The Jewellery Brands to Love Now!

If you’re bored of basic faux pearls and “boho”, moon-shaped blings, you’re in the right place. Mass, thoughtless production is out, and sustainability-forward creativity is in. Also, no need for Tiffany’s and Cartier (although I would never refuse them as a gift!). Now, thanks in large part to Instagram allowing brands to share their wares and us to discover emerging talent, there’s a plethora of brilliant jewellery labels making high quality pieces that won’t break the bank. Ahead, feast your eyes and souls on the following 10 niche brands that amaze in the world of jewellery.

Dauphinette

From New York, with love. Dauphinette was founded in 2018 by Olivia Cheng, debuting with one-of-a-kind, Made-in-New York outerwear from recycled and byproduct fur and leather, vintage, and artisanal components. Cheng has since grown the brand to include handbags and accessories, plus a tightly conceptualized selection of ready-to-wear. The result is a dreamy collection of complex, optimistic, storied pieces – a feeling Cheng hopes to inspire in our wearers. Dauphinette’s jewellery line is all about fresh-from-the-garden flowers, planted on their signature wildflower seed paper cards. Each earring is one of its kind, while the bloom will always stay with you, regardless of the season. More on their site.

Panconesi

This brand will make you rethink jewellery. After obtaining a diploma in Fashion Design from Instituto Polimoda, the Florentine jewelry designer, Marco Panconesi, refined his craft at Givenchy under Riccardo Tisci before joining Balenciaga as director of men’s accessories. Before launching his namesake jewelry line in 2019, Panconesi originally sought a career in archeology; this affinity for the design sensibilities of ancient Greece and Rome has defined his oeuvre – his pieces resemble ancient artifacts that have been reworked, updated, and modernized. Heritage pieces are given a contemporary industrial twist: undulating shapes are engineered to express movement and mismatched elements complement one another to find new harmony. Hoop and drop earrings feature colorful gems and crystal-cut detailing while rings with precious stones appear as if recently excavated. By reinterpreting the past through a contemporary viewpoint, the Parisian label treads new aesthetic ground, creating pieces that are definitely unique in their approach to design construction and visual appeal. As heirlooms, Panconesi’s polished artifacts are intended to be passed down through the generations, coming to life with each new wearer. You should see those purple pearl enamel earrings or the spectacular crystal collar necklace. Oh, and of course this!

Grainne Morton

If Grainne Morton was to have a spirit animal, no doubt it would be the magpie. Instinctively and obsessively drawn to collecting and hoarding anything miniature or precious that catches her eye, many things you or I would overlook, Grainne has amassed an incredible collection of objects – all destined to find their place among the tales she weaves within her jewelled compositions. Born and raised in Northern Ireland, by creative and antique-loving parents, Grainne was immersed in and surrounded by the traditional crafts, folklore, music and fairy tales of the country. Perhaps it’s this beginning to her story that has now imbued her work with it’s somewhat contradictory nature? All at once vintage and contemporary, precious and non-precious, spontaneous and ordered, junk and treasure… this could well be a description of Grainne’s motherland, itself. Her individuality, and the expression of that – primarily through clothes, style and the considered presentation of herself – is engrained in each piece of jewellery she makes. Each piece, carefully choreographed, the arranging and re-arranging of little objects, and precious things, moved and re-placed until they establish a relationship to each other. And tell a story to the viewer. Discover the label right here.

Joanne Burke

English artist living in Rome, Joanne Burke creates exquisite pieces of jewellery made from bronze. An antique jewellery collector herself, Joanne always knew she wanted to make her own jewels. She wanted to create pieces that translate her own world rather than someone else’s symbology and beliefs. For Joanne it was never about designing trends or collections; she started making “little sculptures”, as she describes them, for herself and her friends wanted to buy them. Taking inspiration from women, men, magic, power, animals, ugliness and humor; her pieces are like little creatures full of character and a soul of their own. More of her artworks are here.

