For the last five years, Pandora has had the charm industry all sewn up. Dangling from wrists, their collectable icons have really brought back the charm bracelet, and carved out a global, multi-million pound niche for the brand. But last week we came across the Chatelaine Charm Belt Company, and it’s made us look at those charms in an entirely different way.
The belts are inspired by chatelaines, as worn by women in the 18th and 19th centuries, which bring back childhood memories for designer and founder Tania Stone. Her mother had a collection of chatelaines, most of them bought at Portobello Antique Market, with a level of detail and romance that is rarely captured by more contemporary accessories. Flying in the face of minimalism, the Chatelaine Charm Belt Company revels in ornate beauty and historical references. But far from looking like a medieval costume, there’s something very modern and stylish about them.
Crafted in silver or gold, they can be worn with jean or slim fit trousers just as easily as a gown. And, a little like a charm bracelet, you can add extra details to the loops. Interchangeable charms and chains can add personality, make the look more bespoke, and are easy to switch around according to your outfit or mood.
Right now you can only order ‘Pre-Designed’ belts from the company’s online store. But a ‘Create your own’ option is coming soon and we can’t wait to see what that entails. It looks like there will be a choice of fabrics, buckles and embellishments so that you can create a truly unique accessory.
In the meantime, this is our favourite of the belt already available. Deep brown and silver is an unusual combination, but here it really works. You can see the influence of the original chatelaines, but there’s still something very clean and modern about the buckle. Hanging at the side is a delicate alphabet charm – an interesting alternative to the initial necklaces that everyone else has. Starting at £220 it’s expensive for a belt, but they’re a completely original accessory for the girl who needs to have something different.