THE VISIONARY JEWELRY DESIGNER INVITES US TO MARVEL AT EVERY STAGE OF THE CIRCLE OF LIFE
Elegance is the only beauty that never fades.
The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.
Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
The one-of-a-kind Green and Purple Iris Petal Earrings in plique-à-jour enamel, green apatite or amethyst, diamonds, platinum, silver and gold, were carefully handmade in Spain, where the sweltering sun gives birth, tenderly nurtures and ruthlessly burns the finest flowers.
The designer of this piece of art is Luz Camino, a Madrid-based Spanish jewelry designer. She’s an amazing lady, radiating warmth, sophistication and soft luminescence. Her very name, translated from Spanish, means ‘light’.
Sensitive and emotional, putting an incredible portion of love and creativity into her work, Luz scoops up from nature all the inspiration she can find. In fact, her pieces are Nature itself, transformed into wearable art through powerful imagination, virtuosic use of gems, precious metals and unconventional materials, innovative techniques and a jeweler’s skills pushed to extremes.
In her designs, Luz employs anything and everything – from luxury stones to tin cans – to elevate the essence and beauty of ordinary objects above the humdrum of everyday existence.
The story behind the Iris Petal Earrings extends far beneath the surface of visible beauty. The idea came to Luz on her way to a meeting when, through a taxi window, she saw a withering iris dropping its petals on the street of Madrid. In its fading, she saw the charm and inspiration to create these delicate earpieces.
The technically challenging and time-consuming art of plique-à-jour enameling infuses the earrings with flickering, vibrant, natural colors. The apatite or amethyst drops are removable, so you can wear them with or without the stone. The green or purple petal gently climbs up your ear, adorning it with a fragile, ephemeral allure, sealed in gems and metals to last many human lifetimes.
MESSENGERS OF THE APPROACHING SUMMER, TAKING ON NEW DIMENSIONS IN GOLD, DIAMONDS AND WOOD
They appear out of thin air. Suddenly, out of the corner of your eye, you notice a bright splash of color, carried chaotically by the wind. A butterfly. Moving in unpredictable zigzags, she carries the warmth of the sun on her polychromatic wings.
Silvia Furmanovich gave rein to her imagination in a joyful and sophisticated collection of butterfly earrings, rings and necklaces.
A unique phenomenon in the world of jewelry, in her eloquent masterpieces you can smell the freshness and woodiness of rainforests, hear the breath of the wind under butterflies’ wings; you can almost taste the precious stones melting on your tongue like drops of candy, and touch the geometric lines and soft curvatures, brought to life by Silvia’s creative spirit and by Nature herself.
Balancing on the verge of delicate and powerful, feminine and bold, spiced by the intuitive and sublime combinations of marquetry, precious metals and stones, Silvia Furmanovich’s designs are full of color and life. The designer has travelled the globe with her heart and eyes wide open: ready to absorb and treasure the gems of the natural world, artifacts discovered in the remote parts of the planet, the skills and wisdom of modern and ancient cultures, techniques and artisans.
In many cultures, butterflies have been perceived as symbols of the human soul, of creation and transformation. Aristotle referred to the butterfly as psyche, a word designating human soul in early Greek literature.
Butterflies also represent much-needed hope. In J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic saga Lord of the Rings, the wizard Gandalf the Grey, trapped on top of the tower by his treacherous counterpart, repeatedly whispers the name of the great eagle Gwaihir to a butterfly which then disappears into the storm, and soon the eagle comes to save him.
Today scientists study butterflies as they abandon or change their habitats to look for the visible effects of climate change and learn more about our changing planet.
Yet, Silvia Furmanovich’s interpretation is straightforward: refined, colorful and exuberant, her butterflies are neither an allegory nor the psychoanalytic inkblots of a Rorschach test, intended to evaluate and test you.
Her approach is a whiff of fresh air. No need to guess and overthink. Just experience the pure and luxurious beauty, created by this ingenious designer, in tandem with nature and a seasoned team of jewelers!
Signature marquetry butterflies by Silvia Furmanovich may land on your fingers, ears or neck. Visit Moda Operandi to find your butterfly.
