Robinson Pelham in conversation with Melinda Stevens, Editor of Conde Nast Traveller UK
RP: When planning your weekends away and holidays, what kind of fine jewellery pieces do you tend to take with you?
MS: I’ve always worn ear cuffs, from when I was a school kid. I found them more warrior-woman than pretty dangly pieces.
Having said that, as I’ve grown up, I wear more and more dresses and am less androgynous than I used to be, strutting around town in my grandfather’s tail coat and his top hat.
So, with long big print dresses I find bold, statement earrings way more fun. And then I’ve always worn collections of ephemera on my ankles and my wrists; for example right now I have on an old Cartier bracelet of my mothers, mixed in with shell pieces and hair ties, and a gorgeous sparkly number my goddaughter Jasmine gave to me.
RP: What are the three pieces you’d definitely pack from Robinson Pelham’s current collections and why?
MS: I’d take the whole Stud Club collection right now, and wear according to mood. Rocket if I felt dreamy, Watermelon if the sun was shining, the Snake if I needed to summon some witchy strength, and that little, little Crescent Moon because it’s just so diddy.
Second up, I’d choose the Large Green Elixir of Health pendant. I’m drawn to anything green right now and this reminds me of an old piece I bought in Tulum years ago. It’s like a magic potion. And I like the way it feels pretty secretive too.
Lastly, but not least, Large Cipher Tag Diamond pendant. It’s coming into summer when I love to wear long necklaces with bikinis and my dad’s old Turnbull and Asser or Lanvin shirts. The longer the necklace the better and this has such a nice vibey talismanic feel to it too.
RP: What tips would you share when it comes to jewellery and holidays?
MS: The summer holidays are when I really love to wear jewellery, when I’m more open to the colours of it on my skin, when it seems to represent a far more experimental happy mood.
I pick up stuff wherever my travels my take me; from a Hand of Fatima necklace from Libya years ago to broken coral necklaces I had as a kid growing up in the Bahamas.
A favourite piece is a bone ring brought from a market seller on the street in Cartagena for $2, it has the most lovely shape, and of course the pieces my children have made out of beads and string over the years.
“The favourite creation I ever gave anyone, was an abalone shell I found deep down on the sea bed off the coast of Cap Ferrat in the South of France. I’d been looking for sea urchins with my sister and spotted it shining in the depths.”
You used to see a lot more than you do now. Anyway, I gave it to my daughter Willow who tied it round her neck with a tatty old piece of leather. It put a huge smile on her face that such treasures could be found at the bottom of the sea.
RP: What does jewellery mean to you?MS: I feel like jewellery is part precious, part pirate. I collect, I lose, I make, I break. But for sure it can feel like a scrapbook of your times and your adventures and your memories.
So whether it’s something family and heirloom or scrappy and makeshift I gather it all in, and wear according to mood; not just the mood I’m in at the time, but also, crucially, the mood I want to be in…
Melinda Stevens is the global editor in chief of Condé Nast Traveler. She fell in love with the magazine at first sight, and spent her next years grafting at The Sunday Times, Tatler, and The Evening Standard in order to get her dream job. On her desk, she has a lemon plucked for her from Zefferelli’s garden in Positano and a large amount of pens in old biscuit tins that don’t work.