Heavy petal: Kim Mee Hye turns charming gardener
When reading Marcel Proust’s defining novel In Search of Lost Time (1913-27), Kim Mee Hye was struck by a single sentence: 'Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. 'Every word resonated,' says the Korean-born, Antwerp-based designer. 'It surmised the mood of my new collection, Blossom Topic.'
Her intention was to 'analyse the beauty of the changing seasons, particularly autumn and spring, when the petals and leaves start to fall,' – and in a broader sense, capture the feeling of 'renewal.' In true Hye style, her interpretation was far from literal. In fact, there’s not a cloying floral or romantic leaf in sight. Instead, she concentrated on refining 'the balance between line and curvature,' by constructing delicate, curving framework that would allow petal-shaped rubies, diamonds and sapphires to appear to float on the body. 'I wanted the stones to be highlighted without any other form that could disturb their beauty,' she says.
The idea translates most successfully in an 18-ct white gold ring with a finely protruding 'stem' that sweeps over the base of the finger to reveal a white diamond – its prized nectar. Ditto the 18-ct rose gold cuff that offers two slightly larger petal shapes, which are discreetly lined with white diamonds. 'It’s very romantic,' she says. 'One of my favourites from the collection.' Hye says that she strives to make each and every piece of jewellery 'look just as beautiful, even when it’s not worn.' Mission accomplished.