COLORED MARBLE AND ONYX MASKS AS MISCHIEVOUS DISPLAYS OF WHIMSICAL JEWELRY.
Serious pieces with a sense of humor and feminine touch: jewelry by Suzanne Syz is anything but conservative.
Ultimate luxury fused with a mixture of both traditional and unconventional materials which allows greater freedom of size, form and palette, coupled with the outstanding technical knowledge, material mastery and artistry of Suzanne’s Geneva-based team, and topped with imaginative flair taken to extremes.
Colorful and ironic, temperamental and lighthearted, complex and chic, Suzanne’s designs are a product of exceptional creativity, intelligence and refined taste, as well as remarkable attention to detail. Her creations effuse color and sensuality, freedom and joy. They defy the ordinary.
Suzanne, who is an art collector herself, breathes love into each and every one of her unique pieces. It’s not that she doesn’t take things seriously. She does—but always with a smile. A beautiful smile.
Suzanne has created more than a thousand inimitable pieces. The symbolic culmination of her jewelry journey—before she decided to switch her focus to organic winemaking—is this final artistic collaboration with Matthew Lutz-Kinoy which sums up 20 years’ work and her love for jewelry.
Over the past few years, Suzanne has invited a selection of contemporary artists and friends to re-envision in the form of sculpture some of the conservative ways jewelry is displayed. Her former collaborations—“Dorayaki” by John Armeleder, “Frozen Yogurt” by Alex Israel, “Magnifying” by Sylvie Fleury, and “Dino Runes” by Kerstin Bratsch—have now been complemented by five colored marble and onyx masks, created by Matthew Lutz-Kinoy, which he calls “A Spear of Summer Grass”, after Walt Whitman’s poem “Song of Myself”.
The orifices, curves and nooks of the masks serve as vessels and carriers for Suzanne’s jewels, while her jewels in turn serve as means of self-actualization for the masks, complementing and interplaying with each other.
The theatrical marble displays are expressive and dynamic, changing with the source and angle of light, simultaneously changing the pieces of jewelry displayed on—and in—them as they go through the flow of transformation.
Each piece of jewelry changes its appearance and purpose depending on the way it is placed on the masks: in the mouth or the eye socket, under the eye, on the ear.
The narrative constructed by the interlacing and synchronization of the two art forms is physically and intellectually immersive. The freedom of interpretation and exploration yielded by this amusing, interdisciplinary collaboration, is infinite.
ARNAUD CHASTAINGT, DIRECTOR OF CHANEL’S WATCHMAKING CREATION STUDIO, REWORKS THE LEGENDARY WATCH WITH SURGICAL PRECISION
Illustration by Ellie Rahim
Indeed, it does sound like surgery. To create the new version of the Chanel J12 watch – and making the most of Chanel’s black and white hallmark – two single-colored (one black, one white) extremely hard, scratch-proof ceramic cases are produced, then cut and combined to form the Paradoxe watch,
Hand-crafted at Chanel’s atelier in Switzerland, the name of the watch dates back to the year 2000. Jacques Hélleu, Chanel’s artistic director for almost three decades, named it after the 12-meter J-class racing yachts. When this black, ceramic watch, characterized by distinctive, minimalist, pure lines, first came to life, it revolutionized the watch world: both haute horlogerie and casual timepieces. This luxury watch changed the whole concept of luxury watches.
The re-creation of famous, distinctive watches is anything but simple.
In 2013, when Arnaud Chastaingt joined Chanel’s Watchmaking Creation Studio, he was faced with a colossal dilemma: to create a new watch from scratch, or to remake the iconic J12 version, which—paradoxically—was a much more complex and ambitious task than working from zero.
As a result, he reworked a whopping 70 per cent of the original components, which—again, paradoxically—yielded a subtle, modern result. The philosophy behind the remaking this legendary watch was a harmonious yet strong-willed evolution rather than abrupt revolution, with discreet aesthetic changes and advances. This reflects Mr Chastaingt’s personality and style: deliberately keeping a low profile and staying away from the spotlight, preferring that people talk about his creations rather than about him.
Unisex, elegant and timeless, the reworked J12 will pave the way for future developments in the world of high jewelry and watchmaking.
Among other recent horological creations from Chanel, my favorites are Code Coco, released in 2017, and Monsieur de Chanel, launched in 2016.
In the dynamic and bold Code Coco, Arnaud Chastaingt manages to find the right balance between past and future. With a touch of retro, this streamlined, sophisticated and delicately luxurious timepiece does not look at all old or ‘historic’.
