and fairy stories across the globe for thousands of years.

One ancient fable from India informs us how some gemstones were created – in a particularly dramatic, and violent, fashion!

The legend of Vala tells of the saga of a demon named Vala, who conquered the god Indra and his celestials to reign supreme and invincible in the entire universe.

Vala was tricked by the gods into playing the part of a sacrifice in a mock ritual and once he was helpless, the gods killed him, chopping his body into many pieces.

Since Vala had agreed to participate in the sacrifice (albeit, unknowingly) his body was now pure so when the various parts of him fell to earth they were magically transformed into precious gemstones.

Drops of Vala’s blood became rubies, his skin turned into yellow sapphires, his eyes became blue sapphires and his bones shattered into diamonds.

His teeth fell into the oceans and landed on oysters to become pearls, his intestines were also thrown into the sea to turn into coral. Vala’s bright green bile became emeralds and his fat was transformed into jade. His rosy complexion became bloodstones, the gleam in his eye became moonstones and even Vala’s final war cry that echoed around the heavens as he was killed was turned into cat’s eyes.

The name Vala translates to 'soul of the cave' and is also the source word for 'valley' – both are often the origin source of gems.

The significance of the legend is sometimes given a medial explanation. Gemstones are often used for healing in traditional Hindu belief systems and since the gems were said to be from parts of a god they are believed to possess special powers, rubies (Vala’s blood) are thought to cure blood diseases, yellow sapphires (Vala’s skin) are used for skin afflictions, for example.

title ico And finally.... Where in Bath...?
We had a great response from our ‘Where in Bath?’ feature in last month’s newsletter, where we invited readers to guess from details of a photograph where exactly in the city the photos were taken.

The winner from April’s newsletter who correctly indentified all three ‘Where in Bath’ photos was Megwen Woodham. Congratulations to Megwen for sharp observation and a speedy response. A £25 of f voucher will be winging its way out to you soon with our very best compliments.

The correct answers were: 1. Facade of 43 Milson Street. 2. Interior dome of Victoria Art Gallery. 3. Front of Francis Hotel, Queen’s Square.

For this month, we’re presenting three more images, heading up with one that appeared to baffle everyone that first saw it on our Facebook book as no-one was able to even hazard a guess!

So, let’s play again ‘where in Bath?’

1. Here is a Green Man image photographed somewhere in Bath city centre.

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A Green Man Sculpture is a sculpture, or other representation of a face surrounded by or made from leaves. Branches or vines may sprout from the nose, mouth, nostrils or other parts of the face and these shoots may bear flowers or fruit. Commonly used as a decorative architectural ornament, Green Men are frequently found in carvings on both secular and ecclesiastical buildings.

2. The birth of cinema could be credited to this street but where in Bath?

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3. It’s true that Queen Victoria wasn’t fond of Bath (she called it “the odious city”) so for our last poser, the question is where in Bath would you find this statue of the hard-to-amuse Queen and why was her opinion of the city so bad?

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The first email we receive with the correct answers is the winner and will receive a £25 off voucher valid at both our Bath and Bristol store - so don’t delay, respond today!

And don’t forget, you can see brand new ‘Where in Bath?’ posers every Friday on our Facebook page.

Nicholas Wylde Facebook

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