We’ve always had eyes for Delfina Delettrez, the Italian designer whose eponymous jewellery label turned ten this year. So much so that when the designer heard we were launching Precious Index, our debut watches and jewellery supplement, she suggested creating a special piece for Wallpaper* to celebrate both occasions.
‘I created the “Eyes on Me Brooch” as a tactile example of how my aesthetics have evolved,’ Delettrez says of the dazzling white gold, diamond and pearl piece. The design also reflects her decade-long fascination with the eye as a precious symbol. The pieces in her signature ‘Anatomik’ collection for example, features floating noses, lips and eyes in bright enamels and diamonds. ‘My first designs were much more cartoon-like in form,’ she says. ‘Today, the shape has become sharper with a focus on the facets of the stones themselves.’
‘Earclipse Eye/Lips Bracelet’ in 18ct gold with diamonds, sapphires and rubies
The attention to cut is emphasised in Delettrez’s most recent ‘360°’ collection. It features earrings and rings with precious stones that pierce through pavé encrusted gold bands, so that they appear to be suspended in space. ‘The stones have been set using an ancient wrought setting, and positioned upside down,’ explains Delettrez. ‘They take on another dimension and become eternal prisms of light.’
The interplay between history and modernity is essential to Delettrez’s aesthetic. ‘My eye references come from a romantic standpoint,’ she says. ‘As a child, I was told a story of the Georgian and Victorian tradition, of women sewing and secretly hiding miniature eyes insider their lover’s clothes to keep watch on them while they were away. They acted as amulets of protection.’
The ‘Eyes on Me’ brooch has a more futuristic feel. After all Delettrez has also referenced UFOs as inspiration, and presented the swirling rings in her ‘HANDroid’ collection on mechanical hands. ‘I wanted “Eyes on Me" to be as pure as possible and to have an almost robotic look,’ she says. ‘After all, as befits Wallpaper’s view, the designs we make today will be the classics of tomorrow.’
A version of this article originally appeared in the Precious Index, our new watches and jewellery supplement (see W*218)