Monsieur de Chanel was the brand’s first watch to be created with men in mind. Understated yet super-elegant, not overdesigned nor excessively extravagant, it’s slick, powerful and manly, but not over the top. This is a watch I would wear myself. The perfect reflection of Coco Chanel’s inimitable advice for stylish women and classy men: ‘It is always better to be underdressed.’
Underdressed, in the world of Chanel, stands for elegant and elite.
Illustration by Ellie Rahim
IN HER NEW COLLECTION, AS AN ARTIST WHO LOOKS INTO THE VERY HEART OF THINGS, SILVIA FURMANOVICH DELVES DEEP INTO THE ESSENCE AND PHILOSOPHY OF BAMBOO
Illustration by Chris Gambrell
For true art, whether sculpture or painting, jewelry or perfumery, there is no such thing as ‘inappropriate’, ‘unconventional’, or ‘not precious enough’.
It’s not—at least, not only—gold and diamonds which make jewelry both couture and exclusive. It is also the muse of the artist, the imagination of the designer, the mastery of the goldsmith, and the craftsmanship of all the other experts involved in the lengthy process, from conception to creation of a chef-d’oeuvre, from a fuzzy image, shape or smell in the artist’s head to the unveiling of a finished masterpiece.
This is especially true of the new Amazonia Bamboo collection by Silvia Furmanovich, a São Paulo designer, who found inspiration in her journey to Japan, where she discovered the centuries-old art of weaving bamboo into intricate knots and basketsm, and who transformed the miniaturized versions of those techniques, beautified with gems and gold, into unique pieces of jewelry.
Bamboo is a pretty commonplace plant and an everyday building material and food product in South, East, and Southeast Asia. Who would have thought that building blocks and edibles could be turned into refined pieces of art? And yet, the flight of Silvia’s imagination, her bold visions and designs have elevated it to the realm of fine jewelry.
Through the alchemic combination of daring designs, attention to detail, passion for ancient, traditional and innovative craftsmanship, styles and materials, love of travel and fresh interpretations of different cultures, Silvia creates unique and timeless pieces.
It made me recallmember Serge Lutens’ sensual and revolutionary perfume Féminité du Bois—a philosophical and memorable mixture of Atlas cedar, cinnamon and clove, candied plum and pear, an elegant flash of violets, rose, orange blossom and earthly sandalwood, contemplative and tantalizing, dusty and dry, yet sophisticated and tender, symbolizing the duality of woman’s nature.
In her new collection, Silvia Furmanovich uses a mix of precious and semiprecious stones, pearls and metals, matching the shades of natural and colored bamboo: gold, diamond, citrine, tourmaline, garnet, emerald, jasper, amethyst and topaz, to elevate the value of this humble natural material, awakening a sense of warm, spicy yet delicate feminine refinement. Shapes, shades and smells that are often missed in the hectic routine of hurried and overcrowded lives.
Although you might intuitively think otherwise, bamboo does not degrade quickly over time: the masterpieces of bamboo artists, exhibited in museums around the world, have lasted for centuries. Beyond that, light in weight and extremely strong and resilient, bamboo makes an ideal material for wearable jewelry. The lines and shapes, the graceful woodiness and – when combined with the right stones and pearls, characteristic of Silvia Furmanovich – the balance between exquisite craftsmanship and pure beauty, rustic and, at the same time, gracefully elegant, makes this a unique and outstanding collection.
The way perfume acts like a living creature, changing its behavior, revealing new notes and moods the longer it lingers on your skin, Silvia’s masterpieces, coming from the very core of the natural world, work together with your outfit, your mood and the essence of your feminine nature.
AUTUMN COLORS REVEAL ELEGANT GRACE IN AN EMOTIONAL RENDERING BY A TRUE ARTIST
Illustration by Chris Gambrell
It never rains in Nicholas Varney’s universe.
The soft, warm and earthy hues of his earrings and rings bring out the best in the melancholic and meditative palette of autumn.
Nicholas has been drawing since he was a child; now his designs come to life in sophisticated and whimsical jewels. Never building his ideas around specific stones, he first creates the design on paper and then seeks the perfect materials, using nature and juxtapositions as his main sources of inspiration and the driving force for his singular creations.
The jewelry pieces by this artist and educated gemologist carry a strong emotional charge: once they find the soul with whom they resonate, a strong transcendent, artistic bond is built.
In his earrings, Varney combines laconic, caramel candy-like bubbles of natural pearls with stripy agate, balanced with ebony wood—for a more solid, heavier, statement look—resembling joyful maracas that whisper a rhythm to the rustle of steps on dry, fallen leaves. Or a beautiful pestle for a magic mortar, in which you might grind and mix a pinch of cinnamon with a few seeds of autumn glamour.
