A new fondness has emerged over recent years for an enhanced low-key, logo-free understated chic known as  “quiet luxury.”

Various impacting factors have generated a shift towards the desire of attaining a unique yet quietly provocative piece. A synonymous quality item that specialises in fitting with personal expression as opposed to the mainstream prominence of bigger, flashier brands. This low-key twist, aspires to retain the essence of opulence constructed with exclusive materials yet delicately camouflages a great treasure within the design.

As the desire intensifies to disguise luxury goods, brands that dominate the market such as Gucci have seen a decline of 1.1% of its sales in 2014. The shift in consumer behaviour is clear with more consumers desiring a less superficial look. Johann Rupert, the chief executive of Richemont states this is linked to the emphatic consideration of others;

“People with money will not wish to show it. If your child’s best friend’s parents go unemployed, you don’t want to buy a car or anything showy.” (Washington Post, 2014).

The gravitation towards a more subtle alternative  and desire to take a step back from the bigger flashy brands has resulted in the emergence of a new wave of fresh talent, arriving with a demure contemporary edge.

Traditionally worn as a statement piece by Royals, Hollywood icons and regarded as an essential in the jewellery box, the peal is a precious stone that symbolises great class and elegance. However, with the influx of consumers desiring to embrace a more subdued look, the popularity of the traditional strand has began to diminish. As a result a surge of fresh design talent has emerged with modern possibilities of adopting the classic pearl in a subdued manner, whilst retaining the exclusivity and quality of material.

Lia Di Gregorio

Milanese based designer Lia Di Gregorio’s fine collection encompasses all the desires of a subtlety. The contemporary accessories line is brushed with gold, weaved and integrated with demure pearls and jewels. The Italian defines her collection in a playful manner;

“I like to poke fun at the formality and snobbery of using precious stones by concealing them. Nothing should take itself too seriously, you know?”

This collection of whimsical and animated pieces, derives from the concept of adopting precious ornaments for everyday wear. The designer states she feels its “much more contemporary” as she imbeds materials such as petit pearls and gemstones in an intricately woven manner among her jewellery. Her innovative style is a means of transcending time, as she does not adhere to emerging industry trends. The Italian designer continues working diligently towards producing a unique, timeless aesthetic collection, this time experimenting with diamonds.

Melanie Georgacopoulos

When considering handmade pearl jewellery, designer Melanie Georgacopoulos revolutionises the concept of understated chic. The London based designer with Greek heritage, innovatively integrates the pearl with her designs and splices them in order to maximise their beauty capturing the light that penetrates their inner surfaces. Georgacopoulos confirms her infatuation with the stone begun as a child and how its versatility went on to intrigue her;

“Childhood influences would soon turn into ideas about how to redefine culturally invested symbols of power and wealth through jewellery design.”

Georgacopoulo challenges the traditional ideas of the classic pearl, enhancing its allure by capturing the elemental quality of this organic, precious stone and reinvests it with contemporary meaning far removed from tradition. Avoiding the typical pearl strand, Georgacopoulos keeps her designs simple yet powerful, with an added hint of nonchalant elegance. (Forbes, 2015)

Mei-Ling De Buitléar | Square Ring

SHOP MEI-LING DE BUITLEAR

Playing on the theme of luxe minimalism, Mei-Ling De Buitléar’s collection features an array of precious designs, carefully hand crafted from organic materials. Drawing inspiration from various tribes spread across Africa and their diverse techniques of material adoption, the creative designer has invented a new material made with charcoal from coconuts and fused it with traditional brass rings.

With opposing elements reflected through the De Butlears collections , as the ‘White Pearl’ collection was created in response to the “Black Pearl” line. The textures and colours have an alluring subtly that incorporate the distinctive coconut charcoal element. The geometric shaped accessories, with added freshwater pearls merge with sterling silver or 18 carat gold plating are crafted with great consideration and detail, ensuring the collection refrains from ostentation and appears ultimately timeless. (Mei-Ling De Buitlear, 2015).

As consumer empathy and awareness to those around us continues to rise, the desire to show off our goods is becoming less attractive. The philosophy of producing an organic range, that unlike many contemporaries  combine the traditional methodology of craftsmanship with renowned classic materials is now craved as the genuine difference is established between the stylish and the showoffs.

References

NY Times (2002) Italy’s small jewelry designers shine [Online] Available at http://Http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/02/news/02iht-rgem.html [Accessed 12/10/15]

NY Times (2002) Italy’s small jewelry designers shine [Online] Available at http://Http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/02/news/02iht-rgem.html [Accessed 12/10/15]

Vogue (2012) Lia di Gregorio exhibit at White Bird

En savoir plus sur http://en.vogue.fr/jewelry/jewelry-news/diaporama/lia-di-gregorio-exhibit-at-white-bird/12010#VvGeXre71SATfe7m.99 [Online] Available at http://Http://en.vogue.fr/jewelry/jewelry-news/diaporama/lia-di-gregorio-exhibit-at-white-bird/12010#lia-di-gregorio-sexpose-chez-white-bird [Accessed 12/10/16]

Vogue, CW (2015) ‘EXOTIC Setting‘. Vogue UK. 01/09/2015, 237-238.

Wallpaper (2015) Modern masterpieces: Lia Di Gregorio sheds light on her influential and enduring jewellery [Online] Available at http://Http://www.wallpaper.com/watches-and-jewellery/modern-masterpieces-lia-di-gregorio-sheds-light-on-her-influential-and-enduring-jewellery [Accessed 12/10/15]

Washington Post (2014) Why Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Prada are in trouble [Online] Available at http://Http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/louis-vuitton-and-guccis-nightmares-come-true-wealthy-shoppers-dont-want-flashy-logos-anymore/2015/06/15/e521733c-fd97-11e4-833c-a2de05b6b2a4_story.html [Accessed 12/10/15]