Dating back more than 50 years, Pomellato’s story is linked to a time of change and revolution, when the Italian brand paved a new era for the precious adornment of chain.
Chains have decorated the decolletages of royalty and nobility since ancient times. Over the years, however, their simple yet fluid forms have evolved to become the enduring jewellery staple they are today.
Pomellato’s story dates back to 1967, when it was founded by the Milanese goldsmith Pino Rabolini – and chains are at the very heart of that narrative. At that time of social, cultural and political change, Rabolini frequented Bar Jamaica, Milan’s bohemian watering hole for artists and writers, where he noticed a tendency to shed the formal styles of earlier generations. Looking to break free from these conservative constraints, women sought a more approachable wardrobe to match their revolutionary philosophies and lifestyles.
Driven by an unconventional vision, Rabolini, who came from a family of goldsmiths that specialised in chain- and ring-making, adopted this sense of liberation and created a contemporary jewellery counterpart. Underpinned by flawless craftsmanship, he played with proportions, reinventing flow and style to give new life to the classic chain. This subversive approach created exciting ready-to-wear embellishment for the modern woman, which appealed to the young generation of free-thinking females. The Italian jeweller’s Gourmette chain was the first fine jewel to be considered a fashion accessory. From this point on, chains have been a defining feature and mainstay of Pomellato.
According to Pomellato’s creative director, Vincenzo Castaldo, “Chains are the calligraphy of Pomellato … The magic of a chain is in the way it’s composed of different elements, each of which contributes to the overall harmony of its beauty … Chains are timeless jewels, able easily to reinvent themselves in the different eras … Over the past five decades, Pomellato has reinvented chains with glamour and creativity, marrying preciousness and ultimate savour-faire with playfulness and femininity.”
Rabolini’s philosophy that softness must be the distinctive feature of anything that touches a woman’s skin is still upheld by Pomellato today, and the most meticulous and delicate craftsmanship is utilised to achieve this. More than 100 craftsmen and women work masterfully in the in-house team at Casa Pomellato in Milan, making everything entirely by hand.
From stacks of chunky chokers and tiers of draped, gem-set chains to long, flowing sautoirs, every piece of jewellery is created from start to finish under one roof. While designs are constantly renewed to keep up with the ever-changing dialogue with fashion, most new pieces are adaptations of house classics, such as the Gourmet (curb chain), the Spiga (rope chain), the anchor and the rondelle. As seen in the Iconica collection, the Rollò, the oval cable and the curb chain are currently the most notable inspirations for new designs.
Craftsmanship and techniques go hand in hand with the tireless hours and attention to detail required to create each piece. Even a simple, long sautoir gold chain requires 16 hours to create, while the more elaborate pavé gem-set Catene chain takes 170 hours of intricate work. Between six to 10 craftsmen and women are involved in creating each chain.
Today, Pomellato’s mastery of chains is illustrated by its unmistakeable style that reflects a strength whereby even the latest collections reference the brand’s history. Take the Catene collection, which includes luxurious and modern interpretations of timeless chains in bracelets, rings and earrings. The bold yet simple chain sweeps across the skin while swathed in head-turning diamonds or a pavé of coloured gemstones, exuding understated Milanese glamour like no other.
Meanwhile, the smooth and seamless gold links of the Iconica bracelets add an effortless elegance to any outfit. The balance of refined design, exquisite craftsmanship and opulent materials makes the Iconica a classic and timeless style with a contemporary soul – a stunning marriage between Rabolini’s original intentions and the expertise of Pomellato’s goldsmiths.
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