The smooth, subtle pearls on the rings evoke memories of late berries, caught in the first frost: no longer edible, but so enchanting against the greyish air of the dusky and moody season that you can’t take your eyes off them.
Together, the colorful pearls, agate, ebony and gold come together in a light and fluent autumn waltz. A dance for the loving and for the beloved.
by Naomi Gryn
Illustration by INCYCUBANS
In 1931 Coca-Cola commissioned illustrator Haddon Sundblom to develop advertising images for an advertising campaign. Sundblom took his inspiration of a friendly, plump Father Christmas or Santa Claus – an Americanized adaptation of the Dutch Sinterklaas – from Clement Clark Moore’s 1822 poem A Visit From St. Nicholas:
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
Sundblom’s model was his friend, Lou Prentiss, a retired salesman. When Lou died in the late 1940s, Sundblom started painting himself instead.
Children all over the world are hoping they’ve behaved well enough for Santa to bring them presents. There’s a child inside all of us hoping we’ll be given something special too. What would you like Santa to bring you this year? I wouldn’t mind a pair of these gorgeous earrings by Aisha Baker…
by Naomi Gryn
Illustration by Ellie Rahim
The story handed down from one generation to the next is about how, when the Jewish zealots regained the Temple in Jerusalem, they found enough pure oil to light the seven-branched menorah for only one day, and yet the oil lasted for eight days until more could be brought. For this reason, Jews light candles for each of the eight nights of Hanukkah. But the real miracle of this festival is about indomitability, and the survival of Jewish culture through the ages.
These days, many Jews copy the Christmas tradition of giving everyone in their family something that they’ll treasure. After all, what could better for cheering up a dark, winter night than giving a well-chosen present to someone you love?
THE HIGH JEWELRY HOUSE PRESENTS ITS MOST RECENT PIECES WITH UNMISTAKABLE SCULPTURAL AESTHETICS AND NEW FRESH INSIGHTS
Illustration by Ellie Rahim
From whichever angle we look at their creations, we end up at the same culminating point: the unique, identifiable style of Hemmerle. You cannot mistake them for anything else.
Is it the way Hemmerle sculpt their jewels – not just ‘design’ them? Or the way they look at the world – the diverse and complex, delicate and provocative beauty of it – and reinterpret this in their creations?
Perhaps it’s the way they don’t prioritize the ingredients of ‘classic’ high jewelry over intriguing, unconventional materials – ancient artefacts, rare woods, unusual combinations of precious and non-precious metals – to power up their imagination and creativity?
Or the overall aesthetic and philosophy of this fourth-generation family-run High Jewelry House?
One thing is for sure: gorgeous and timeless, Hemmerle’s creations continue to adorn and enrich the world of art and jewelry.
The Fall Viewing 2020 of their most recent collection is no exception.
At a time when most of us are being urged to stay at home, Hemmerle explores the air, light and spaces around us, and how we experience them.
The earrings I have picked for today play with the rich, temperamental autumn colors and textures, invoking all five senses: sight – where the metals and stones interplay in a complex architectural dance; sound – how they interact with the atmosphere around them; smell – of the dry, crispy autumn leaves and warm, spicy perfume; touch- the feel of the bold, structured shapes and surfaces; and taste – of ripe, luxuriantly sweet, late autumn fruit.
It takes all five senses – to evoke the exclusive aesthetic of the House of Hemmerle.
CREATING DIAMONDS OUT OF THIN AIR
by Naomi Gryn
Illustration by INCYCUBANS
Centuries before the miller’s daughter of Brothers Grimms’ Rumpelstiltskin fame was credited with spinning straw into gold, alchemists have been trying to turn everyday things into precious jewels. My own daughter loves Queen Munch and Queen Nibble by the poet Carol Ann Duffy, in which Queen Nibble makes necklaces out of raindrops. But this is not just the stuff of fairy tales.
Ruby was the first gem to be created in a laboratory by the French chemist, Auguste Verneuil in the 1880s using flame fusion. In 1955 Robert Wentorf Jr bought some crunchy peanut butter from his local food co-op in Niskayuna, New York. Back in his General Electric laboratory, he subjected the peanut butter to immense pressure and heat, transforming it into tiny crystals of diamond. This breakthrough technology could be applied to any carbon-rich material. Gem-quality diamonds were produced in a laboratory for the first time in 1971 and, in recent years, colorless synthetic diamonds have become commercially viable for the jewelry market.
