This may be why fashion designers have long been inspired by myths and fairy tales, with notable modern examples including Sarah Burton, whose autumn/winter 2014 collection for Alexander McQueen was straight from the pages of the Brothers Grimm; Karl Lagerfeld, who produced a 30-minute film in 2011 entitled The Tale of a Fairy; and Marc Jacobs, who in 2012 created a glass slipper fit for Cinderella.
With something as permanent as jewellery, a story is not just a bonus, it’s a requisite – something that is clearly understood by British fine jewellery brand Livyora. Every Livyora collection and individual piece has its own story to tell. One of the Co-Founders and designers Dr Shefaly Yogendra is inspired by history, art, pop culture, myths and legends, and entwines these influences into her beautiful creations.
Livyora’s exquisite Pavoni chandelier earrings have been crafted to resemble nature’s most extravagant and beautiful creature, the peacock. A rich combination of brilliant-cut sapphires, iolites, blue topaz, tsavorite and smoky quartz invoke the iridescent splendour of a peacock’s feathers. The peacock is simultaneously a symbol of nature’s beauty, potency and regeneration, having been a figure of immortality in Christian folklore. It is fitting therefore that the Pavoni earrings can come together to form a whole feather, which can also be worn as a pendant, referencing the theme of renewal. Whether worn as earrings or a necklace, the elegant radiance of the design also references the peacock’s symbolic link to royalty.
The Leijona cocktail ring, meanwhile, makes a bold statement with its elegant face and mane of a lion, crafted from 18-carat gold. Brilliant-cut black diamonds mark the lion’s glittering eyes and bring the character to life - a tribute to the fictional character on which it is based, the majestic Aslan from CS Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia. Aslan evokes a spirit of natural authority, compassion and bravery but the figure of the lion also retains a touch of danger. This is perhaps also true of Duma, striking 18-carat gold ring or cufflinks set with black diamonds, reminiscent of a cheetah’s coat. The story Duma represents is that of a cheetah cub raised by humans and the circle of trust and care established in that relationship, while never forgetting the wild nature of the animal.
The power of nature is evoked again in the Mustekala ear cuffs and two-finger ring, which both represent the octopus – or the mythical sea monster, kraken - and feature eight arms of unusual brown diamonds. Rather than seeing the kraken as a symbol of destruction, Livyora see the creature as wise, choosing to stay submerged and control its power, reserving it for when it feels threatened. The ear cuffs depict the kraken in movement and are powerful and entirely imposing.
Livyora is inspired not only by myths, legends and literature, but also by our customers’ own stories, which we bring to life in intriguing pieces of jewellery, through our bespoke service. A recent commission created to celebrate the birthday of a customer’s close friend was inspired by her astrological sign, Scorpio, which the customer felt represented his friend’s passion, focus and strong will. Working in close consultation with the customer, Livyora created a pendant made from 18-carat gold and diamonds, the strongest of all the gemstones. The pendant also sat next to the recipient’s heart, to represent her passion and warm personality.
As these pieces demonstrate, inspiration from familiar sources can be used to create something completely unique. And something that will continue to speak to its wearer for a very long time.