British fine jewellery designer Stephen Einhorn created the iconic pendant worn by Lara Croft in the newly released live action Tomb Raider film.
The necklace was first seen in the 2013 game reboot, which the 2018 Tomb Raider film directed by Roar Uthaug is largely based on, and is said to be symbolic of Lara Croft’s love for her father and archaeology – two central themes in the film.
When commissioning Einhorn for the iconic piece, costume designer Coleen Atwood wanted the jade necklace to be a very specific colour, with intricate details.
It was also import for the piece to be a certain weight so it did not move around when Lara Croft actress, Alicia Vikander, was doing performing physically active scenes.
“The challenge was not the design, but of how to make a specifically coloured carved jade necklace in an incredibly short time,” says Einhorn on the commission. “Not only is it very difficult to source a real and suitably large coloured piece of jade, but then there is the business of carving it in less than two weeks – and making four identical pieces. Because of the time scale we actually had to replicate some jade-like material, and then carve it. There was no other way to create what Coleen wanted in time.”
Einhorn continues: “The first pendants were sent for screen-testing and it was found that they needed more weight in order for them to work well in the scenes being filmed. The character of Lara Croft is very physical, she jumps around all over the place doing crazy stunts. The necklace we made was too light and kept moving. In order to solve this, I made the next two carved pendants in two halves that were hollowed out to make a cavity that I filled with a high-density metal. This was then invisibly sealed inside the pendant to make the finished item heavier. These heavier pendants were very successful.”
The necklace can be seen on the big screen in cinemas around the UK now.