Now, Ryan Shearman, who used to develop products for David Yurman’s Men’s Line, has founded Aether, a carbontech company that has successfully created the world’s first diamond out of air. This cutting-edge alchemist plans to start selling his company’s gems later this year.
Certified by the International Gemological Institute, Aether’s diamonds have the same standards as mined diamonds. Incredibly, they also help clean the environment: a two-carat Aether diamond offsets two and a half years’ worth of the average American’s carbon emissions. How many diamonds would it take to solve the climate crisis?
Illustration by Inkycubans
What makes art Art?
Resistance to mass production? An emotional trigger? Originality? The artist’s identity?
Sometimes I catch myself thinking: if some of the talented artists had not become jewelry designers, what would they be doing instead? They would still be talented, successful and probably happy. The only ones to lose would be us—their admirers, followers and collectors who would miss out on exquisite pieces of this extraordinary, ancient and ever modern art.
With its laconic outline, absence of redundant, decorative details, classic, contrasting colors, elaborate composition of simple geometric shapes, and a strong, architectural silhouette that is both clean and clear, this enameled brooch—the dramatic and dynamic portrayal of a black and a white crow, holding a ruby-red stone in its talons—is not exactly typical for Ilgiz. Yet, it is a splendid reflection of all that he stands for: an artistic predilection for Art Nouveau, immaculate mastery of enameling, and the global idea behind art, plus the delicate conglomerate of a creator’s idea and the beholder’s profound emotional response.
The pieces by Ilgiz Fazulzyanov, a miracle worker from Tatarstan, a two-time winner—Champion of the Champions—of the International Jewellery Design Excellence Awards, are admired by art aficionados and craved by both private collectors and gallerists in Russia and around the globe.
The chance of finding such an ingenious expert in enameling is remote, and yet, the artist did not study jewelry professionally: his knowledge and mastery were earned independently, through passion and ambition, perfectionism and perseverance, by trial and error.
Aiming to surpass himself with every new piece, he studied many different enameling techniques—Japanese, French, English, Russian—and developed his own signature, unique methods, including, but not limited to, the firing of enamel at 950℃, rather than the ‘classic’ 700–800℃, which allows him to achieve a total fusion of glass with the golden surface, as well as a one-millimeter-thick plique-à-jour enamel.
Ilgiz believes that the art of jewelry stands at the confluence of all art forms and technologies. A jeweler must know the basics of drawing, painting, sculpture, perspective, architecture, chemistry, physics and mathematics. He must not be afraid to dirty his hands. He needs to make the metal submit to his rules—and be able to put it all together - to create the ultimate masterpiece.
Aiming at perfection, he can redo a piece of jewelry again and again until he gets the desired effect: color gradations and nuances in the enameled petals of a flower or the feathers of a crow’s wings, which correspond both to the reality and to his creative idea.
Ilgiz’s pieces are so immaculate that they do not have a flip side: the back of every pair of earrings, necklace, brooch or ring is on a par with the front side.
Besides, Ilgiz rarely works ‘around the stone’; rather, he builds the stones, whether precious or not, around the idea to achieve the maximum embodiment of his brainchild.
The crows from the brooch are facing opposite directions, each holding a symbolic stone in their talons. What does the white crow see in our past? Why is the black crow looking at our future?
Despite the menacing juxtaposition of colors, both crows look contemplative and calm. They mean no threat.
These pieces by Ilgiz Fazulzyanov are for genuine art connoisseurs, valuing not just the name of the brand and value of materials, but also the artistry, aesthetics and creativity.
A timeless and priceless investment, if you’re considering one.
Despite widespread and powerfully promoted gender equality, in many spheres of modern life women remain precariously vulnerable and unprotected.
For this reason, on November 25 – International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – luxury jewelry brand Pomellato launched a social media and video campaign to raise awareness on domestic abuse.
Pomellato’s initiative is a tremendous breakthrough for luxury brands. Conceptually distant from the real world, submerged deep into the divine microcosm of art, design and unsoiled, supermundane beauty, they often appear to be dramatically detached from the facts of life.
And yet, who to support women and raise awareness of the hot-button gender issues better than a brand that stands for women, their freedom and independence.
With that in mind, in 2017 Pomellato founded the platform #PomellatoForWomen to promote gender equality and inclusivity.
And it shows no sign of letting up. Not until abuse and violence against women has stopped.
On MK Nuvola (Italian for ‘cloud’) rings, timeless beauty by Pomellato. Let us hope that the beautiful clouds stay in artistic realm – and we soon see the bright sun above our heads in real life…