Oversized and pillowy, the gilded handles on the door to every Pomellato boutique meld comfortably into the curves of every palm that pushes against them. In this sensory moment, introduced before any jewellery has been seen or touched, a subliminal message is conveyed: at the Milanese jewellery brand Pomellato, everything begins with the tactile curves of a band of gold.
Indeed, those handles that now inaugurate every visitor into the Pomellato universe were themselves introduced about 50 years ago as a band ring. Created by founder Pino Rabolini during the brand’s early days in the 1970s, the piece was characterised by voluminous proportions and a generously rounded profile. Its distinctive form lives on today—not just in the aforementioned door handles, but also in the chunky rings found within Pomellato’s aptly named Iconica collection.
Lovingly remembered as a visionary, Rabolini came from a long line of goldsmiths. He, however, eschewed the stuffy traditions of the trade. In his designs, he professed a devotion to the modern woman, pioneering the idea of prêt-à-porter jewellery with the launch of Pomellato in 1967. Inspired by the rise of ready-to-wear fashion and feminine liberation that gripped the trendsetters of the ‘60s, he wanted to recreate the same experience in jewellery. Women, he believed, no longer had to wait for men to buy them jewellery that, post-purchase, was often destined for the vault and never saw the light of day. Modern women were ready to buy their jewels for themselves, and these pieces had to be light and carefree enough to be worn as everyday accessories.
Describing the brand’s style as unique, contemporary and feminine, Pomellato’s present-day creative director Vincenzo Castaldo comments: “We often say that Pomellato took the jewels out of the safe to place them on the necks, ears, wrists and fingers of women every day. What sets Pomellato apart is a constant dialogue between exquisite traditional craftsmanship and free creative spirit.”
Updated to reflect 21st-century sensibilities, Rabolini’s original vision has transformed into gender-fluid, multi-way pieces that make up the latest additions to the contemporary Iconica collection. This year sees the introduction of coloured gems that add a colourful statement to the voluptuous Iconica range.
Three rings, flaunting the signature voluptuous band silhouette, are punctuated with red garnets, London blue topazes, or green peridots. The clean geometric lines of the baguette-shaped gems create a stunning contrast with the soft curves of the ring bands. A similar ring design also appears on three lariat-style necklaces as tactile sliders that glide over delicate chains, which allow one to customise how they wear the necklace. Matching huggie hoop earrings, in the curvaceous Iconica style and also offered with garnets, topazes or peridots, complete the set.
True to Pomellato’s DNA, these new creations are a showcase of time-honoured and traditional goldsmithing techniques. They bring back to life the historical English flush setting technique, which involves cutting a perfectly sized and shaped hole in the gold into which the custom-cut gems can fit. The metal is then hammered closed around the gems. The result is gems that sit seamlessly flush in the gold, hence the name of the technique.
For Pomellato, everyday design is certainly not synonymous with plain or average. From its bold use of colour—most evident in the gemstone rings from the house’s signature Nudo collection, and now in the latest pieces of the Iconica collection—to the creative drive of the skilled artisans behind the designs, every Pomellato piece is a reflection of the women who have chosen to make the brand’s creations part of their everyday style.
“They are confident, independent and true to themselves,” describes brand CEO Sabina Belli. “These women can find in Pomellato a very distinctive style, inspired by Milanese design, art and creative vibrancy, able to combine understatement and playfulness with sophistication. Pomellato is for women who are looking for fine jewels that are different and a little unexpected yet always elegant.”