Manhattan moment: Mateo sets up shop
The man behind Mateo New York is obsessed with modern art and architecture. Matthew ’Mateo’ Harris invests his passion back into his jewellery designs; his refined S/S 2017 collection bears the mark of a designer who has studied the contemporary creative greats.
The new collection celebrates the opening of the Mateo flagship boutique in Manhattan. Also designed by Harris, it is located where Nolita meets Soho, its neighbours including Steven Alan, Aesop and Rag & Bone. The interior has been purposely considered to create harmony between the jewellery and its setting. As such, the 300 sq ft space is defined by a monochrome interior, so that the glinting jewels within can better catch the eye.
Harris reflects upon the influences that have played a key part in shaping his aesthetic. ’I adore Alexander Calder, Wassily Kandinsky and the architects Norman Foster and the late Zaha Hadid,’ he reveals. Indeed, Hadid’s gravity-defying structures are reflected in Mateo’s swinging, sculptural earrings, while Foster’s clean lines can be read in the simplicity of the new, fine, semi-spherical rings.
A sculptural ring from Mateo’s S/S 2017 collection
But it was Calder’s work that provided the main inspiration for the new collection, including the 14ct gold and enamel Mobile Installation earrings. Infused with a palette of Kandinsky’s colours, these statement pieces are on show in the Mateo New York flagship directly beneath a Calder chandelier, making the connection between the two difficult to ignore.
Not all the new collection’s pieces are based on a particular artist or structure, however. The Suspended Diamond Circ earrings, for instance, are loosely inspired by a light fixture Harris caught a glimpse of while visiting an interior design expo.
There’s a joy in Harris’ approach that is summed up by this collection: instead of drawing on just one influence, Harris succeeds in bringing together many, all the while remaining true to Mateo’s visual DNA.