Delfina Delettrez Stings, Spies, Sparkles

The Italian designer’s Fall 2016 jewelry outing is a triple threat

Here’s one for the “learn something new every day” file: Apparently, Victorian women used to stitch an eye inside their lovers’ garments when the unsuspecting gents weren’t looking. That bit of wisdom comes from Delfina Delettrez, who was in London briefly last week to present her small but perfectly curated Fall 2016 collection. According to the designer, women would practice this sneaky sewing “to keep watch over [their lovers] while they are away.” Clever, no?

This Victorian stalking technique partly inspired Delettrez’s collection of ear clips or “earclipses,” as she calls them.  With her ingenious combination of ionized enamel and gold, the “earclipses” create a stunning play of shadow and light (or, as they say in her native Italian, chiaroscuro). 

Delettrez is a designer of remarkable ingenuity. Yes, she is the daughter of Silvia Venturini Fendi, but ability and vision don’t run in all famous families—there are countless examples to prove that. Delettrez, however, is such an unusual talent that she was the youngest designer included in the permanent collection of fine jewelry at the Louvre’s Musée des Arts Decoratifs in 2010, less than three years after founding her own company. That is just one testament to Delettrez’s skill and hard-earned success.

This collection was brimming with Delettrez’s penchant for surrealism, science, nature, and a touch of a mad savant. Rings called “Kiss Me” and “Portrait” boasted elegant, refined lips, rather than the pumped-up duck mouths we’re assaulted with every day on Instagram. They were created with diamonds, rubies, amethysts, and more, but it was the “Portrait Ring” that really stood out. The designer said that her “generation’s obsession with the emoji” served as her starting point, but we think she’s selling herself short with that comparison.  

The artistry here was striking. With an angular, elegant face, the ring had almond-shaped eyes made up of gems like amethysts and peridots; diamonds were used for the eyebrows; and ruby (literally) red lips were set against yellow gold. While Delettrez told FU that there is a “sense of wit and playfulness to the classic craftsmanship of fine jewelry,” there is no mistaking the “fine” in this collection. And as for that classic craftsmanship, she has brought it into modernity.

There were also a series of bee rings, over which we can’t stop buzzing (pardon the pun). From the shape of the honeycomb, to the bee’s eyes, to the delicacy of the wings, all the intricate handwork nearly outshone the pearls, diamonds, and sapphires. This outing was a reminder of why Delettrez chooses not to use the Fendi moniker in her branding—she is a major talent all on her own, and doesn’t need to be bolstered by her surname.

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