Silvia Furmanovich

Furmanovich’s label might be the priciest in this pack, but no wonder why. Her designs are true treasures. The designer was born in São Paulo, Brazil, to a line of Italian goldsmiths. Her great-grandfather created sacred adornments for the Vatican and her father worked as a goldsmith. “He taught me the importance of craftsmanship,” she says. “I learned to pay attention to every hinge and every clasp.” She established an appointment-only jewelry business in 1998 and opened her first standalone boutique in São Paulo in 2009. She now has two boutiques in São Paulo, where her atelier is located. Furmanovich’s daring designs combine her meticulous attention to detail with her wide-ranging passions for innovative craftsmanship, the natural world, ancient cultures and unusual materials. And while her lifelong love of travel has informed many of her collections, her interpretation of those cultures – from Egypt to Japan – is rarely straightforward. Employing a unique alchemy of found artifacts, traditional techniques and materials both humble and precious, the designer creates wearable art that feels timeless and one-of-a-kind. Among the unusual elements she has used in her collections are wood marquetry, ebony, oxidized copper, vintage lacquer, shells, woven bamboo and netsukes (small sculptural adornments worn on kimonos); these are balanced by the rich opulence of yellow gold, rose gold, diamonds and the dazzling colored gemstones for which Brazil is known. What do you say about those glorious marquetry masterpieces with moonstone and diamonds or the ones with citrine stones?

Sopho Gongliashvili

Georgia has its finest fashion designers: Demna Gvasalia, Lako Bukia, Gola Damian, George Keburia, Aleksandre Akhalkatsishvili… how about jewellery? Recently I’ve discovered Sopho Gongliashvili, who as well does incredible knitwear (this needs a separate post!). Sopho tells stories through her jewels and the art of cloisonnè, also know as byzantine luster, wich becomes even more precious in her pieces. The use of colors and the ability to build micro-stories by drawing with those tiny silver threads makes her work a true stand-out. More of her brilliant works are right here.

Mondo Mondo

If your jewellery aesthetic is close to vintage Christian Lacroix and Chanel, Mondo Mondo is the contemporary alternative. Natasha Ghosn creates her a jewellery and fragrance label in Los Angeles. Mondo Mondo provides a visual and sensual world inspired by archaic wonders and baroque ornamentation. The brand’s name utilizes the ancient art of storytelling to guide our designs to fruition. Intrinsically archetypal, Ghosn’s pieces become both personal and universal. If you love it the way I do, click here.

Sophie Buhai

Buhai is my favourite jewellery brand from USA. Sophie’s boutique jewelry company is as well based in Los Angeles. Masterfully handcrafted by local silversmiths of sustainably-sourced sterling silver, each of Buhai’s pieces showcases the designer’s refined vision. Recalling the elegant minimalism of 1970’s modernism, tubular chokers and egg-shaped pendant necklaces rendered in solid polished sterling silver feature sculptural silhouettes and organic geometries. Oblong hoop earrings, bangle bracelets, rings, and spherical drop earrings possess a timeless quality, with tiger’s eye and lapis lazuli gemstones lending a touch of novelty. My current favourites coming from the label’s spring-summer collection: silver heart ring, essential pearl earrings, an elegant scrunchie in yellow, the gorgeous gold-tone multi-stone earrings and the timeless large pearl choker.

Alighieri

Launched in 2014 by Rosh Mahtani, this London-based jewellery label is inspired by Dante Alighieri’s epic poem Divine Comedy. Cast in 24 carat gold-plated bronze, Alighieri’s medallion necklaces, mismatched earrings and hair accessories are influenced by literature and adventure. The designs are battered, imperfect and a little bit infused with melancholy, with each one crafted sustainably from recycled bronze through the process of lost-wax casting. From whirlwind adventures and mythical creatures to scraggy landscapes and passionate mistakes, each one has its own story. Fall in love with “The Curator” amulet, yellow gold “The Dusky Hue” bracelet, “The Initial Spark” earrings, “The Curator of the Moon” earrings and “Gold LIncognito” necklace.

Sunnei

The Milan-based label has one of the most fantastic jewellery lines in town. Their silver brass rounded earrings won’t get unnoticed, since each of them is individually hand-rubberized in boldly-coloured rubber. Sunnei’s other jewellery feautures fun XXL-sized rhinestones that hang on chains in a nonchalant, arty manner. See the entire selection here!

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One more thing… this silk hair clip by Sophie Buhai! Hair accessories are jewellery in their own rights.

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That’s it! If you’ve got a great jewellery discovery to share or think that the list misses something – would be grateful to see your comments below!

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P.s. In this post, I happen to endorse products I genuinely love. If you end up buying something through the links, my site might earn an affiliate commission – which is always nice!

