One of the most beloved materials for bridal jewellery and accessories, pearls are often matched with lush fabrics and sparkling stones to accentuate the beauty of the bride.These unique adornments for the special day are produced by classic and young labels alike.
A grande dame in the industry, Milanese jewellery house Ornella Bijoux crafts eclectic yet sumptuous pieces that skilfully blend art and fashion. Since its inception in 1944 by Maria Vittoria Albani, the label has won the hearts of generations of wearers with refined taste.
At Ornella Bijoux’s studio in Milan, lustrous pearls, enamelled metal, Murano glass, polished shells, Swarovski crystals, painted wood and retro ceramic parts are meticulously transformed into a glamorous collection of haute couture jewellery.
The dialogue between the classic and the contemporary is even more pronounced in its range of bridal tiaras. The delicate headpieces in muted golden hues are inspired by nature and vintage designs, and all are set with pearls and crystals.
The brand’s other intricate creations are also perfect for bridal parties to brighten their look and to serve as future family heirlooms. To add to its attractive profile, Ornella Bijoux’s limited-edition jewellery has been worn by celebrities and collected by museums.
Davie & Chiyo
Founded by Vancouver sister duo Fumi and Himi Bull in 2008, Davie & Chiyo started as a small online store selling handmade pouches and purses before expanding into jewellery and custom bridal items in 2010.
A growing team of artisans has joined the workshop, crafting an uber-feminine line of bridal jewellery and accessories. Elegant sashes, comb sets, hairpins, headpieces and hair wreaths are endowed with delicate craftsmanship and mostly locally sourced materials.
“We love using freshwater pearls in our designs as they are so feminine and each one is unique,” said Fumi. “In most of our designs, we hand-wire the freshwater pearls, often interweaved with rhinestones, crystals, and golden leaves and flowers. We also use glass and Swarovski pearls, which offer a more consistent look.”
Silks, chiffons, ruffles and lace are the fabrics often used by the brand, onto which the uniquely shaped freshwater pearls and stones are sewn.
Today, the label has an international following, attracting brides from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Western Europe and more. “The bridal industry is definitely our main market, though we get gals from all stages in life looking for a new clutch or a piece of jewellery to add to their personal repertoire.”
Rings of Venus
Jamie Underwood, an independent artisan based in Arkansas, United States, is the founder and designer of her label Rings of Venus. A collection of graceful rings combines the natural beauty of freshwater pearls, gleaming crystals and the subtle form of plated wires, reminding wearers of bejewelled laurel wreaths worn by ancient goddesses.
Quality is something that is very important to me, so I want to offer a product that is made from real freshwater pearls, Swarovski crystals, and 24k gold-plated and sterling silver-plated metals,” she said. “[I use] flexible wires to allow the ring to seem intangible, so you forget that it is there. It also allows the design to remain light and delicate, suiting the pearls perfectly.”
Underwood has been experimenting with new designs like braided bands that are more detailed and require a longer production time. Stacking is one of the many ways to wear the rings. “I am fortunate to have a very broad range of customers, from teenagers all the way up to retirees. There is a strong demand in the Asian demographic because of their simple, modern look and feel,” she said.
“The bridal market was something that initially surprised me because I didn’t think, based on my price points, that my rings would be a good fit, but so many brides are wearing my rings as their wedding bands. I get such a request almost weekly!”