Edita Reads | Under Another Light: Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferrè

Under Another Light Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferre Book Review

Under Another Light Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferre Book Review

Under Another Light Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferre Book Review

Under Another Light Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferre Book Review

Under Another Light Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferre Book Review

Under Another Light Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferre Book Review

Under Another Light Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferre Book Review

Under Another Light Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferre Book Review

Under Another Light Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferre Book Review

Under Another Light Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferre Book Review

Under Another Light Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferre Book Review

Under Another Light Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferre Book Review

Flicking through the pages of Under Another Light: Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferrè felt like looking into a mirror. Here I see Ferrè without a certain consistency. Yes, the architect of fashion did not focus on one look when it came to his bejewelled creations. Finally, someone with a similar lack of consistency as me in my style, someone whom I could relate to, someone who created to experiment, to build, and to push boundaries. I am not comparing myself to fashion’s architect, I am merely happy to see an almanac of works, rather than a book with a set look, zooming in on small variations on a single idea, that a lot of designers stick to as this is their trademark.

To me, Under Another Light is a book of photography that pushes you intellectually: You view the images, you interpret the pieces and only once you have analysed and understood the experiment that every item is, you decide whether or not you are warming up to the work, or as the book refers to it “body of jewellery”.

“In each jewel lies a world. Or rather, the world. Ever an object of incommensurate symbolic value, for me a jewel makes makes an infinite number of things tangible: references, refferals, glances at the most varied kinds of reality actual as well as dreamlike, from which I draw inspiration. Therefore, I do not feel the slightest difference between ‘dreaming’ a dress or a jewel. So the impulse to search for stimuli and suggestions is absolutely similar, in an infinitely heterogeneous dimension, with neither spatial nor temporal borders.” Gianfranco Ferrè

Truly, Gianfranco showcases a whole myriad of worlds in his jewellery:

  • Those that focus on beautiful workmanship make his trips to India evident. They open a world where you can imagine yourself entering an opulent room worthy of his majesty, the Maharaja, and peek into his jewellery box to find incredible traditional pieces. In this world, you are forgiven to forget that these were designed by Gianfranco Ferrè.
  • Those that mix wood, brass and copper reveal the designer’s love for working with unusual materials. The experimental, almost industrial, pieces displayed in the book can be worn even today by the trendiest folks from the hipster crowd.
  • Those that simply must be styled with hauntingly beautiful and almost ghostly chiffon dresses by McQueen. Although in your mind you understand that you are looking at metal work, your heart sees feather light, delicate, almost vulnerable jewellery pieces that portray frozen movement. In this world, Gianfranco made time freeze, and within it a captured emotion raring to get out, but never able to.
  • Those that embody luxury. Ferrè’s take on luxury jewellery is not like any other designer’s. In this world, he did not focus on what an elderly wealthy socialite might be keen on, although that segment of population was probably the only one able to afford his jewellery. Instead, he continued pushing his knowledge of architecture, building monumental pieces that would make the loudest statement in the room.

There are more “worlds” that you can discover in Gianfranco Ferrè’s jewellery – but you need to find them yourself. Use this book as a map, and every “world” you locate – a treasure. It’s an adventure you won’t regret embarking on.

Thank you Skira and Fouchard Filippi Communications for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Edita reports | In Conversation With Nadja Swarovski

In coversation with Nadja Swarovski

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From wedding gowns encrusted in blinding crystals to skulls with added bling by Alexander McQueen, Swarovski is the brand who made the world wonder: Are diamonds really a girl’s best friend? While a kiss may be grand, it won’t pay the rental on your humble flat. Diamonds won’t either, come to think of it. But swapping them for crystals would definitely give you enough leftover budget to prevent you from getting evicted.

Known to our grandparents as the poor man’s diamond or imitation jewellery, crystals have not had the easiest road to luxury. However, nowadays hearing the words “carefully embellished with thousands of Swarovski crystals” makes us think of lavishness, indulgence and not necessarily attainability.

Achieving such a shift in consumer thinking and behaviour is no straight-forward task. It seems to me that Nadja Swarovski has accomplished the seemingly impossible. This is why it has been a privilege to sit in one room with her, fashion journalism legend Colin McDowell and V&A Director Martin Roth.

Soft spoken, approachable and wonderfully business-minded, Nadja chatted about her life in the family business and the brand’s mission to make the world sparkle. In my view, Swarovski doesn’t necessarily do that by selling jewellery and keepsakes. I think the biggest sparkler the brand brings to the world is the platform it provides for young talent to shine via Swarovski’s numerous sponsorships and collaborations. Without Swarovski’s initiatives, a great number of fashion brands and artist names wouldn’t survive in an already saturated market; some wouldn’t even see the light of day in the first place.

Swarovski has also brought a plethora of high-end brands closer to the cash-strapped consumer by partnering with them on collections or limited edition pieces. Suddenly owning a piece by Viktor&Rolf or Alexander McQueen isn’t that cuckoo of a thought for those with tightened belts and the aforementioned rent bill looming over their heads.

