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BAJ Insight: There is no such thing as an original idea | BAJ

BAJ Insight: There is no such thing as an original idea

BAJ Insight: There is no such thing as an original idea

Join us for our weekly BAJ:Insight on the latest industry trends by Rachael Taylor, a freelance journalist who writes about jewellery for a number of titles, including The Financial Times, The Jewellery Editor and Retail Jeweller. In her 10 years reporting on the industry, she has travelled the globe to visit key industry fairs, descended a Fairtrade gold mine on top of a Peruvian mountain, toured silver jewellery factories in Thailand, and regularly has access to the most sparkling jewels and people in the business.

It has been said that there is no such thing as an original idea; that every idea is inspired by something or someone else. For the most part (and I include this introduction in that), this is true – and it’s no bad thing.

Occasionally in the jewellery industry, there have been flashes of true originality. I would offer up the sensuous curves of Fernando Jorge’s jewellery as a recent example – though he himself nods to wider inspirations found in Brazilian culture – and the round brilliant diamond cut as an older one . Most designs, however, can be traced back to jewels or architecture or artworks that have gone before them. Rejuvenated with a fresh twist, of course.

earring

Stream earrings by Fernando Jorge

Linking designs back to moments in history can give them a sense of richness, a feeling of timelessness that taps into the preciousness of jewellery. This is something that Kanye West understands, and while Italian art from the Renaissance period might not be exactly what springs to mind when you think of him, it is what inspired the rapper when designing his Yeezy jewellery collection. The rich, gold jewels have an almost Byzantine touch, decorated with portraits that could have been lifted from the Sistine Chapel.

Gold necklace from the Yeezy jewellery collection by Kanye West (1)_preview

Gold necklace from the Yeezy jewellery collection by Kanye West

Gold necklace from the Yeezy jewellery collection by Kanye West_preview

Gold necklace from the Yeezy jewellery collection by Kanye West

“Vertiges” tiara by Scott Armstrong

Student Scott Armstrong also had to balance history and modernity when he answered the call to submit a tiara design for a competition instigated by Chaumet earlier in the year. Tiaras are enjoying a modern revival, with demand at the top end of the market for tiaras and bejeweled headpieces, like the new Cartier tiara that doubles as a necklace. Yet the tiara is a classic jewel with a history entwined with royalty and debutante balls. Armstrong’s design references that prestigious history, but also brings it back down to earthy modern times by using a crop of peridot to cultivate his vision of moss poking through the paving slabs of urban cities.

One designer whose work is firmly entwined with one of the most resplendent and violent moments in history is Peter Carl Fabergé. His sought-after bejewelled eggs were the prize of the last Tsars of Russia, the intricate designs becoming synonymous with a lost dynasty and fallen opulence. The eggs have survived the march of time, and are still collected (at great expense) today. Fabergé’s designs have also inspired many a jewellery designer, and with an award-winning feature-length film released about the man himself, his legacy will no doubt spawn new inspired-by collections.

Winter Egg made by Faberge in 1913_preview

Winter Egg made by Faberge