Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Built in the 16th century, Belarus' picturesque Nesvizh Castle holds an eclectic array of architectural styles from Neo-Gothic to Baroque. Once owned by the Radziwill family, the structure has undergone extensive renovations to be unveiled some time this year. Belarus is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Lena Sklyut.

Sklyut enlists the slithering, coiling image of a snake as part of her company's logo. To some the imagery is inherently negative seemingly suggesting Eve's fall in the Garden of Eden.

Sklyut, however, has a different take. "The snake represents power, intuition, and grace of movement," she says. While these characteristics are definitely representative of women, they can also adequately describe Sklyut's design aesthetic and creative process.

Her aesthetic, in part, seems influenced by the masterful designs of the Art Nouveau Period, as well as the personal emblems of ancient French kings.

Though not as flamboyant in comparison with less elaborate proportions, her use of strong, classic shapes, 18-karat yellow and white gold, and vividly colored gemstones render items of spectacular beauty.

"Love them or hate them, my jewels are meant to be noticed!" says Sklyut. Indeed, From the Depth of the Sea is a collection that features a necklace with an exquisite fish motif. Fashioned from emeralds, two fish curve into each other--head to tail--forming an open circle; five more of these fish circles are linked to build the necklace.

From the same collection is her Spring Love Set highlighting the dazzling glow of yellow gold, and the flicker of tiny South Sea Pearl accents that are offset by large, smooth pink quartz.

It is quite simply beautiful jewelry with glamour and regal flair clearly built upon a fascination with colors and forms in nature, as well Russian and French iconography.

"My jewelry is for women who are aware of their sense of style and not preoccupied with following trends. These kinds of individuals will find my designs aesthetically pleasing and inspirational."
Photo 1 (top right): 18-Karat Yellow Gold Four Snake Ring with 95 Carats of Smoky Quartz and Diamonds
Photo 2 (bottom left): 18-Karat Yellow Gold, Smoky Topaz and Diamond Ring
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