SEVENTY MARVELOUS JEWELS TELL THE STORY OF THE ITALIAN WONDER IN THE LANGUAGE OF PRECIOUS METALS AND STONES
Travelling the world through books – a romantic, affordable and eye-opening childhood experience for most of us.
For Coco Chanel, books were more than just entertainment: they fuelled her imagination, giving her travel and education without leaving her room, allowing Chanel to discover countries, cultures and arts, which later influenced her legendary creations.
In January 2016, Venice even hosted an exhibition “La Donna Che Legge” (“The Woman Who Reads”), a glimpse into Coco Chanel’s literary tastes, friendships and her relationships with books, writers, poets, artists and musicians.
Back in the 1970s, Roland Barthes, the French literary critic, wrote in an article for Marie Claire magazine: “If you were to open a text about the history of literature today, you would find in it the name of a new classic author: Coco Chanel. Chanel does not write using paper and ink (except as a pastime), but with fabric, forms, colors.”
Chanel will always be Chanel.
At the beginning of this year, the iconic fashion house presented a new high jewelry collection “Escale à Venise” (translated as “Stopover in Venice”): 70 pieces, of which 22 are one-of-a-kind, four brooches in a limited edition of five, as well as five high jewelry watches.
The collection takes you to the engineering marvel of the world, the city of masks, bridges, romance and Murano glass, and submerges you in the colors, architecture and atmosphere of this extraordinary place – and Coco Chanel’s greatly loved destination – even if you have not yet had the good fortune to see it in person.
Patrice Leguéreau, director of Chanel Jewelry Creation Studio, invites you to travel to this unique location not, this time, through the pages of books but through the facets of gemstones; to experience its indescribable grandeur through the colors of intricate enamel, layers of precious metals, the flight of imagination and the remarkable skills of Chanel’s jewelers.
Symbolic depictions of blue-and-white mooring poles, ribboned boater hats, baroque lions from the facade of Saint Mark’s Basilica – the guardians and the spirit animals of Venice – the deep blue of the its starry skies, the tesserae of Byzantine architecture, scattered throughout the city… It takes an eminent mastermind to collect all the pieces of this mosaic and arrange them into an unparalleled object of jewelry art while staying true to the spirit of the city and to Chanel, firing people’s imagination without spiraling into clutter and chaos. It takes Patrice Leguéreau to do that.
“Escale à Venise” is a collection with many faces, offering a contemporary interpretation of the different emblems of the Floating City. It consists of four parts: Sérénissime, Gran Canale, Isole della Laguna, and Spirito de Venezia.
Sérénissime is the traditional name of the Republic of Venice or, in Venetian, Serenìsima Repùblega Vèneta – a sovereign state and maritime republic, which existed from 697 to 1797. It offers an intriguing interpretation of Venetian architecture: the facades of its palaces, the multicolored marble floors and mosaics of its churches, rendered in paragon, geometric lines, baguette-cut and round diamonds, warmed by the soft hues of Padparadascha and mandarin sapphires and rose gold.
Gran Canale was inspired by the Venetian waterways: the big and small canals, brightly spotted with gondoliers’ hats, reimagined as whimsical cocktail rings, with ribbons set in red and black enamel and diamond pavé, as well as the blue-and-white mooring poles, dreamed up in the blue enamel and diamond pavé of earrings, necklaces and bangles.
Isole della Laguna plays with the theme of camellia, Coco Chanel’s best-loved flower. Inspired by Venetian Murano glass, this iconic blossom is given new meaning and structure in rock crystal, hand-carved into the shape of the classic Chanel camellia, punctuated with diamonds and set in yellow gold.
Spirito de Venezia contemplates the image of the lion – Coco Chanel’s astrological sign and her favorite talisman – and the blue-and-gold starry scene on the rooftop of Saint Mark’s Basilica. The winged lion on the Basilica is guarding the Bible on Chanel’s one-of-a-kind ring – an impressive pear-shaped diamond.
High jewelry by Chanel is almost impossible to put into words. Beautiful? Beyond compare. Stunning? Absolutely. One-of-a-kind? Without question.
