The eponymous Alex Monroe brand was established in 1987, with its first studio located in south London. The man behind the brand studied jewellery at the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art and has been making his own pieces ever since. He now designs four collections per year, including limited edition releases to celebrate events (e.g. the Chelsea flower show in 2014) as well as commissioned pieces for clients such as Buckingham Palace.
I was first introduced to Alex Monroe’s jewellery through blogs, and, to my mind, the Beehive collection is the brand’s most recognizable style. However, it wasn’t until I saw Alex Monroe’s Bumblebee necklaces in person that I truly understood the hype. I vividly remember the first time I saw one; I had very kindly been invited along to a PR event at Rachel Vosper’s store in central London, and it was here that I spotted one around the neck of one of my fellow blogger-attendees. The necklace was simply gorgeous and I was immediately smitten. The style is totally suitable for everyday wear, but still statement enough to garner attention and compliments.
I blogged about the Rachel Vosper event, so it’s now public record that I’ve been lusting after Alex Monroe’s bee for well over a year. However, this made it all the more special when I opened a lovely Alex Monroe jewellery box last Christmas and saw one of his gold-plated bee necklaces inside. In the spirit of honesty, I have to admit that this new acquisition wasn’t a total surprise. Back in November I had dropped one pretty heavy hint to my boyfriend that this would make a truly lovely gift – and it certainly did.
Alex Monroe’s gold-toned jewellery is either gold-plate over sterling silver or solid gold. My bee is gold-plated and the only downside is that I don’t/can’t wear it all-day, everyday. If you are looking for something which you can put on and never have to take off, then I would recommend opting for sterling silver or solid gold – although the difference in price between the two is quite considerable! However, if you’re a fan of gold jewellery then I would still recommend opting for gold-plate. I have actually received as gifts two of Alex Monroe’s other gold-plated necklaces before (and I’ll probably talk about these two pieces in another blog post), and after a year of frequent wear they’re still looking as good as new.