Here’s some jewelry that I find beautiful, funny and/or interesting, whether it’s new or not. Take your pick!
By Sandrine Merle.
1/ Bottega Veneta jewelry
Jewelry of a strange beauty, complete with unusual shapes, material effects and ornamental stones. Among my favorites are the hand-enameled pieces – the sublime multicolored camouflage necklace, and the “Outfit” cage cuff-bracelet with a dyed jade . Equally intriguing are the Balloon hoop earrings, whose gold-plated silver looks like it has been chewed, and which are inlaid with jasper, turquoise paste, silver balls, etc. The ultra-classic double intertwined wedding band is given a new lease of life with dalmatian jasper.
2/ Pol Bury’s wearable sculptures
This master of kinetic art would have been 100 years old this year, but the jewels he started to create in the years 1968-1975 are little known. The parallel with monumental sculptures is obvious: they are composed of the same geometric forms in slow and perpetual movement. Bury’s “ball bracelets” move with the rhythm of the wearer. Most of his jewelry today belongs to private collectors such as Diane Venet. Some limited editions, dating from before his death, are on sale at the MiniMasterpieces gallery, at Didier LTD gallery or at Pierre-Alain Challier.
3/ A magnifying glass pendant
Whether you’re short-sighted or have eyes like an eagle, why not wear a magnifying glass as a pendant. Pure elegance. Hermès offers a beautiful, simple model, mounted on a leather lace. In the same spirit, but more graphic, there is the Lebanese Dina Kamal. The Greek Minas has created an elongated version, in silver. Meanwhile the Cypriot Aïda Bergsen has given it an Art Nouveau treatment with a handle decorated with unsettling flowers, climbing plants and a snail.
4/ The Medusa pendant by Gabriela Sismann
25 years ago, as an art historian specializing in Renaissance sculpture, Gabriela Sismann founded one of the most renowned art galleries in Paris, along with her husband. Recently, she has begun to express herself in jewelry by mounting ancient elements on contemporary frames. Here’s a neo-Gothic miniature, a 15th-century Venetian key, an 18th-century Italian liturgical element or a Renaissance silver and gold belt clasp transformed into a necklace. My favorite: a pendant formed by a silver jellyfish, from an old plaque adorning a vase or furniture.
5/ Designers featured in major museums
A lovely new idea is taking root. To find little gold wonders online, go to the Benaki and the Museum of Cycladic Arts websites: they already offer online pieces by local designers such as Elena Votsi, Marianna Goulandris, Christina Soubli or Maria Kaprili. After a collaboration with Ten Thousand Things, the MET has invited the designer Anthony Lent whose pieces feature faces, feet, hands, and so on…
6/ Earrings in motion
For all those who can’t stand still, here are two pairs of perfect earrings, by Marc Deloche and Yvonne Léon, and made of fine fringed chains. They’re so gossamer light, they dance at the slightest movement. It puts you immediately in mind of the dresses of the Roaring Twenties worn by the flappers!
7/ Children’s necklaces
There is no age or gender for little girl’s jewelry anymore! In Botter’s latest collection, presented last September, boys wore fine necklaces made of pearls and micro-daisies around their necks. Three brands not to be missed: Les Néréides, La Môme Bijou, Wald Berlin…
8/ Dog and cat jewelry
Virginie Barbarin, co-founder of the luxury boarding house for animals, Alpha Dog’s House, has just opened a concept store. Reminiscent of her former life (as a press agent for jewelry brands), she offers medals to be engraved for her four-legged residents. Some are by the designer Adeline Cacheux, others in the shape of a crown, a hot dog, a rainbow or an ice-cream cone come from Brooch. Together with the brand Macon & Lesquoy, she has also co-created a series of embroidered brooches in the shape of a cat, a basset hound, a dachshund, a bulldog to hang on their clothes. Or those of the owners!