Under the loupe: Tiina Smith's vintage jewellery goes on virtual display

The Wallpaper* ‘Under the loupe’ gallery puts jewellery under the magnifying glass – check here for weekly selections and reflections from our editors

Tiina Smith
16 November

Vintage fine jewellery curator Tiina Smith has teamed up with fashion and design curator Michelle Finamore for an in-person and virtual gallery exhibition at Smith's Boston-based jewellery gallery. 'Michelle has studied our vintage jewellery collection and researched clothing and accessories that resonate with specific pieces,' says Tiina on the collaboration. 'We have a 1920s-era beaded flapper dress paired with 1970s David Webb Art Deco-inspired bracelets, while a 2012 diamond Chanel Cosmos ring echoes the design of Daniel Swarovski's embellished elbow gloves from the 1980s.' Our pick of the eclectic mix is this playful Schlumberge diamond-studded unicorn, for a bit of light-hearted and magical relief. 

Writer: Hannah Silver

horse

(Image credit: Tiina Smith)

Sienna Patti Contemporary
12 October

Artist MJ Tyson’s exhibition, Inheritance, at the Sienna Patti Contemporary gallery in Massachusetts explores the complex role jewellery can play in our lives. By melting and moulding collections of metal objects and pre-owned jewellery into sculptures, she reduces a life lived into something, poignantly, other. ‘I think a lot about the life of jewellery off the body,’ Tyson says. ‘We know what jewelry does when it’s presented, but what is its role when no one is looking? Many of us are feeling tucked away in the dark. I’m relating more than ever to the jewellery in my pieces; intertwined with the whole and isolated for safekeeping.’ By melting and casting the pieces she collects in her New Jersey studio, she bestows new life on to sentimental pieces. ‘What we have inherited is ours to reshape,’ she adds. In a time when human connection is limited, it couldn’t be more prescient. ‘Her work establishes this in multiple ways: between the artist and the viewer, between the wearer and the artist,’ says Sienna Patti. ‘Many of our possessions outlast us by decades if not centuries – we know this is especially relevant to understanding the history of jewellery – we pass them on, we mark occasions, we hold them in our hand and pray, wear them on our bodies and dance. They mark time and MJ torques this sentiment into sediment.’ The exhibition runs until October 19th.

Writer: Hannah Silver

jwellery

(Image credit: Press)

Dior
21 May

An avid gardener, Christian Dior had a passion for floral forms, in particular the rose. Now, in celebration of the couturier’s favourite flower, the maison has launched an opulent evening clutch bag with a gem-set rose as the central motif, which unites aesthetic prowess of both Dior’s (opens in new tab) women’s artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri and its artistic director of Dior Joaillerie, Victoire de Castellane. This satin minaudière features a diamond clasp drawn from the ‘Rose Dior Bagatelle’ jewellery collection, and its design is a symbol of impeccable craftsmanship. In recent weeks, Dior has celebrated the heritage of the house via its YouTube (opens in new tab) channel, with a series of documentaries and virtual exhibition tours, and today sees the release of a video showcasing the various steps used to create the Gem Clutch Bag. Your afternoon is really coming up roses.

Writer: Laura Hawkins

dior

(Image credit: Christian Dior)

Sardo
24 April

Elena Sardo’s architecture degree is evident in the striking geometrical forms of her jewels, which translate a fascination with form into deceptively simple wearability. Created in the atelier’s base in Turin, jewellery pays homage to Italian traditions of fine jewellery techniques while adding a contemporary edge. The marriage of blackened silver and diamonds in the Vuoto ring, right, and the warm rose gold contrasted against the starkness of the outline in the Kahn Cube ring, left, make her pieces – both available in the UK at Dover Street Market - appear perennially modern.

Writer: Hannah Silver

Sardo

(Image credit: Press)

Eera
21 April

This week, we are turning our gaze to the Italian jewellers who have redefined the industry with their avant-garde designs rife with traditional references. The Italian jewellery scene, however, is rich in both the new and the historical, with Milan-based brand Eera (opens in new tab) a case in point. Created last year by Chiara Capitani and Romy Blanga, their jewellery is based on the simple concept of a snap hook which allows the wearer to play with their jewels as they see fit, adding multiple dangling hooks or piling on diamond rings. In bold gold and silver, these pieces - available at Farfetch - are a fun and contemporary way to get a bit of la dolce vita.

