Convertible jewels are having a moment, and as they make more considered choices, it’s not hard to understand consumers wanting to stretch their jewelry investments further by choosing versatile pieces. Unveiled in Paris during Couture Week in February, Boucheron’s Like a Queen collection, inspired by the brooch Queen Elizabeth wore in her final portrait, was packed with transformable styles like necklaces that became brooches, rotatable rings and gender-fluid tuxedo clips that could also be worn as pins.
It’s a concept that is often found in antique jewelry, especially during Georgian and Victorian times, when suites of jewelry often come with multiple fittings so that pieces can be easily worn in many different ways. Over the later 20th century, the practice became less common, but recent collections from independent jewelry designers have seen a resurgence in modular jewelry, especially earrings, like Matturi’s Nile earrings, which can be worn as studs, ear jackets or shoulder-grazing drops. Designers get to design fun jewels, and clients get several different looks for the price of one.
The Twist Reflection tanzanite and diamond earrings by Kavant & Sharart are a beautifully engineered case in point. With central deep blue tanzanites and adjustable white diamond halos, these elegant, Art Deco-esque earrings can be worn three different ways. Husband-and-wife design team Kenny and Shar-Linn focus on creating original jewelry with personality and are not afraid of color: “We love working with sapphire because of the range of color tones,” they told me. “Baguette cuts and shield cuts gems are also a favorite.” And for me, it’s those diamond baguettes that make these earrings so impactful.
Kenny and Shar-Linn told me more about the Twist earrings.
I know Art Deco is a big inspiration for you, what sparked this particular piece?
Hilma Af Klint’s swan painting, is the major source of inspiration, and of course we incorporated our signature setting of baguette-cut and round-cut diamonds.
What are your thoughts on transformable jewelry in general as a current trend?
We design for modern women who have so many roles to play throughout the day, from chairing a meeting, doing the school run and running daily errands, so convertible earrings are practical. We have been designing transformable jewels since we launched Kavant & Sharart in 2011 and with time, have seen increased traction for unique and highly wearable pieces, that allow our customers to get more looks for their investment.
Did you face any technical challenges in making them?
We wanted the earrings to allow our clients to create a look that reflects their own personal style. After a lot of testing and sampling, we finally found a way to lock the piece into place. The locking system needs to be minute; without adding weight to the overall earring and most importantly, easy for the wearer to navigate.
How would you like to see someone wearing them?
In a tasteful way that I have not seen it being worn before. We like to be surprised.
You design together, how does that process work?
There is no clear process per se. But as we work on a new collection, we gather our inspirations, put together a mood board, and Kenny — who is better at sketching — will put all those ideas and concepts on paper. We then start creating paper, wire or silver prototypes. Shar-Linn will test-run the actual gold pieces for a day and feedback on wearability and comfort.
I love the baguette diamonds here, what are your favorite materials or cuts to work with?
Baguette-cut exemplifies modernity and simplicity. The clean lines add a certain kind of elegance to a piece, and it is a contrast from the full round brilliant cut diamonds which are typically much more sparkly. No doubt, it takes a lot more work when we use baguette cuts because we have to cut each diamond to fit them into the design. But we feel that the two opposing cuts add a seamless texture to our pieces and give our work a unique, recognizable aesthetic.
The collections are available at Kavant & Sharart.com and at selected US retailers