NEW YORK. By the time Assael’s Bubbles collection debuted at the Couture jewelry show this year, Assael designer Sean Gilson had created many iterations of it. “The most recent pieces are the natural progression of that evolution,” he explains.
While his priorities for the look were beauty and wearability, the inspiration—surprisingly enough—does not originate from light-hearted child’s play. Instead, it hails from a onetime serious conversation about surface tension and bubble formation with Finish-American jewelry master Heikki Seppa, who died in 2010. Pearls by nature have “variation and nuance that fit neatly into simple forms made into complex shapes” explains Gilson. Bubbles pieces also demonstrate the strength of pearls as a “standalone gem” without diamonds (America’s favorite stone), says Peggy Grosz, director of business and product development.
Pieces in the Bubbles collection are crafted in 18k gold with white South Sea and akoya pearls to depict those traditional pearls in a fresh way—“What Coco Chanel might wear today!” Grosz exclaims. “Pearls need a facelift for a modern, confident clientele.”
For sure, Bubbles is a response to dated pearl jewels that should be simple and relevant to style today while also being timeless to eliminate their stodgy perception. “Bubbles are a perfect embodiment of classic but innovative jewelry,” says Gilson. The ultimate challenge was to create a young, sophisticated look with tried-and-true white pearls that have long suffered a Barbara Bush stigma (think grandmother’s pearls). The reaction thus far? Goals accomplished—Bubbles is a hit among many! Next up, Tahitians will join this playful collection. Look for them later this year.
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