In an industry governed by heritage jewellers who have passed down tradition through the generations, few young independent talents in the realm hold the promise of success like Thai fine jewellery designer Patcharavipa Bodiratnangkura.
In between shuttles from Bangkok to London and back, Bodiratnangkura launched her eponymous label straight out of graduation from Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London. Her impressive resume extends to a certification in gemology from the Graduate Diamonds Program at the Gemology Institute of America and the Coloured Stone Grading and Pricing course at the Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences.
The young jeweller’s interest in gemology started at an early age. Bodiratnangkura began crafting her first piece of jewellery when she was 13 years old. Despite breaking into the industry fairly recently (2014), the designer’s creations speak of a novel identity. Crafted from a mélange of locally sourced gemstones and rare, unexpected materials, imbued with a signature hand imprinted texture, Bodiratnangkura’s designs bear the mark of a masterpiece.
At Patcharavipa, metal and gemstones bend in a complexity that is impossible to mimic, producing sculptural adornments that tread the line between adornment and sculpture. “You learn all the time with jewellery, there is always a new technique. There is always a new challenge with each collection, especially when understanding new materials and cultures,” she explained in an interview with Twenty6 digital magazine.
To Milanese jewellery designer Lia Di Gregorio, time is an abstract concept, bordering on the irrelevant. Her creations, imbued with the eminence of a masterpiece, transcend the industry’s widely-followed guidebooks of seasonal collections and trends. Instead, Di Gregorio’s works are governed by an inclination towards fine art brought to actuality through her formal training in goldsmithing. Like the works of art she draws her inspirations from, Di Gregorio’s creations imply a deeper meaning. Each piece, handcrafted in Italy, speak of a deeper intention.
“I would describe my jewellery as clean and sculptural, with a strictness of proportion and an element of subversion,” explained Gregorio in an interview with Wallpaper* magazine.
Dissecting her collections, her sense of wit and bravery in sidestepping conventions becomes apparent. In her earlier years as a jeweller, Di Gregorio found beauty in pearls — then an unpopular choice of material in the industry. Her liking, however, often sits discreetly concealed under her artfully constructed pieces. Under Di Gregorio’s treatment, the preciousness of the pearls, mediated for the everyday, were decontextualised from the inherent luxury that they’re often associated with.
“I like to poke fun at the formality and snobbery of using precious stones by concealing them,” she added.
At Copenhegan-based fine jewellery designer Sophie Bille Brahe’s website, each collection is underscored by a lengthy, detailed description that informs visitors on the places of her inspiration. “I grew up with R&B on MTV—and it took me back to a time when life was simple, listening to Aaliyah and Neneh Cherry. You notice the Kelly Pavé hoops. I let a little bling in, but in a subtle and Scandi way. I like doing stuff that I’m not allowed to,” reads one of the more recent posts.
In a little over a decade since the conception of her eponymous label, Bille Brahe’s avant- garde designs, steeped in her minimal Scandinavian roots have earned an international cult following — she counts Japanese designer, Chitose Abe (of Japanese brand Sacai) as one of the names on her list of exclusive clientele. Bille Brahe’s brush with jewellery design was a gradual progression subsequent to taking metalsmithing classes, an expertise that can be observed in the intricate mannerisms through which Brahe melds gold and silver.
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