THINKING BIG: Sabine Getty wants to inject a sense of fun into fine jewelry.
In the past, she’s drawn inspiration from the bright colors and irregular shapes of the Memphis movement. With her newest range, Big, she has translated her daughter’s toys into jewels.
“I had just had my daughter and I became totally immersed in her childish, playful world. I’ve been spending a lot of time in her playroom, playing with her colored wooden toys, and after lifting them up and putting them near her face, I realized that this would look great as jewelery,” said Getty, who showcased the new collection with a tea party at her home.
“I was running out of inspiration, but when I came across this idea, I thought it’s fresh, it’s a story I’d like to tell and it somehow connects with Memphis — it’s colorful, it’s childish, it’s playful.”
The result is a bold, exuberant range of oversize jewels done in gold and brightly colored sapphire or tsavorite: There are mono-earrings in the shapes of large circles or triangles, cuff bracelets featuring big square-shaped like Lego bricks and sleek circular necklaces.
Getty also references Tom Hanks’ 1988 movie “Big” as another source of inspiration. She said it captured the youthful spirit she wanted to channel in her collections: “The protagonist is a kid and he makes a wish to become a grown-up. It made me think of all of us, we were all kids and now we’re playing grown-ups.”
The collection, which is priced between 2,138 pounds and 9,658 pounds, will be sold on Getty’s web site on a made-to-order basis and clients will be able to customize the colors of their pieces.
“I now deal directly with the customers through my web site and my studio, and it takes about three to five weeks maximum to produce a piece, once ordered. This system is working for me. I think there’s a form of happiness to not be running after your business. There’s something calming about it and it allows you to create things when you have something to say,” said the designer, who has shifted her strategy to focus on direct-to-consumer sales through her web site and Mayfair studio.
She introduced an accessibly priced range called Baby Memphis and has continued working with a select group of retailers such as Browns and Maxfield in Los Angeles.
“We’re really happy to work with these stores because they’re patient and it’s about a loyal, long-term relationship. I want to keep going with that part of the business,” Getty added.
To mark the launch of the collection — and the birth of her first child — Getty has also teamed with the photographer Oliver Hadlee Pearch to create a series of editorial images where she posed in the collection alongside her daughter Gene and friends and fellow mothers including Charlotte Dellal, gallery owner Monika Spruth and model Jacquetta Allsopp.
“The images are as important as the jewelery itself, they show who’s wearing it, who’s the woman, what’s the story,” said Getty. “I like to create beautiful portraits of people, and so I chose people that I admire. It was about reconnecting with the story line from the film of being grown up yet still a child and showing that jewelery can be worn at any age.”