After a rich journey of innovation and avant-gardist jewelry design, Vhernier debutes another adventure with unusual raw materials. And who better than the Brand’s Deputy General Manager Isabella Traglio to tell us all about this new, exciting chapter?
After taking on this role in January 2019, Traglio has mastered product development and production at Vhernier, and we were lucky enough to chat with her about all of that and more specifically about the new “Coucher du Soleil” jewelry collection.
Strong is only one way to describe Vhernier’s identity. What would you add to further highlight the Brand’s spirit?
Vhernier was conceived with the clear intent of creating "the jewel that does not exist yet”, refusing to follow the mainstream, and the desire of offering contemporary pieces that resonate with our current lifestyle and can be worn from day to night.
This idea soon translated in bold shapes, soft curves that allow for an exceptional wearability, and mesmerizing colors. These three elements have characterized Vhernier’s style since the beginning. We often look at contemporary art, sculpture and architecture not only in terms of inspiration, but rather because they often bring to light the idea of movement, of “something that’s happening”, which is the essence of contemporaneity that we want to incorporate in our creations. Forms, lights and reflections created by the materials used, along with colors, are therefore the key elements to bring this idea to life. The Calla necklace, for instance, which is one of our most iconic designs, frames the face yet delivers this idea of movement thanks to the shape of the cones it is made of and thanks to the light coming from the gold.
Our boldness is not just in shapes but in the choice of materials as well, as each creation is a form of resistance to platitude and imitation. We love to experiment with materials, blending the traditional precious ones used in jewelry – gold, the most beautiful diamonds, gemstones - with unusual ones such as ebony wood, titanium or lately, bronze.
“Coucher du Soleil” bracelet in white gold, bronze and diamonds
As a gemologist yourself, how does the choice of precious stones contribute to Vhernier’s unique world?
Stones are key in bringing to life our vision of jewelry. And faithful to our vision, we always use them in a unique way.
Speaking of diamonds, we mostly use them in pavé setting. All diamonds are strictly natural and are exclusively the best: never less than F color, VVS clarity and excellence in cut. Symmetry and proportions are essential, as only perfect gemstones can ensure the consistency and soft luminosity that make our pavé unique: in fact, our specific setting is made with just two prongs rather than the industry standard four prongs – this ensures an endless carpet of luminous diamonds that is extremely soft and incredibly brilliant. We also set diamonds using a technique we have called Eyeliner Pavé, which we launched recently: large and small diamonds, none alike, are set on gold or titanium shapes in a seemingly casual way. It’s a new way of setting diamond, which adds modernity and new light to jewelry and sparks a frisson of excitement.
When it comes to gemstones, we love using them because of their extraordinary colors. We select only the most beautiful and natural ones, which is why one never looks like the other. Jade, cornelian, lapis lazuli, turquoise, kogolong and agate are just some of the ones we use; they’re always cut from the raw stone so they adapt harmoniously to the jewels’ design. We highlight their natural colors with our Trasparenze technique: by overlapping these stones with a layer of rock crystal, we add brilliance and create almost an optical illusion. Viewed from the top, the color of the main stone shines through, whereas the piece’s profile only shows the clear transparency of the crystal.
A few years ago we launched a collection called Flowers, featuring extremely rare and unique stones.
Each jewel is a one-of-a-kind piece, created starting from stones striking in terms of cut, color and carat. These can be wonderful emeralds, spinels, unusually big tanzanites, or diamonds – and that’s the only case where we use diamonds in a non-pavé setting. These stones are set on rings, earrings or necklaces; sculptural shapes, understated design, with stones sometimes set on gold, some other times on more unusual materials. It’s our vision of high jewelry.
Tell us about “Coucher du Soleil”, the new chapter in your journey.
The new Coucher du Soleil collection is the most recent fruit of our constant desire to create innovative jewelry unlike anything else, combining classic jewelry materials with less traditional ones.
One of the major innovations in this collection is the choice of materials. After ebony paired with gold, a less usual stone as kogolong, titanium – which we interpreted in several ways, we turned our spotlight to bronze, an extremely light material.
This collection was no easy task and it took us two years of research to go from the concept to the final result, as bronze is extremely hard to work; this time was spent studying how to achieve utterly flawless shapes from bronze casting, and how to forge the perfect metal band. This was a very time-consuming process, as no corrections can be made to bronze while it is being worked.
“Coucher du Soleil” ring in white gold and bronze
What helped you combine innovation with simplicity to create the perfect base for this collection?
Consistency is key for Vhernier. When we decided to work with bronze, we were also aware we wanted to create shapes consistent with our identity. Hence, we decided to make this collection by using thin metal bands. The light reflecting on the pieces, each made of gold and bronze, create a wonderful movement. This allowed us to forge a collection in the classic Vhernier forms — cuff bracelets and band rings, sculptural earclips that mirror the curve of the lobes — adding a wonderful light and an extraordinary lightness, thanks to the individual vertical components from which every piece is made. The metal bands create a more decorative design than what’s typical of Vhernier’s customary approach, yet the result still features the clean, understated aesthetics which we believe is key for contemporary jewelry.
How does “Coucher du Soleil” stay true to Vhernier’s values while introducing a new element to the brand’s universe?
The respect for the body is a crucial value for us: all Vhernier shapes are conceived around the body, always thinking about the space that will surround them, the movement the body will make, and the wearability. The pieces of the Coucher du Soleil collection are fluid, feminine, ergonomic, and this is an element of capital importance: on top of being wonderfully contemporary and different from anything else, this collection is extremely pleasant to wear.
And then this collection is a testament to the highest level of expert craftsmanship, as all our creations: each piece is handmade in Italy, in our workshops, where we rely on the hands of extremely skilled artisans. As we often do, we started from their competences and went further, finding together a way to craft the collection. The preservation of a heritage combined with innovation is one of the values we stand and strive for.
Finally, this collection reflects our wish to deliver quality without compromise, in both the craftsmanship and in the choice of raw materials. Stones and every other material used are only the best available on the market.
“Coucher du Soleil” earrings in white gold, bronze and diamonds
This collection stands out by the choice of its materials. What inspired you to blend gold with bronze and diamonds?
We were mainly inspired to use bronze because of the captivating orange glimmers in its color, which go so well with Vhernier’s rose gold.
In fact, when paired with gold, bronze reveals a dynamic luminosity that brings to mind a sunset, hence the name of the collection: the light reflects on the texture of the jewelry to create gorgeous and unexpected interplays. This light is enhanced by the most beautiful diamonds, which are set in bronze.
Who is the Vhernier woman and how does she relate to jewelry enthusiasts in the Middle east?
The woman at the center of Vhernier’s creative thinking is a woman with personality and character. She is a woman of today, in tune with the times and often far ahead. She has a cultured elegance, prefers understatement and is not afraid to stand out from the mainstream. She knows what suits her and knows what she’s looking for, exactly like local women from the Middle East, who have a great sense of style. They love our fluid, organic shapes and above all the bright colors of the stones we highlight with rock crystal in our famous Trasparenze. And they’re also extremely knowledgeable and recognize when a piece is extremely well crafted; that’s why we are so proud they love our diamond pavé, so shiny and soft that is indeed used as a point of reference in jewelry design.
Article Written by Mirella Haddad