Writer: Hannah Silver

Eera

(Image credit: Press)

Carolina Bucci
15 April

If lockdown has you itching to be a bit crafty around the home, yet homespun macramé slippers don’t appeal, you may be inclined to employ your hands in a spot of nimble jewel origami instead. Italian jewellery designer Carolina Bucci has created a series of witty paper designs based on her signature designs – small-scale sculptures designed to be worn. Here, Bucci considers the bee – a classic symbol of prosperity that alights on the interiors of her flagship London boutique and flits around her signature charm bracelets, too. Download Carolina Bucci’s Isolate & Create printable pages here.

Writer: Caragh McKay

Carolina Bucci

(Image credit: Press)

Suzanne Kalan
6 April

At the moment we are taking our joy where we can find it, and California-based jeweller Suzanne Kalan’s brand of precious jewellery is just the ticket. Her new Evil Eye Rainbow Fireworks collection incorporates her design quirks, arranging baguette-cut diamonds with characteristically chaotic placing. A play on the more traditional turquoise of the Middle Eastern symbol, here a choice of precious gems lend a welcome and riotous explosion of colour.

Writer: Hannah Silver

Suzanne Kalan

(Image credit: Press)

Annoushka
30 March

Annoushka Ducas’ eponymous jewellery line (opens in new tab) has taken its inspiration from an eclectic selection of symbols from around the globe, but her new Garden Party collection – appropriately for the times we are in – stays a little closer to home. The graphic silhouettes of trees in her Sussex garden are here interpreted in yellow gold, but when combined with surrealist Alice in Wonderland influences, nothing is quite as it seems. ‘Maze’ rings become tactile puzzles and mushroom charms in sapphires sprout in unexpected places. This reversible bracelet, when flipped over, streaks its golden topiary with unexpected stripes of black rhodium.

Writer: Hannah Silver

Annoushka

(Image credit: Press)

Hannah Martin
23 March

The A New Act of Rebellion collection - set to be launched on 23 April and available at Hannah Martin - explores what it means to feel powerless and redundant in a world rapidly spinning out of our control, and it couldn’t be more timely. Aiming to capture that one pure moment in which we finally let go, these new jewels celebrate wild, euphoric abandonment. Heavy links of gold, bolts and safety pins dangle from chains, pierce earlobes or loop haphazardly around wrists, nodding to the rebellious spirit of Seventies punk rock culture in Martin’s own imitable style. A golden safety pin, slicing through a curved slab of malachite, is both pretty and pointed in its message.

Writer: Hannah Silver

Hannah Martin

(Image credit: Press)

Virgil Abloh x Jacob & Co 
13 March

Virgil Abloh’s preoccupation with the everyday has previously manifested itself in surprising places – his thirteen capsule pieces for Ikea went on sale late last year – and it is sheer practicality that has inspired him again here. The humble paperclip is the subject of Office Supplies, Abloh’s collaboration with Jacob Arabo of Jacob & Co; money clips, earrings, bracelets and necklaces are cast in 18K white, yellow or rose gold, reworking the ubiquitous into the extraordinary. A play on a childhood spent dangling long chains of paperclips from school jumpers it may be, but when combined with Arabo’s technical watchmaking expertise, it becomes highly serious.

Writer: Hannah Silver

Virgil Abloh x Jacob & Co

(Image credit: Press)

Ele Karela
11 March

Greek jewellery designer Ele Karela creates bold, brilliant jewels, embracing both strong geometric forms and bright stones for results that prove more is most definitely more. Her pentagon pendants pepper black onyx and enamel with sapphires, while other pieces use malachite, lapis lazuli or opals as imposing backdrops. The strong silhouettes and warmth of the stones is a contrast that appeals to Karela: ‘I’ve always been fascinated by vibrant colours; working with large pieces of semi precious stones makes it more interesting as each piece is unique,’ she says. ‘My approach is new but I’m inspired by a twist of Art Deco – my work is always inspired from the past.’

