Chapter 4: The Regent
Our new spring/summer collection for 2020 is called Desert Rose. It tells a story of blooming through hardship, of the softness and openness that represents its own unique kind of strength.
The collection of jewels will be released in various chapters, allowing us to tell a story of all the unique elements that make up Desert Rose in its entirety.
Chapter 4 is a story of the Regent.
Some of the names for items in the new Desert Rose collection are inspired by kings and queens of history, including one that is named after a particular archaeological site, where the tomb of a prince was found. Inside, his skeleton was lying on a stone slab. His sword was at his side and he was festooned in elaborate jewellery.
The reason that rulers are remembered is because of the outsize role that they have to play in shaping history. But this moment in which the tomb is opened is one which illustrates our corporeal impermanence on this Earth. It is the things that were created, the tools, symbols, buildings, and artwork that outlives us. This image shows that while we may live fleetingly, our traces remain for hundreds, or even thousands of years, for future generations to discover, to judge and to learn from.
It is in this spirit that the fourth Chapter of Desert Rose is called the Regent. Not in order to valorise the individual, but to remind us of the fact that our choices and behaviours have an immortal impact on the communities in which we live - along with any lucky guests we can welcome into our homes, even long after we are gone.
With this recognition of our own significance to the world, we are also encouraged to remember to value ourselves, to cultivate our minds like the royals of old. I was once on a tour of a palace in the heart of Seoul, where we were told by the guide that the crown prince would spend up to 10 hours a day contemplating the pond, and writing poetry. Most of us, unfortunately or not, don't have 10 hours to spare for sonnets. But we can take heed of the fact that when people throughout history have had the privilege of time, they have used it to cultivate the mind and enjoyment of the arts.
If we are to truly make changes that are desperately needed in our communities, having the outsize impact of the kings and queens of yore, but as collective groups, then we also need to respect our need for space, contemplation, and learning.
La Baleine or the whale, is a beautiful, serene creature. Depicted here in red resin, la baleine sits atop two spiralling shells, and below a pair of ancient mandorle coins. The earrings represent the coexistence of peace and power that mingle in this great beast, and are exemplary of the combination of contemplation and might that theme this Chapter.
The Asterids are a group of flowers that are named for the stars. The name calls to mind the Latin saying, of the same root, “Per aspera ad astra”, or, “Through hardship to the stars”. The Asterids earrings resemble an orchid - one of what Confuscius describes as the noble four plants (along with plum, chrysanthemum, and bamboo). He wrote that they are a plant that can exist in the parlour of nobility, but that also bloom in the wild forests. On describing the way that kindness and goodness between people is passed on, he said, “If you are in the company of good people, it is like entering a room full of orchids. After a while, you become soaked in the fragrance and you don’t even notice it.” Surround yourself with the company of good people, and you too will develop a sweet and enduring scent.
The Fayum Mummy portraits were discovered in archeological sites around Ancient Egypt. Showing the Fayum people, the paintings depict inhabitants who came to settle in this fertile area near the Nile from all over the land. The portraits were held in place by the cloth that wrapped the mummies, and give a touching insight into the lives and personalities of the citizens. The Fayum portrait after which this necklace is named is for a noblewoman named Isadora from Ankyronpolis. She is shown with a strong confident gaze, draped in gold, and precious stones.
All of these new items are part of a complex chain of human history, from the artisans who created designs in Egypt and Greece, to the inspiration their artworks offer Olivia today. She then expresses her unique perspective through her craft, and hopes that you, in wearing it, will be reminded of, and empowered to tell your own story to the world.
They are for the quiet heart which makes space to learn, and then speaks with calm confidence to those around them. The one who builds coalitions to truly effect change, she who can lead, and she who can follow. They are classic pieces fit for a queen, with a bold sparkle in her eye. Shop the full collection here.