London-based jewellery designer Dinny Hall has been at the forefront of British jewellery design for over three decades. A graduate of the prestigious Central Saint Martins, Dinny’s first collection was bought in its entirety by iconic London department store Liberty and, shortly after that, the jeweller founded her eponymous brand. Since then, her experimental yet timelessly stylish collections have acquired a devoted client list and the company has boutiques throughout London. Here, Dinny looks back on some career highlights and shares her favourite spots in London.
When did you first develop an interest in jewellery?
At the age of four when I tried to swap my mum’s engagement ring for a Barbie doll.
What have been the most memorable moments in your career?
There are quite a few to choose from. Firstly, right at the start of my career, I was lucky enough to have a workshop in Beak Street, in the heart of London’s Soho. It was the epicentre of all the exciting goings-on at the time and even David Bowie came in to visit.
Then, when I won the Accessory Designer of the Year award at the London Fashion Awards in 1989. It’s such a long time ago now, but it was the first time that accessories had been considered as a category at the awards.
I would also say that opening my first Dinny Hall store in Notting Hill, west London, was a huge highlight. Plus, I felt so lucky to have a career where I was able to have my baby son in a carrier under my desk. These days I have Bo, my mini Schnauzer under my desk and I still feel very lucky.
Describe your perfect day in London…
I’d start the day by picking up a cappuccino and heading to Hampstead Heath or Regent’s Park for a walk. After that, I’d visit a museum or gallery and then treat myself to afternoon tea. I’d spend the evening seeing a play at either Hampstead Theatre or the Almeida and end the day with a delicious supper in China Town.
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had in London?
My most memorable meal would have to be at The Ledbury in Notting Hill. A two Michelin star eatery, the menu is a homage to fabulous British produce and it really doesn’t disappoint.
Can you tell us a local London secret that you’re willing to share?
The Estorick Collection in Islington for interesting, predominantly Italian, futurist art and Sir John Soane’s Museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. I find both of these places incredibly inspiring.
What’s your favourite building in London?
I would say it’s a tie between Westminster Cathedral and the Tower of London, where you can still see traces of medieval London. I also love The Gherkin too.
What places do you always recommend to friends visiting London?
Seven Dials in Covent Garden is great as it’s like a village in the middle of the West End. I also usually recommend a visit to Portobello on the right day, as well as the Serpentine Gallery and a walk across Waterloo Bridge – what a view.