Love jewellery and poetry? Jude Benhalim's latest jewellery line tales a tale about a girl finding herself somewhere amid the cosmos.
If you haven’t read Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist in your teenage years, you're really missing out. For those inexplicably not familiar with the novel, it revolves around young Andalusian Santiago who goes on a journey in the Egyptian desert after dreaming of a chemist who can turn metals into gold (an alchemist – surprise!). The novel’s richness in symbols and signs pour into the main themes of metals and jewellery, and the mystery of the desert as well as Islamic arts and visuals. The materialisation of this novella is perhaps clearly visible in Jude Benhalim’s new jewellery line that merges modern Oriental aesthetics with poetry.
Pairing two of our favourite things, we had to talk a little to Jude Benhalim to find out more about the concept, the design, and, of course, the story. Jude Benhalim, along with her mother, who founded Jude Benhalim's jewellery and bags line, has recently opted for a new, pleasantly literary brand philosophy that depicts a girl and her journey; her story is segmented into 10 gradually unfolding sections with a quote from the poem written specifically for the line, a design, and one more narrative in the story. The collaboration is called Metamorph: Luna, the name of the heroine in the lyrical story and design. “I felt that the former brand philosophy didn’t really reflect the vision I had in mind," Benhalim explains. "I wanted something more genuinely reflective of that and to which women can universally relate. I wanted there to be a strongly present Bohemian soul that makes up the core of this introspective journey. This is a visual journey, one in which the heroine explores herself.” The silver and brass material and stunning custom-made acrylic-covered stones used in this themed jewellery line are to reflect the kind of women to which they would appeal, someone who is “daring and confident,” says Benhalim. “My designs might not come off as ‘cute’ and ‘adorable’ but bold, which is what I try to go for in my themes,” the designer adds.The poet collaborating with Behnalim in this project, Nada Ayoub, who is also a singer and choreographer has written a poem depicting “the woman discovering herself in the cosmos. This includes the obstacles she had to overcome, her inner complexes, and the instant of her falling in love and having her heart broken, finally coming to the conclusion that being alone constitutes for an intimate solitude. Those are some of the themes that any woman can relate to," Benhalim explains. She also adds that, in order to emphasise this, cosmological terms are used in the poem.
Here's a taste of the poetry that inspires and perfectly articulates the appeal the jewelry pieces give:
"I've travelled in my head to more than a thousand universes. Ones with no language, no geographical borders, with no darkness, no remorse. Where stars never died and the moon always stayed. Guess it was easier to imagine the realms of other worlds than to analyze every element of the distorted one I felt so distant from. The foundations I stood on became non-existent. The roots that held me in tact were pulled out and turned to feet, forced to walk to a place where no one resided. A place where you are tested, asked to be something you are not, asked to pretend to accept things that your instincts stray away from." ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The launch of the line includes well-made concept videos showing a woman who morphs from mud to a star, hence the name of the project. For each section of the 10-section lyric story, there would be a picture posted of the constellation introducing the star, followed by two images captioned with bits of the poem.“The poem is actually inspired by my and Ayoub’s stories, and other bits and pieces of the stories we hear around us. It all has to do with women we know, and is therefore relatable to all women," the designer explains.Displaying fascinatingly pretty jewellery, symbolic of the vast cosmos with a stellar shine and deep meaning, a woman cannot simply ignore the rich presence and invigorating aesthetics of jewelelry that goes beyond just the stones and tells a heartfelt story.