- ANIMALE, Antonio Bernardo, Ara Vartanian, Brazil, Carla Amorim, Designers, H.Stern, Laura Spiniella, Maria Oiticica, Silvia Furmanovich
10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT BRAZILIAN JEWELRY STYLE
I spent three unforgettable weeks in beautiful Brazil, the land of contrasts! Every day was a journey full of brand new jewellery discoveries. This was not my first or last trip to this amazing country! In the past I enjoyed writing the Sao Paulo Jewellery Guide for the World Gold Council during my time in Brazil. More than ever, I feel that Rio deserves its own jewelry guide! So just what makes Brazilian jewelry style stand out on an international level? Why is it so unique?
10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT BRAZILIAN JEWELRY STYLE
1. Anel de Compromisso
I spotted a ring on a family member who lives in Brazil. Having not heard about an engagement, I wondered if she was keeping something from me. I needn’t have worried, the stunning diamond ring was an ‘Anel de Compromisso’, otherwise known as a ‘girlfriend ring’. Before engagement, a man can gift an “anel de compromisso” to his special lady to show commitment, but they are not engaged. It’s normally worn on the right hand ring finger, a lovely tradition while being an extra diamond for the ladies! ‘I have enough jewelry’, said no one ever!
Day & Night Costume Jewelry “What is Brazilian style?” “There is none”, answered my Brazilian friends. Even though I’d already seen some amazing and very recognisable Brazilian style traits. They explained that costume jewelry is so widely available and affordable. “Us girls can pick and choose different set of styles”. The day and night jewelry style is different. Almost invisible during the day with bold statement pieces worn at night. The only difference is that costume jewellery is designed to complement an outfit and not to imitate fine jewelry. It’s unfortunate that the city streets are not safe enough to wear jewelry made of precious metals. Expensive diamonds are only worn at very special occasions like weddings or even when travelling abroad.
2. Beach wear jewelry style
What surprised me the most about my favourite Brazilian beach wear brands is that they sell costume jewelry to match your beach outfit: Lenny Niemeyer, Adriana Degreas, Salinas and Água de Coco will offer truly unique pieces! Shopping for fashion jewelry from fashion brands is not something that I am accustomed to; of course, there are exceptions like the luxurious Lanvin jewelry and Marni‘ collectable pieces. In Brazil, jewelry is accessible and absolutely gorgeous. I could not resist adding a few pieces to my personal collection. Even shoe brands offer something special when it comes to jewelry. Imagine visiting a shoe shop called Schutz in Rio for their one-of-a-kind costume jewellery- that’s exactly what I was advised to do! So I should not be surprised by the fact that my favourite fashion Brazilian brand Animale successfully launched fine jewellery collection. You should discover it for yourself:
3. Gothic Jewelry
The teenagers in Brazil prefer the Gothic style: it’s dark and playful. They love layering bracelets and necklaces together, mixing them with colourful strands of beads. A good look with wrist tattoos. The two fashion brands offering costume jewelry most loved by the Brazilian youth seemed to be Brazilian John&John, FYI and silver brand Guerreiro.
The general feeling in Brazil is that if you are going to invest in a diamond, the jeweler should be from a well-known and prominent diamond family. Brazil diamonds mainly come from the states of Matto Grosso and Bahia. Due to the logistical nightmare of transportation, it is not easy to discover new sources of diamonds here. My favourite jewellery designer in Sao Paulo is Ara Vatanian, a brand known for their exceptional diamonds. Ara Vatanian knows how to have fun with carats of white and yellow diamonds: his diamond jewelry always has a twist and it is never boring. Read more about my visit to Ara Vartianian in Sao Paulo:
5. Statement earrings
Brazil jewelry style is known for statement earrings: this is a local weakness and without a doubt adds elegance to the stunning Brazilian girls. It is a wonderfully multicultural society: here, I spoke to many people with German, Italian or Swedish roots. One thing that everyone had in common was a fabulous flair for style. When it comes to statement earrings, my Brazilian brand of choice would have to be Carla Amorim. Carla Amorim is influenced by Brazilian nature and her jewelry is as creative and diverse as nature itself. Personally, I consider Brazilian nature to be one of the most beautiful in the world. With some of the most sensational earring styles to be had, discover more with my visit to Carla Amorim here:
6. Brushed Gold
Another strong feature of Brazil I noted was the love for brushed gold. H.Stern includes more that ten different unpolished gold types in their collections. I spent an amazing day visiting the Gold Exhibiton hosted by H.Stern at the Centro Cultural Banco do Brazil. This multicultural venue of visual arts has been central to the culture of Brazil for 25 years:
When mentioning unbrushed gold, it is impossible not to mention Antonio Bernardo. His conceptual boutique and innovative minimalist design is quintessentially Brazilian.
