Germany’s design heritage and new energy merge in three jewelry brands that are gaining global attention.
• Amélie Riech trained as an architect yet holds a diploma in fashion design. Both of these influences are evident in her refined jewelry collection, Uncommon Matters. Riech, who grew up in Paris and Berlin and still travels regularly between the two cities, uses fine metal (gold- and silver-plated, mostly on brass) and materials such as onyx, porcelain and glass to sculpt her wearable, intricate works.
Closures are cleverly structured to be invisible in the fluid, movable pieces.
Uncommon Matters is sold in galleries and concept stores, including Andreas Murkudis in Berlin, Lisa Perry in New York and Luisa Via Roma in Florence. Retail prices run from $112 for a simple onyx ring to $599 for folding earrings to $1,648 for a linked collar. RELATED STORY: Japan's Lunettes du Jura — Seeing Eye to Eye >>
• Jana Patz makes jewelry with a twist — Möbius loops and figure eights. Patz’s line, The Medley Institute, specializes in shapes that are at first glance simple, but upon closer inspection these gold- and silver-plated and sterling pieces curve and soar.
Berlin-based Patz, also a lecturer at the city’s University of the Arts, drapes metal on the body in a kind of tactile topography.
Stockists for The Medley Institute include Weltenbürger in Los Angeles, LaGarçonne.com and Haltbar in Munich. The brand was also highlighted in the Vogue Salon during Berlin Fashion Week in January. Prices for rings range from $137 to $342, bracelets are $260 to $397 and necklaces run $240 to $301.
Next up: Patz will offer some options for men.
• Jonathan Johnson is the nom de bijoux of Hamburg-based jewelry designer Oliver Pfeiffer. His curious blend of sustainable production (including recycled gold and silver) and pop culture influences combine to create a varied range, from name necklaces spelling out “Made in China” to gem-studded rings pulling from Mughal Indian styles.
Pfeiffer has collaborated with Bruce LaBruce and musician Angie Reed; a recent collection is inspired by natural and man-made detritus, and features tourmaline and cast leaves, insects and soda-can pull tabs.
The Jonathan Johnson collection is sold at Berlin concept store Happy Shop and Hamburg music shop Hanseplatte, as well as online and in the brand’s showroom/shop.
Prices range from $80 for liquid mercury-look stud earrings to $340 for a Bruce LaBruce L.A. Zombie ring, to $11,775 for a large gold chain with a massive facetted Brazilian topaz.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast