Dream on: Paola Vilas’ surreal jewellery redefines femininity
Vilas creates an utopian and dreamlike world in her new collection, O Sonho; (The Dream)
Jewels becomes miniature sculptures in the hands of Brazilian-born designer Paola Vilas, whose new collection unpicks what it is to be feminine. O Sonho; (The Dream) draws a series of fluid and sculptural lines in gold, casting whimsical and dreamlike scenarios.
‘The pieces I create express a vision of contemporary issues, through inventive and sculptural perspectives,’ says Vilas. ‘The investigation of the feminine energy through forms of the body gives organicity to all shapes. The jewellery creates a poetic and utopic atmosphere, empowering the wearer and working as a true conversation starter, building interesting connections between strangers.’
The jewellery itself depicts fantastical worlds – flying fish represent the current need for urgent transformation; the fertile feminine figure, on clouds of pearls, expresses the power of creation; in other pieces the body becomes fragmented and splits into individual frames with shifting yet strong results.
‘The use of elements in an unusual context challenges observers’ preconditioned perceptions and rejects established values,’ she says. She is inspired by Picasso, Le Corbusier and Barbara Hepworth for her utopian pieces which explore the power of dreams and the gateway they offer to the unconscious.
As a jeweller, functionality is as essential as design. ‘I always initially consider the real shape of the human body,’ Vilas says. ‘In the Louise Cuff, for example, the movement of the body was observed in a body study – it is essential for me to consider all the ergonomic aspects of the piece. I need to know if it will be comfortable for the wearer, if the proportion of the body I have projected as a sculpture will have the effect expected as a piece of jewellery, and if the sizing and weight will be fit for daily use.’ §