Tuesday, July 20, 2010

CATALINA de la TORRE

Today we visit the beautiful city of Bogotá, Colombia. The city, founded during the early 16th century by Gonzalo Jiménez, is renowned for its glassware, leather articles, perfumes, and tobacco products. Colombia is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Catalina de la Torre.

Harboring a not-so-secret passion for designer handbags, and Chocolate Boston Cream Pie, de la Torre readily embraces haute couture, European fashion.


In 2002, having studied metalsmithing in Barcelona, Spain the designer moved to Boston, Massachusetts where she loved experiencing the change of seasons.

Upon spending many autumn days "people-watching," de la Torre felt something was lacking in the stylish yet traditionalist ensembles of the local women.

"I loved going out to people watch. Boston women are fashionable yet moderate, in other words `urban chic,'" says de la Torre.

"I loved their sense of style but the kinds of accessories that I have seen in Europe or New York were missing. It was at that time I started thinking about building jewelry collections that were trendy yet classic.

At first, I designed pieces with semi-precious stones and wire--small pieces. I went out to a couple of stores and the owners were supportive and encouraging. The experience helped me to decide to start a full-time jewelry business."

In the winter of 2004, de la Torre did just that by cultivating minimalist yet statement making jewelry with natural, raw-cut, neon-colored druzy, chunky amethyst, and carved green jade offset by 18-karat yellow, pink and green gold vermeil.

Her use of vivid color, evident in her Bright and Bold Collection, as well as modern and organic design styles, such as her floral, cutout Modern Cut Flower Cuff, makes the pieces great for both everyday wear and when you want that double-take response.

"I like to mix metal and colors: the combinations are endless. There is a growing focus on gemstones in their natural state, gems that have not been overly manipulated. My collections are inspired by Mother Earth and its power to create," she says.

For quite some time, I have had the idea that only elaborately arranged jewelry can be statement making.

Of course, now with designers like Devon Leigh Sedlacek (USA), and de la Torre I realize now that it's not what you got, but how you use it.

"My inspiration for designing accessories comes from nature, urban women, and fashion trends; I just let my imagination lead me. I want to create fresh, modern interpretations to accentuate the confidence and elegance of chic women."
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Photo 1 (top right): 18-Karat Gold Vermeil and Green Agate Pendant
Photo 2 (bottom left): 18-Karat Gold Vermeil Modern Cut Flower Cuff
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