There’s a fresh new wave coming and I’m all on board – Fantasy jewelry! It’s all about stretching the imagination, breaking the boundaries of perception, opening new vistas. You know that “wow” sensation when you see a piece that startles, excites and delights? “I’ve never seen that before. I’ve never even thought of that possibility!”
Cartier’s Nouvelle Vague, literally “new wave,” inspires with “free-thinking, joyful, playful and mysterious creations, seven creative universes” designed to celebrate the Parisian woman’s personality and her lifestyle (www.cartier.us/collections/jewelry/collections/paris-nouvelle-vague). Surprising bubble-like spherical rings and other edgy structural patterns with juxtaposed planes, unanticipated negative space, dangling and moving parts all push the envelope, challenging our expectations. Tiffany & Co.’s just released 2015 Blue Book, the Art of the Sea, also expands horizons with its fantastic swirling, fluid creations, bringing “the sea’s mythical creatures to life.” Francesca Amfitheatrof, design director, explains, “ I’ve woven the sinuous tentacles of the octopus into ribbon-like jewels of great fluidity and flexibility.” Amfitheatrof “sets Tiffany diamonds in electrifying motion – spinning in whirlpools, cascading in waterfalls and dancing like moonlight on the waves. Her jewels of colorful gemstones are equally dynamic – blossoming in undersea gardens and swirling like pebbles polished by wind and water.” (www.tiffany.com)
Expect the unexpected. The sky’s the limit. Watch for new and unusual vivid gemstones – Paraiba tourmaline, csarite, opal, tsavorite garnet, spinel – in novel cuts including slices and natural raw forms. Envisage the gamut of metals from rose gold to blackened steel, surprising constructions including oversized globes and ring/bracelet combos as well as earring cuffs, wraps and other body jewelry. A hallmark of this new wave is intricately set high-end gemstones in artistic, inspired-by-nature forms combined with a new, sophisticated cutting-edge technology, opening new structural possibilities previously existing only in the realms of the imagination.
It’s Art Nouveau meets hi-tech. In many ways, fantasy jewelry is reminiscent of fin-de-siècle Art Nouveau with its fluid, organic forms inspired by nature including flowers, birds and animals. At the turn of this new century, and millennium, this trend is combined with a hi-tech edge allowing the imagination to manifest in impossibly intricate detail. Architectural forms such as spheres and lattices also emerge from this new hi-tech influence. Current fashion abounds with a nod to all things 1970s – florals and fringe, long flowing forms, an effusion of color – and fantasy jewelry resonates. It’s boho chic, high end and elegant, refined and beautiful, combined with a natural, back-to-earth vibe.
Like Art Nouveau, fantasy jewelry restores prominence to the role of the artist-designer. Jewelry, rather than being merely a trade or craft, becomes full blown art. Art Nouveau challenged nineteenth century institutional, formalized art, elevating the role of the individual designer. Louis Comfort Tiffany, son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, founder of Tiffany & Co., was revered for his fanciful jewelry as well as iconic stained glass. Today’s maker movement restores the vitality of the artist as an integral part of jewelry. Jewelry is an experience, created by inspiration and shared with the end user, the fortunate jewelry collector. Immersion in the process is vital. It’s a concept that Millennials relate to – process vs. merely product. Today’s customer wants to know her designer and story. Fantasy jewelry has a magnificent story to tell.
Thanks to Katerina Perez for her great blog and suggestions – www.katerinaperez.com.
Mia Katrin is an award-winning jewelry designer featured in over 80 top stores nationally. She is available for lectures and seminars. To add her Collections or book a lecture: www.jeweljewel.com, 877 539-3569, www.facebook.com/MiaKatrinforJEWELCOUTURELLC.