Collage by Edward Kanarecki

Calder’s Necklaces

Anjelica Houston wearing Calder’s necklace, photographed by Evelyn Hofer for The New York Times in 1976.

Browsing The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s digital archives can bring so much joy. I knew that Alexander Calder induldged himself in making one-of-a-kind jewellery when not creating his hanging installations, but I never actually saw his necklaces. Calder produced more than eighteen hundred pieces of jewelry, most of them between 1933 and 1952. Many of these pieces were made specifically for family members or friends and given away on special occasions. Each necklace, bracelet, ring, pin, or earring was a unique, handcrafted design to which he applied his skills as a metalworker and his visual wit, just as he did when he created mobiles and bent-wire sculptures. The necklaces below were made by hammering brass wires into flat strips and then fashioning them into a linear design that relates directly to his early wire portraits. Incredible, wearable works of art.

All photos via The Met’s digital archives.

Mondo Mondo

Mondo Mondo is a jewelry and fragrance label based in Los Angeles. The brand provides a visual and sensual world inspired by archaic wonders and baroque ornamentation – there’s nothing simple about it, that’s for sure. Mondo Mondo, a name chosen for its cinematic undertones,  utilizes the ancient art of storytelling to guide the designs. Intrinsically archetypal, Natasha Ghosn’s pieces become both personal and universal. Whether it’s a heart pendant, ‘Soleil’ earrings with rhinestone chains or (my favourite) ‘Friend’ ring in sterling, there’s something magical about those made to order goodies. The fragrance line by Ghosn is equally elusive, yet appealing. The descriptions of the six perfumes make you dream. I Like You In Velvet is summed in the following way: “in an iridescent cloud of iris and carrots I found my expression. Silk gloves, lipstick wax, silver like the movies. Ballet, jazz, and modern dance, too.” Then, we’ve got the greenish Cowboy. “Here the spirit of the Cowboy is represented as The Fool in this unisex fragrance. He is free, naive, and fearless. You can find him sleeping peacefully under the stars.” Tobacco, leather and grass combined with honeysuckle and coffee must be some sort of nasal ecstasy. Would love to try each of them, but the brand sadly doesn’t ship alcohol-based products to Europe. Still, whether you’re in USA or not, check out Mondo Mondo’s site for more!

Nathalie Schreckenberg

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Nathalie Schreckenberg is a German-Brazilian jewelry designer, who’s currently based in Barcelona. With her background in fine arts, Nathalie started a line of handcrafted earrings, rings, bracelets and pendants that might resemble sculptures of such artists as Jean Arp or Alexander Calder to some. With one exception – those pieces are totally wearable.

Schreckenberg’s brand DNA retains a raw, organic feeling to each of those precious, yet minimal treasures. Silver, natural gems and pearls are molded into ergonomic jewels that adapt comfortably to the body. Each piece reflects manual processes, connecting with the wearer – think of them as of ancient amulets for our times.

Discover the designer’s gorgeous lookbook presenting her second collection, photographed by Adrián Catalán, below.

How To Wear: Oversized Necklaces

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Oversized necklaces have a tendency to crop up when it comes to fashion trends. There’s something about a singular, statement piece that we just can’t resist. They’re flattering, feel impressively heavy against your skin, and always draw attention – what more could you want from a necklace?

While we may have a long-lasting love affair with oversized necklaces, that doesn’t mean that we’ve all learned exactly how to make them work with the rest of our outfit — or our body shape, for that matter. If you want to see in the autumn/winter trends with a statement necklace of your own, then you might want to take a read through these tips on how to wear them before you excitedly head to a store to buy one…

Neckline Matters

If you’re going to be wearing a big necklace, then you’re going to want people to see it. That means making a compromise on your necklace. Boat, jewel, and narrow necklines are not going to do a statement necklace any favors. Sure, it might feel more comfortable to wear without the necklace against your skin – but the simple fact is it’s going to compete, and your neck is going to look thicker as a result.

Opt for a sweetheart, scoop, or V-neck if you’re going to wear a large necklace. These styles are relatively easy to find, so there’s no excuse. And if you’re not au fait with the neckline terminology, then there’s a fabulous primer here.

