CULTURE

Romantic, handcrafted jewelry

Katerina Psoma entered the world of jewelry in a rather random manner. Her subsequent success, however, has been anything but. «It was about something which I could mold with my fingers, taking something incoherent and turning into something coherent,» says the designer. «It was about gathering scattered materials to make a harmonious ensemble.» This mantra eventually became her signature style. Taking different materials and turning them into one-of-a-kind pieces (the majority of Psoma’s items are unique), the designer also enjoys working on vintage pieces, giving them her own artistic spin. Working primarily with stones, rather than metal, Psoma cherishes pearls, for instance, as well as green-colored gems, such as jade and chrysoprase, among others. «For me, the perfect piece of jewelry is a string of pearls,» she says, «just add a ribbon» to bring it up to date. Psoma’s creative vision has led her to a plethora of necklaces, bracelets and earrings but not a single ring – there’s no point in her designing any since she believes that the most beautiful finger piece is a solitaire, a beautiful, precious gem mounted on metal. The designer’s predominantly romantic collections encompass femininity with a variety of gems and colors including aquamarine, pink coral, malachite, porcelain beads, agates, onyx and mother of pearl, among many more. The idea of romance, however, also comes from within. «When I travel to Venice to buy Murano pieces, for instance, I can’t avoid bringing out the feeling of the city; for me, jewelry has to be feminine,» she says. It has to be well executed as well. Psoma comes up with two annual collections, with all the pieces sharing elements of craftsmanship. This season, the designer has captured a current fashion mood with a collection inspired by the elegant, comfortable, flourishing 1950s. But says Psoma, her being in sync with this specific revival is coincidental. «I always work on an idea, a concept; this could have been about jewels in the Renaissance spirit,» she says. Yet her work remains relevant one way or another: «I believe that jewelry is part of fashion, it cannot be isolated from society and the rest of the world.» Jewelry based on semi-precious stones has been on the rise in the last few years, while an increasing number of dedicated amateur jewelry-makers have also had their own impact in the field. «There is a trend, that of everybody making things by hand, creating something to sell,» says Psoma. «But when a hobby becomes a profession, that is another story.» Born in Athens, the designer lived in Rome and London where she studied the history of art. She established her company in 2000 and soon her creations caught the attention of the local fashion press. Today, clients gather at her Athenian showroom by appointment only – alternatively, Psoma’s pieces are available in select shops in Greece, as well as in Monte Carlo and Milan. At times, the designer is surprised by her audience. This is because her increasing clientele ranges from 20-year-old to 70-year-old women who share a passion for the distinctive. «All of my clients go against minimalism,» she says. «But sometimes people buy things I never thought they would.» Besides their beauty, what women find in Psoma’s pieces is the idea of jewelry expressing something very personal. «To a large extent, it has to do with personality and intelligence,» says Psoma. «In these times of globalization and chain stores, your choice is the same as that of many other people. That’s where unique pieces have a certain advantage.» For more information log on to www.katerinapsoma.gr.