Diamonds would be an everyday necessity, if Jessica McCormack had her way. “I wear mine down to the pub with jeans and a T-shirt,” says the jewelry designer, a native of Christchurch, New Zealand, who moved to London five years ago. And she’s not talking about puny quarter-carat studs. One shining example is her singular earring inspired by Greek god Hermes’s winged headpiece, bedecked with 37 sparklers, which Rihanna swooped up and rocked at KFC, much to the paparazzi’s delight. McCormack’s fall collection, named XIV Sins and Virtues, is devoted to the seven deadly sins and seven lively virtues: The Sloth earrings, for instance, are made of dangling diamond-studded spheres and skulls with detachable partridge feathers. “The balls look like blowing bubbles, which symbolize wasting time,” McCormack, 31, says. “And the feathers are for the lazy-in-bed kind of thing.” Meanwhile, 11 little hardworking gold bees (their eyes made of—you guessed it—diamonds) hang from her Diligence chain necklace, and a crooked eyebrow of an emerald is affixed above a champagne diamond on her “eye of a jealous lover” Envy ring. The line—which McCormack launched in 2008 after an internship in Sotheby’s jewelry department, her only formal experience—is sold at such stores as Dover Street Market in London and Luisaviaroma in Florence. Until her baubles hit Stateside (soon, she promises) she will take orders via her website (jessicamccormack.com) and hand-deliver “significant” commissions to U.S. customers. She also has dreams of opening a Manhattan boutique modeled after her salon in London’s Clerkenwell neighborhood where, besides her gems, she keeps rare books and curiosities like pickled animal hearts. Yum.
Styled by Brooke Magnaghi