KICKGEM WITH SARAH YSABEL DYNE NARICI EMERGING JEWELLERY DESIGNER
The series of KickGem interviews with brilliant women and men who are about to dazzle the jewellery world with their exceptional talent and creativity. We handpick the best of emerging jewellery designers you need to know about!
Name: Sarah Ysabel Dyne Narici
Alma Mater: Jewellery Design, Central Saint Martins
Occupation: Emerging designer and Jewellery Designer at Stephen Webster
Languages: English, French and Italian
LOCATION AT TIME OF INTERVIEW: London! Every time I think I must be bored of London, I discover something new and fall in love with this city all over again. The energy in this city is infectious. People are more openminded and take more risks, alongside NYC I think it’s a very good place to be as a young designer. It’s also the epicentre of fashion/art and tech developments – an area that I believe is going to explode in the next few years. I spend my time flitting between West London (I work in Green Park) and East. My favourite restaurant is a Peruvian place called Coya next to my office. In general my preference is skewed unashamedly towards sushi places. Favourites are Kiku (place hidden on Half moon), Roka, Sake No Hana, Blanchette… Mark’s Bar in Soho is probably my favourite bar, I celebrated my last birthday there. I don’t have a crazy sweet tooth but I never say no to Bobajam in China Town. Working so centrally means I have the luxury of window-shopping Bond Street fine jewellery houses during my lunch break. I regularly stop by Dover Street Market and Browns too.
CULTURE FIX: Didier in Nottinghill for art jewellery. The RA is around the corner and I stop by Hauser and Wirth a couple of times a month. I’m really inspired by science and art, so I go to the Wellcome Trust frequently. Brewer St car park is currently hosting a Ryoji Ikeda exhibition called Supersymmetry, based on the artist’s residency at CERN. Ikeda’s work is probably some of the most exciting for me at this time.
My 2050 collection was inspired in part by Cabinets of Curiosity. I have a geeky obsession with categorising and ordering. Sotheby’s recently opened its doors to a phenomenal collection called ‘Bear Witness’. I haven’t seen anything like this before – it was like a contemporary Cabinet of Curiosity – featuring objects like these Japanese toys called Be@rbriks (so kitsch, I love them) to Koons, Hirsts and the Allen Jones’s fetish table. Events like this one keep the London art scene exciting.
MILAN: Milan is more nostalgic for me. Some of my best friends and family are still there so I go back quite frequently. Since my best friend moved back my hangouts have revolved around Brera. There are so many great little restaurants/ bars there. The restaurant in Corso Como is a favourite. The menu is fab and there is a great atmosphere.
IN THE BEGINNING: My late grandmother was the matriarch of my family. She was a psychoanalyst and totally married to her work – she was still working until 4 days before her death. She is one of my muses and probably the most glamorous woman I know. Aside of life values and morals, she taught me about style. Since I can remember she had cut her shocking white hair into a sleek bob, smoked 3 cigarettes a day and showed off her phenomenal body in La Perla bikinis each summer. She was totally passionate about the arts and music, fashion and jewellery included. I remember shopping with her was like a lesson; she was ruthless in her critique, but lavish in compliments and generosity. I miss her a lot.
CENTRAL SAINT MARTINS: It seems to be ‘toute a la rage’ to bitch about CSM, but I LOVED it. It was my first real taste of freedom outside of my Cheshire countryside school bubble. I arrived on day one (I was wearing white jeans which I still get teased for), holding my giant portfolio like a nervous schoolgirl. I bumped into a girl on the stairs with a fabulously shaved head, wearing a wedding dress and a fetish dog collar. Needless to say, I ditched the white jeans. I did a foundation course and then BA jewellery. I was always an ‘A’ student in school, but if I am honest I never really challenged myself. CSM taught me push myself beyond what was expected. I learnt what ‘allnighters’ were pretty quickly. I worked very hard and was lucky to win a handful of competitions throughout my time at CSM (Cartier, Swarovski, Runway Award, International Talent Support). I’m naturally competitive and work best when under pressure, so I really thrived in the highpressure work environment.
I also met my best friend at CSM. We would spend weeks locked in her room (her flat was bigger), in an arduous work routine, waking up at 9am and passing out at 4/5am. It is rare to find someone with whom you can share so much of your creative vision with. The group of girls from CSM are some of the most inspiring and talented girls I know. They are the first people I call to bounce new ideas around and discuss projects.