7. Coloured Stones
Trends come and go, but quality jewelry can last for generations. Brazilian fine jewlery tends to have a classical look and settings come with a big central stone. l love jewels that are designed around a particular stone or gem. Truly special gems deserve to be set in a design that will show them at their most magnificent. The best examples can be seen at H Stern. I spent a memorable time with the H.Stern Brand Ambassador in Rio de Janeiro. Together we visited the H.Stern museum and discovered more about Brazilian stones. You can find out more about what we discovered here:
I found out that Aquamarine comes in more than 35 shades of blue, from a light shade to very intense. A huge 90% of this stone’s production comes from Brazil. The Imperial Topaz is one of the rarest stones in the world, found solely in one mine located in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The Egyptians compared the Topaz to the passion of powerful Ra, the Sun God. As colorful as Brazil, Tourmalines join together all the shades of the spectrum. There’s a huge abundance of shades too, more than a thousand, which make this gem one of the richest in colour.
For as long as we know, jewelry has been associated with the spiritual and the supernatural. Amulets and talismans appear in every culture, offering magical power and protection to the wearer. The same way in Brazil, the Catholics believe one can escape the devil if, by the time of his or her death, one is wearing an “escapulario”. Its a sign that the wearer is devoted to the services of the holy virgin Mary. I found out about the importance of “escapulario” and why it works by Kelly Amorim, Laura Spiniella and Constance Zahn below.
“Escapulario is an acessory that is a symbol of protection for the Christians. I wear escapulario to be protected, physically and spirituality. And it looks good and elegant! Jesus on one side and our lady of Mount Carmel on the other. A monk claims Virgin Mary appeared to him and gave him a escapulario so he was safe. Traditionally it is long and you wear it underneath your cloth, but priests and monks wear their escapulario made of fabric cloth over their clothes. You can mix it with whatever you want! Besides protecting you, it can look very good!” Kelly Amorim
“Originally “Escapulário” it is a garment suspended from the shoulders part of the monastic habiliment; after it developed to be worn by anyone; commom man and woman; as a devotional piece; consisted by two small rectangle images connected by a fabric line or chain – normally with the imagine of Sacred Heart of Jesus in one end and Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the other. For me it is a symbol of protection and devotion; specially if it is made/prepared with the religious symbols, saints and stones that have a strong meaning in your life. I wear it most of the time my personalized escapulário, even with other necklace. I decided to develop custom escapulários because I wanted to have the image of the Holy Spirit with me and also the image of the Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus which i am devoted; and also stones such as amethyst and quartz that make it look like a very delicate necklace; besides its energetic power. As a bespoke escapulários, the most different one we made by now was to attend a Catholic and also a Yogi client that wanted both the Holy Spirit in one end and Shiva in the other.” Laura Spiniella
“As far as I know, the traditional scapular is made of two rectangular pieces of cloth (with images or verses from the Bible on them) connected by a band. It is a devotional item worn by catholics – one rectangular on the chest, the other on the back. I think in Brazil we’re very fond of “religious charms”. For me, the scapular is a sign of protection. We usually use it with a short chain, so it’s visible to other people. Especially when it’s a beautiful piece of jewelry. It can be worn with other religious medals (such as the Holy Virgin medal) or simply with other jewel pendants.” Constance Zahn
9. Bio Jewels
Due to safety and the richness of Amazonia in Brazil, bio jewelry has an important place in Brazil. I feel there are many “me too” brands in the marketplace; personally, I value originality and difference. Bio jewelry (eco jewelry) is made with material made of nature, various seeds are used. The Amazonian rainforest is the largest forest in the world. I discovered bio jewelry by Maria Oiticica at the Shopping Leblon mall in Rio. Maria Oiticica collaborates with various indigenous tribes—mainly the Waimiri-Atroari, the Apurinãs and Tarianos. The tribespeople serve as gatherers and suppliers of materials and as artisans handcrafting Maria Oiticica pieces; their lifestyles, tools and crafts provide direct inspiration for her designs:
10. Art Jewelry
Then there are the unique and truly unforgettable discoveries I made at the Silvia Furmanovich boutique. A piece from this designer may not be your first purchase, but it would definitely be unique. I consider jewelry to be an art form, along with being pleasing to the eye; it is sensual to the touch, and takes on different lives with each wearer. Silvia Furmanovich has mastered the art of jewellery and her boutiques are a must visit for me every time I am in Brazil. Discover the world of Silvia Furmanovich together with the GEMOLOGUE and Silvia interview here:
GEMOLOGUE by Liza Urla features exquisite global discoveries, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews – a celebration of fine jewellery, fashion jewellery and vintage jewellery.
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