Writer: Hannah Silver

Ele Karela

(Image credit: Press)

Vanda Jacintho
6 March

Vanda Jacintho’s eponymous jewellery brand references her childhood in Brazil’s lush countryside. Warm, raw materials are teased into sculptural shapes and in this new collection metal, too, has been subject to nature’s will; oxidised using vinegar, it is imbued with rich new patinas. ‘The pieces reflect the juxtaposition of nature and art,’ says Jacintho. Resin and mahogany draw her in: ‘Resin is easy to form and shape, it is great to mould and is very inspirational to me. I like the aesthetic, whereas wood is different; a living material.’ The rich colours of mahogany are the perfect foil for the voluptuous orbs of the jewels: ‘I love the clear line of Bauhaus and love to reproduce them with natural materials and colours.’

Writer: Hannah Silver

Vanda Jacintho

(Image credit: Press)

Gigi Mariani
28 February

London’s Elisabetta Cipriani gallery is a hotbed of contemporary jewellery design, and past collaborations with artists - including Al Weiwei, Chiharu Shiota and Rebecca Horn – have produced avant-garde pieces of wearable art. The latest collaboration with Gigi Mariani celebrates the Italian artist’s habit of working with almost forgotten techniques. Here, he heats the black alloy, niello, thus disguising its precious qualities and shaping it into strong geometric forms. The contrast between these precise silhouettes and the apparently casual nature of the material itself is a striking one; no surprise to learn, then, of Mariani’s background as a visual artist.

Writer: Hannah Silver

Gigi Mariani

(Image credit: Press)

Chaumet
26 Febraury

Chaumet’s dazzlingly intricate tiaras come intertwined in historical references. Since 1780, their beautifully architectural silhouettes have been a mainstay of the European courts; Empress Josephine, adorned with a Chaumet tiara, embodied the power of the Napoleonic era. The tiara has only increased in popularity in the subsequent centuries, capturing the imagination of everyone from dancers of the Belle Époque to contemporary pop stars who are drawn by the heedy and glamorous power a tiara bequeaths. Now a new book, Chaumet Tiaras: Divine Jewels, pays homage to the Maison’s hypnotic designs, bringing together inspirations as diverse from flowers to foliage, scrollwork to stars, all translated into carefully worked precious jewels.

Writer: Hannah Silver

Chaumet

(Image credit: Press)

Patcharavipa
19 February

Patcharavipa’s Clues Couture jewellery continues to delight. New pieces stay faithful to the juxtaposition of textures which characterise the collection, intertwining links of black and yellow gold, both dense and delicate, and studding them with a scattering of precious gems. This new Glacier Links Bracelet is our pick for SS2020; upping the ante by threading its heavy links of yellow gold with diamond and yellow sapphire pave, it celebrates both volume and texture in one joyful clash.

Writer: Hannah Silver

Patcharavipa

(Image credit: Press)

Le Gramme
14 February

French brand Le Gramme’s first boutique encapsulates the simplicity that characterises its architecturally clean jewels. Jewellery, named after their metric weight, look at home in the new boutique, on the rue Vieille du Temple in Paris. Details are stripped-back to the essential; showcases are sans hinges, windows slide like guilltonties or fold out like wallets, all the better for displaying the pieces. ‘We designed absolutely everything in our first store, it perfectly reflects our attention to detail,’ says Erwan Le Louër, co-founder of the brand. ‘Our desire was to present our creations on the wall without cluttering the space.’ We would say the result, beautifully crafted from glass, concrete and lava stone, certainly achieves that.

Writer: Hannah Silver

Le Gramme

(Image credit: Press)

Giorgio Armani
12 February

Giorgio Armani (opens in new tab)’s first fine jewellery collection intertwines leitmotifs of the brand’s identity with pieces that nod to references already familiar to us from the fashion collections. While Armani has flirted with jewels before – in the mid-Seventies his objets with hard stones and glass paste revealed his inclination for the eccentric – these new high jewellery pieces, to sit alongside the prêt-à-porter collection, are wholly new. Divided into three distinct themes, it is the Borgonuovo pieces that have caught our eye. Strong, simple silhouettes play with the ubiquitous logo, tracing its lines in thick curls of gold, occasionally softened by pavé diamonds or glittering semi-precious stones.

