Yukon jeweller set to show at London Fashion Week

London Fashion Week is considered one of the “big four” fashion events in the world. Along with weeks in Paris, Milan and New York City, it’s a chance for fashionistas of every stripe to strut their stuff and for top designers to have their creations seen by an international audience.

London Fashion Week is considered one of the “big four” fashion events in the world. Along with weeks in Paris, Milan and New York City, it’s a chance for fashionistas of every stripe to strut their stuff and for top designers to have their creations seen by an international audience.

Among the creators this year will be Shelley MacDonald. The Yukoner is one of only a handful of jewellery designers who have been asked to put on a show.

“I still don’t know what it will be like. Obviously I’ve been Googling it. Then I’d get overwhelmed and stop,” MacDonald said with a laugh.

“This is to an international audience. The regular joe knows London Fashion Week.”

Getting ready for an event like this comes with a laundry list of questions, not the least of which is, when the international fashion elite come calling, what does one wear?

Her Lululemon pants, MacDonald learned, are unlikely to cut it.

“I work from home. I don’t spend money on expensive clothes because I’m going to ruin them in my studio.”

So MacDonald is heading to Vancouver four days before taking off for London. She’s hired a personal shopper to help her figure out her wardrobe.

While in Vancouver she’ll also be meeting with the public relations representatives she’s hired to prepare for questions on the London red carpets. A few TV interviews in Vancouver have already been scheduled.

Personal shoppers and PR reps are the latest evidence of how MacDonald’s career has grown in the last six months.

When William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, visited the territory last fall, Kate donned a pair of MacDonald’s modern ulu earrings.

Since then, orders for the handmade creations have flooded in. MacDonald estimates she’s made 1,400 pairs.

She’ll be making 120 more to go into gift bags at fashion week.

When MacDonald got the call in November from an agency asking designers to take part in fashion week, it would have been easy to assume the company was aware of her because of the royal attention.

But MacDonald said she was told the agency had its eye on her prior to the duchess’s visit.

“I had thought it was maybe because of the whole Kate exposure, but it actually wasn’t. So I was actually quite happy about that.”

Instead the agency was most interested in the pieces she makes out of fur, MacDonald said.

Her new Boreal Collection features neck pieces, bracelets, earrings and rings, many of which include recycled fur.

She’ll have six models walking the runway Feb. 18 at London’s Devonshire Square. The final decision about which of her pieces they’ll be wearing hasn’t been made yet.

MacDonald has been working on adding fur to her work for the last few years, but the idea of coming up with a cohesive collection is still relatively new to her.

“Normally, designers, they will showcase a collection two times a year, in the spring and winter,” she said.

“But for me, I don’t really do that, I just kind of make whatever comes to mind and whatever I’m inspired by. I make a bunch of stuff and sell it.”

The collection she’ll be showing in London also includes pieces made with muskox horn.

MacDonald takes the horn and grinds it to make a cabochon stone, an oval-shaped stone with a curved top and a flat bottom that can be easily placed in a silver setting.

Ahead of London, MacDonald is preparing for questions from reporters about her choice to use fur.

She said she mostly recycles fur used by local First Nations.

“I feel really good about that because they’re making traditional clothing and traditional footwear and moccasins and then whatever they’re going to throw out, that’s what I use for jewellery. I only use really tiny pieces.”

As she preps for London, online orders for the ulu earrings keep coming in. MacDonald estimates she got 80 orders in three days over Christmas.

She’ll be temporarily shutting down her online shop while she’s in London.

The shop will remain closed for a few weeks afterwards. MacDonald and her fiancé are going on a vacation.

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited internet options beginning Dec. 1. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet for some available Dec. 1

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited… Continue reading

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before conducting a test with it on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
An inside look at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre

As the active COVID-19 case count grew last week, so too did… Continue reading

Conservation officers search for a black bear in the Riverdale area in Whitehorse on Sept. 17. The Department of Environment intends to purchase 20 semi-automatic AR-10 rifles, despite the inclusion of the weapons in a recently released ban introduced by the federal government, for peace officers, such as conservation officers. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Environment Minister defends purchase of AR-10 rifles for conservation officers

The federal list of banned firearms includes an exception for peace officers

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The K-shaped economic recovery and what Yukoners can do about it

It looks like COVID-19 will play the role of Grinch this holiday… Continue reading

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Karen Wenkebach has been appointed as a judge for the Yukon Supreme Court. (Yukon News file)
New justice appointed

Karen Wenckebach has been appointed as a judge for the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and senior management (CASM) meeting about CASM policy in Whitehorse on June 13, 2019. Constable highlighted research showing many municipalities require a lengthy notice period before a delegate can be added to the agenda of a council meeting. Under the current Whitehorse procedures bylaw, residents wanting to register as delegates are asked to do so by 11 a.m. on the Friday ahead of the council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Changes continue to be contemplated for procedures bylaw

Registration deadline may be altered for delegates

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Most Read