Begüm Kiroglu draws on a childhood in Istanbul and an education in Shanghai for the animalistc nature of her jewellery brand, Begüm Khan. Pieces in the jewellery designer’s new collection take inspiration from Ottoman culture and infuse it with a contemporary edge, incorporating familiar motifs such as the evil eye and oversized animals with newer silhouettes like the chunky chain.
‘After the challenging year we all spent away from our loved ones and the rest of the world, I reflect the appreciation I have for my family and friends, real feelings, nature and life in this new jewellery,’ says Kiroglu. ‘I connect these concepts through my chains, which become symbols of an eternal bond, so it’s a really emotional collection for me. Imagine a universe of humans, nature and every little creature; my little bugs, my little bees, they are all interconnected in the magnificent circle of eternity. These dreams of a new beginning are guided by this bond.’
Animalistic jewellery by Begüm Khan
Kiroglu is drawn to creatures not considered traditionally beautiful, creating insects in coral and studding tortoises and roosters in precious gems. ‘An important figure for me in this collection was the mouse,’ she says. ‘It’s a standout. I believe that the mouse is a symbol of hope, beauty and optimism that will bring us all good fortune. Another motif is the butterfly, which I really find strong: it is a reference to a metamorphosis, while blossom represents a flower blooming from a bud. And I always work with turtles and scarabs; I strongly believe they have been my lucky charms since I was a child.’
For Kiroglu, the biggest challenge in creating this collection was staying faithful to the brand’s DNA, while creating something wholly new. ‘It’s repeating the same shapes but also innovating and renovating yourself at the same time,’ she adds. ‘It is a challenge, but I believe with this collection I achieved it. You see all of our classic family members – the frogs, eyes, turtle, scarab – but in a totally new body with the chains, gold and platinum. They are really similar but, at the same time, very different. So, that was a beautiful challenge to achieve.’
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.
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