Maria Francesca Pepe | Maria Francesca Pepe has been leading the pack of jewelry designers for quite some time. She has become such a widespread phenomenon, that her name alone is synonymous with incredible pieces of great design details.
Born in Foggia, in the south of Italy, she moved into fashion design after completing a degree in Literature and Philosophy in Milan. After completing a second degree at Istituto Marangoni, she moved to London, where she attended several short courses at the Royal College of Art at Central Saint Martins. A well-rounded artist and designer, she has experienced both the business and the creative side of fashion, and her knowledge spans from pattern cutting to fine drawing, to digital design and sewing. She presented her first collection at the Central Saint Martins MA show, and launched her eponymous label the year after, defining a signature style of statement pieces and avant-garde structures.
The dark mood of her creations adds incredible character to her brand, and skulls, crosses and geometric shapes are popular themes, as well as the cross-contamination between clothing
Her Spring/Summer collection, titled “Amor Los Une,” was inspired by pure passion, with influences coming from sixteenth century engravings, the artist Frida Kahlo, and the shapes and structures of the human body. Clothes and jewelry are complementary in the creation of the designer’s “Jewelry-wear,” with chains draped over dresses to recreate skeleton structures. For more information visit: mfpepe.com
Coliac | A young brand only two years old, Coliac was founded in 2009 by Martina Grasselli. Born in Reggio Emilia, Italy, after studying Architecture and Interior Design in her native town, she moved to Milan to attend NABA Fine Arts Academy, and to Paris, where she attended classes at the prestigious Duperré Fashion School. She then returned to Milan, and after working for names such as Stella McCartney, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Christian Louboutin, and for Pitti in Florence, she founded her brand, named after her maternal grandmother’s surname.
Coliac, her costume jewelry line, is a blend of different material and geometric shapes, hugely inspired by movements such as Russian Constructivism, realism and abstract art; the designer managed to create a powerful signature style in the span of a few collections.
Knotted chains, leather gloves with metallic details, cubes, spheres and bold color blocking are recurring elements in Grasselli’s collections. Her style is continuously updated with strenuous research for new shapes and combinations; her references are expanded and Coliac continues growing with each new collection. For Spring/Summer 2011, a series of pieces called “Art Deco” includes gold cuffs with enamel graphisms, necklaces that look like Mondrian’s paintings, but also incredible art deco-inspired designs and pieces mimicking a shirt collar and the lapel of a jacket. For more information visit: www.coliac.com
Alina Alamorean | Born in the Transylvanian region of Romania, Alina Alamorean moved to Paris to pursue her dream career as jewelry designer. However, more than designer, she can safely be defined as an artist, with her pieces being very much at home in art galleries and resembling precious sculptures rather than everyday accessories.
Alina’s voluminous wearable art is composed of a mix of rough and polished surfaces: silver rings and pendants resembling concrete decorated with metal bursting out with erupting lava effect, polished, almost organic shapes on industrial-looking bars that wrap around the finger, exquisite compositions of elements on precious bars balanced on two chains.
Her inspirations visibly come from the world of architecture with Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry and Frank Lloyd Wright as main points of reference for the bold, precious creations.
With an upcoming exhibition at Galerie BSL in Paris, Alina has confirmed herself as an artist of jewelry, rather than a jewelry designer. “I do not want to adorn anyone,” she explains, “I do however aim to inspire a way of thinking, living and breathing.” For more information visit: www.alina-alamorean.com
– Rosa Maria Bertoli