Whatever our budgets are, most of us have a Swarovski-related memory, be it an impulse buy at the airport three minutes before the flight or a weightier, more thought-through purchase.

Mine is my father getting me an insanely sparkly Swarovski chocker for my 18th birthday. I chose it over one made of 14k (also known as “Russian“) rose gold. Sometimes I look back and kick myself for opting for the costume piece as opposed to the gold necklace the price of which keeps on rising. I guess at that moment I wasn’t looking for an investment. I just needed my world to sparkle.

Thank you once again to the V&A for having me.

Edita reports | Movado Group Press Day AW 2015

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The old me didn’t like watches much. I didn’t see them as useful. I used to think watches in all my iThings were enough. Although I can practically feel geniuses such as Patek Philippe and the watchmasters at Piaget judging me, my past ignorance is true. But that’s in the past. Like any good watch, I am moving forward. I now wholeheartedly appreciate the power and significance a handcrafted watch encompasses – it’s an extension of one’s character and an expression of individuality.

At the Movado Group press preview 2015, this sort of expressionism was made very clear. Lacoste translated their infamous polo shirts into watches, Tommy Hilfiger extended his infamous preppiness onto our wrists once more, while Coach added more reason to obsess over their leather craftsmanship. Luxury lines including Movado and Ebel subtly incorporated diamonds in their designs, adding a demure, grown-up elegance to their Autumn/Winter lines.

And this was where the personalisation kicked in. It was such a delight to have my own initials embossed onto a leather strap. Personalising takes the price right off the watch no matter how cheap or expensive. It makes it priceless and ignites the soul. Your soul. After all, your initials or a date of your choosing on a watch make it instantly one of a kind.

Thank you Movado Group for having me.

Edita reports | Museum Of The Jewellery Quarter

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A point in your life comes that you come to terms that not everyone is keen on museums. My mother once said that she didn’t like them much, and not many of my friends imagine looking at old stuff as a particularly enticing way of spending their free time either.

I do, goddamn it. I love a great exhibition or seeing artefacts. Keeping the past in check allows you to appreciate the present and form educated decisions about the future.

I will give you an example of an educated decision: I simply NEED one of those gold bamboo bangles after visiting the Jewellery Quarter Museum in Birmingham. Let me elaborate.

The weird and the wonderful in the pictures above may not look particularly glamorous or fashionable. But the items produced in this creative chaos is what led Birmingham to become the jewellery capital of Europe. And it still is until this day – if you ever decide to pay B’rum a visit, you will find that the Jewellery Quarter is just like Oxford Circus, only instead of every Zara or H&M, you will see fine jewellery shop upon fine jewellery shop.

Going back to the museum, you will be surprised to find that when this was an open workshop, it was kept elaborately clean, and mysophobia had nothing to do with it. In fact, the owners obsessively cleaned the floors as well as each of employee’s shoes and hands for them not to accidentally walk out covered in gold, quite literally. Similarly, pulled up trousers were not allowed nor was touching your hair excessively, in case you were trying to get away with gold dust in your hair. Talk about making most of the situation.

The company whose ghost we were exploring was originally named Smith and Pepper and they were the ones who pioneered the bamboo bangle – a bracelet that looks like a bamboo – you can see it in one of the images. After Smith and Pepper closed its doors, it was transformed into a museum with every book, every tool, every stamp placed where it was originally left one Friday at 5pm in 1981. The next Monday morning no one came back to continue producing gold jewellery and the doors stayed shut ever since. It was an end of an era.

If you are ever in Birmingham, this is a great place to visit. The museum guide will allow you to envision how it all worked and even show you a few jeweller’s secret tricks of the trade – I caught a picture of him doing so, so no, he is not smoking anything dodgy. It’s actually a sophisticated technique that you will want to see for yourself.

75-79 Vyse Street, Birmingham, West Midlands B18 6HA

Edita reports | Christmas With Amrapali

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Every day is Christmas with Amrapali, as far as I am concerned. The jewellery is just insanely beautiful – I feel I have said it enough times to sound like a broken record.

Buzzing on Proseccos, I gladly dived into Amrapaliland, exploring all the jewellery in detail to the soundtrack of traditional Indian music.

What I like about Amrapali the most is the choice it gives you. You can choose from jewellery that is so extraordinary, it looks absolutely bonkers. Seriously, it can be difficult to wrap your head around the grandeur of some of the pieces. They are as stunning as they are elephantine, masterpieces of art to say the least.

But then you can also opt for minimalist pieces. Because it’s not every day that your neck can take an extra five kilos of silver and another fiver of precious or semi-precious stones. Although through discipline and determination I do see myself being ok with a rather muscular neckline, purely for Amrapali related reasons.

Thank you for having me Amrapali and Aashni + Co!