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September 2 2014

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Delfina’s Secret Life Of Bees

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In just a handful of collections—ten, to be precise—jewelry designer Delfina Delettrez has built a little world unto herself, using elements both ancient and modern, plus lashings of surrealist or Baroque influences. For this season’s collection, she needed to look no further than where she lives and works. Her new atelier is on Rome’s Via Panico, a street traditionally favored by craftsmen; turns out that one neighbor is a mosaic artist, and together they created scaled-down motifs to surround a Doric column for the Cassandra necklace, or to set into a gold cuff.

Elsewhere, bracelets and necklaces set with tiles of howlite, agate, opal, and pearls reference the many colored marbles of Rome. And then there are the bees. “I love a talisman, and I do believe in symbols and the power of stones and metal. I’m a metal-physic person,” she says, referring to her collection’s name. “And I am totally obsessed with bees. They are what keep us alive.” Delettrez also lives with quite a few of them, as her home was once the palazzo of Princess Barberini, a seventeenth-century noblewoman whose family insignia was bees. Here, she captures them in gold honeycomb on a ring or magnifies them in a resin bubble necklace, a colorful notion she’s about to spin out in a new way for her first collaboration with a ready-to-wear label, with Kenzo’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, for their Fall ’12 show on Sunday.

Photos: Courtesy of Delfina Delettrez

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