Wild creatures, delicate flowers, verdant trees and exotic plants have long been cherished themes for jewellery-makers. This season, brands from across the world, including the most respected Turkish names, are showcasing bold and creative interpretations of nature, with floral, animal-inspired and even galactic forms.
Well-known Istanbul designer Batya Kebudi turns to nature each season with her handmade jewellery, and for spring/summer 2016 she is focusing on the amazing beauty of the universe. In her Kainat collection, the galaxy is referenced in pieces made in rose gold with black diamonds, while marquise-cut diamonds are given centre stage: these precious stones symbolise the stars and are definitely the eye-catchers in her current range. The rings and necklaces are minimalist, perfectly balanced and have a fine appearance. Discover these creations at the recently opened Batya Kebudi store in Nişantaşı.
Another Turkish label, B Point, also presents nature-inspired forms this season, using surprising combinations of materials. Designer Bilgün Dereli, who is respected for her sophisticated aesthetic, takes inspiration from the sea and from Istanbul’s dynamic city life. Dereli incorporates different materials in each of her collections: this season, precious gems and metals come together with pyrite, lapis lazuli and crystals to add colour to her lively-looking accessories.
Aida Bergsen was originally a sculptor who now likes to push the boundaries of what is possible in the craft of jewellery making; her boutique in Gold Park Plaza exudes the atmosphere of an artist’s atelier. Eschewing traditional design, Bergsen prefers to experiment with bold forms and adds a theme to each collection. Her Fauna line, for example, contains some out-of-the-ordinary pieces; featuring insects, salamanders and plants crafted out of metal, each design is a wearable piece of art. She also has a Flora range, which the designer describes as ‘cheerful and colourful’. ‘Nature, the great masterpiece, is an endless source of inspiration, to which I am trying to add a personal statement,’ she explains.
Ece Şirin is the force behind local jewellery label Bee Goddess. A designer herself, she works with a team of craftspeople in Istanbul to create handmade items. In her Honey Bee collection, she has imagined different bees living in the Bee Goddess hive. Rings and cuffs, and this season’s hottest items a choker and shoulder-length earrings, are in the form of honeycombs. There are pieces made with 14-carat rose gold and inlaid with countless white and brown pavé diamonds set among sapphires and emeralds. ‘Bees are the messengers of love and light. The magical queen bee invites all things sweet and pure into our lives; spiritual and physical abundance, perfection and joy,’ she says. Find out more at Beymen in the Zorlu Center.
In addition to talented local jewellery makers, visitors to Istanbul have a wide choice of international jewellery companies. The famous Italian brand Bulgari has a stunning flagship store at the Zorlu Center, which features Murano glass chandeliers and where clients are encouraged to take their time looking at the pieces available. Its Divas’ Dream collection has been inspired by some of the world’s most glamorous women, and features curved shapes resembling flowers. Realised in rose gold or white gold, the floral shapes shimmer with pavé diamonds.
Van Cleef & Arpels
Van Cleef & Arpels has an enchanting, poetic collection this season, Frivole, which is all about delicate flowers and graceful butterflies. Necklaces, rings and earrings in rose gold and white gold are embellished with diamonds, sapphires and coral: in some pieces, the wearer can imagine movement, such as petals fluttering in the breeze. Experience the range at Van Cleef & Arpel’s boutique at Swissôtel the Bosphorous.
Finish your exploration of nature-inspired jewellery with a visit to Cartier’s İstinye Park boutique, where you will find the latest Panthère (panther) collection. The panther has appeared on jewellery from this historic French company for more than 100 years, representing the power and the beauty of nature. The latest collection featuring this luxury feline incorporates emerald eyes, onyx and a diamond-set coat; a particularly modern interpretation can be seen in the ring, where a panther is carved out in solid and seamless gold openwork.
Whether you’re discovering a Turkish designer for the first time or are looking for a piece from a world-renowned label, Istanbul’s jewellers will help you answer the call of the wild this season.