Ann Dexter-JonesJewelry Designer and Mother
“Every day is for best. Life is short."
[Ed. Note: Ann Dexter-Jones is a jewelry designer whose designs are sold around the globe at stores like Barney's and Colette. She is also the mother to music producer Mark Ronson, DJ Samantha Ronson, designer Charlotte Ronson, actress and designer Annabelle Dexter-Jones, and musician Alexander Dexter-Jones.]
"Growing up, I had a lot of time to make things and be creative. We traveled a lot; my father was looking to follow the sun. When I was ten my father called us into the drawing room and said, ‘My duty as a parent of five children is to show you other aspects of life: other religions, other races, other landscapes of the world.’ So he spun the globe and wherever his finger went, we went to. He believed in two things: first class travel and first class education.
After my mother died, my father would say, 'Every day is for best. Life is short. A bus could hit us tomorrow.' Every day is for best – that’s how I look at my jewelry. It’s not to bring out on a special occasion. I have three bracelets on now because I like these colors and they make me feel good.
My jewelry line started because I was on tour with Foreigner, my former husband’s group, and I would go to flea markets all across the world. That’s when I started to notice ID bracelets, and I started to collect them. When I got back to New York, I called a friend, who introduced me to artisans in New York. I just had a couple bracelets made for myself. Then people started asking me to have the bracelets made for them, from friends to strangers in the street, so after some time I realized, 'Why not just make it into a business?'
When things happen in your life it puts things into perspective, even if you don’t know that’s what you’re doing. I think everything is unconscious, and my love for dressing is an unconscious thing. It’s just about how I feel. … I don’t want to look like I’m trying to be a teenager, but I’ve always liked edgy clothing. That’s never changed. Any time I go out, I go into the closet ten minutes before I have to leave, and I say, ‘How do I feel?’ I don’t think about how I will look to other people. Fashion is a second skin, from makeup to clothes, you don’t want it to wear you. You want it to feel organic. It’s always been that way for me." -- Ann Dexter-Jones to Shop Ghost
Ann Dexter-Jones photographed in New York by Stevie Dance.
"My first Christmas when I separated from my ex-husband I just thought, 'I’m going to treat myself and buy something I really want!' Not that he wasn’t generous, but it’s nice to buy things for yourself."
Dress Up/ Dress Down
"I tend to dress things up when I go to and event that is more low-key, but when I go to an event that is more high profile I dress it down. I just like to play around."
"I’m so proud of my kids. They are very humble; if they knew I was talking about them, they would cringe I think! The great thing is, I never have to buy music because Alexander, Mark and Samantha compose, and I never have to buy clothes because Charlotte and Annabelle work in fashion."
"I am not a seamstress, but I used to make clothes for myself when I couldn't find what I wanted. I was in Austria with my father and my siblings when I was a teenager and I saw these lederhosen and thought ‘how cool!’ I made myself lederhosen in velvet with appliqués on them because the mini-dresses I was making had gotten so short that I had to make knickers to match. ... Then two years later Mary Quant came out with hot pants… If only I had been that clever!"
"I’ve been doing Reiki for over 20 years. I was freelance writing for Tatler in England, and I decided to write a piece about Reiki. Well, I never wrote the article because the more I learnt, the less I knew. ... I went to a second Reiki master in New York and she said that I should do a mastership in Reiki. … I decided to do it so that I could go into hospitals and practice Reiki on patients as a gift. I give it to friends and family ... and I perform Reiki on my jewelry too."