Most of us think of dazzling diamonds, shiny rubies and mesmerizing emeralds when we talk about jewelry. However, since the transformations in art, design and fashion are reflected in jewelry, these precious stones have also followed suit. Much plainer in style, these new designs go beyond the traditional understanding of jewelry making and draw their strength from simplicity and the power of art.

Wearable Art
Wearing pieces that resemble contemporary artworks is as much a trend in jewelry as in fashion. Considering bodies as an empty canvas, Cheryl Eve Acosta aims to make people feel as if they’re displaying an artwork with her jewelry. With family roots in France and the Caribbean, Acosta’s early life on the island can be traced in her designs which reflect the coastal life and the simplicity of nature. Seashells, colorful reefs and ocean waves are the keywords that describe Acosta’s designs. Inspired by the circle of life, her designs are as minimal and elegant as they are colorful, organic and sculptural. Each piece promises a modern and innovative look for those who wish to express a unique and brave character.
Designs that Reflect Female Power
Designing sculptural yet minimal designs, French jewelry designer Annelise Michelson is renowned for her simple metal bracelets, gender-bending chain necklaces and primeval ear cuffs. When asked about why she chooses jewelry, Michelson mentions the fact that jewelry takes on a new character with each woman who wears it, and this creates a feeling of intimacy. “I want to empower women with objects of desire that reflect their own strength,” says Michelson. Though she studied fashion and is interested in drawing sketches, Michelson’s favorite stage in the creation process is when she shapes, bends and molds the raw material. Inspired by different things in every collection, her designs feature architectural lines, organic textures and natural forms. Michelson’s designs are all handmade, each processes with 100% local materials at her atelier in Paris.
Avant-garde Movements in Jewelry
It would be wrong not to talk about Monies from Copenhagen when we mention contemporary and avant-garde jewelry designs. Founded by Gerda and Nikolai Monies, a couple who has been preparing collections for notable fashion brands for long years, the jewelry design brand adds an artistic touch to the simple charisma of nature. Made with bone, wood, horns and natural stones, each design resembles a contemporary artwork. Though their designs, inspired by primitive tribes and prehistoric ages, have a simple design language, they are not modest when it comes to aesthetics. It takes self-confidence to wear these monumental pieces that stand out with their assertive size. Monies jewelry collections can be seen and purchased in the mono-shop, the first commercial outlet of this design label in Turkey, situated at Anna Laudel Contemporary in Karaköy.
Poetic and Timeless
Another brand that offers a different perspective in jewelry making is elacindoruknazanpak, or ECNP in short. Founded by the designer duo Ela Cindoruk and Nazan Park who accept “less is more” as their motto, ECNP is regarded as one of the pioneers of contemporary jewelry design in Turkey. In addition to blending traditional techniques with a modern interpretation and to exploring new materials and techniques, their biggest aim is to design timeless pieces. They use original materials such as titanium, niobium, paper and epoxy resin in addition to gold, silver, pearl, precious and semi-precious stones. Don’t be surprised if you see an ECNP design in a museum as their jewelry is occasionally displayed in galleries and museums.
The Elegance of Sterling Silver
Sterling silver is another material that in recent years, has become very popular in contemporary jewelry. Though it’s been used in women’s accessories for centuries, the designs of Sophie Buhai, an artist based in Los Angeles, can be said to have brought about the material’s renaissance. “My mom wore a lot of Mexican silver and my grandmother wore a lot of Scandinavian, mid-century silver. I just noticed that nobody was doing solid sterling silver in simple but updated shapes,” says Buhai who stands out with her smooth and modernist forms in sterling silver. Launching its collection in 2015, the brand quickly had an audience of its own with oval and egg-shaped necklaces and meandering, plain silverwork. Sophie Buhai’s designs can frequently be found at contemporary art museum stores.

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