On Tuesday night in Manhattan, in a candlelit penthouse overlooking the Hudson River, renowned diamond company De Beers romanced NYC fashion journalists and bloggers with the Imaginary Nature collection. On display were the Ascending Ring, Embrace Ring and Imaginary Diamond Brooch: one-of-a-kind pieces featuring a multitude of pear-shaped, baguette and round white diamonds with platinum settings. With the stunning jewelry, flowing champagne and delectable 3-course meal, guests quickly fell in love with the ambitious collection.
The youthful designer, Hollie Bonneville-Barden, was on hand to discuss the inspiration behind the collection. She is a graduate of Central Saint Martin in London, the prestigious design school with such notable alumni as Sarah Burton, John Galliano, Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen, and has translated a carefully considered concept into an exceptional work of craftsmanship and artistry. Bonneville-Barden explained that the primary source of inspiration was the diamond itself. She was drawn to the ideas of potential and transformation as the mineral undergoes powerful, violent natural processes to produce an exquisite result.
To help illustrate her ambitions for the project, she brought a series of her preliminary designs in pencil and watercolor. These designs proved to be coveted pieces in their own right, and demonstrated that the concept of flight was also very present in the creative process.
As she addressed the guests around the dinner table, Bonneville-Barden discussed the power and grace of the bird in flight, and the illusion of movement she hoped to create in her jewelry. True to her word, even in the dimmed room the play of light on the diamonds made the rings and brooch seem almost alive, almost ready to take off.
Following the designer, Andrew Coxon, leading industry expert and president of the De Beers Institute of Diamonds, described her creation as a “painting in diamonds” and discussed the rigorous sourcing process for the collection. He also shared five rings exhibiting a particular interest of his: colored diamonds. Guests were enchanted by the blue diamond as Coxon explained that only one in every 10,000 attains the cool hue. He also had pink, gray and yellow diamonds on hand to prove the great range of the stone.
Imaginary Nature was originally an eight-piece collection, including two necklaces, earrings and a bracelet cuff, but five have already sold since the launch earlier this year.
The Embrace Ring was stunning with an 8.88-carat pear-shaped diamond folded into several fluid, twisting layers of diamonds of varying shapes and sizes. The Imaginary Nature Brooch features a magnificent 16.38-carat diamond with a fluttering wingspan of countless pear, baguette and round diamonds. Both, along with the Ascending Ring, achieve a sense of airy lightness despite the dense metal and stone materials.
With this event, De Beers proved that they are upping the ante in luxury jewelry and using their beloved diamonds to create genuine works of art.
See the collection for yourself at De Beers.com.