Modern masterpieces: Lia Di Gregorio sheds light on her influential and enduring jewellery
Lia Di Gregorio creates fine jewellery that transcends time, unaffected by fleeting industry trends or fashionable whims. Innovative, strictly considered and quietly provocative, the headstrong Milanese designer draws upon her classical training as a goldsmith and predilection for minimalist art to inform her work. 'I've always looked to wider creative sources to inspire and fuel my imagination,' she explains. 'The simple, harmonious compositions of artists such as Richard Serra and Fausto Maloti are my creative nutrition, my fuel,' she adds.
Welding time-old traditional craftsmanship with a progressive sensibility has enabled Di Gregorio to establish a unique aesthetic that's as identifiable now as it was almost three decades ago, when she founded her eponymous label in 1986. 'I would describe my jewellery as clean and sculptural, with a strictness of proportion and an element of subversion,' she notes, playfully. 'I like to poke fun at the formality and snobbery of using precious stones by concealing them. Nothing should take itself too seriously, you know?'
Indeed, one of her most iconic bodies of work entitled: Touch, inverts sizable fresh water pearls on sleek silver rings that halo in ascending order around the finger or wrist. 'I loved the idea that these precious ornaments can be worn every day, it's so much more contemporary,' she says. Her pioneering Knot line takes a similar tack, imbedding small pearls and gemstones in intricately woven gilded crochet collars and oversized cuffs.
Unlike many of her contemporaries, Di Gregorio refuses to bow to the pressure of producing seasonal collections and refers to each design concept as an 'open family' that she hopes will evolve organically over time. 'I want to continue to experiment at my atelier in Milan, adding new pieces as and when I want to,' she states. Right now, however, it seems that diamonds are at the forefront of her mind. 'I'm spending all my time experimenting with them at the moment, sketching and building prototypes from wire to see what might develop,' she reveals. Watch this space.