London Insider: Shaun Leane on his month ahead in the capital

Words by
Jane Madden

8th August 2017

When he isn’t ruling his renowned UK jewellery empire, London born and bred Shaun Leane switches between his Mayfair atelier and East London flat, exploring everywhere in-between. Best known for the pieces he created for Alexander McQueen, this UK jeweller is definitely in the know when it comes to art and fashion popping up around the city.

Shaun Leane by Nicky Emmerson
Which galleries/ exhibitions will you be visiting?

I’m really looking forward to visiting The Cactus House at Hignell Gallery in Shepherd Market. Sculptor Ben Russell has worked in collaboration with The Conservatory Archives to transform the gallery into a Hothouse of stone cacti carved from alabaster, limestone and onyx. Nature and organic forms are a huge influence on my work and I’m fascinated to see how these materials have been interpreted by another artist.


Hignell Gallery, 12 - 14 Shepherd Street, Shepherd Market, Mayfair, London W1J 7JF

An item you want to buy and where?

A 1970s light fixture has been on my wish-list for years now. Alfie’s Antique Market is likely where I’ll find it, or Fandango interiors on Cross Street in Islington. Over the past few years I have been steadily building my collection of antique and mid-century modern furniture. Every piece has a story.

Alfies Antique Market, 13-25 Church Street, Marylebone, London NW8 8DT

Fandango Interiors, 2 Cross Street, London N1 2BA

Shaun Leane - Black Rhodium and Black Spinel Hook Earrings

Black Rhodium and Black Spinel Hook Earrings

A walk you are looking forward to doing?

Next month friends and I will be climbing Mount Carrauntoohil, the highest peak in Ireland.

Shaun Leane - Gold Vermeil Quill Cuff

Gold Vermeil Quill Cuff

A new book you want to read?

I can’t wait to read Lou Stoppard’s new book Fashion Together (out in October). It focuses on the art of collaboration in fashion, something that’s never been focused on before. She very kindly interviewed me about my years of collaboration with Alexander McQueen and it includes previously-unseen sketches and photographs from the early shows we worked on together.

Fashion Together: Fashion's Most Extraordinary Duos on the Art of Collaboration, Trust, and Love by Lou Stoppard, Rizzoli (October 17, 2017)

Shaun Leane - Rose Gold Tusk Bangle
Which bars will you be visiting?

The American Bar and Colony Grill at the Beaumont Hotel in Mayfair have been a favourite of mine since the hotel opened a few years ago. I’ve taken everyone there! The walnut-panelled walls make it feel as though it’s been there forever.

The American Bar at The Beaumont Hotel, Balderton St, Mayfair, London W1K 6PR

Shaun Leane - White Feather Hoop Earrings

White Feather Hoop Earrings

White Feather Hoop Earrings
Which cafes?

The Austrian café Kipferl in Camden Passage is the best place for Sachertorte outside of Vienna. It’s a sweet-tooth’s paradise. It’s also located on one of the prettiest streets in North London dotted with antique jewellery stores.

Kipferl, 20 Camden Passage, London N1 8ED

Shaun Leane - Hooks Silver with Diamonds
Which new restaurants?

Luca in Farringdon has been highly recommended to me by friends so it’s next on my list.

Luca, 88 St. John Street, Farringdon, London, EC1M 4EH

Shaun Leane - Rose Gold Vermeil and Diamond Cherry Blossom Cuff and Ring

Rose Gold Vermeil and Diamond Cherry Blossom Cuff and Ring

Any in the know shops you might go to – florists/ hat shop/ umbrella shop etc.

Second Nature in Muswell Hill is a treasure trove of antiques and plants. The owner Richard describes it as ‘small but perfect’ and I couldn’t agree more. Most recently I bought several frames of pinned butterflies in the most incredible shades of blue.

Second Nature, 79 Fortis Green Road, Muswell Hill, London, N10 3HP

Shaun Leane - Rose Gold Tusk Ring
Where might you get a lovely spa treatment done or where do you enjoy fitness?

I really enjoy weekly yoga with a private tutor.

Your favourite hidden spot in London.

Not-so-hidden but definitely a favourite spot is Hampstead Heath. Stepping back from the frantic pace of the city is essential.

Shaun Leane - Silver and Diamond Signature Ring

Silver and Diamond Signature Ring

Your favourite London brand and why?

I always have a stash of Smythson notecards in my desk. Handwritten notes are a rare joy to receive so I try to write as many as I can. Smythson also make fantastic backpacks for everyday – I have one in two colours!