Monday, June 28, 2010

KATAYOUN AZARMI-ROSE

Located in Iran's Naghsh-e Jahan Square, the opulent architecture of the Shah Mosque is a popular attraction with its two-layered dome, vibrant mosaic tiles, and fresco-clad doors coated with gold and silver.

Iran is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Katayoun Azarmi-Rose (a/k/a Kathy Rose).

A veteran in the jewelry industry for over fifteen years, Rose launched her high-end jewelry line, then called Kaviar Jewelry, in 2002.

She not only shares designers Daphna Simon (Israel), and David Lee Holland's (USA) affinity for nature but Mother Earth also informs her design approach.

"It all goes back to nature for me," says the 48-year old designer. "I have been making the snake bangles for years. One of my first designs features an eagle.

Eagles symbolize new horizons and visions. I love engraving mantras under the wing. My engagement ring is an eagle that says how special this motif is to me."

Presently based in Los Angeles, California, Rose's childhood living in Tehran, Iran was not unlike other jewelry artists; the magnetic draw of gemstones was powerful.


"Ever since I was a little girl, I was obsessed with the encyclopedias we had, especially the letter `G' for `gems. I would spend hours looking through the photos and information on gemstones."

The one-time finalist of the Fashion Group International Rising Star in Jewelry competition, Rose implements 18-karat white, yellow, and rose gold with accents of pavé diamonds, bone, mother-of-pearl, ebony, ruby, enamel, and turquoise into her hand crafted designs.

Her semblances of snails, birds, tree bark, elephants, crickets, and manta rays are clearly defined, idiosyncratic and beautifully sculpted. Her signature pieces, a pair of icicle earrings, were featured in the 2001 film Vanilla Sky as worn by actor Cameron Diaz.

Earlier this year, Rose added fashion designer to her résumé after winning Bravo's Launch My Line. Her highly feminine couture pieces highlight flowing silhouettes and lush color, and her jewelry played a large role in the overall aesthetic.

"I thought to myself `I'm going to make clothing as a canvas for jewelry.' In my mind, it just made sense to do it that way. I have designed jewelry with the intent for them to be worn with bare arms. I have necklaces that can be worn on your back.

My snake cuff served as part of the inspiration for the saffron yellow gown I designed on Launch My Line. I envisioned a woman in the desert, going down the Nile, making a statement in yellow. I referenced gemstone colors for all of my pieces."

Rose uses her seven-year-old store, Roseark, as a platform to promote a large array of both jewelry and couture designers including Kate Lindsay, Unearthen, and Simone Camille handbags by designer Simone Barouche.

"I really can't believe I won Launch My Line. I still design jewelry; I am designing a more affordable collection with different gemstones and metals.

I am also working with Rue La La where my clothing line is concerned. I feel like I have infinite possibilities and the world is my oyster."
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Photo 1 (top right): 18-Karat Rose Gold Pavé Manta Cuff
Photo 2 (center): Saffron Yellow Gown from Bravo's Launch My Line
Photo 3 (bottom left): 18-Karat White Gold Snake Cuff
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