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Seeking Beauty in the Ordinary

By Kames Narayanan

 
 

From left: Tiffany & Co. Tiffany HardWear Triple Drop earrings in 18k yellow gold, $4,100; Everyday Objects ice cream scoop in sterling silver and American walnut; Tiffany HardWear Ball Ring in 18k yellow gold, $1,900; and Tiffany HardWear Wrap necklace in 18k yellow gold, $22,100.

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 Tiffany & Co. Everyday Objects paper cup in bone china; and Everyday Objects crazy straw in vermeil.

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Tiffany & Co. table tennis paddles with ball.

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 Tiffany & Co. vide-poche in porcelain with hand-painted gold finish.

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From left: Tiffany & Co. Tiffany HardWear Wrap bracelet in 18k gold, $10,600; Diamond Point corkscrew in sterling silver, price on request; Everyday Objects protractor in sterling silver and American walnut; Tiffany HardWear Ball Hook earrings in 18k gold, $2,050; Tiffany HardWear Chain Link earrings in 18k gold, $8,200; and Everyday Objects triangle in sterling silver and American walnut.

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From left: TIffany & Co. Sterling silver paper cup, $940; Everyday Objects box in sterling silver; Everyday Objects tin can in sterling silver and vermeil; and Everyday Objects crazy straw in sterling silver. All prices on request unless otherwise stated.

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There are many attributes that American luxury jewellers Tiffany & Co. have come to be known for in the years of creating timeless, jewelled acquisitions. Amongst them rank an infallible attention to detail and an unmistakable touch of whimsy. The brand’s debut of its luxury Home and Accessories collection is an extension of these very sensibilities to the rudimentary everyday.

In the debut collection, the house lends a newfound appeal to objects that lie in plain sight — a protractor, ruler, drinking straw and paper cup, amongst others. Handcrafted in sterling silver, an otherwise ordinary straw is reimagined as a luxurious piece of silver decorum accented by a band of signature Tiffany blue; an unadorned cup gets a pop of colour; and a mathematical protractor is given a sleek edge.

Here, Reed Krakoff, chief artistic officer at Tiffany & Co. delves deeper into the thought that propelled the collection and the workings behind it.

Why is this collection important now?

Tiffany has always been a place where people go to discover extraordinary, timeless gifts and accessories for themselves and loved ones. With these new designs, we are re-establishing our leadership in this area.

What is the philosophy behind the collection?

I think what makes the Tiffany Home & Accessories collection unique is that it incorporates the best quality, craftsmanship and design with a level of functionality and practicality that allows you to use these things every day. And that’s a concept that I think is at the heart of American luxury — a sort of effortless, off-handed, understated luxury that is in your life every day as opposed to something precious that you put on a shelf and take out only for special occasions.

There seems to be a sense of humour behind this collection. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Tiffany has incorporated wit, intelligence and humour into its advertising and marketing for many, many years. The idea was to embrace intelligent irreverence and incorporate that quality into the designs themselves as well as the marketing and communication around the collection, to really embed it into our storytelling. That sense of wit and charm embodies an approachable, offhanded kind of luxury.

What is your design process?

It’s not a stage or a specific moment of inspiration. My process happens while I’m working. I’m always thinking and drawing. I’m always researching and sketching. I try to come up with a real idea. Nothing should happen just because it’s only beautiful, or nice or functional. It really has to be a combination. It’s about creating a narrative for each piece. And each piece has an idea, a story that makes it something far greater than simply what it is.

What do you think are some of the elements that make a life beautiful?

I think what makes a life beautiful is when
you live with things that are both functional and incredible to look at. The concept of American design is that form follows function. That’s an idea that’s essential to this collection. Our archives are full of objects that embody this spirit, such as a sterling silver pill box in the shape of a Chinese takeout food carton, a sterling silver gardening spade, a hip flask shaped like a fish, or, from back in the rotary phone days, a sterling silver telephone dialer that a lady could keep in her purse and pull out to make a call without endangering her manicure.

What makes a home beautiful?

A home is beautiful when it incorporates someone’s personal style in a comfortable, liveable way, when you can really feel their essence in the space. That whole idea that luxury doesn’t equal formality is so important.