|MR. DEPP'S EARRINGS - by Maree Coote, Melbournestyle
Materialising like a Time Lord to recharge Melbourne's creative flame is
celebrity jeweller and dimension drifter WILLIAM LLEWELLYN GRIFFITHS.
With a demeanour not unlike the Doctor himself, WLG as he is known, is the
man to whom you'd go to buy Johnny Depp a pressie. When only the best
bijoux will do, Griffiths ensures quality meets creativity in just the right
Master craftsmen are a rare breed, and one as exciting as WLG is a real
bonus for Melbourne. An elegant man, quiet and profoundly talented, WLG
adds a valuable texture to the fabric of the Melbourne fashion scene. Arriving
only a minute ago, (2003) he is now living and creating very happily in the city
A silversmith for over 25 years, WLG brings a level of skill and
charm to both the creation and presentation of his work, turning the subject of
jewellery into a mind trip. Combining sex, death and gemstones, he adds the
gentlemanly demeanour of a Dickensian Guildsman and takes wearable art
into a whole new reality.
WLG works his magic in a his new Melbourne studio, Metal Couture. Here he creates gigantic
amber baroque dress-rings the size of Edith Sitwell's fist that sit happily
alongside tiny, solid silver revolvers. His pirate-inspired, blunderbus-laden,
skull-bedraggled galleons are to die for, and with the touch of the goth on his
work, it's possible someone may well have done just that.
Every piece tells a story of love and death, beauty and obsession, purity and
excess. Exquisitely wrought in silver and stones, this jewellery will enchant
the hardest heart. Various themes possess him in turn, like biometallica,
classical greek, tattoo flash, architecture, medieval religious iconography,
and much, much, marvellously more.
In his Gulliver's travels from New Zealand, to London, Barcelona and now to
Australia, he has absorbed every influence from the graphic power of the
Maori, Galliano, Mucha and HR Giger, to the finest neo-classical stylings the
British Empire can muster.
A self-titled renegade, WLG explores an unorthodox and unexpected arc of
stylistic expressions - from the menacing silver exo-skeletal 'gloves' of an
alien, to the most opulent of honey-coloured gems encrusted with sparkling
stones, or the playful charm of chandeliers as earrings. Some see history,
convict ships, pirates, lost souls... some see gothic cathedrals, Miss
Havesham's melancholia, and the devil's own glinting eyes. The magic
comes to life in the wearer's imagination. Displayed in gilt framed showcases
in a crimson salon, these pieces take on a narrative power all their own.
This is timeless, precious-metal storytelling sculpted with intensity and
passion. It sparkles out a thrilling temptation... the kind of thing that comes
from the soul, that will endure. And WLG is adament that each piece will stand
the test of time and the rigours of wear. His exacting standards ensure this
work will indeed be tomorrow's treasure. Describing his customers as 'unique,
brave and elegant', he is pursuing a certain quality of character in his work,
his customers and his career.WLG has created a skull-knobbed walking stick
for Billy Idol, some big-time bling for Ali G, and gothic goodies for Marilyn
Manson. With pieces worn by Michael Jackson, Angelina Jolie, and Britney
Spears, and collaborations with Dolce & Gabbana, movies The Crow and
Batman Forever, many a Hollywood flashbulb has electrified his gemstones.
WLG has also exhibited to appreciative audiences in Bologna, Zurich, Berlin
and Milan. Featured at the Melbourne fashion Week 2003 and in magazines
including The Face, Poster, Pavement, ID and Follow, his cult star is rising
- by Maree Coote, Melbournestyle