Illustrating my prediction is Fernando Jorge's new 'Aerial' collection, which includes some of the most intricate mechanics seen in fine jewellery: the ‘Contortionist’ earrings can be twisted, spun and worn in hundreds of different shapes, with each separate curve moving independently. Described by Jorge as “inspired by movements that take place in the air, drawing on everything from aerial acrobatics to astrology [...] introducing randomness with asymmetrical placement of the diamonds.” The ‘Troupe’ earrings are comprised of concentric circles, and the ‘Aerial Loops’ necklace features graduating circles which surround the neck. The entire collection has been created in simple, slim yellow gold and is dappled - seemingly at random - with various sizes of brilliant cut diamonds.
Another achingly cool jeweller to know is Nikos Koulis, whose high jewellery ‘Feelings’ collection had jewellery editors across the world raving earlier in 2019. The designs are filled with contrasts: soft, articulated yellow gold, strong and bold black enamel and geometric, Art Deco shapes. The juxtaposed textures are accented with diamonds, and knotted twists of the precious metals allude to the maritime traditions of Greece, Koulis’ home. Each earring, necklace, ring and bracelet in the collection takes unexpected twists and turns at every possible juncture, with mixtures of channel set baguette and brilliant cut pavé diamonds interspersed with occasional larger pear cut stones.
Fabio Salini debuted his new designs for 2019 at Masterpiece London, and the jewellery world immediately took notice. Exploring the mirrored surfaces that can be achieved with highly polished gold, the Italian designer offset these with large slices of rubellite, Paraiba, rhodolite, kunzite, sapphires, accented by diamonds set in titanium and white gold. The vivid pink, blue and green gemstones are reflected, and appear to multiply in number or volume, and - even more intriguing - hidden details are revealed through changing the viewer’s perspective with the mirrored gold. The unusual effects of these optical illusions are best represented in Salini’s selection of large volume pieces: long drop earrings in rounded shapes and bombastic cocktail rings.
Finally, NUUN’s new ‘Manifesto’ collection includes the ‘Thahab’ and ‘Origami’ rings - both of which are based on surprising asymmetrical shapes, as well as custom-cut stones, and offset diamonds upon angular precious metals. The simple geometry of the ‘Thahab’ ring, with a broad, flat yellow gold shank, is contrasted with the rose cut facets of the round 1.47 carat diamond’s crown - whereas the ‘Origami’ ring is much more complex; with faceted rose and white gold melded together and sanded to create an unconventional texture effect and mixture of metals. The featured gemstone is an irregular pentagonal 3.34 carat morganite, which sits adjacent to a kite-shaped diamond, creating a design reminiscent of the works of world-famous modern architects such as Daniel Libeskind.
This move into less conventional forms in fine jewellery is led by daring designers and driven by demand from their fans alike, sharing a common desire to be different, and to reject the conventions of the industry. All the while, these artists uphold the principles of high jewellery: beauty and flawless execution - alongside their modern, original concepts.