Photo: Courtesy of Isabel Bonner
Putting on jewelry to shelter in place seems slightly over-the-top. After seven weeks of self-isolating, statement earrings and chunky bracelets just feel superfluous to needs. There is one stylist and designer however who thinks of jewelry in a different way, especially right now. Isabel Bonner’s minimalist silver and pearl earrings and rings are designed with a difference: they’re meant to be both worn and admired on a shelf. The New York-born, London-based stylist and Central St. Martins grad, launched her namesake label of sculptural accessories in 2018. “We have so much jewelry in the world,” Bonner says. “This had to be more than that. It has to work from every angle as an object and on your body.”
In order to achieve a seamless appearance, Bonner uses hidden closures rather than traditional backings for her earrings. The wearer can experiment with how they sit on the earlobes or on a material surface. “You’re the auteur,” Bonner says, adding that she “wanted to play with the ideas of negative space, boldness, and balance.” Her point of view has been heavily influenced by sculptors like Barbara Hepworth, Isamu Noguchi, Donald Judd, and Walter De Maria. “If I wasn’t so enamored with fashion, I’d probably be a sculptor,” she comments. Modernist furniture design is another reference. Her most recent lookbook was photographed inside Beton Brut studio, a showroom and furniture dealership. “It felt relevant including the furniture in the storytelling,” she says. As we continue to stay close to home Bonner’s hybrid collection of “beautiful artifacts” is newly relevant.