Woven with symbology, architecture merges with art in White November’s latest collection. Handcrafted by artisans in their Melbourne studio, the Art Deco-inspired collection is designed to be layered, evocative of jewelry collected over time. Incorporating intricate architectural details that surround the White November studio, bold emerald cut diamonds are nestled with geometric baguettes in dreamy champagne and white hues.
Renowned for for their celestial-inspired jewels that hold deeper meaning, White November celebrates the bespoke process of crafting custom engagement rings that uniquely tell the story of each wearer. Wearable art, their bespoke rings are masterfully crafted to interpret your ideas, vision and dreams, transforming them into a meaningful keepsake to mark your special moment in time, forever.
We caught up with designer Bianca Librandi to hear more about the new Empire collection.
We love the Art Deco references in this collection, where did you draw inspiration?
We draw inspiration from a range of sources, including art and design – but our main inspiration is architecture. We are especially always on the look-out for Art Deco references in architecture, and this time we found them all on our doorstep – specifically, a door to a beautiful apartment block nearby. We also moved into a new studio space in Melbourne called the Manchester Unity Building – an Art Deco Gothic-inspired office building since 1932. The whole building is covered inside-out with Art Deco references: from our front door and lifts, to the outside of the building and the hallways – there is something beautiful to see and be inspired by.
Your collections are so interwoven with symbology – why is this so intrinsic to your style?
We want our clients to feel deep connection to their jewellery, with each piece to be treasured for a lifetime and to be handed down through the family. Symbols have the power to speak louder than words, and we believe jewelry can act as a talisman, helping to express your feelings, emphasise confidence, and to attract good luck and love. For this reason, we use our expertise to help interpret your ideas and vision into a wearable and meaningful treasure tailor-made to you.
“For our ring stacks, I love the idea of them looking like they have been collected by our clients over time, reflecting their personality and symbolizing important memories and stages of life”
How do you go about designing each piece – do you have a particular story you want to tell through each ring, prior to beginning? Or do the stones themselves inform the design?
I was really inspired by architecture for our latest collection, so I was trying to interpret and combine all the shapes, lines, curves and forms that I was seeing in all my references. I believe jewelry is wearable art. As well as architecture, the gemstones themselves do inspire me a lot as well. Each stone is cut to maximise the sparkle, shape and cut of the finished product, making each stone is so unique. The dimensions of a stone can also inform the overall ideation, with the aim of showcasing the beautiful and unique angles of each stone becoming the centre of the design. I also like to put things together that don’t necessarily “match” – for example, a bezel-set centre stone, with a wedder that has claw set stones. This ensures the designs look unique and considered. For our ring stacks, I love the idea of them looking like they have been collected by our clients over time, reflecting their personality and symbolizing important memories and stages of life – making them perfectly imperfect in their own way, rather than a ‘cookie-cutter,’ stock standard type of stack that everyone else has.
What kind of couples are drawn to your collections?
My clientele are Art Deco lovers, dreamers, and people who love hidden meaning in their jewellery. I am really inspired by radiant and emerald cut stones, so I find that I make more pieces centred around these gems, and have created a little niche for emerald cut/Art Deco lovers as a result.
Which engagement ring cuts are being requested often by your brides?
When sourcing stones, I am always drawn to emerald and radiant cut stones because of the Art Deco reference to their lines and shapes, so I think I’ve created a little community of emerald cut/Art Deco lovers too. I love to echo the shapes of the stone in the design as much as possible to ensure the design looks cohesive and well considered.
One of the most memorable moments so far in your career as a fine jeweller?
I would have to say opening of the White November Headquarters – our first showroom and office space in the Melbourne CBD. We renovated the space to make sure every detail conveys our codes and symbols as a brand. It was such a pleasure working and collaborating with other talented people to make our vision come to life. We wanted the space to feel warm and inviting, and our client’s positive reactions when they walk into our space gives us such a thrill – we often hear it’s a friendly, happy, light and bright space. We also have the most stunning view of the Melbourne rooftops and Town Hall, which helps add to the grandeur of the space. Obtaining this space and making it our own has been a dream of ours for so long, and to see it realised is an amazing feeling.
Something you’d love to see less of in the fine jewelry industry?
We believe that it is important to prioritise ethical and responsible practices that respect all humans, as well as our planet’s natural resources. So for us, seeing a lot less of immoral or unsustainable gemstone sourcing and production practices – including the use of conflict diamonds, child labour, unfair wages, and environmental damage – it what is most important.
At White November, we source all sapphires from a family mine plot in Sapphire, Queensland. and personally know each family member as well as how they run their mine, which gives us peace of mind that all our pieces are made ethically.
What is the process to have a White November bespoke ring created?
To create a bespoke ring, our clients are invited into the studio – or a Zoom meeting if interstate or abroad – so we can understand their vision and what ideas they have around the design. We listen to their requests and provide ideas on the best gemstones and designs to execute it. In the White November showroom, our clients are encouraged to dream, and we love opening our clients minds to new ideas and possibilities – which sometimes can mean that they leave with something completely different than what they initially thought they wanted!
Quite often it’s the gemstone that informs the design, so we encourage our clients to find a stone that they connect with and that makes their heart sing. The rest of the design then flows from here, and the initial design sketches are created. Once we have a more established idea of the design, we create a CAD sketch – a computer aided design tool which allows each custom piece to come to life in fully rendered illustration as seen from every angle. At this stage, we make any necessary amendments, helping our clients to visualise our collaborated design. This CAD sketch is then printed in wax, and then cast in metal to ensure that there are no surprises when the client views the finished piece. Once the piece is fully crafted and completed, we then invite our clients to collect their masterpiece in our showroom – with a glass of bubbles to celebrate!
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