Pieces from the Brillante and Brillantissimo collections (above)
As you well know, I am not a bling kind of gal, but I couldn’t help but drool over the stunning creations of New York based, Italian jeweller Paolo Costagli. A gemologist by trade, Paolo has been creating jewels for the likes of Elizabeth Hurley and Jessica Alba for the past 17 years and specialises in coloured gemstones. As such many of his designs are inspired by the colours of his hometown in Florence, as seen in his Florentine collection which features colourful stacked rings and the such. My favourite however is the Brillante collection which is inspired by the architecture of Venice with geometric shapes in polished gold. It’s super modern and very chic.
While he sells his designs exclusively at stores like Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, Paolo is in Hong Kong this week to showcase his collections at an exclusive trunk show (scroll to the bottom of the post for details). We managed to catch him for five minutes to chat about his love for gems and how Italy inspired his lifelong passion.
Citrine bangle from the Ombre collection (left) and rings from the Florentine collection (right)
Why did you decide to become a jeweller?
It was not intentional as my family wanted me to become a doctor or a lawyer. Eventually I developed a burning passion for gems, in particular coloured stones.
How would you describe your style?
It is a clean and wearable look, sophisticated but not pompous. We create unusual but easy-to-wear jewels with lots of colour.
Who are your style icons/jewellery mentors?
French iconic brands like Rene Boivin, Suzanne Belperron and Raymond Templier from the 1920s to 1950s.
Your jewellery will match perfectly with…
A black and white Chanel suit, a hot red Valentino evening gown, a fabulous pair of blue Pucci pants, and a striking Hermes orange Togo Birkin bag.
Italy is a huge source of inspiration for your designs – what else inspires you?
If not working with gemstones, I like working with architectural patterns to transform them into 18kt gold using intricate and challenging manufacturing techniques.
Describe your latest collections
We are working on “organics” – a collection of 18kt gold matte shapes inspired by the pebbles I used to collect from my mamma’s garden in Florence.
Do you have any tips for first time buyers looking to invest in a high end piece?
Always look at the back of the jewel, which should be as nice as the front.
If I wasn’t a jewellery designer I would be…
Definetly a writer.
I would love to create ….
Silver gilt salt and pepper shakers collection inspired by Asian traditional motives… I am working on it actually!
A necklace from the Brillantismo collection (above)
Take a closer look at Poalo’s jewels at a private preview tomorrow (June 26, 2012) and Wednesday (June 27, 2012) from 11am to 8pm at Boardroom One, Four Seasons Hotel, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong. www.paolocostagli.com