Buro 24/7 Middle East Interview: Elena Kosenkova of Crystalline
The brains behind a stunning jewellery line
Statement making new label Crystalline Jewellery is the brainchild of fashion experts Elena Kosenkova and Kira Pokhiton, who met in Moscow where they both worked for Conde Nast as the publisher behind Vogue and Tatler fashion director respectively. Soon becoming friends over shared ideas of how a personal accessory should look and feel, the two created necklaces for their own personal use. The response to their homemade pieces was unanimously enthusiastic, and encouraged Kosenkova and Pokhiton to explore the possibility of launching their own line.
The results are labelled Crystalline, a stunning collection of show stopping mineral items to transform any look. The custom made 'Crystal System' collection retails at around €400 - 900 and consists of necklaces, bracelets and earrings in bright crystals and colourful stones, wonderfully bold designs put together by some of the best craftsmen in Milan. Every single piece is hand made and by the sheer fact that no two stones are alike, every piece is unique.
Buro 24/7 sat down with the designer half of the duo, Elena Kosenkova, to find out more.
"I became interested in minerals a few years ago during one of my trips in Alps" says Elena. "I was, and still am, totally fascinated by the pristine beauty of those mysterious mountains and wanted to learn more about the semi-precious stones found there" she explains. "Together with Kira I started looking into the qualities and geometry of the crystals, their transparency and other characteristics. As you learn more about these things you come to realise that nature is the best artist, creating those flawless shapes, forms and colours. It is true magic and perfection."
Where else do you draw inspiration from?
It comes from totally different things: nature, architecture, art, and even industrial materials that I interpret my own way...
The idea to start working with ornamental stones came from my student years. At school we first came across the notions of stalactites and stalagmites. I can still remember the pictures of caves and enormous icicles growing towards each other. Even a look at the slabs can take your breath away – such a harmony of shape and colour! It is a true magic of transformation that inspired my first collection, the core elements being amethyst and solar quartz.
Where do you align yourself in the market?
There are so many fantastic brands; it is an honour to sit alongside them. What differentiates our brand from others though is the concept of balancing on the edge of symmetry and asymmetry. Besides, we combine natural magnificent mineral slabs with perfectly shaped modern materials such as crystal stones.
How do you perceive style in the Middle East?
I was born and grew up in an Eastern country (Tashkent, Uzbekistan), and from my early years I was impressed by the grace, innate dignity and demeanour of women from the East. It is a style which is impossible to copy.
What does true style means to you?
Harmony, proportion, grace and personality.
Who is your icon?
Elsa Schiaparelli for both fashion and jewellery
Is there a piece from the Crystal System collection that you have a particular affinity to?
My favourite is the PRIMA necklace on a brown leather band - the perfect synergy of crystal stones and amethyst.
My number two is the PRIMA necklace with blue and pink solar quartz. I think of my two daughters – so different and still have so much in common, parts of one whole; our family. It makes me smile.
What is next for Crystalline Jewellery?
We will shortly introduce our 2014 cruise collection. On a global scale, we are going to create fashion accessories with signature Crystalline Jewellery elements.