BLOOM­ING BRIL­LIANCE

For his de­but jew­ellery col­lec­tion for Tiffany & Co., de­signer Reed Krakoff reimag­ines old-world lux­ury for the mod­ern era.

S/ - - CONTENTS - BY NATASHA BRUNO

Reed Krakoff on his first jew­ellery col­lec­tion for Tiffany & Co. and his long-time love for the brand

Since Reed Krakoff took the de­sign reins at Tiffany & Co. in Fe­bru­ary, 2017, as the his­toric jeweller’s chief artis­tic of­fi­cer— a newly cre­ated po­si­tion—his affin­ity for high-minded modernism has been ev­i­dent.

Tasked with fresh­en­ing the 181-year-old house, Krakoff (who for­merly served as Coach’s ex­ec­u­tive creative direc­tor af­ter hold­ing a se­nior de­sign role at Ralph Lau­ren, and more re­cently as the sar­to­rial wizard be­hind his self-ti­tled lux­ury wom­enswear la­bel) is in charge of di­rect­ing the de­sign of Tiffany’s jew­ellery and lux­ury ac­ces­sories—a su­perb match, it seems, based on the de­signer’s personal at­tach­ment to the brand.

“I grew up with Tiffany. At any spe­cial event with my fam­ily or other peo­ple I knew, Tiffany al­ways seemed to be a part of it,” shares Krakoff, who also dis­closes that he is a long­time col­lec­tor of the jeweller’s fa­mous glass lamps. “Tiffany rep­re­sented the best of ev­ery­thing: a place where you could find the per­fect gift, and where peo­ple went when there was a spe­cial mo­ment to celebrate.” Lead­ing store de­sign, e-com­merce, mar­ket­ing, and ad­ver­tis­ing for the sto­ried Amer­i­can brand is also in his purview.

The ear­li­est glimpse into Krakoff’s vi­sion for the house was un­veiled with the com­pany’s Fall/Win­ter 2017 ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign, en­ti­tled “There’s Only One”. The jeweller as­sem­bled a fresh, cool cast of rec­og­niz­able faces from all dif­fer­ent spheres (Zoë Kravitz, Janelle Monáe, St. Vin­cent, David Hall­berg, Elle Fan­ning, and Cameron Rus­sell) for a se­ries of close-up por­traits snapped by vi­sion­ary Dutch fash­ion pho­tog­ra­phy duo Inez & Vi­noodh, which cel­e­brated personal style and in­di­vid­u­al­ity.

Then, last Novem­ber, came Krakoff’s first ma­jor de­sign foot­print for the lux­ury pur­veyor. The three-time CFDA Award win­ner and highly respected fash­ion fig­ure took mun­dane, ev­ery­day house­hold items and trans­formed them into the ex­tra­or­di­nary: a ball of yarn made of hand­spun sil­ver, crazy straws crafted of rose gold ver­meil, and even a pa­per plate ren­dered in ster­ling sil­ver, to name a few. Lib­er­ally in­cor­po­rat­ing his­toric trade­marks of the brand through­out, such as Tiffany’s sig­na­ture robin’s-egg blue, the ex­pan­sive, tongue-in-cheek home ac­ces­sories col­lec­tion was born out of the idea that ex­quis­ite, op­u­lent things made of hand-wrought qual­ity should not be lim­ited to spe­cial oc­ca­sions.

“Lux­ury does not equal for­mal­ity. Some­thing that’s beau­ti­fully made, very high qual­ity, but done in a less for­mal way is a big part of the nar­ra­tive as it re­lates to Reed and his de­sign story,” com­ments

Richard Moore, Tiffany’s vice pres­i­dent creative direc­tor, who over­sees all things re­lated to store and window de­sign. “Who would have thought of hand-en­grav­ing a grilled-cheese sand­wich on a ster­ling sil­ver pa­per plate? It’s screwed up, bril­liant—I love it! It’s ex­actly what it should be,” Moore raves about a hand­crafted dish that sits on dis­play on the re­fur­bished home and ac­ces­sories floor of Tiffany’s Fifth Avenue flag­ship in New York City.

This sea­son, that same mind­set of ev­ery­day lux­ury is at the heart of Krakoff’s de­but jew­ellery col­lec­tion for Tiffany, Pa­per Flow­ers.

The name and de­sign of the newly launched as­sort­ment of in­dul­gent adorn­ments, which in­cor­po­rates both high and fine jew­ellery, were in­spired by the no­tion of flower petals that had been cut from pa­per and del­i­cately pinned backed to­gether with rib­bon in an ar­ti­sanal way. “The other piece of it is the idea of tak­ing some­thing his­tor­i­cal. Tiffany has been known for flow­ers, things from na­ture,” says Krakoff. “But [we’ve done] it in a much more mod­ern and ca­sual way.”

Crafted of highly pol­ished plat­inum and set with pre­cious gem­stones such as vivid yel­low di­a­monds and bril­liant pur­ple-blue tan­zan­ites and sap­phires, the col­lec­tion stuns with var­i­ous new-and-now flo­ral mo­tifs found within neck­laces, ear­rings, bracelets, and rings. “When you look at the diamond pieces in par­tic­u­lar, there are more open-space pat­terns than typ­i­cal diamond jew­ellery, where usu­ally it’s about as many di­a­monds as pos­si­ble—as sparkly and for­mal as pos­si­ble,” shares Krakoff. “These mo­tifs com­bine high-jew­ellery and day-jew­ellery tech­niques. It’s all this idea of un­der­stated style, which is re­ally the essence of Amer­i­can style.”

For an ex­tra dose of whimsy, tan­zan­ites and sap­phires form eye-catch­ing gra­di­ent pat­terns through­out some of the jew­ellery, while yel­low di­a­monds echo the hue of fire­flies in oth­ers. “You see [fire­flies] hid­den on rings and neck­laces. It adds a bit of magic sur­prise to the pieces,” he com­ments.

True to Tiffany’s un­matched crafts­man­ship and at­ten­tion to de­tail, the pièce de ré­sis­tance is the col­lec­tion’s high jew­ellery bib col­lar neck­lace, which fea­tures over 68 carats with a mix of pear-shaped and round di­a­monds, and where each asym­met­ri­cal pe­tal mo­tif looks as if it’s joined to­gether with the next with in­cred­i­ble ease. “The choker is my favourite be­cause it has a younger sil­hou­ette, but it’s done in a very el­e­vated way,” says Krakoff. “I love it for its luxe but cool tough­ness. It takes wear­ing big di­a­monds out of the for­mal.”

As for what Tiffany fans can ex­pect to see next as the de­signer forges ahead? “New flow­ers, new in­sects, and dif­fer­ent colours and met­als,” shares Krakoff on the con­tin­u­a­tion of the Pa­per Flow­ers nar­ra­tive. “We’re work­ing on a ster­ling sil­ver con­cept,” he adds. “Even though Pa­per Flow­ers started out as fine jew­ellery, ster­ling sil­ver has a place in it. Things don’t al­ways have to be so lin­ear and re­stric­tive.”

Clock­wise from left: Pa­per cutouts of petals. Tiffany Pa­per Flow­ers™ neck­lace in plat­inum with pear-shaped and round bril­liant di­a­monds. Tiffany Pa­per Flow­ers™ fire­fly ring in plat­inum with white di­a­monds and a yel­low diamond.

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