Talismans

U Magazine - - INTERVIEW - By CE­LINE AS­SOUAD

With a phi­los­o­phy in­grained in rewrit­ing clas­sic lux­ury de­sign for mod­ern times and roots go­ing back to Le­banese ori­gins, Christina Debs ded­i­cated her­self to the stud­ies of the art of jew­ellery and jew­ellery cra$sman­ship. Christina Debs Fine Jew­ellery has un­veiled her col­lec­tion in Switzer­land in 2015 – mak­ing her the !rst Le­banese jew­eller to ex­hibit in Basel­world Hall 1. Be­ing fans of the la­bel’s globetrotting eclec­ti­cism, we sit to­day with the de­signer to dis­cuss the mak­ing of her vi­brantly hued pieces.

U: Tell us about your latest col­lec­tion. C.D: For the mo­ment, I have nine col­lec­tions that I add to ev­ery sea­son. Hard Candy is a col­lec­tion that re­volves around a rose cut cen­tre gem­stone avail­able in a large va­ri­ety of colours and gems. "is joy­ful col­lec­tion can be worn for ev­ery mood and oc­ca­sion and can be per­son­al­ized with an ini­tial of the cus­tomers. Diamond Tat­too, a col­lec­tion that out­lines the mark­ing of the skin with jew­ellery or­na­ments. It can be worn like a sec­ond skin. Candy Pop fea­tures rounded clas­si­cal beads and pearls with a twist. It is a di'er­ent way of

Christina Debs de­signs - eclec­tic wearable works of art.

wear­ing pearls and colour­ful beads. Crys­talline’s col­lec­tion rhymes with glare. Won­der­land is a col­lec­tion that fea­tures en­chant­ing but­ter#ies and pan­sies with colour­ful wings and petals. One of the most ex­cep­tional col­lec­tions is the Se­cret Gar­den in which un­matched pieces pay trib­ute to na­ture through poetic gem­stones that com­bine el­e­gance and moder­nity. Mother Na­ture’s col­lec­tion fea­tures three-di­men­sional an­i­mals. It is a live rep­re­sen­ta­tion of na­ture with !ne crea­tures that you can pet on your !nger­nails all day long. Starlight is cra$ed with a re!ned eight-pointed star, rep­re­sent­ing the North­ern Star. It is a lucky star that will shine on you. At last, Sun­shine fea­tures trin­kets made of re!ned 16-pointed sun. U: What is your main in­spi­ra­tion? C.D: Be­ing a Le­banese born, I am in#uenced by my ori­gins and the an­cient civ­i­liza­tion, the Phoeni­cians. "ey used to be great trav­ellers, which pro­vided them with a very rich cul­ture. "ey were good traders and jew­ellery cre­ators that trav­elled all over the Mediter­ranean and be­yond. "ey used all the tech­niques that are still be­ing used in jew­ellery pro­duc­tion nowa­days. "ey use to uti­lize brightly coloured stones, chie#y agate, lapis, car­nelian and jasper. Shapes na­ture-inspired de­signs such as leaves, corns, and grapes. My in­spi­ra­tion is Phoeni­cia, the birthplace of Princess Europa, who gave her name to Europe, and whose e%gy now adorns all cur­rency bills of the EURO. She was so beau­ti­ful and pas­sion­ate, that Zeus, the god of all gods, fell madly in love with her and changed him­self into a bull to se­duce her. Jew­ellery is also about love and se­duc­tion. U: What are your favourite stones to work with? C.D: "e gem­stones are fo­cal point in my col­lec­tions. I love work­ing with them be­cause they give so much colour and life to the pieces. All the stones that I use are nat­u­ral, even if some of them are treated for colour pur­poses. I use more than 45 di'er­ent coloured gem­stones, and I al­ways try to !nd new stones that we do not usu­ally see in !ne jew­ellery. For the mo­ment, I have a pref­er­ence for the chryso­prase. It is such a re­mark­able stone en­riched in vi­brant colour that en­hances the beauty of any woman. U: What inspired to start de­sign­ing jew­ellery? C.D: I was al­ways fond of jew­ellery and gem­stones. I started de­sign­ing and cre­at­ing jew­ellery by pas­sion from an early age. "en, I stud­ied Diamond grad­ing at GIA and at HRD, and jew­ellery de­sign and tech­nol­ogy at L'AFEDAP, L'ecole de la rue du Lou­vre and L'ecole Boule in Paris. Later on, in 2008, I cre­ated my own jew­ellery com­pany. U: How would you de!ne your de­sign aes­thetic? C.D: I would de­scribe them as del­i­cate, re!ned, el­e­gant and mod­ern yet clas­si­cal, which makes them time­less. U: What mo­ti­vates you about in­no­va­tions in the jew­ellery world right now? C.D: I think the value and the worth of jew­ellery is based on in­no­va­tion and qual­ity rather than solely on the pre­cious­ness of the ma­te­rial used. "ere are many ma­te­ri­als that I would like to use in my jew­ellery and new !elds that I would like to ex­plore. U: Tell us about the Basel­world Hall 1 ex­hi­bi­tion. How do you feel about ex­hibit­ing be­side the most pres­ti­gious jew­ellery houses in the world? C.D: It was re­ally in­cred­i­ble to have such an ex­po­sure. We had the chance to ex­hibit in Hall 1 amongst the big­gest brands of jew­ellery and watches. We had a very good feed­back from the press and from the buy­ers. By the end of the show, peo­ple were re­fer­ring to us as the yel­low box. U: If you weren’t de­sign­ing jew­ellery, what would you be do­ing? C.D: I would be ex­plor­ing any !eld that is re­lated to art and story telling from ar­chi­tec­ture to land­scap­ing. U: Where do you most com­monly de­rive in­spi­ra­tion when you are about to start de­sign­ing a new col­lec­tion? C.D: It al­ways starts with a sim­ple idea or just a di­rec­tion. "en, I do a lot of re­search. It stim­u­lates my cre­ativ­ity. U: Which de­sign­ers would want to col­lab­o­rate with? C.D: I would love to col­lab­o­rate with any de­signer from fash­ion, to ar­chi­tec­ture, to any prod­uct de­sign. It is ex­hil­a­rat­ing and re­ward­ing to as­so­ciate two di'er­ent worlds and to cre­ate a sin­gle shared piece. U: Are you in­ter­ested in one type of jew­ellery in par­tic­u­lar? C.D: Not re­ally, I am very sup­ple. I like to try new things. I might be ex­plor­ing a new di­rec­tion in my fu­ture col­lec­tions. U: What’s next on your up­com­ing projects? C.D: We are ex­hibit­ing at JCK in Las Ve­gas and we look to ex­pand the brand and take it world­wide.

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