Slim Barrett seems to attract royalty, as well as jewels. (You must know that the native Irishman’s wife and business partner is named Jules for this word play to work.) I was introduced to Slim & Jules by my pal Kate O’Toole at the art opening I had in London two years ago during the Queen’s Jubilee and Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, attended. He’s designed for Princess Diana, Queen Bey, the Lady Gaga (pop royalty) as well as an actual crown for Victoria Beckham’s wedding to David. (I know – Posh, right?) This year is a milestone for Slim, as he is celebrating 30 years in the business of creating the most exquisite and inventive signature pieces of jewelry. He’s just launched a new website. And here’s the condensed version of how he got started by Slim:
“I made my first piece of jewellery from horse-shoe nails when I was about nine years of age. Then after leaving art school in the 80s I came to London and had a couple of exhibitions. One day I was hanging in a café in Camden with my girlfriend when the owner came up to her and asked where the necklace she was wearing had come from. Once she heard I’d made it she gave me the card of a couturier that at the time was dressing Princess Diana and before I finished my coffee she had set up a meeting with him for the next day. I wasn’t at all planning to make jewellery it just sort of took off from there – written in the stars I suppose.”
Myself, I knew the name before – what a good one it is. Slim. – but when Kate O’Toole wore pieces of his when she, her Dad Peter and brother Lorcan and I were in LA for the Oscars in 2007, I saw it up close and marveled. (She’s just been given a custom piece by Slim, made for her, that I photographed at The Tate Modern, just the other day at lunch. It’s hammered gold and a raw emerald that she bought in Columbia.) His pieces aren’t really blingy, some have historical references, but the common factor for all seems to be simplicity, the best materials and innovative design. Slim says; “I’d call it Celtic Nouveau. Being Irish there is undoubtedly a strong Celtic thread running through the work.” Look at the evidence and see for yourself. More on his website here. Check out Beyonce on his website under PRESS, wearing a crown and necklace by our man as a “Grown Woman”.