From perspex collars to diamond-studded rings, jewels get celestial.
A fascination with space and celestial beings has inspired jewellery design this season, from playful perspex collars to stellar diamond earrings. Fly to the moon with Courtney Hagen as she takes a journey into bejewelled space.
Jewellery design is conquering the final frontier this season, as designers get to grips with lunar, celestial, and planetary themes.
The lunar trend represents a long-held flirtation that style has had with extraterrestrial themes, kick started by the space race in the 1960s, and continued through to recent fashion collections from Giorgio Armani, Marc Jacobs, Dolce and Gabbana, and Christopher Kane, whose collections have featured constellation patterns.
The preoccupation with all things intergalactic is now making its way into jewellery design from some of the UK’s most prolific brands and independent designers, falling into four themes:
Tina Lilienthal’s recent Astral collection is packed with cosmic vibes, from a bright yellow rocket necklace to crescent moon drop earrings and orbital bracelets that revolve around the wearer’s wrist like the rings of Saturn.
Lilienthal was inspired by man’s enduring fascination with celestial bodies. “Since the beginning of humanity we have looked to the night sky and have created stories, myths and religions based upon celestial bodies and their movements,” she says. “I have always had a great interest in the roots of theology and human nature in its many forms, and through my work I have represented this in pop-style symbolic jewellery. The Astral collection was inspired by mankind’s intrigue of the cosmic, the mystery that surrounds it and our quest to discover more about it.”
Andrew Geoghegan also explores planetary shapes in his Celestial and Satellite fine jewellery collections. His Celestial ring takes on a planetary shape, which sits proudly on the finger as though in orbit.
While Geoghegan is adamant that his jewellery designs are not inspired by anything in particular, he concedes that the range, even its given names, show a clear link to all things celestial. "As I look at my designs such as the Satellite and Celestial, even though the names came after the designs, maybe there was a space-led inspiration going on that I was oblivious to," he says. "The Celestial Ring has an obvious resemblance of a planet especially Saturn with her rings.”
Geoghegan points to his fascination with space as a child as a subconscious influence on his current work. “As most young boys do, I had an interest in space especially the fact we know so little about it and it is pretty much out of our grasp,” he says. “Combine this with umpteen sci-fi movies and maybe the inspiration was already sewn. One retailer once commented that the Satellite cocktail ring looks like the Star Ship Enterprise.”
Whilst the planets are an influence for some, Bobby White London’s necklaces shoot straight for the stars with chunky rocket charms. What started out as a personal bespoke project inspired by the 1960s space race later turned into growing demand from customers for White’s Race to the Moon collection. With a core motto of ‘No limitations and no barriers’ the collection features rockets cast in sterling silver and studded with gemstones or plated in gold for true Jetsonian-inspired designs.
“So far we have used sapphires and diamonds," he explains. "I wanted the sapphires to look like a porthole of a 1960s-style rocket and thought a cabochon cut was the perfect choice." White describes the Race to the Moon range as fun and alternative, with a twist of modern pop art. "We have seen early sales coming from men looking to make a statement with their own style,” he adds.
The space and lunar theme is something White thinks has had a general influence on fashion and jewellery throughout the years, but is now coming very much to the fore. “I think lunar themes have always been a big inspiration for most jewellery designers throughout the decades. Diamonds and stars have something special in common in my heart and mind.”
Again Geoghegan’s Satellite ring ticks the lunar theme box with a design that could be interpreted as a planet basking in the light of the moon, with richly coloured gems and yellow gold or cool white gold settings.
At the other end of the spectrum Tatty Devine’s La Luna and Skylab Astronomy necklaces and matching earrings take a literal approach to the solar system. The La Luna packs a cosmic punch with a silhouette carved into a crescent moon fashioned from shimmering Perspex. The Skylab Astronomy collar displays brightly coloured moons across an Aurora Borealis of stars set in black Perspex, becoming the physical embodiment of an astronomy lesson in jewelled form.
On a finer, more delicate note, Laura Gravestock has produced a line of little treasures, with jewellery dotted with tiny moons and stars. The Dainty collection, launched at last month’s IJL, features necklaces, earrings, bracelets and stackable rings with talismans of the stellar and lunar variety fashioned from sterling silver, 18ct gold and black rhodium plated silver.
“I’ve always been enchanted with star constellations and the night sky, and l loved the idea of capturing something vast and glittering and transforming it into miniaturised jewels, creating a mini-cosmos on your hand,” Gravestock explains.
While Gravestock and Tatty Devine incorporate lunar elements into their designs, the likes of Annoushka lead wearers on a solid gold trip straight through the galaxy.
Annoushka’s aptly named Stellar collection showcases hand-burnished gold set with shimmering moon and star patterns. The smattering of diamonds in each piece evokes the grandeur of the night sky in wearable form. “The Stellar collection is majestic yet simple in its timelessness,” Annoushka founder and creative director Annoushka Ducas says. “As with all my jewellery, however special it may be, I want it to be worn with a lightness of touch, every day.”
These touches of otherworldly delights, whether they are moons, planets or rockets, shed light and sparkle on the wintry season, marking out some of jewellery’s brightest designs.
This Trends feature was taken from the October issue of Professional Jeweller. To read the issue in full online, click here.