What inspires such contemporary, sculptural jewels? Diverse talents share their inspirations.
With minimalism in design on the rise, designers are borrowing judiciously from geometry for their creations. The results are pleasingly contemporary with fantastic forms and striking angles, most mirroring art deco elements and futuristic renditions.
Hannah Martin Emerald Hexagon earrings
London’s rule breaking designer Hannah Martin loves the excitement created by strong lines and angles in juxtaposition with sensual, sculptural forms. “I am passionate about creating jewellery which has a feeling of power and exudes energy,” she says. Her edgy designs reflect “the clash of hard and soft, masculine and feminine, and the areas in between the borders” that have always held her enthralled.
Ming Lampson Amethyst earrings
Another sought-after designer on the London jewellery scene, Ming Lampson’s art deco amethyst hoops are the result of a few different ideas and concepts coming together. “For a long while I had been thinking about a hoop with attitude and I liked the idea of trying to make soft coloured stones feel full of strength and power.” A spike or elongated triangle, says Lampson, naturally feels fiercer than an oval stone.
Nikos Koulis earrings; Below: Jessica McCormack Diamond ring
Greek jewellery designer Nikos Koulis’ distinctly modern creations are an homage to his love of art deco. He infuses the art deco spirit through arresting forms and colour contrasts. His penchant for glamorous designs – the use of mixed-cut stones to accent geometric elements and mis-matched styles (especially for earrings and rings) – result in pieces that are swoon-worthy. Geometric accents also underscore Jessica McCormack’s modern designs. Her open silhouette rings, available in an assortment of colours, and diamond hoops from the Hex collection, borrows from the outline of a hexagon.
Ralph Masri Rose Gold and Pink Sapphire Triangle earrings
Lebanese talent Ralph Masri’s clean and bold designs have been a huge hit since he debuted his first collection. The angles, lines, and slants all stem from his love of architecture. “I generally gravitate towards clean lines and minimalist forms; I don’t like when things get too busy,” he says. Masri’s Arabesque Deco, Scared Windows, and Modernist collections mirror his reverence to architecture. Do his creations align with the aesthetics of a wider audience? “Yes,” says Masri. Geometrical shapes, he feels, have a more universal appeal and timeless than figurative forms and resonate well, especially with a younger demographic.
Mike Joseph Jewellery ring and earrings
Armenian-born designer Mike Saatji’s two-part collection for the brand Mike Joseph Jewellery, Mutinies and Misfits, strikes a fine balance between tension and proportion. The sculptural designs of Misfits, all accentuated through sharp angles, “recalls the conundrum of fitting a square peg into a round hole,” while the Mutinies collection is inspired by non-binary and gender fluid rights. The 22-piece jewellery collection is realised in white gold and accented with diamonds, each with a yellow gold and diamond counterpart. “I wanted to create mix of all emotions. Sharp angular corners and solid frames, but delicate tiny chains incorporating tension,” explains the creative director of the Bangkok-based brand. “For me, it’s all about the mood,” adds Saatji, whose innate sense of unconventional style hinges on fun, bold, and whimsy.
Stephen Webster necklace
Meanwhile, British designer Stephen Webster’s edgy fine jewels and statement pieces are influenced by varied muses – from architecture to the visual iconography of Hitchcock’s noir psychological thriller, Vertigo. “Whereas Vertigo is directly influenced by modern and more radical architecture, Dynamite is fragmented, as the name implies – something explosive that has physically changed from whatever was there before,” explains Webster. “Some of my first collections were inspired by art deco buildings and structures. I also preferred to look at architectural elements and interpret my own style from that. During that time, which was the mid-to-late 80’s, new gems were entering the jewellery arena; I was very quick to incorporate these fresh new gemstones into my pieces,” he adds.
Kavant & Sharart necklace
Recurrent signature motifs from Kavant & Sharart include architectural shapes and angular styles set with baguettes and round-shaped gems. The couple behind the brand, Kenny Yongkiettakul and Shar-Linn Liew, constantly come up with eclectic and fashionable jewels, primarily inspired by the ocean, cubism, and origami as seen in the Origami collection, as well as art deco-inspired shapes in the GeoArt collection.
Tomasz Donocik earrings; Below: Boghossian earrings
Tomasz Donocik’s Electric Night melds art deco with a futuristic style, inspired by “the neon-lit skyscrapers of cult sci-fi movie, Blade Runner.” His Stellar collection combines sharp lines set in a delightful pattern; this line draws upon artist Frank Stella’s vivid geometric paintings from the 1970s. Meanwhile, Graziela Kaufman’s Titanium collection includes matte purple titanium drop earrings with layered geometric shapes, while buildings and geometry fire the imagination of architect-turned jeweller Marcia Budet. In addition, jewellery brands like Boghossian, Tasaki, Noor Fares, Melanie Georgacopoulos, Emily P. Wheeler, Jane Taylor, Rush Jewelry Design, Bia Tambelli, and Mania Zamani also have minimalist designs referencing sculptural elements and angular shapes.