A Little Bit of Heaven
“I don’t like practical jewelry,” said Bali-born, Antwerp-based Heaven Tanudiredja. “I don’t like jewelry that’s normal or classic, either,” he continued. That would explain the designer’s hyper-sculptural necklaces, cuffs, and harnesses, which, as we’re sure you’ve now gathered, are none of the above. Having launched his range in 2007 while working with Dries Van Noten (he also did a stint at John Galliano’s Dior after graduating from the Royal Academy in Antwerp), Tanudiredja sees jewelry as a form of armor. “And I think it’s a way of telling a story—you have to discover all the details to understand it,” he offered.
Last season, his story began in a particularly unexpected place. The Fall 2013 collection was inspired by mental illness—specifically, autism. After diving into research, Tanudiredja felt that those who suffer from such disorders are seemingly trapped in a mental cage. “But if you stay inside your head,” he said, “there can be a beautiful chaos. I tried to put that beautiful [aspect] into the collection.” The result was weighty brass, gold, and vintage crystal wares covered with tiny, empty chairs, metallic wheels (representative of the constantly spinning psychological gears), and small hands that can’t quite touch. “It’s intense,” said the 30-year-old designer. No kidding.
Having just released a collaboration for Bruno Pieters’ ethical Honest By range, Tanudiredja has much to look forward to in the coming months. In addition to his Spring ’14 presentation at MADE Fashion Week in Paris in September, a selection of his work is currently in Iris van Herpen’s installation at Showstudio, and he’ll have two pieces on display in the upcoming exhibition Fashion Jewelry: The Collection of Barbara Berger, which opens at New York’s Museum of Arts and Design on June 25. Priced between 325 and 6,750 euros, Tanudiredja’s designs are carried by retailers such as 10 Corso Como and Dover Street Market. (He’ll be taking over the windows at the latter’s Ginza location this September.) And the talent is working hard to keep up with an influx of orders. “Hopefully, we can produce more, so everything isn’t so limited edition,” says Tanudiredja, who currently produces between seventy and eighty pieces per season. There are some things, however, he’d prefer to keep the same. “I’m a simple guy,” he said. “I still want everything to be done in front of my eyes. I do believe that if you want to make a good product, you have to do it yourself.”