Writer: Hannah Silver

Giorgio Armani

(Image credit: Press)

Anissa Kermiche
4 February

We have been following jeweller Anissa Kermiche’s new ventures with interest; her mischievous jugs, a play on the female bust, have rapidly become an irreverent mainstay of contemporary interiors. Her mission to adorn the home as well as the body continues apace and we were pleased to hear that she is expanding her Objects collection. These candlestick holders – appropriately entitled Blobby – have just launched in a new textured matte hue which brings a warmth to the twisted ceramic silhouettes.

Writer: Hannah Silver

Anissa Kermiche

(Image credit: Press)

Kids’ stuff
29 January

As fine designers tinker with childhood-inspired treasures, a new pop sensibility abounds. Swiss jeweller Suzanne Syz was inspired by Sylvie Fleury’s spaceship sculptures and Tintin’s Destination Moon 
to create earrings featuring a pair of titanium rockets blasting off towards a diamond-studded star or moon. Richard Mille’s Cécile Guenat approached watch design like the proverbial kid in a candy store to create the delectable Bonbon collection. It includes an update on the ‘RM 07-03’ timepiece with an enamel dial resembling a squidgy marshmallow 
twist and tiny sugar-like sprinkles of precious stones. As for Milanese house Pomellato, it celebrates the 30th anniversary of its ‘Orsetto’ teddy-bear necklace this year, demonstrating the lasting charm of a childhood memento. Whether you’re sentimental for cartoons, confectionery or cuddly creatures, you won’t
 be throwing these precious toys out of the pram.

Writer: Laura Hawkins

Kids’ stuff

(Image credit: Kayser, Schmuck.)

By Pariah
24 January

By Pariah, named after the Pariah region in the Caribbean famed for its untouched, raw beauty, strives to encapsulate the same spirit of wildness in their jewellery. Jewels are in heavy gold and studded with a rainbow of stones, from dark red tiger eye to vivid green amethyst and yellow citrine. ‘The result is both playful and sophisticated,' says founder Sophie Karg of the new collection which is launching next month at Browns. ‘I am fascinated by the randomness of semi-precious stones.' These Baroque Lariat earrings let the natural beauty of the pearls speak for themselves, celebrating their irregularity in swaying ropes long enough to graze the shoulders.

Writer: Hannah Silver

By Pariah

(Image credit: Press)

Chaumet
11 January

The new Jeux de Liens Harmony collection from Chaumet continues the Maison’s play with the circle. Here, its endless nature is interrupted by the familiar crossed links, versions of which have been part of Chaumet’s jewellery creations for decades. The two asymmetrical rose gold parts of the necklace can be softened with mother-of-pearl or sharpened with brilliant-cut diamonds, but it is this version in seductive onyx which is going on our wish list.

Writer: Hannah Silver

Chaumet

(Image credit: Press)

Rachel Boston
6 January

Rachel Boston’s signature jewellery design encapsulates modernity, and her work in redefining bridal jewellery has resulted in Art Deco-inspired pieces which are wholly new. Her rings have caught the eye of many a prospective bride, and her success is now reflected in her recently-refurbished east London store. Boston has worked with architect Hollie Bowden to create a gentle tonal palette that lets the jewels speak for themselves. Details, such as the ebonised wood accents and chocolate velvet sofa, make it a comfortable and welcoming place to browse. ‘We were sympathetic to the historical nature of the shop whilst introducing contemporary finishes and fixtures,’ says Bowden. ‘The pallet and texture of the space echoes the intimate and close process of creating a bespoke piece with Rachel.’

Writer: Hannah Silver

Rachel Boston

(Image credit: Press)

Hannah Silver joined Wallpaper* in 2019 to work on watches and jewellery. Now, as well as her role as watches and jewellery editor, she writes widely across all areas including on art, architecture, fashion and design. As well as offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, Hannah is interested in the quirks of what makes for a digital success story.