Designer Shaun Leane was just 15 years old when he realised he was fascinated with the world of jewellery. “I was interning as a goldsmith and during that time, my work was very classic. I would restore pieces of jewellery from the Victorian, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and Georgian period,” he tells us. “What fascinated me was how those pieces were executed so brilliantly that they stood the test of time and how the designs were distinctive of the periods they came from.”

Shaun Leane

It wasn’t long before Leane combined his traditional methods with his contemporary sensibility to establish a signature aesthetic. Working with the late Alexander McQueen, Leane honed his craft and pushed the boundaries of catwalk jewellery. "When Lee and I first started working together, we were friends. He was at Central Saint Martins and I had just finished my 7-year apprenticeship in Hatton Garden. I look back on that now and that is part of my heritage and the history of the house.” Leane often looks back at the rich archive of work he produced with McQueen as reference for new collections.

Shaun Leane for Alexander McQueen "spine corset"

Working with McQueen had its challenges too. "One of the most difficult things to make was the skeleton corset for the Untitled show. I never worked with aluminum before. I had to sculpt every piece out of wax. I had to teach myself silver-smithing, sculpture and carving.” He confesses that there were many sleepless nights, but they led to the creation of some of the most show-stopping pieces. "The beautiful thing about working with Lee is that, he didn’t challenge you, he had a way of making you challenge yourself.”

And although he has collaborated with the likes of Kate Moss and Daphne Guinness, his says his mother is still a main source of inspiration. "My mother was a very beautiful, glamorous woman and as a young boy, I would watch her get ready before she went on a night out with my father. After she got dressed, she would spritz her perfume and then the jewellery would go on. She is my muse.”

Leane shared the details of his busy week ahead.

Monday: Selfridges (400 Oxford St,  W1A 1AB)

My weeks are very diverse as I work with every department of my business. On Mondays, I'll work with the teams that deal with sales, social media, marketing and then the design team in my atelier. We’ll go through designs and the finishing touches to my pieces.

In the afternoon, I have a meeting booked in with Selfridges. I have a new concession there, which opened a couple of weeks ago. I went in the first day to have a look but I’m going back on Monday to have a catch up and see the display of the new feather collection. Also, the Selfridges menswear department is a must for me. I’m a Thom Browne fan.

Tuesday: The Beaumont Hotel (8 Balderton St, Brown Hart Gardens, W1K 6TF) 

I have a lunch meeting with a bespoke client that I’m looking forward to. We’re going to the Beaumont, which is my favorite. I love The Colony Grill restaurant. The food there is amazing. It’s got a really lovely feel, very art deco and 1920’s New York.

Wednesday: Shaun Leane Studio (18 Woodstock Street, W1C 2AL) 

I’ve got some stone dealers coming in from Germany and they’re showing me loads of tanzanite and other beautiful stones for me to view. I’m using them for bespoke commissions that are happening at the moment. I source my stones from all over the world.

In that evening, I have one of my bespoke clients coming into my showroom in Bond Street to see the stones and the design we prepared for them. It’s really nice because they get to see where the piece is made. They can follow the making of it and see it when it’s half made and the process firsthand. We can alter the piece and fit it to them perfectly. That’s the couture end of what we do.

Thursday: Hignell Gallery (12-14 Shepherd St, W1J 7JF) 

I’m going to see the Helaine Blumenfeld sculpture exhibition, Hard Beauty, which I’ve wanted to see for a while. I’ve never seen her work in real life before. I’m fascinated by sculptures. I would like to think that jewellery is a form of sculpture. Her work is made up of very organic forms, beautiful soft lines, but there’s a hardness to it as well that I love.

Friday: Odeon Leicester Square (24-26 Leicester Square, WC2H 7JY)

I’m going to the premier of Nocturnal Animals. I’m really looking forward to that. Tom Ford's films are always shot so beautifully.