If you’re the sort of person for whom ‘bling’ is a dirty word, you may also be in the habit of avoiding wearing gold. Too medallion man, too hip hop. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Enter: Orit Elhanati.
Combining the clean-lined simplicity of Scandinavian design and the exotic beauty of Middle Eastern artefacts, Elhanati has landed upon an aesthetic all her own. Raw, organic, mystical. Like found pieces of millennia-old jewellery that were once ‘perfect’ but have weathered and developed character that only comes with time. But, of course, with Elhanati’s rugged 18kt gold pieces, there’s no need to wait for that lived-in look. Organic forms and hammered finishes give her pieces the look of ancient talismanic jewellery – but with a hefty dose of modern luxury. Sun motifs come peppered with diamonds; circular earrings and pendants, like historic coins, come studded with constellation-like jewels; pieces look rough-hewn by nature, their surface texture striated and crinkled.
"Elhanati has landed upon an aesthetic all her own. Raw, organic, mystical."
These are pieces for those who like to wear their luxury with a light touch and a cool-girl attitude. There’s a very good reason that Pernille Teisbaek’s engagement ring is from the designer, and indeed why she collaborated with her on a collection of jewellery, entitled ‘afin ateliér’. Elhanati just embodies the current zeitgeist for artistic, slightly rustic luxury. Huge creations that look like rumpled gilt foil hang from the ears or from velvet chokers. Chunky rings, studded with diamonds, appear embossed with the veins of a leaf or a butterfly wing, while others resemble volcanic rock – wear them layered and on different knuckles for the maximum impact. Necklaces and bracelets feature sinuous, undulating shapes inspired by the work of Henri Matisse and the beauty of the female form. It’s this love of the natural that sets her work apart; she finds beauty in the organic and accidental rather than the manmade.
So how to wear the pieces? Statement, they may be, but never overpowering. The oversized drop earrings elegantly frame the face when worn with a simple white shirt or roll neck, hair swept back; layered rings are the natural partner to outré cuffs while pendants look exotically bohemian when worn with an unbuttoned blouse. Team with neutral tones and natural fabrics to channel the rustic-luxe look du jour. What’s more, they’re pieces that work equally as well with sun-kissed skin and a kaftan on holiday as with your city uniform of jeans, trainers and a hefty application of bronzer. That’s the advantage of jewellery that has a striking, individual aesthetic that doesn’t lend itself exclusively to any place, time or event – you can wear it at all times. Now, we call that a pretty sound investment.
Go for gold – and make it Orit Elhanati.