Their new high jewelry collection “Escale à Venise” captures the heart and soul, colors and shapes, air and mood of the city and translates them so precisely into the language of beauty and art that even a person who has never been there can say: This is Venice!
Let the “Escale à Venise” jewels speak for themselves. Give in to their charm. Listen to their story…
 “Si vous ouvriez aujourd’hui une histoire de notre littérature, vous devriez y trouver le nom d’un nouvel auteur classique: Coco Chanel. Chanel n’écrit pas avec du papier et de l’encre (sauf à ses moments perdus) mais avec de l’étoffe, des formes et des couleurs […].” (source: Identités visuelles (Formes sémiotiques) by Jean-Marie Floch).
FLIRTATIOUS, TIMELESS AND ULTRAFEMININE, THE HOOPS ARE BACK
Can a man know a woman so well that he can create exactly what she wants?
In a moment of doubt, I recalled James Taffin de Givenchy, a jewelry designer, an expert in exotic gems and the founder of TAFFIN – the eponymous couture jewelry house, creator of pieces that are both zesty and experimental.
James Taffin de Givenchy is an alchemist, balancing emotion, intellect and logic to design one-of-a-kind objects of wearable art.
His easily recognizable designs often feature unconventional materials: rubber, ceramic (Taffin’s signature ingredient), wood, even steel from recycled AK-47s, resulting in thrilling challenges and, on occasion, a royal pain for the house’s jewelers who must find ingenious and innovative solutions to bring those imaginative projects to life. And, ultimately, pure joy for the women who will be wearing them!
Among James’s recent, dreamy creations are large hoop earrings: a delicate lace of carved white jade, sprinkled with rose gold ceramic and turquoise beads.
Time and time again, I’ve come back to these mesmerizing, semitranslucent jade circles: looking for the perfect angle, the perfect light, the perfect painting to reveal their transcendent beauty and breezy vibes. My many searches have at last come to an end with the intriguing portrait of a woman by Chris Gambrell.
Hoop earrings are as old as time. In Ancient Egypt, even cats were pictured with hoops in their ears. Bast, or Bastet – the Egyptian goddess of home, fertility and childbirth, protector of home from evil spirits and disease, embodiment of gracefulness and affection – was sculpted and portrayed as a black cat wearing a gold necklace and gold hoop earrings.
That said, they never fall out of fashion. Throughout a history of ever-changing tastes, trends and styles, these eye-catching classic circles, symbols of eternity, might sometimes accidentally disappear from the horizon, only to make an even more ambitious and spectacular comeback.
The hoops by TAFFIN are back!
For woman, for the goddess, and for a stunning amalgamation of both.
IN CELEBRATION OF EVERY WOMAN AND EVERY MOTHER
It has become common practice to talk about women and men, femininity and masculinity in terms of Yin and Yang – contradictory, yet inseparable opposites. Women, the traditional representatives of Yin energy, have been celebrated as the sweet, gentle safekeepers of life, while men are destined to conquer, dominate and protect.
But the woman of today is, herself, both Yin and Yang. Balancing ever-increasing demands of family and career, she stands tall as a stronghold of ]opposing powers and idiosyncrasies: а svelte entrepreneur corralling a bunch of happy toddlers; an uncompromising politician with a weak point for her grandkids; a cool-headed brain surgeon who writes children’s books as a hobby; a lightning-fast sprinter, supporting dogs in an animal shelter.
Even when those opposing forces are not as dramatic, they are always there – softness and backbone, daintiness and solidity, centuries-old wisdom and contemporary intelligence – in every woman, in every single one of us. Just look inside to find it.
That is how I discovered the color red: the color of daring, of courage, the lipstick of a femme fatale, the color of fragrant wild strawberries, and of blood, which, let’s face it, is the inescapable companion of every birth, every new life.
Strong, spirited and beautiful: I chose this color as a statement to celebrate Women’s Day and Mother’s Day this year.
The symbolism behind the crimson red earrings from Sylvia Furmanovich’s Amazonia Bamboo collection is striking: the artist turns this common plant, an ordinary building material and food product in South, East, and Southeast Asia, into refined pieces of art. Through her daring designs, attention to detail and passion for traditional and innovative craftsmanship, her mix of precious and semiprecious stones, pearls and metals, she elevates the humble, yet strong and resilient bamboo to the dizzying heights of spicy, delicate and feminine refinement.
