My Chelsea – Annoushka Ducas
With two international jewellery brands to her name, the founder and creative talent behind Links of London and Annoushka reveals the spots around her Chelsea home that inspire her designs.
Why did you decide to set up shop in Chelsea?
My Cadogan Gardens studio was the first shop I opened and I am very proud of it. I have always loved the area and its colourful history; its long-standing connection to art, music and fashion draws an interesting crowd of people to the area. There is a real café society feel which ensures a relaxing atmosphere for those summer evenings spent outside at Manicomio, watching the world go by.
Do you have any favourite boutiques in Chelsea?
Pavilion Road is a hidden treasure when it comes to shopping: its wonderful independent food and drink shops give it a very villagey feel. Olivia Von Halle is my go-to designer for her beautiful silk pyjamas, while florist Moyses Stevens is a joy for any flower-lover. L’Artisan du Chocolat on Lower Sloane Street is a guilty pleasure of mine while Green and Stone on the Kings Road is fantastic for lovely paper and art supplies. Walking in there is like stepping back in time in a world where we no longer use stationary in the same way as we used to.
You can’t get much better than Hunan on the Pimlico Road which is just around the corner from my house – the food is absolutely delicious and there is a real joy in not having to order.
Best spots to hang out?
The downstairs bar at the Royal Court is a fun place to have a drink in the winter before and after a night at the theatre, which I love. The Ivy Chelsea has the most divine garden and is great for people-watching during the summer.
Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
I’m lucky enough to have travelled a lot and I am constantly inspired by the most obscure and unexpected things but nature has always been a particular influence in my work. I am truly fanatical about flowers and the Chelsea Physic Garden is one of my favourite spots, a peaceful area away from the hustle and bustle of the busy King’s Road. My Russian heritage constantly influences my designs and has been the genesis for my forthcoming collection Touch Wood, launching in September.
Do you have a favourite piece from your own designs?
My favourite piece of jewellery constantly changes: with every new collection I launch I always find a new favourite! I wear my Mythology Globe Amulet almost every day – the design was inspired by a spinning globe that I had in my nursery as a child and it is very meaningful to me.
And what about a favourite that you didn’t design?
I have always loved Buccellati and one of the most special pieces of jewellery that I own is a ring that my husband gave me around twenty years ago when my daughter was born.