Monday, September 17, 2012


22K Gold Plated Sterling Silver and Bronze Skull
Sea Earrings with Sea Sediment Jasper

The city of Nir was once a thriving merchant hub of ancient Persia. In the present day it is still among Iran’s top attractions as it is located in the center of former trading route the Silk Road.  Iran is also the birthplace of Leila Kashanipour.

As I mentioned in a prior post, statement jewelry is a fun niche because the range of items can run from the tangled chains of necklaces that resemble extractions from sunken treasure chests (Subversive Jewelry | USA); or complex, bejeweled bib necklaces (Nicole Whisenhunt | Philippines).  

A single piece can be chock full of textures, colors and shapes but sometimes only one symbol can add just the right amount of daring.

For London-based jeweler Kashanipour the bold creations of her fashion jewelry brand LeiVanKash embody statement making minimalism.

The sleek outline of the brand’s dagger pendant necklaces, from the Damocles Collection, are offset by a single, briolette cut gemstone dangling from the daggers’ tips.  Items from the Skullmania Collection combine skull and floral motifs. 

Her stunning Lazul Turtle Necklace highlights a large faceted center stone of lapis lazuli flanked by gold plated turtles and suspended by a string of lapis beads.  This gemstone necklace is classically styled but is a definite showstopper.  The imagery in all these examples suggests both edge and femininity.

22K Rose Gold Plated Bronze Olive Rose Ring
“The daggers from my Damocles Collection were inspired by the fable Sword of Damocles,” says the twenty-five year old graduate of Central Saint Martins.  “According to the story the sword hung high above a throne by the fine hair of one of the royal steeds. 

The necklaces from this collection dangle from sterling silver chains.  The semi-precious briolettes that adorn the blades’ tips could almost be mistaken for droplets of blood.  They are a bit rough and tough but I made them a bit girly.  ”

Kashanipour’s vivid, fashion-forward personal style that combines Balenciaga Chelsea boots, Gap t-shirts and Hermes de Chien bracelets perfectly complement the slight kitsch of her 22-karat gold plating over bronze and silver trinkets.

Gold rings in the form of animals; lithe feather bracelets; and her signature rose-inspired Olivia Rose Ring each reflects the varied personality traits and quirks of their designer.

“Initially I wanted to major in chemistry with a minor in fine arts.  I wanted to pursue conservation and restoration of paintings,” she recalls.  “I don’t regret realizing I really did not want to pursue any of that.  I took a jewelry course at the suggestion of a tutor and I fell in love with making jewelry,” says the avid chocolate lover.
22K Yellow Gold Plated Bronze and Sterling Silver
Lazul Turtle with Lapis Luzuli

“My personality and style reflects all the way through my jewelry line.  I love nature, magic, art, glam rock, and the 70s.

My Persepolis Collection is very much about my background and culture.  Before moving to London, I was raised in Iran so the collection is all about the color, history and dynasties of ancient Persia.”
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