Monday, March 24, 2014


18K Gold Vermeil Bi-Color Ring
With a population at just over a quarter of a million, the city of Tyre ranks fourth as one of Lebanon’s largest cities.  

The city is one of antiquities where ancient Byzantine and Arabic ruins remain.  Lebanon is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Joanna Dahdah.

The nature of geometry is at the center of many designer jewelry brands.  Dahdah’s lyrical wares of 18-karat gold plated sterling silver and gemstones are no exception. 

She presents a basic line or curve in either a straightforward manner, such as her curved bar designs from the Barrette Collection; or expands on the arc or line to build more complex patterns like the flowing open waves of her Serpentine Collection

She is also deft at idiosyncratic details such as the Dancing Pearl Ring; an unusual offering in which a single white pearl appears to float within an oblong shank.

Voted the 2010 Best Newcomer at London Jewellery Week, like many of her contemporaries Dahdah’s love of jewelry began in her youth.  She loved creating friendship bracelets, and watching her grandmother develop her line of baby clothes.  However, a trip to a Lebanese jewelry store was a defining moment.

“I had a revelation in that jewelry shop.  I knew I wanted to make jewelry designing a career.  I was 16 years old at the time, and I had always been passionate about crafts and art.  My grandmother was definitely a big influence for me and I learned the skill of working with my hands from her,” says the London-based artist.

18K Gold Vermeil Angel Wing Pendant Necklace
From there Dahdah studied Jewellery Design at London’s Central St. Martins School of Art and Design; and became a certified gemologist upon her studies at GIA London.  Her first collection, MUSE, inspired by painter Gustav Klimt, is an expression of the jeweler’s passion for art. 

Her Gold Collection expresses Dahdah’s edgy yet playful side.  Snakes, thick chain link rings, guns and hearts with horns make up this decidedly mischievous line.  

As with each of her collections, the Gold Collection highlights her signature style of simple and expressive arrangements.  The juxtaposition of pavĂ© black diamonds with 18-karat yellow or white gold is an effective designator of tough elegance.

“My creative process involves choosing a theme and prepping research around a theme.  I check emerging trends of the seasons and then I research materials. 

I start sketching and then create a mood board focusing on all the elements I like and find most inspiring.  I sit at my bench and experiment with materials and techniques.  I get most inspired when I am using my hands to create something tactile and three-dimensional.”

18K Gold Vermeil Serpentine Bracelet
2014 Jewelry Trend AlertStudied minimalism and muted hues are characteristics of the travel style trend Minimal East as cited by Swarovski Gems’ Gem Visions report.  Dahdah, of course, is on point.
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