We all love holidays; the complete surrender to impulse and the guiltless pleasure of vague idleness.
But for me, holidays are only great when you can score something more permanent than a cocoa tan, a smattering of novelty fridge magnets and a bellyful of sangria.
I was smouldering under the heat of the afternoon sun. My mouth was drier than a salt mine and I stood there, baking, nursing a fantasy of icy sangria. As luck would have it, there were no taxis.
Then like a mirage, a girl with the most incredible legs I’ve ever seen (the sort that make you thank the Almighty you wore heels) asked me if I needed a lift. I was bowled over by her gesture of kindness and readily agreed.
A few days later, we were to be the firmest of friends.
Her name is Vanessa Martinelli. Not only is she one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, but she’s also one of the most talented.
Vanessa is from Switzerland and has always been a wonderful artist. She studied jewellery design in London’s prestigious Central Saint Martins, interned at Carrera y Carrera in Madrid and went on to be Head Designer at luxury Hong Kong pearl house Hodel. On her return to Europe, Vanessa was appointed as Chief designer for Debeers.
Those are some insanely impressive achievements for someone still in their 20s. But of course, being super ambitious Vanessa knew that this was just the tip of the iceberg. So she left Debeers to found her own eponymous fine jewellery house, Vanessa Martinelli.
I saw the pieces in Monaco and they are spectacular. Vanessa has a colourful aesthetic which she couples with painstaking craftsmanship and innovative design. The jewels are the most beautiful candy hues and pop, dazzle and dance when you wear them. As well as her main collections, Vanessa also does exquisite bespoke work and already has a loyal fanbase for whom birthdays, engagements and anniversaries aren't complete without a Martinelli original. Below are some of Vanessa's pieces and I trust you'll agree that they are just dazzling.