Bea Bongiasca’s jewellery can hardly be mistaken for anyone else’s – squiggly lines of pastel and neon enamel contrast with gold, set with semi-precious and precious stones in a multitude of colours.
Bongiasca is known for her open ring bands that loop artistically around the finger, or fun bracelets and earrings bent into whimsical florals and doodle-like shapes. Fresh out of Central Saint Martin’s, Bongiasca boldly decided to make jewellery on her own terms, starting her namesake brand in 2013 as self-expression and an art form. Her eclectic designs soon caught the eye of major fashion players, including Net-a-Porter and Matchesfashion, and today her jewellery can be seen on repeat on trendsetters such as Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid.
We catch up with the young and edgy designer to talk about what inspires her jewellery.
Bonkers for Bea Bongiasca: an interview
Your jewellery is so fun and vibrant. Where do you find your inspiration?
I’m inspired by a lot of things, from the natural world to big cosmopolitan cities. In my You’re so Vine collection, I was actually inspired by my previous Floricultural collection, which was about botany and the secret language of flowers. The idea is that those pieces, as they would in nature, have been intertwined and taken over by vines. Only in this case it’s the gold jewellery that’s been “contaminated” with colour, which
is something that isn’t usually so present in fine jewellery. The evolution from plain gold to bright enamel on the gold gives the jewellery a kinetic movement as well as a bold pop look. The name of the collection plays with the concept of climbing plants in a pun that’s apt with our playful approach to jewellery, as well as our irony.
Tell us about the first piece of jewellery you designed.
When I was in high school I used to buy random miniatures from doll shops and try and make them into jewellery by poking holes to attach them to links or earrings, and then sell them to my friends – who incredibly never fell for it! They weren’t that nice but that entrepreneurial spirit was already there!
You have a great eye for colour. Can you tell us about the process of mixing and matching enamel colours in your collections? How do you find the perfect shade?
I’ve always been attracted to colour and as I started my brand at 23, the style was never going to be super traditional. When I’m picking the gemstone, enamel and gold colour combinations for the collections, there are so many endless options and possibilities – even when making an enamel colour – that you really need to know what you want and have a clear vision, or you get lost. That’s why I’m lucky that it’s something I’ve always been attracted to and have never been afraid to use. Finding the perfect shade can sometimes be tricky and that’s why I always do many tests before deciding on a final colour. Pinks are the hardest as it’s my favourite.
What’s the inspiration for your latest B-Colour 2 collection?
It was inspired by DIY and the beauty of the collage technique in the fine arts. The colour combinations come from paintings to interior design to fashion. I tried to make harmonic compositions with contrasting different shades: both pastels and vibrant hues, jewel tones with brights or softer tonal.