The new wave of designers creating angular, mathematical jewels.
A new wave of talented designers are brushing up their maths skills and dusting off their protractors to create angled pieces with plenty of wow factor. Professional Jeweller’s Sarah Louise Jordan goes back to class to discover why geometric designs are having a moment.
As if in reaction to the blooming florals that took over the SS14 catwalks, designers are rediscovering the inherent femininity of simple, structured and geometric shapes; from Myia Bonner’s diamond designs to Sarah Angold’s laser-cut acrylic Munitio earrings.
Clean lines, sharp edges and strong angles are all in the repertoire of designers focussing on geometric pieces with widespread appeal. British designer Myia Bonner, whose 9ct gold and sterling silver pieces hone in on symmetry, has embraced the latest technologies to create her distinctive designs. “Processes such as CAD and CAM make perfectly geometric forms easily accessible. The interesting bit comes when you combine this with traditional techniques,” Bonner states.
Bonner believes the success of her signature Classic Diamond collection is centred on the optical illusion effect of her design. “The repetition of the simple form creates something almost like an illusion, building a 3D object by using repeated flat planes,” she reveals.
For Dutch jewellery designer Maria Black, the stellar rise of her collection in the UK lies in the way customers can choose their own interpretation of a particular shape. “A circle can be the sun, a wheel, a hula hoop ring, anything really,” Black muses. “I think that is why people are drawn to geometry, because it points to something deeper about the real nature of the world.” The Fine collection by Maria Black features overlapping triangular designs in 14ct white gold and 18ct yellow gold finishes, plus her signature Monocle circle necklaces.
Yet, as shown by V Jewellery, Sarah Herriot and Katie Rowland, jewellery designs with a triangular theme don’t require pared down simplicity to be visually appealing. Herriot’s one-of-a-kind gold Key Ring is set with a rough-cut pink tourmaline gemstone that steers away from traditional settings and shapes. Similarly, Rowland’s rose gold and inverted-diamond set Halo ring evokes a combination of hard and soft – something that undoubtedly inspires modern women who want a slice of femininity with an edgier touch.
At the farthest end of the spectrum, the Art Deco period continues to inspire designers who prefer their geometric influences with an elegant aesthetic. At silver jewellery brand V Jewellery, the Deco Tower pendant with its sharply cut aventurine stone is reminiscent of 1920s architecture, as is up-and-coming designer Jennifer Saker’s Foster sterling silver, gold and black gold necklace.
And the geometric offerings on today’s market aren’t restricted to precious materials either. Sarah Angold’s neon Munitio earrings make use of laser cut acrylic with etched brass details, something that is in stark contrast to (but no less effective than) the pared down simplicity of the gold plated cube earrings by Felicious.
For prospective buyers, geometric designs have the benefit of being uniquely commercial across the seasons – affected only minimally by changing fashion trends. Whereas an extravagant floral piece might be sidestepped by winter shoppers; square, cuboid, triangular and circular designs, both simple and extravagant, can’t be so easily pigeonholed.
And geometric pieces don’t have to be exclusively housed in the ‘everyday wear’ category for buyers and retailers looking to showcase new acquisitions. Emerging brand Shimell and Madden have developed a Cuboid collection that takes geometric pendants to new extremes of chain length and size – giving each piece a wow-factor for fashion conscious consumers.
One thing jewellery designers agree on is the trend for geometric is undoubtedly here to stay. “We have both a young design-conscious audience interested our fashion pieces and also an older generation who prefer our fine collections,” says Shimell and Madden co-founder Emma Madden. “There has definitely been a renewed interest in our style of jewellery as it correlates with recent trends within the fashion industry.”
With a range of designs, settings and materials comes a range of prices that will appeal to a cross section of retailers, exemplified by Tara Osborne’s delicate hexagonal sterling silver necklaces to Paloma Picasso’s Zellige medallion pendant for Tiffany & Co. The beauty of geometric designs can be found in their wearable longevity.
This Trends feature was taken from the April issue of Professional Jeweller. To read the issue in full online, click here.
To view a selection of geometric jewellery mention in the feature, click here.