Situated atop a looming column in a plaza in Madrid, Spain, is a carving of the likeness of explorer Christopher Columbus. Madrid's Plaza de Colón was established to honor the wayfarer's history-changing exploits. Spain is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Monica Vinader.
Like Chinese designer Debbie Kuo, England-based jeweler Vinader builds her collections on striking subtleties.
The classic, timeless structures of teardrops and circles form the basis of her designs; however, candy-like, softly hued semi-precious gemstones are the focal points.
At the launch of her brand eight years ago, Vinader specialized in creating custom designed pieces for private clientele.
Once word-of-mouth spread, she developed affordable collections, fashioned from 18-karat yellow, and rose gold vermeil, and sterling silver, for a worldwide audience.
Though her overall design approach is streamlined, her illustrious collections feature a few bolder pieces, her Nugget Cuff and Medina Bangle to be exact. The pieces are not bold in the way of extravagant or elaborate details but rather are bold in the breadth of their form.
The Medina Bangle is a thick cuff exquisitely fashioned from hammered, 18-karat yellow gold vermeil accented with a pale, aqua blue chalcedony that parallels the broad, wide proportion of the cuff.
The Nugget Cuff boasts faceted stones set within the open, arabesque design of 18-karat gold vermeil or sterling silver. I also like the commanding, raised detail of her gold vermeil Marie Necklace that can be paired with various stone charms.
Among the brand's most popular items are the Fiji and Rio Bracelets, which are playful yet sophisticated versions of friendship bracelets.
The Fiji is a luscious curve of 18-karat yellow gold vermeil attached to an adjustable, vibrantly colored silk cord, while the Rio is a composite of 18-karat gold vermeil balls wrapped with twined silk.
The two styles are nice complements and can be worn together and I like the youthful, adventurous vibe of these particular items. The overall essence of Vinader's use of color is soothing, laidback and casual yet fun, elegant and feminine.
"My philosophy is to create luxurious yet practical jewelry for every occasion. I love items that are beautifully balanced with sophistication, style, and comfort," says Vinader.
"I make pieces that tell individual stories whether you are in Argentina, Ascot, Marrakech, or Sydney.
The choices of design and color can be stacked, layered, and customized allowing the wearer to express her unique self."
Photo 1 (top right): 18-Karat Gold Vermeil over Sterling Silver Medina Bangle with Pale Aqua Chalcedony
Photo 2 (center): 18-Karat Gold Vermeil Cerise for Love Fiji Bracelet
Photo 3 (bottom left): 18-Karat Gold Vermeil over Sterling Silver Cabos Necklace with Amethyst Stone