While the jewellery world shows no lack of avant-garde designs, modern sculptural pieces are a little harder to find in the realms of haute or fine jewellery. Armed with a directional aesthetic that treads the line between art and design, the London-based jewellery label Kova has taken just that tack with the debut of its haute couture collection last month in Paris.
Creative director Katie Kova explains: ‘Launching a collection of haute couture jewellery felt so organic, it just had to be done. From a design point of view the exercise was, essentially, 100 per cent about taking Kova’s identity to couture level. We started with very strong core pieces in gold set with matching diamonds, and then moved into fantastically coloured stones. Doing couture was, without a doubt, all about maximising our own design codes.’
Kova’s haute couture line continues where its mainline collection left off. The range’s six cocktail rings each make nods to the uncompromising lines of Russian suprematism and its modern graphic sensibility. Realised in three dimensional forms, these wearable interpretations are not only architectural but possess an alchemic quality, thanks to the use of luminous stones such as quartz, rare nephrite, blue spinel, aquamarine and pearls, with a generous dusting of pavé diamonds.
Kova says, ‘There are three key links between the choice of stones and the Russian suprematist inspiration. One, the balance between sculpture and luminosity in all the gemstones echoes suprematist visual values. Two, the stones create a colour blocked effect that reminds of suprematist graphics. And, three, the geometry of all stones we use is a clear homage to the legacy of Kazimir Malevich and Wassily Kandinsky.’
She adds, ‘Back in the 1910s and 1920s, Russian artists associated themselves with notions of spiritual purity through decidedly graphic shapes. This concept drives and motivates me to create more than any other, and it’s all there in the six cocktail rings: something that’s graphic and immediate to read, but also new and fresh and wearable.’
The collection, which took 18 months to develop, is made to specifications that one can expect from the haute couture tradition. Each piece is carefully handmade in London.