This is the quintessence of all the beauty in the world, which would never have happened were it not for the women.
Happy Women’s Day!
And Happy Mother’s Day!
CLOSE TO YOUR SKIN AND LIGHT YEARS AWAY: CÉPHÉIDE NECKLACE AND ULTRAVIOLET EARRINGS BY VAN CLEEF & ARPELS
FROM THE NEW HIGH JEWELRY COLLECTION ‘SOUS LES ETOILES’ COME SOME POWERFUL AND EXTRAORDINARY DEPICTIONS OF THE STARS ABOVE
Painting by Michal Lukasiewicz
Celestial bodies fabulously beyond our reach and range of vision, many of which, even in these high-tech times, exist only in the calculations of mathematicians and astronomers and have yet to be captured by even the most advanced telescopes, it’s the stars and galaxies, constellations and nebulae that have inspired Van Cleef & Arpels to create their latest wonder: the ‘Sous Les Etoiles’ collection (translated as ‘Under the Stars’).
The designers and jewelers at Van Cleef & Arpels have reached into the depths of ancient archives and sci-fi movies, primitive old-time drawings and cutting-edge visualizations, NASA imagery and their own imagination, to look more closely at the skies.
The women from the paintings by Michal Lukasiewicz are wearing the one-of-a-kind Céphéide necklace and matching, unique Ultraviolet earrings from this new, stellar collection.
Cepheids – giant, pulsating stars – gave Van Cleef & Arpels the idea to create this eponymous, transformable necklace, featuring eleven chalcedony cabochons, mauve sapphires, tsavorite garnets and diamonds.
The deep, hypnotizing indigo of the night sky, revealing itself in dreamy two-tone tanzanites and mauve sapphires, is pierced by glowing diamonds of stars and the jolly verdure of tsavorites, reflected by the matching Ultraviolet earrings, complete with detachable pendants.
Preoccupied by our daily hustle and bustle, we have stopped paying attention to the skies. But have we, really? On 18 February 2021, NASA landed its rover Perseverance on Mars. To raise public awareness of this mission, NASA initiated a ‘Send Your Name to Mars’ campaign, where anyone could send their name to the Red Planet on a microchip, stored aboard the rover. Once registration had been completed, it turned out that a whopping 10,932,295 names had been submitted – all to be flown to Mars!
This euphoria over reaching out to the skies, the ambitious and competitive NASA and SpaceX projects, the butterflies we get in our stomachs when we look at creations as wonderful and exquisite as the ‘Sous Les Etoiles’ jewelry: everything points to how the stars have not been forgotten.
The galaxies of precious stones and metals, the ultra-sophisticated and poetic mastery of Van Cleef & Arpels’ jewelers and designers, the mesmerizing energy of the magnificent Céphéide necklace and Ultraviolet earrings are clear evidence that, even at the peak of the current bumpy ride, human hearts and eyes never stop looking – and finding – the beauty beneath and above the dome of the sky.
EVERY DIAMOND, ROUGH AND POLISHED, FINDS ITS PLACE IN DE BEERS’ LATEST HIGH JEWELRY COLLECTION “REFLECTIONS OF NATURE”
The new De Beers high jewelry collection “Reflections of Nature” consists of five subcollections: Okavango Grace, Ellesmere Treasure, Motlatse Marvel, Landers Radiance, and Namib Wonder.
The power of De Beers’ artists’ imagination, intricate skills and exceptional rough and polished diamonds take you on a spectacular trip to five breathtaking locations: the Okavango Delta, Ellesmere Island, Motlatse Canyon, Landers Reef and the Namib Desert.
The Okavango Grace creations are an amazing combination of light and dark green, grey and light pink, rough and polished diamonds. It is a reflection of the wild and bold nature of the Okavango Delta in Botswana – home to the world’s most endangered large mammals: cheetahs, white and black rhinoceros, African wild dogs and lions.