Think Weight

Most women will be familiar with loving the idea of a large necklace, but really not loving what it’s like to actually wear one. These necklaces are usually fairly heavy, which can be uncomfortable if you’re going to be wearing them for a long period of time.

In these scenarios, you have two choices. You can look for more exquisitely designed such as those by Roma Designer Jewelry, which are better made and thus tend to take into account the fact the pieces need to be wearable as well as beautiful. Or you can only wear huge necklaces when you know you’re going to be able to remove them after a few hours — just make sure you take along a piece of velvet to wrap the necklace in once removed.

The Other Accessories

To be frank, if you’re going to wear a huge, attention-grabbing necklace, then you don’t really need to wear much else in terms of accessories and jewelry. The necklace is the star of the show, the centerpiece — so let it be just that. If you’re going to add distractions such as large earrings or bracelets, then the overall effect of the necklace is going to be diminished.

Keep things sparse with the rest of your accessories and jewelry, letting your necklace garner the attention and focus that it was designed to draw.

In conclusion, oversized necklaces are wonderful, eye-catching pieces that can really make an entire ensemble better. They can be tricky to wear, but if you follow the tips above, you can avoid any issues and just let your necklace be the star of the show.

Hillier Bartley Feather Charm

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‘For for spring-summer 2017, Katie Hillier‘s and Luella Bartley‘s brand, Hillier Bartley, is inspired by the bohemian spirit of West London in the 70s. Made in Italy from gold-plated brass, this whimsical charm is adorned with a single Swarovski faux pearl and playful pink plumes that fall to your collarbone.’

Get it here.

Art Deco, Ca & Lou.

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Carolina Neri and Bérengère Lux are long-time friends and business partners simultaneously, standing behind Ca & Lou – a brand focused on timeless, yet “stealing the spotlight wherever you are” jewellery. This Milan-based label co-operates with one of the best Milanese jewellery workshops, seeking for a balance between clean forms and love for opulent ornaments. The designers behind Ca & Lou draw inspirations from Art Deco era, constantly refining their intricately embellished necklaces, bracelets and rings with minute attention to geometric forms and details. Moreover, Neri and Lux have always been obsessed with excessive costume jewelry – that’s why their autumn-winter 2016 moodboard is filled with archival photographs of Elizabeth Taylor playing Cleopatra, or the one-and-only Greta Garbo. Blurring the lines between retro and contemporary, owning a piece by Ca & Lou is like owning a treasure (surprisingly, in a pretty affordable price, if you compare to other luxury brands).

Available at Concept 21 Store.

Sophie Buhai

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Wearable sculptures by Sophie Buhai are not only timeless, but precious. “There’s a certain woman who wants to buy a jewelry piece as if it were a wearable piece of sculpture, and invest in it. You want quality. You want something that’s beautiful and that’s going to last.” The 34 years old designer and founder of her eponymous label knows what a woman with class wants. Buhai strives to present her collection of cuffs, collars, pendants and rings with a sense of permanence and each of her lovingly sculpted works appeals to a sophisticated clientele.

Sophie Buhai’s jewellery is available at The LinePhotography by Thomas Lohr.

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Spiral Around The Body

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A piece of jewellery by her seems to be like a spiral which shapes around the body. Do you remember the set of five golden rings from Nicolas Ghesquière’s final collection for Balenciaga? Did you add them to the on-line store whishlist because you were so in love with them? Well, in reality, you were in love with Charlotte Chesnais already back then. Spending nearly a decade at the house, she appeared to be the main jewellery designer there by coincidence. “Nicolas wanted some pieces for his Les Parisiennes collection, and there was no one at the time doing jewelry in the atelier,” Chesnais recalls. She left Balenciaga just after Ghesquière did. “I had lost my master,” she explains, but not before debuting the “bow” bracelets that have since become an Alexander Wang signature. Later on, Chesnais worked for Julien Dossena at Paco Rabanne (the last season bracelets are also by HER) and designed the chain mail bags. And now, Charlotte Chesnais is here to present herself in the truest form, with her own namesake line. Inspired by the sculptural work of Constantin Brancusi and Alberto Giacometti, her eponymous collection is composed of metal pieces that look as if made of liquid – cuffs coil up the hand; circular earrings orbit the lobes. “Each one is a beautiful object—even just sitting on a table,” she says. “That’s my interpretation of timeless.

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Constantin Brancusi

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