In 2020, Melanie's eponymous brand turned 10 years old. She decided to celebrate this significant milestone with a special jewellery collection. It includes earrings, rings and bracelets adorned with diamonds and mother-of-pearl. The collection includes an eclectic mix of rather unusual shapes and also makes use of natural pearls in traditional forms. Unlike cultured pearls, natural pearls, like diamonds, are measured in carats, a fact that gives rise to the name of this anniversary collection. While these jewellery materials are considered classic by many, Melanie has said that “this is not a traditional collection or a collection of matching pieces of the same style, colour and technique. Rather, these are one-of-a-kind jewels that work to complement each other”.
Melanie, as usual, has moved away from traditional tactics to make the launch of her collection truly original. The jewellery will be presented in stages, not all at the same time. Such a strategy reflects the desire of the designer to work at her own speed and neither limit nor pressure herself due to artificially created time frames. With the current situation with COVID-19, this has forced her to rethink her own priorities and the quality, rather than the quantity, of consumption.
As a result, Melanie has chosen fewer designs for her new collection, thus freeing up the time required to focus on the design and production of each individual piece. She has once again stirred up controversy in the jewellery world and has presented a completely new look by combining pearls and diamonds in such an unusual manner.
The uniqueness of the design of the earrings, bracelets and rings in the Carats collection is largely due to how the jewellery is formed: cut diamonds and treasures of the sea appear as if pressed into a base layer of mother-of-pearl, with all of the delicacy of a soft pillow. “I wanted the mother-of-pearl to really look like it had been pressed spontaneously—especially in order to contrast with the hardest diamonds. The feeling of being unable to fully control everything felt highly relevant at the time and this need for total manipulability finds expression in the positioning of the most valuable elements within the pieces,” Melanie says.
Each aspect of the jewellery deserves special and separate attention: the 18k white, yellow and pink gold is recycled; Melanie exclusively uses natural round and drop-shaped pieces of hippopus pearl from Indonesia; and the abundant array of diamonds is comprised of stones of a variety of styles, shapes, cuts, colours, characteristics and sizes. Playing with “soft” and “sharp” forms, Melanie seems to be looking for balance, assembling this equilibrium from a menagerie of elements. She has expertly managed to uncover a fresh way to combine traditional elements of classic jewellery in a completely new light.