De Beers has always stood for the importance of wildlife conservation. In 2002, they launched the Diamond Route initiative to protect the biodiversity of eight nature reserves in South Africa and Botswana. “For every hectare of land used for mining by De Beers Group, six hectares are dedicated to the conservation of nature,” says Dr Patti Wickens, the company’s Senior Environmental Manager.
The design of the Okavango Grace drop earrings, inspired by the lush waters of the Okavango Delta, feature a cascade of colored rough diamonds, with two rows of contrasting white brilliant diamonds, recalling the color gradations of slender reeds, terminating in a sumptuous pink diamond waterdrop.
The free-flowing design of the magnificent Okavango Grace necklace features green, pink, white and fancy-color rough and polished diamonds, echoing the graceful aquatic plants that sway in the maze of the Delta’s waterways.
The subtle and refined three-row Okavango Grace bracelet in green, pink, white and fancy-colored rough and polished diamonds is designed so that the exceptional stones enhance each other’s beauty.
“A Diamond Is Forever”, the iconic tagline devised for De Beers by Frances Gerety back in 1947, is still true today.
De Beers’ signature style – the ancient beauty of rough diamonds and timeless sophistication of their polished counterparts – is boldly but gently revealed in the Okavango Grace collection, inspired by this natural, untamed oasis of wild beauty, still untouched by destructive human activity.
A NEW, REFRESHINGLY VERNAL COLLECTION “POLVERE DI LUNA” BY THE ITALIAN LUXURY JEWELRY HOUSE
Get ready to see something amazing on the virtual catwalks of 2021.
The luxury Italian heritage jewelry brand Buccellati presents its new high jewelry collection “Polvere di Luna” (“Moon Dust”).
Shrouded in mystery, moon dust has been the subject of scientific research for decades. The Moon is thought to be covered with an ultrafine layer of dust particles which are in constant motion, leaping up and down on its surface. This phenomenon has been lyrically named “lunar dust fountain” or “Moon fountain”, analogous to the water molecules of a fountain which appear static, yet follow a ballistic trajectory.
Refined techniques, perfected since 1919 by successive generations of the Buccellati family, turn their haute couture, rich creations into sophisticated and classy, contemporary and timeless pieces of art.
This year, Andrea Buccellati, Creative Director at Buccellati, and indeed all the jewelers involved in the making of their astounding pieces, have surpassed themselves.
The jewelry house’s aesthetics, elegant taste and intricate craftsmanship, painstaking manual drilling and hand engraving have culminated in a delicate, openwork set of cocktail pendant earrings, set with 178 diamonds, a flexible bracelet set with 280 diamonds, and a super-light necklace, set with 304 diamonds. They appear on the wintery horizon like a lily of the valley, emerging with the first breath of spring through the last of the snow.
Like ethereal particles of moon dust, the refined combination of diamonds, white and yellow gold in the new, filigree Buccellati collection, “Polvere di Luna” sheds fresh light on the concept of luxury jewelry: eternal classics, perfect for nowadays, or any day.
TWO CREATORS, TWO DISCIPLINES AND TWO MASTERPIECES FROM DIFFERENT EPOCHS REVEAL THE PERPETUAL IMPACT OF ART
When we compare different artists, we ask ourselves what do they have in common? But to work in harmony, like the tenor and alto in an opera, do they actually need to have anything in common.
This is the case with two outstanding artists from different generations, artistic disciplines and backgrounds: contemporary jeweler Nicholas Varney and sculptor Henri Laurens (1885–1954).
Two different stories:
Nicholas Varney started travelling the world as a child and has continued his journeys throughout his educational and professional life. From the schools of New York, Newport and Florida, to discovering the beauty of the Caribbean, the museums and antique stores of London, fishing in Ireland, backpacking on his bicycle across Russia and Europe.
Unlike Nicholas Varney, Henri Laurens was not a bred-in-the-bone traveler, and was in his fifties before he visited even the seashore for the first time.
