Hannah Martin first discovered the work of French photographer and painter Pierre Molinier while writing a thesis on the subject of masculinity as a student at Central St Martins, London. Known for his fetishistic photographs, paintings and photomontages of entangled stockinged mannequins and humans, Molinier was embraced by André Breton and the surrealist movement in Paris in the 1950s.
Now, with her latest collection, 'Somebody’s Sins’, the London jeweller is fully referencing Molinier for the first time in her work: 'His themes resonated with me immediately, but the biggest challenge in incorporating them was to not make that obvious. I wanted to avoid clichés and to capture the spirit of what I love about his work without creating a collection that looked simply like bondage jewellery.'
The detachable back on the short Bound Earrings means they can be worn as a simple stud
The resulting pieces nod to Molinier’s themes of dominance and submission: ropes of rose gold wind tightly around carved black jade earrings, while the Restraint cuff is opened by a secret clasp hidden beneath rows of sapphires and diamonds. The collection’s pinnacle is the Unknown Pleasures collar, a structured white gold choker lined with pavé white diamonds that is bolted across the throat by bars of black jade.
Form and sculpture create the illusion of tautness in solid metal: the Tension necklace is made up of two curving pieces of white gold lined with sapphires, held together at each end by rose gold and amethyst 'bullets'. A flash of skin is just visible through the resulting gap.
The mixing of metals and hues was deliberate, says Martin: 'The whole collection is about contrasts and juxtaposition. I countered the cool strength of white gold with the warmth of rose gold, balancing the masculine with the feminine. I wanted to go back to the roots of what I started ten years ago – jewellery that is sensual, that is seductive, that has weight and sculpture to it.'