A jewelry collection of simplistic luxury; sourced fresh out of the water, woven from the earth and handmade in Bari
Her designs have captured the attention of discerning eyes, from the fashion world to the silver screen, including the likes of Mrs. Paola Fendi for whom she designed one-off creations. Each piece evokes a simplistic luxury, as if the owner has always owned it. Specialty boutiques have commissioned men’s capsule collections and she has produced collections for respected American bridal companies, designing haute jewelry tailored to wedding gowns
and event locations.
Just this year, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) selected Mela’s new collection as part of an art exhibition, displaying her work among those of living artists worldwide, in order to explain the historical, social, and cultural context of contemporary art. This recognition
marks an extraordinary achievement for the husband-wife team behind Mela Jewelry.
Bespoke creations are the standard at her studio, with compositions made to match a client’s specific style and character – no two pieces are alike. In the team’s humble studio in Bari, the daily experimentation of materials is a continuous process and “a playful game of combinations and contrasts in continuous evolution”. Each piece is the result of a four-hand assembly line, and in a world that increasingly pushes towards mass production their craft is an artisanal treasure they intend to preserve. The combination of rope, pearls and gemstones that dance in the light is supernatural to the point of fusion, as if it were retrieved from the seabed in one piece. Mela
explains that this intertwining was born spontaneously, from the very beginning – it was never planned research yet it perfectly represents their vision.
The careful selection of linen, canape, silk, cashmere, baroque pearls and semi-precious stones allows the seasoned artisanal eye to bestow depth and character to each piece, a gift that she claims her husband has always possessed, in both creativity and dexterity. In fact, the creations of Mela Jewelry are a reflection of their harmonious and magical union, which Mela describes
as “a natural evolution”.
The natural and organic materials are of the highest quality, found during their long journeys around the world. They source the raw yarn in Italy while the baroque pearls are fruits of the South Sea, the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean, varying in color and bathed in shades
of pink, gold, bronze and gray. From visits to exotic islands to artisan towns, Mela has discovered that the spark of creation is everywhere, essentially guiding their creative process at every step. She describes the birth of inspiration as almost magical, arising from colors
of the sunset, a physical sensation or random disorder on her worktable. “It is magically born as
if it were always there waiting to be triggered,” she affirms.
Yet, they need not venture far to find it – their motherland offers inspiration in spades. “We are
children of this land”, she affirms. “Puglia is a hidden treasure that with a bit of curiosity and patience, reveals itself generously. This is evident in the abundant beauty, its mild climate, its open-minded and friendly people, in the cuisine and its crystal shores – but above all”,
she emphasizes, “Puglia is still able to show itself with simplicity without useless refinement.”