The contemporary jeweler and educated gemologist, Nicolas Varney, has been drawing since childhood. Shells and bark, coral and other curious natural objects, diamonds and colored gems, rare natural freshwater Mississippi, Colorado clam, abalone and conch pearls of all colors, shapes and sizes, precious beads and gold: today his emotionally charged designs come to life in sophisticated and whimsical jewels. Never building an idea for a future piece around any specific stone, first he creates the design in drawings and then seeks the perfect materials to fulfil it, using nature and juxtapositions as the main source of inspiration and driving force for his singular creations.
Multitalented sculptor Henri Laurens often found additional outlets for creativity: collages, posters, book illustrations. He even participated in the most unusual, multidisciplinary project, working with a group of artists on Sergei Diaghilev’s ballet “Le Train Bleu”: the scenario was written by Jean Cocteau, Laurens created the set, Darius Milhaud wrote the music, Coco Chanel designed the costumes, and Pablo Picasso supplied a painting for the curtain.
Laurens’ feminine and moody sculpture “Seated Woman”, which I have paired with Nicholas Varney’s warm-colored earrings in peach garnet, diamond and agate, was created at a time when Laurens had started moving away from Cubism towards more classical shapes, graceful curves and volume. This has been perceived by art historians as a longing for stability after the damage done by World War I, and in opposition to the supposedly effete and overly sophisticated present.
The round shape of Nicholas Varney’s earrings softly merges with the feminine curves of the textured sculpture. The tranquility and undisguised nude womanliness of the crouching clay figure, the circular shapes and curves of her body, come into perfect balance with the delicate garnet and diamond circles, offset by a few bold strokes of agate. A gentle ode to Woman as the focal point of the circle of life.
Two different artists. Two different artistic disciplines. One – universal – beauty.
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.
AUTUMN COLORS REVEAL ELEGANT GRACE IN AN EMOTIONAL RENDERING BY A TRUE ARTIST
P. Picasso Maternite' (Mother and Child), 1963 Lithograph
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.
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.
An offspring of the imagination of Cartier’s Creative Director, Jacqueline Karachi, it draws your attention to two exceptional beryls, with white, yellow and brown diamonds spreading like roots from their base.
On the back of the impressive, soft green beryls, clear as mountain lakes, rests an extraordinary structural detail: diamond armature—an astonishing framework of diamond drops, shining through the transparent, gleaming beryl ponds.
The leaves of Tillandsia—an unusual air plant which inspired this necklace,—are covered with cells capable of quickly absorbing water from the air and from surfaces. In a similar fashion, the diamond pavé shines like tiny droplets of life-giving water, absorbed by the necklace and keeping it alive and magnificent.
These bizarre plants cling naturally and prosper on tree branches, bark, rocks, even shifting desert sands.
The Cartier Tillandsia necklace wants to cling to your delicate neck. Airy and heavenly, mesmerizing and luscious—a supernatural masterpiece by a true artist.
Staring at me was a red-haired woman: her body half-turned, pastel strokes of clothes fused with a white ambience.
Instantly, I had a vision of Lolita’s portraits twinned with masterpieces created by an incredible Spanish jewelry designer Luz Camino.
They are both marvelous and utterly individual, each putting a fantastic amount of love, emotion, creativity and sensitivity into their work.
And they are both Dreamers..
From exquisite, expensive stones to tin cans, in her designs, Luz is not afraid to experiment. She employs anything and everything. Mushroom brooches, acorn earrings, a pencil shavings-shaped ring: she elevates the essence and beauty of ordinary objects high above the prose of everyday life.
To treat your eyes and imagination to other, similar marvels created by Luz Camino, see the Moda Operandi trunkshow.
“En el corazón de todo arte grandioso hay una melancolía esencial.
At the heart of all great art is an essential melancholy.”
Federico García Lorca
Portrait by Chris Gambrell_
At the end of April, I received a letter from Luz Camino—a Madrid-based jewelry designer and friend. She included a photograph of herself: a classy, beautiful woman wearing a light brim hat, sitting peacefully and elegantly on a wooden garden bench.
The bright spring day filled my own room, as I became immersed in the smells and sounds, felt the refreshing wind in my hair and light of the sun on my skin. Indeed, the very name of this amazing lady, radiating warmth, sophistication and soft luminescence, means ‘light’.