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN: My first day started at 9am and finished at 2am. Things didn’t really change. I honestly think of McQueen as boot camp. If you can survive a year at McQueen, there is little that can phase you after. It was a crazy, punishing, sleep depriving experience where tears, dramas and bitchfits were a daily occurrence. It was difficult, but very enriching; I learnt a lot and met some great people. I was working in the footwear and accessories department, which was very cool, and an area I’m eager to branch into. One of my favourite tasks was going to the archives. Seeing row after row of some of Lee’s earliest collections up close is pretty inspiring. I have a lot of hilarious and some unsavoury stories – especially in the preshow Paris days, but I cannot share – sorry!
TOPSHOP OR CHANEL: Honestly, neither. My new love is the brand ‘Ports 1961’ – the lookbook is currently in my room with almost all the pages folded down. My friend is designing there and they are working on some very cool things – definitely a brand to keep your eye on. My flatmate Krystina has just finished her MA in Womenswear at CSM so I’m currently raiding her fitting rails before going out. I love the silhouettes of her garments, her aesthetic really appeals to me.
ONLINE SHOPPING: Natalie Massenet of Net-A-Porter is a big inspiration. I read an article recently, predicting that whereas webbased market sales will grow dramatically in the next 5 years, sales at traditional stores are predicted to fall over the same period. These kinds of disruptions are very exciting for young designers like myself. It finally feels as though the old model of this industry is starting to adapt. I love online browsing because I’m a meticulous researcher, but I’m tactile – I need to feel materials and try pieces on to decide if I really like them. I use Colette and Opening Ceremony for inspiration, mostly on instagram.
GEM STYLE: Eclectic. I’m not a jewellery snob. Perhaps it is odd, but I actually wear very little jewellery. Pieces I am lusting after are bespoke designs from my friends. I would also swoon for some Cartier Art Deco era pieces and the pieces that Salvador Dali made. I recently rediscovered Elsa Peretti’s bone cuff, that piece is definitely on my birthday list.
FIRST JEWELLERY: My first significant jewellery memory is of me as a little girl trying on my mother’s diamond ring. This piece is family heirloom passed down from my greatgrandmother; it survived her time in a concentration camp in Indonesia during WW2. My great grandmother had an exceptional jewellery collection, some of which she smuggled into the prison of war camp in a little bag she hid around her waist. She kept my grandfather alive by bribing the Japanese prison guards with priceless pieces of jewellery in exchange for a glass of milk. This stunning solitaire diamond was one of the few pieces that she was able to hold onto.
FASHION JEWELLERY: I love bijoux. Whenever I’m in a new country, one of my favourite activities is scouring the local markets and bartering for titbits. A few years ago I found a hand cast silver lighter case with amethysts in Ubud, Bali. The collection Delfina Delletrez did for Kenzo a few years ago was so fun, I have the huge orange+walnut earrings and wear them all the time. I think Camille Miceli at Dior does a great job on their fashion collection.
JEWELLERY TRENDS: I am passionate about the intersection between jewellery and technology – particularly in luxury. I’m not necessarily talking about gadgets or the apple Watch – watch this space… This is my next baby.
HAUTE JOAILLERIE: I discovered the meaning of Haute Joaillerie when I interned at Lorenz Baumer in Place Vendome, Paris. Haute Joaillerie is crafted in the highest quality materials and gemstones and assembled with exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail. When I was in Place Vendome, I was fortunate to be introduced to one of the best stone dealer’s there. My visit to Bris’ studio left me reeling. He opened casket after casket of some of the most amazing opals and emeralds I have ever seen. I was holding opals the size of my fist… Objects this beautiful have a seductive power – they leave you in awe.
MY EVERYDAY JEWELLERY: I wear black a lot and I like clean silhouettes, so I inject colour into my outfits with jewellery and accessories. I wear the opal collar from my ‘2050’ collection all the time. It’s the perfect day to evening piece.
PERFECT ENGAGEMENT RING: I would like to redesign a family piece.
ROLEX OR CARTIER: I don’t wear a watch
MEN’S JEWELLERY: I love that menare getting so much more adventurous. I believe a great cuff or ring can be unisex.
PERFECT GETAWAY: The Moon.Virgin Galactic travel! When will it happen Richard?? Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa, Philippines is one of the most beautiful hotels I have ever been to. Although, honestly I was probably more excited when riding on the back of a little motorbike on route to watch a live cock fight in a less manicured part of the island! I’m very attached to our family place in Sussex and I love going back. Liguria is one of my favourite regions in Italy. I want to spend more time in LA, but the next trip I’m dying to take is to Japan.
POWER COMES FROM: Passion
MY WEAPON OF CHOICE: Passion
WILD WISH: More hours in a day
I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewellery.
GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewellery featuring talented jewellery designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews. This jewellery blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewellery online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and travelling context.
Jewellery blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has travelled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewellery tastemakers. Her jewellery influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
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