By  on November 5, 2007

LONDON — Designer Lara Bohinc is known in Europe for her chunky costume jewelry and clutch bags laced with metalwork that celebrities such as Madonna, Kate Moss and Christina Aguilera have sported since she launched her line 10 years ago.

But after Bohinc's clients began to ask if she could reproduce her bracelets in gold or set her necklaces with diamonds, she started working on a collection of fine jewelry to complement her brand. The line bowed last month at Harrods here.

The collection of 15 graphic designs of rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets, all in 18-karat white, yellow or rose gold, are set with pavé diamonds and densely colored, less-precious stones such as onyx, turquoise, lapis lazuli and white agate.

"I wanted to treat the stones more like color blocks," said the Slovenian-born Bohinc, who resides here. "There's so much variety in those ancient materials — turquoise was used a lot by the Egyptians, while the Chinese used onyx [in jewelry]."

Bohinc, who is also a design consultant for Cartier, mined similarly

timeless themes in her inspiration for the line, which will be sold exclusively at Harrods for this season. Solaris, a collection comprising gold rings set with spherical stones — some edged with diamonds — that move loosely against each other like beads, is inspired by the planets. The designer based the angular necklaces in her Skyline collection, with strips of gold that sit flat on the neck, on the architecture of New York's Chrysler Building.

"I like how it's Art Deco and Egyptian at the same time," said Bohinc.

The collection retails from about $1,800 for a plain gold Solaris ring up to $51,000 for a gold ring with five stones set with diamonds. Ernst Malmsten, executive chairman of Lara Bohinc, said most pieces are priced between $10,000 and $24,000.

Starting next season, the line will be sold at Bohinc's new flagship on London's Sloane Street, which is set to open in January. Malmsten declined to give sales predictions for the line, but said next year the company will begin to discuss launching the fine jewelry collection outside the U.K. Bohinc's fashion jewelry and accessories are sold in the U.S. at stores such as Scoop in New York and Beaucoup Amor in Texas."We want to work closely with Harrods and build our customer base before building up distribution around the world," said Malmsten.

Bohinc, who said she also looked at books of jewelry from the Twenties, Thirties and Forties when designing the collection, has the same long-term vision for the line.

"People want something that's exclusive and it's nice to make something that has a lot of longevity," she said.

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