Madrid, April 30th, 2020
It is truly kind of you to think about me and my family. We are all in good health, thank God. I trust that you and your family are equally well. Hopefully, we will all manage to get through these difficult times we are living in the best way we can.
I must admit I felt privileged from day one. My dearest friend and partner invited me to seclude myself in his home outside Madrid, together with him and his Argentinian cousin who was visiting at the time and could not return home. It is a spacious house with a garden that allows us to stroll and breathe fresh air. We are like the Three Musketeers ready to have the best time possible.
Every morning, I read for a while in bed and jump out at nine to have breakfast in my robe and nightgown. We try to do so all three together.
After a few days locked up, we decided that we had to cooperate in a solidarity project and so we started making reusable masks to be distributed free of charge among nursing homes in Madrid, made with the fabric surplus donated by Neck & Neck – a children’s clothes brand. I have to say, my sewing machine has become my favorite object or fetish these days. My tool for helping others.
We dedicate several hours a day to sewing the masks after breakfast, lunch and dinner. We have already delivered several hundred.
Not a day goes by where I do not do some exercise, for an hour or so. After working out, I get dressed and put on makeup as if I were invited out to lunch. I believe it is important to feel beautiful.
In the afternoon we play cards, canasta and crapette, very much fighting to win. At night, we watch a movie, a TV series or the news.
Aside from all these activities, I dedicate some time to work on jewelry designs. How could I not? I just finished a custom-made pair of earrings for a client through Moda Operandi and am developing my new collection that will be shown at Bergdorf Goodman at the end of the year.
Every day I talk with my family as well – it’s a big one! – and with friends who are spending isolation on their own. We have group videocalls with my children and grandchildren, which is fun and helps us keep in touch. I also stay in touch with Ana, my assistant, and a thousand times more with my son Fernando who, as you know, works with me and is my greatest help and support.
He has been involved in my designs for a long time now and he is behind the conception of several pieces. He plays an essential role in the development of my work and I am so happy to see that he shares my vision when it comes to jewelry, knowing that he will be able to follow in my footsteps. As you can imagine, after my telling you all of this, the days feel rather short and there has not been a single one where I felt bored or tired of isolation.
Sad, however, unfortunately yes, because as a result of this terrible pandemic, we have lost dear friends that I shall never forget. I hope, dear Maria, that you are taking good care of yourselves. Personally, I cannot wait to work full time again soon so that I can go back to collaborating with the great team of craftsmen who give life to my designs.
FIVE STRANDS OF AN EXTRAORDINARY AND RARE STUNNER
Some creations belong to no one. Like our children, each with their own unique individuality.
Some things can never be forgotten. Like this exquisite necklace, flawless and pure.
Here is one of my favorite portrait paintings by Chris Gambrell. Hiding under a swaddling cloth is my newborn son, just a few weeks old, who also has skin like an angel.
Around my neck is the one-of-a-kind, divine Hemmerle necklace: five strands of pale-blush, ancient and extremely rare angel skin coral, complemented by diamonds and rose gold. So rare, in fact, that it took several decades for the jewelers of Hemmerle to collect the necessary amount of coral, simultaneously making sure that the beads all match in texture, tone and color, a faultless achievement of balance and symmetry.
A moment of perfect harmony, balanced by two of nature’s most extraordinary gifts: one in my arms and the other wrapped around my neck…
THE AIRY, SCULPTURAL, HYPNOTIC CREATION—LIKE A PENDULUM, WHICH WILL ALWAYS RETURN TO EQUILIBRIUM, HOWEVER DRAMATIC THE DISPLACEMENT
The somewhat uneasy look in her eyes is wondering what happens next, but the aura of the painting is serene—like the rhythmical ticking of a metronome, which looks so much like the Rocket earrings, in gold, jade, tourmaline and white diamonds, by a gloriously Brazilian designer Fernando Jorge.
The harmony of the delicate design, the inherent movement and intimate energy, the contemporary aesthetics, the magnetic elegance of these infinity circles turn them into a sensual, asymmetrical yet perfectly balanced pendulum.
Beauty is everywhere, and this realization is soul-healing.