Zoe & Morgan's Inspiration Diary

Ruth Sibbard takes us through the making of their Mozambican Rubies-filled Gemfields collaboration collection.

by Ruth Sibbald
Jul 31 2020, 9:30am

To celebrate the collaboration between England and New Zealand-based jewelry label Zoe & Morgan and Gemfields, the world-leading supplier of responsibly sourced colored gemstones, GARAGE asked the label to share a visual diary of how the collection came together. The label was founded in 2005 by siblings Zoe, Morgan, and Ruth Sibbald and boast stores in London as well as Auckland, New Zealand.

Going through Gemfields’ Mozambican rubies.

When we went to Gemfields HQ in London, it felt like being a kid at a candy shop. We love looking through beautiful stones and seeing the different colors, shapes and styles—it's all incredibly exciting. Working with Gemfields' Mozambican rubies was a special moment for me as a designer. I had long admired their company ethos and ethical approach to mining.
With this collection, I really wanted to make something that was accessible and wearable, so that the designs could be treasured and worn every day, a memento to the beautiful stones, bringing them to life and being appreciated daily!

Despite being oh so tempted by the seductive collection of spectacular jewels, I chose smaller brilliant cut stones, princess cuts and some rose cuts.
This is me looking through the 2mm brilliant cuts I bought

Experimenting with stones, drawings.

I spent some time looking at the rubies, playing around with different ideas and drawing up designs until I found the designs that really spoke to me.
I wanted the pieces to show off the beauty of the rubies and to highlight the juxtaposition between the strength of the design and delicacy of the stones.
The process of drawing and dreaming up designs is a lot of fun. It's good to really push the boundaries then come right back down and simplify it all again.

Showing off the Elinah ring.

Seeing the final design made and then worn by someone is a great feeling. The journey that happens next lies with the customer who purchases the piece, which I like to think of it as a magical moment. Whether it's a special gift or something to signify a special moment in their life, I love the idea that someone will treasure them forever.

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Estelle on location.

The shoot came together in an organic and wonderful way. I wanted a model who had inner strength and beauty, and I needed a photographer who understood jewelry and who knew how to capture it.

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On location with John-Paul Pietrus.

It occurred to me that the perfect person for the job would be photographer and jeweler John-Paul Pietrus. We met at a Gemfields press preview in Paris earlier this year and got on really well. He was brilliant to work with, and he knew Estelle was exactly what I was looking for in a model. She's strong and naturally beautiful. We didn't use any hair or make up for this shoot. It was just Estelle in all of her natural and timeless beauty.

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With Imogen at the lions.

I wanted the shoot to have a London feel to it, but also some connection to where the rubies came from, which is why I thought to shoot by these lions. I love them, most people think of Trafalgar Square when it comes to lion statues in London, but I've known about these at the back of the British Museum since Zoe and I used to cycle past them on our way to our first studio in Hatton Gardens (London’s jewelry quarter) years ago and now there's hardly ever anyone around! They have a strong Art Deco feel, and with a grey backdrop they also feel very London.

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The finished product!

zoe & morgan