Fine jewellery femmes: the new names to know in contemporary bijou

Three diamond rings
(Image credit: Press)

To coincide with the start of Frieze, today brings the London launch of Eugenie Niarchos' debut fine jewellery line at Dover Street Market, as part of the destination store's Open House Frieze showcase. First unveiled during the Paris Haute Couture, 'Venyx' sees Niarchos join a growing coterie of fashionable young women bringing an avant-garde edge to fine jewellery's luxury lineage.

Niarchos studied at the Gemological Institute of America, which she followed up with a stint at Christie's Fine Jewellery Department in New York. The 27 year-old got an initial taste for designing from a successful collaboration with friend and Repossi creative director Gaia Repossi, along with two capsule costume collections for Azzaro.

'It has been seven years in the making and I finally felt ready for the challenge of going solo and creating my own brand,' she says of her 'Reptilia' jewels that fuse retro and futuristic oeuvres, as an accomplished extension of her eccentric personal style. 'I love the sculptural, yet miniature aspects of jewellery.' The designer highlights the collection's abstract textures inspired by the natural world – this season namely shells and reptile skins, graphically grouted with gems. 'I thought of inventing a planet, which would represent the brand as a completely new world,' she says. 'Venyx is a mix of Venus and Onyx – a planet and a stone.'

Niarchos, whose pieces are hand-crafted between Hong Kong and London, is navigating a precious path paved by Milan's Delfina Delettrez (opens in new tab) (who also designed her first pieces for Fendi's S/S 14 runway this season (opens in new tab)), Paris' aforementioned Gaia Repossi, London's Katie Hillier (who was recently appointed creative director at Marc by Marc Jacobs) and New Zealander Jessica McCormack – who opened a five-storey London flagship in Carlos Place earlier this year.

Redefining this scene, other remarkable newcomers to watch include Lebanese designer Noor Fares and her geometric tetrahedron-inspired shapes; Geneva-born Sabine Ghanem (whose first season was just snapped up by Bergdorf Goodman and Montaigne Market); and Matchstick Jewellery's Louise Carter, who was formally head of development at the British Fashion Council, founding their Rock Vault jewellery showcase before getting into the ring herself. Carter's 'hangman'-style necklaces, made from one-carat bespoke cut diamond baguettes, perfectly represent the playful forms of this directional contemporary group.

Niarchos' entry into this rarified market comes at a time when even online retailers from MatchesFashion.com to Net-a-Porter are rallying behind this new guard of young creatives, boldly updating the storied category.

'Fine jewellery is an important growth category for us,' explains MatchesFashion.com's head of fashion, Natalie Kingham. 'Designers such as Delfina Delletrez, Noor Fares and Matchstick Jewellery offer a fresh approach that feels very accessible. They all share strong individual aesthetics – diamonds and precious gems are often mixed with not so traditional settings or materials.'

It's a space soon to be shared by New York jeweller Pamela Love, who also has plans to unite her downtown aesthetic with some serious stones in the New Year.

Venyx 'Tortuga' earrings

Venyx 'Tortuga' earrings. Niarchos' 'Reptilia' jewels fuse retro and futuristic oeuvres

(Image credit: Press)

'Geometric Octohedron', 'Geometric Cube' and 'Fly me to the Moon' earrings

Another name to watch: Lebanese jeweller Noor Fares. From left: 'Geometric Octohedron', 'Geometric Cube' and 'Fly me to the Moon' earrings in jade with black rhodium silver and diamonds

(Image credit: Press)

'Geometric Icosagon' diamond necklace

The London-based designer Noor Fares' 'Geometric Icosagon' diamond necklace

(Image credit: Press)

'Hangman'-style boy, girl, heart and dog necklaces

Introducing Matchstick Jewellery's 'hangman'-style boy, girl, heart and dog necklaces made from one-carat bespoke cut diamond baguettes

(Image credit: Press)

'Rose Gold Dog' bracelet and 'White Gold Boy' necklace

From left: Matchstick Jewellery 'Rose Gold Dog' bracelet and 'White Gold Boy' necklace.  'People tend to wear the pieces that represents their lives,' says designer Louise Carter of her diamond figerines

(Image credit: Press)

'Medieval' 18 carat rose gold ring

Also new to the fine jewellery scene is Sabine Ghanem. Her 'Medieval' 18 carat rose gold ring is set with a spinkling of diamonds. Having grown up between Beirut, Geneva, New York and now London, Ghanem's label Sabine G is directly inspired by the travels of her youth, mixing Eastern and Western cultures

(Image credit: Press)

'Heart' 18 carat rose gold ring

Sabine G 'Heart' 18 carat rose gold ring set with diamonds. The designer's first fine jewellery collection draws from the rich textures of 12th century interiors

(Image credit: Press)

ADDRESS

Dover Street Market
17-18 Dover Street
London W1S 4LT

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