The New Movement: Introducing Fine Jewellery For Men
Jewellery has always been emblematic of its wearer, as much a means of self-expression as it is adornment. Contemporary men’s jewellery, in its all its variety, is no exception. Launching today, MR PORTER’s foray into fine jewellery is a celebration of the new frontiers of male self-expression. It shines a light on the diverse cast of designers making distinctive, modern, and fluid jewels for men – as well as on the men buying them.
Finely detailed, stone-centred pendants, tsavorite and diamond-paved bracelets, choker-style necklaces and red sapphire studs are just some of the stars of the collection, which highlights jewellery makers working in different parts of the world and with unique design aesthetics. In selecting the jewellery makers that would form the foundations of our offering, old-world prestige was less important than a forward-thinking attitude. Whether they have a Place Vendôme lineage or work at benches in east London ateliers, the brands chosen for the launch all have form playing with the conventions of the craft. Minimal sculptural pieces feature alongside finely wrought amulets, textured gold rings, diamond pendants and studs with healing stones in a truly open and inclusive category.
With the ever-expanding parameters of men’s jewellery comes a greater understanding of the desires propelling our jewellery choices. It could be a desire for self-expression, or an appreciation of fine craftsmanship; a desire to wear something with meaning, or to communicate a particular style allegiance. Grouped under four elements – creativity, symbolism, modernity and craft – the various pieces in the category are styled to show their versatility, plus, the fact that jewellery, arguably for a long time considered something of a footnote, is increasingly setting the tone for men’s style. With an array of specially commissioned, exclusive items, fine jewellery at MR PORTER is a space for discernment, but also experimentation and fun. Here, we introduce this exciting new category by taking a closer look at each of the four elements of men’s fine jewellery
Craft-centric, contemporary artisanal jewellery bears the marks of its making. These pieces are sculpted by highly skilled human hands from the finest raw materials in a time-intensive process, and it shows. London-based Laud is known for rings and pendants in 18-carat gold that reflect brand founder Awah’s Ghanaian heritage and background in stained glass. Deceptively simple, Awah’s exclusive pieces for MR PORTER, each with their own unique finish, are meticulously, inventively constructed – such as a ring in mixed yellow and white gold that provides a hidden element for the wearer to appreciate. A yellow-gold exterior conceals an interior entirely in white gold, making for two rings in one.
Ms Orit Elhanati’s hand-crafted pieces fuse a Danish minimalist aesthetic with the warmth and character of the Middle East. Recycled 18-carat yellow gold is worked into unique, organic forms that recall the landscapes of Elhanati’s ancestral Israel, while stones are painstakingly sourced before being precision-cut to suit each piece. Driven by feeling, Elhanati’s jewels, each completely distinct, resonate with the singular sensibility of their designer. “The gold has a secret blend that has a matte finish in the beginning and becomes more polished over time, as the story evolves with the bearer,” explains Elhanati.
Meanwhile, Ms Anaïs Rheiner and Mr Thibaud Etcheberry of Healers Fine Jewelry in Paris, use stones with healing colours in their hand-crafted pieces. Peridots, tourmalines, emeralds and spessartines are inlaid in lightly hammered 18-carat gold forms that have the feel of ancient artefacts. Studs and pendants have open backs, so that stones can touch the skin and transfer their healing properties to the wearer, infusing craft with a higher power.
Clean lines and sculptural shapes define the jewels in this element. Quietly confident pieces that punctuate every outfit, this is fine jewellery designed for the man who knows himself.
For its first ever men’s collection, fashion favourite Repossi has tailored some of its best-known designs for a series of refined men’s pieces, including an angular, Antifer bracelet, which can be worn alone or stacked, and ear cuffs in understated black gold. Instantly recognisable to those in the know, these are effortlessly modern jewels for a minimal, pared-back look.
Mr Shaun Leane’s aesthetic, honed over years in Hatton Garden and in collaboration with the visionary Mr Lee Alexander McQueen, mixes fierceness with delicate beauty. Leane’s sterling silver and yellow-gold vermeil pieces, with their distinctive, finely tapered shapes, are artworks in miniature and an immediate focus for the eye.
From Los Angeles, Spinelli Kilcollin’s interlocking Galaxy rings, in a mix of gold shades, are the calling card of the brand. Developed a decade ago by artist Ms Dwyer Kilcollin and designer Mr Yves Spinelli, these original, interlinked rings, which can be worn stacked or across the fingers, are beloved by fashion and art insiders for their adaptable, informal luxury. And though the pieces within the men’s collection often play with broader profiles or heavier gauges for a more industrial feel, the brand’s clean aesthetic is designed to appeal to both men and women. “[The jewellery] could easily transform with the style and sensibility of its owner no matter their gender,” says the designer.
The jewels in this element are modern-day talismans that tell stories about the wearer. This is jewellery with meaning, designed to speak to our inner selves, featuring mythological and astrological motifs and stones selected for their spiritual qualities.
New York-based Foundrae’s elegant chains feature charms based on the signs of the zodiac and historical, masonic-looking iconography. There are beautifully detailed charms for karma, wholeness, and mind, body, and soul; a gold and enamel ring stamped with the word “proteccion”, another with the word “karma”. The Course Correction signet ring bears the four cardinal points of a compass, while the Dream signet bears a tiny protruding pyramid in gold and two bezel-set diamonds either side. Described as tools for self-discovery, the symbols on these pieces provide direction as much as aesthetic pleasure.
From London comes Duffy Jewellery’s exclusive pendant capsule. Made entirely in-house by the man himself, the pendants feature initials, finely detailed patterns and stones like sapphires and diamonds. A one-of-a-kind piece in white and yellow gold has a blue sapphire at its heart and a mesmerising, hand-engraved pattern radiating outwards from the stone. Like modern-day amulets, these large, bold pieces can be worn long or short. “The age-old concept of the zodiac, or your initials being worn around the neck, is age-old for a reason,” the designer says. “They are things we are all personally bound to.” Duffy himself wears a chain hung with personally meaningful keepsakes. As for pendants, he says, “they are the perfect way for keeping things that are precious to you safe and close while still allowing the world to see.”
Maximalist, gender fluid, colourful: the pieces in this element appeal to strong personalities unafraid to experiment. From Los Angeles, Jacquie Aiche’s Age of Aquarius update for men includes a Lapis Thunderbird necklace that stands out just as well against fabric as bare skin. Suzanne Kalan’s Rainbow Fireworks rings are gorgeous explosions of colour, while MAOR’s cosmos-inspired Equinox collection, comprising ring, earring and bracelet in white gold paved in part with tsavorites and diamonds, is a modern man’s set. These dazzling designs, likened by their creator Mr Maor Cohen to the light of a star, explore “the constructs of pure light refracting into its full-colour spectrum to create a statement as big as the universe is vast”.
OLE LYNGGAARD COPENHAGEN is the brand known for making timeless pieces by appointment to the Royal Danish Court. For MR PORTER, lead designer and creative director Ms Charlotte Lynggaard has recreated an elephant charm – a brand icon originally designed by her father, Ole – exclusively in glittering black diamonds. “When I design men’s jewellery, I am inspired by my father, my husband, my son and my brother,” she says, of her masculine influences. “I enjoy being able to make fine jewellery for the brave men who dare to stand out from the crowd.”