Lockdown prompts a rethink of how we buy and sell jewellery

Gallerist Elisabetta Cipriani offers a creative alternative to trying on jewellery

Elisabetta Cipriani
Left, model wears Frank Stella ring and Kendell Geers Stella Maris (Mater Facit) necklace; right, Gigi Mariani Pepite ring, Metamorphosis bracelet and Yellow Line bracelet. Sketch by Julia Breiderhoff
(Image credit: press)

Jewellers have had to get savvy when responding to the surge of customers keen to purchase more meaningful jewels during lockdown. London-based gallerist Elisabetta Cipriani has turned to creative methods to display her jewels, conceding jewellery’s inherent tactility and offering in its place visual and sensual inspiration.

‘During the lockdown, I tried to imagine new ways of showing my wearable art: still lifes in dialogue with nature, illustrations of a hand-drawn gallery space, videos of the artists talking about their projects,’ she says. It is a multi-disciplinary approach reflected in her Wearable Art gallery in London, which invites painters and sculptors including Al Weiwei, Chiharu Shiota and Rebecca Horn to create miniature sculptures, both beautiful and functional.

Ultimately, Cipriani realised the ideas she was considering weren’t going to be enough to express the physicality of her pieces. ‘I asked myself: people who can't physically see and try the jewellery, how can they picture themselves wearing it? I wanted to shake up the way these works are seen; we are overwhelmed with images that somehow lack personality or do not engage with the viewer’s imagination.' 

She approached artist and friend Julia Breiderhoff, whose feminine lines on the sketches she created become an intimate foil for the artists’ jewels. Using Photoshop, Cipriain has added and styled the jewellery, offering advice on how to wear and combine them. In total, there are 58 drawings available to view on her website. Cipriani says: ‘Wearing the Sculpture is dedicated to women and men, lovers and collectors of artist's jewellery.’

London-based gallerist Elisabetta Cipriani has turned to creative methods to display her jewels

Model wears Enrico Castellani Superficie cuff and Ute Decker Infinity Spirals earrings. Sketch by Julia Breiderhoff

(Image credit: press)

Cipriain has added and styled the jewellery, offering advice on how to wear and combine them

Model wears Liliane Lijn Magma cuff and Rebecca Horn Shell (Conch) ring. Sketch by Julia Breiderhoff

(Image credit: press)

INFORMATION

elisabettacipriani.com 

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.