Danilo Giannoni, the creative director and co‑founder of homegrown custom jewellery atelier Arte Oro, has spent more than 30 years designing and making jewellery for clients that span the globe and range from collectors to royals. After expanding the brand’s operations into Europe earlier this year, Giannoni is now ready to present Arte Oro 2.0—starting with his debut ready‑to‑wear capsule collection, meant to introduce the label’s design ethos and craft capabilities. The plan is to have five to six pieces ready by May or June, but here’s the catch: There will be only one piece of each design. “I’ve never made a second piece in my life and I never will,” declares the Italian jeweller, who shares more about the collection here.
Why did you decide to venture into ready-to-wear jewellery?
Danilo Giannoni (DG): [As a custom jewellery brand, we’re] like a well‑oiled machine, and we have our usual customers and repeat orders. But as an artist, I [feel] that when clients come to us, we never really have the chance to showcase what we’re capable of. I wanted to show what I know and love to do, especially the difficult technical designs that sometimes we don’t venture into for a commissioned piece, because they’re too complicated, they take too long, or clients may not understand or appreciate them. It’s like working for many years under a famous chef and learning a lot, but then you want to [develop] and experience your own way of cooking.
What inspired these designs?
DG: I developed ideas somewhat related to my heritage, so we explored historical Italian craft, and got inspiration from the Murano glass mosaics in Venetian churches and mosaics from ancient Roman or Greek eras. We also love the idea of the transparency of crystals and gemstones. So we came up with many ideas; we wanted to showcase something that has never been seen before, from both a technical and a gem point of view. With a designer in Italy and another in France, we drew designs for some 400 pieces over the past one to two years.
The starburst brooch, soft diamond necklace, and yellow diamond ring are all explorations of technically challenging ideas, but they have their individual inspirations and in terms of style, they don’t look alike…
DG: The theme is: I do whatever I like (laughs). When I enter a jewellery store and see a piece done in every colour, size and material, and there are thousands of them, it’s not really an expression of art but more like an accessory. For me, there shouldn’t be repetition. We love the challenge of [creating] something unique and difficult—it’s in our DNA.
Would you consider this capsule collection high jewellery?
DG: I don’t like to pay attention to that. Everything we do, even if it costs $3,000, we consider it high jewellery, because the details and the amount of time we spend on it will be the same. And we think of it more as artwork—it’s a one-of-a-kind piece. Every one of my clients is a different person compared to another. Each of them has a particular character, beauty and personality, and when we design something for them, we really express the best of them through their jewellery. So we want to keep this principle: you are unique, and I won’t make similar jewellery for anyone else, because it will not look the same when worn by another person.
Are these pieces intended more for women? How should one wear them?
DG: I think many of our pieces can be worn by both ends of the spectrum. If a piece turns out more feminine, it doesn’t mean men can’t wear them. I don’t think there’s such a distinction any more—beauty has no gender. Wear jewellery as happily and freely as you want; it expresses your personality and mood. If you’re happy, the jewellery you wear makes you happy, and it doesn’t matter if you’re in jeans and a T‑shirt or a gala dress. We try to make people feel beautifully unique, elegant and extraordinary, so I think they deserve my time, my attention, and all the details and the materials that we use.
This article originally appeared on Grazia Singapore.
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