14.11.2016 - Dries Tack

The unknown jewellery collection

A white feather, a jet black cockʼs claw, a glass cylinder filled with diamonds... Designer Ann Demeulemeester always finishes her silhouettes with a surprising poetic touch. Her jewellery collection goes on display for the first time in Casa Argentaurum gallery in Ghent, Belgium.

Ever since her first fashion collection in 1985, Ann Demeulemeester has been a stickler for details, in terms of finish as well as the materials she uses. A master of craft work, crow black and silvery white, she has successfully dressed men as well as women.
Jewellery appeared in Ann Demeulemeesterʼs collections ten years ago, alongside her seasonal fashion presentations. Each season since has included a range of jewellery, often designed in tune with the theme of the clothes collection. The feather is a frequently returning constant; a symbol of poetic lightness and love, it has become a symbol of the fashion house. Dipped in silver, hanging around the neck or used as a broach, there are no limits to her fascination with this feather-light jewel which has been a constant throughout the years.

Ann Demeulemeester's jewellery-jewellery-belgian-fashion-feather-fashion

Like her fashion design, her jewellery often uses different materials, such as leather, silver and diamonds. So far, there has only been one exception where she has used gold. The collection features small glass vials filled with loose precious stones or diamond pearls, a combination of different chains, or double velvet ribbons. Ann Demeulemeester emphasises the purity of the materials such as the roughness of precious stones, using old techniques and special alloys to work silver. Forging and welding leave room for engraving and browning, plaiting or pearl stringing. Each piece is finished with the house logo.
Wearing jewellery is also an exercise in looking. A concentrated look at the jewels reveals much more than silver and black. It is not the shine of the silver or the sparkle of the diamonds which come to the fore, but rather the special concepts, formal studies and assemblies. Each one is a beautiful example which can be draped, wrapped or pinned in different ways. Jewels that can be worn or displayed. Some relate to a classic formal language, others refer to romantic nostalgia, but always with a touch of the gothic.

Ann Demeulemeester's jewellery-jewellery-belgian-fashion-feather-fashion

“A collection of jewellery isnʼt an absolute necessity, it is an extension decorating the body and highlighting the personality of the one wearing the jewels,” says Ann Chapelle, general manager of the Antwerp-based house. “You can just wear one jewel, or in combination. It provides that important extra character and impact. It finishes a silhouette.”
A selection of the jewels will be on display for the first time in Casa Argentaurum in Ghent, Belgium. The exhibition represents full circle for gallery manager Caroline Dewolf: she started the gallery 25 years ago with an exhibition of silver and gold jewellery by renowned architects including Italians Ettore Sottsass and Carlo Scarpa, Austrian Hans Hollein and American Johanna Grawunder. Architect and designer Andrea Branzi created a jewellery collection especially for the gallery in 1998. This again illustrated the challenge of combining craft and new technology to extract the maximum purity from the silver or the gold. In line with the use of colour by Ann Demeulemeester, the exhibition design features a black/white contrast with night following day. The featured jewels include pendants, necklaces, woven armbands and earrings, and show a historic overview of this virtually unknown jewellery collection from the Ann Demeulemeester house.

Ann Demeulemeester's jewellery-jewellery-belgian-fashion-feather-fashion-ring-diamonds


Luxury, Fashion


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