Alan Anderson, Haute-Couture Vintage Jewelry

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“Random Acts of Glamour” — that just about sums up Alan Anderson. Or does it?

He is a pillar of the Canadian fashion and jewelry scene; his jewelry adorns some of the most famous necks in history (from Dame Elizabeth Taylor to Katy Perry). If you like big, flamboyant, decadent, camp, vintage Hollywood style baubles, then Alan is your man. Think crowns, ladies, not tiaras.

And yet…

My GPS tells me that I am at the correct address for Alan’s studio but right now I’m staring at a mishmash of front windows, from a hardware store to a florist space. I was expecting a flamboyant window of jewels but none of that here. Tucked away behind the pillar is a narrow glass door. “For Alan, go one up,” reads the door sign.

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 “I grew up very close by — and now I live two streets away. This is my life. I love it here.” Could Alan be a homebody?

Alan has just come upon a cache of vintage flowers and pearls — the excitement in his voice was palpable. “I’ve been sitting at the table for hours playing with pearls and petals.”

It’s precise, lengthy, patient work. He is constantly on the look out for vintage pieces to incorporate in the collections – it’s becoming more and more difficult to source.

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“You have to pay homage to the origin of the elements. You can’t rush the work or the design.”

The crowns are possibly the most mesmerizing of all the pieces. Statue of Liberty-like — where on earth do you wear this? “I encourage my clients to do a random act of glamour every day. Put it on and go out into the world spreading happiness and glamour.”

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I can’t help but detect a great humility and kindness in Alan, hidden behind the flash glam of his collections. It’s as if he does not want to overshadow them or his clients. His purpose is to make a match — the right stone for the right client — and then watch the relationship grow knowing that his work is done.

Alan is welcoming us in his studio on September 17th, 5.30-8.30pm to discover his new collection.

Please RSVP by emailing boutique@ruepigalle.ca.

You can watch my portrait of Alan in this video.