As a child of the ’90s, Bambi Northwood-Blyth has many fond memories of INXS, the band that took Aussie stadium rock to the world. But unlike most fans of the supergroup, she has converted her love into a jewellery collection that channels the “look-at-me” charisma of frontman Michael Hutchence.
Created for Australian jewellery brand F&H, the pieces are named after some of the band’s biggest songs – including New Sensation, What You Need and Beautiful Girl – and reference the sensual style Hutchence was known for. Northwood-Blyth began the design process during a stint living in the US and missing her homeland.
“When we started working on the collection, I was living in New York and feeling homesick, so I wanted to touch on some Australian elements,” the model tells Broadsheet. “Sharona [F&H designer Sharona Harris] has a rock’n’roll edge, so [INXS] felt like a good fit.”
The range, crafted using double-plated 18 carat gold and sterling silver, incorporates the statement chains, freshwater pearls and natural gemstones F&H is known for, as well as nods to ’80s street culture and Northwood-Blyth’s relaxed, cool-girl style.
The hero of the collection – which runs from bold opal and pearl earrings to chunky necklaces and a chain-link anklet – is the New Sensation necklace, which features a large baroque freshwater pearl and white topaz suspended on a heavy, adjustable lariat-style drop chain.
Other pieces are more suited for everyday wear, such as the minimalist Everything necklace and the Mystify anklet, which feature two interlocking chains.
“The big thing for me, being a model, was [to make] things I could wear every day and that stayed on,” says Northwood-Blyth. “There’s a couple of bigger pieces, but it’s more about the smaller, everyday pieces you can wear in the shower, on a run and then on to a night out.”
With a history of wearing F&H jewellery to events, the model was instantly keen to create a capsule range for the brand when Harris approached her a year ago. “When Sharona got in touch it felt like a good fit,” says Northwood-Blyth. “When you talk to someone on the phone you always get a vibe straight away, and she is really high energy and open and fun.”
With the model in New York and the designer based Byron Bay, the pair began sending references and sketches back and forth, refining their vision for Northwood-Blyth’s jewellery debut. “Sharona was lovely and very encouraging. There’s no one else I would have done this with,” she says.
Harris had been following the model’s career since her early days. She was discovered as a teenager about to start university, going on to work for global brands such as Balenciaga, Chanel and Calvin Klein – although Harris has memories of her a little closer to home.
“I remember seeing Bambi walk at Australian Fashion Week in Sydney when she first started in the industry, and I’ve worked with her plenty of times over the years, providing our jewellery for her styling since my very first collection,” she says. “I’ve always admired her fun, outgoing zest for life, and she also reflects our signature styling, with a slight edge, laid-back natural beauty and a strong personality.”
The pair endeavoured to capture that personality in the new collection, which Northwood-Blyth is (naturally) wearing when we speak. “I have four of the earrings on now,” she says. “It’s a really cool, tight range, so you could wear nearly all of it all at once.”