Sunday, July 27, 2014

Meet the designer – the New York jewelry designer Alexandra Mor

I first heard about Alexandra Mor last year, when I found out that she was one of the 36 international jewelry designers selected by Gemfields - mining company and the world's leading supplier of colored gemstones, to produce one-off jewels using its emeralds, rubies and amethysts. Mila Kunis was then named the company’s newest ambassador and wore the jewels at movie premieres and award ceremonies throughout 2013. I fell in love with the emerald ring that Alexandra Mor created for the collection right away*.

I also remember how impressed I was when I first saw one of her photos. She is not only a very talented jewelry designer but a beautiful, confident and elegant woman. I read afterwards that she got the affinity and love for design since childhood, when her mother, a French dressmaker, tailored her clothes by hand, until she was in her teens.

The Alexandra Mor haute couture house of fine jewelry offers a signature collection of limited-edition and one-of-a-kind jewelry, as well as individual, made-to-order pieces.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the artist who likes to think of her pieces as “heirlooms in the making”!

Photo source: Alexandra Mor

1. What are the main differences between Alexandra before discovering the passion for jewelry design and Alexandra Mor we know today?

To compare the place I am in right now, versus my younger years, is truly no different to comparing the experiences, tastes and perspectives of an 18-year-old girl and those of a 40-year-old woman.

My brand and designs are reflections of my own journey-to-date, as a woman. There are constantly juxtapositions between the hard and soft; my love for history; maintaining the significance of old-world craftsmanship, whilst maintaining my pursuit to interpret contemporary aesthetics and technologies employed.

My first collection was made after I was invited to have a piece of mine included in the ‘Spring 2010’ lot with auction house Phillips de Pury. From there, the pieces developed into a very bold, geometric collection of work. 

Ever since the launch at Phillips, I have designed pieces that always aim to celebrate the wearer, but there is a softer direction for the new pieces I am adding to my Signature Collection this Fall. These are being made to celebrate the launch of my first retail location, the Alexandra Mor Salon, in Boston.

My personal experiences always find their way into my work, and will influence the choices I make during the design process. These upcoming additions to the Signature Collection will be softer, curvier and rounder in design.

The lines will be less severe and restricted, but will maintain feminine touches with a neo-futuristic edge – a little similar to the way I have been dressing this past Spring!

2. What piece of jewelry took you the longest time to create?

Within my Collection of one-of-a-kind jewels is a pair of Emerald and Diamond Drop Flower Earrings, which were worn in a recent editorial by the beautiful Brooke Shields. This pair of earrings took 17 months to craft, as I wanted to perfectly arrange the Diamonds that complement a pair of 53 carat Emerald stones, which were given to me by my father-in-law, master diamond cutter Abe Mor. There are 175 gradually colored Diamonds that drop down on these earrings, and almost look like a gradient with the Diamonds in White, Green, Yellow, Peach and Pink tones.

3. Which is the jewel you are the most proud of?

Whenever I design for either my Signature Collection, or a bespoke design for a collector, I always intend to encapsulate true meaning for the woman, or man, who wears an Alexandra Mor piece.

With regards to my collections-to-date, I sincerely hope that all my pieces bring out my best – both as a creative and an individual.
Emerald-Cut Yellow Honey Citrine & Diamond Ring: A 51.64 carat Emerald-cut intense honey yellow Citrine enhanced with Alexandra Mor’s signature details of 1mm‘floating’ Diamond melee and knife-edged wire. 0.95 carat total Diamond weight.Signed by artist. Crafted in the USA. Limited-Edition 1/25. Found on

4. Do you have a favorite gem?

Gemstones are like people. Each have a unique character and story, and so each can bring a different stimulus to the design process. I love real personalities, so I tend to love gemstones with quirk and character, too!

I do gravitate towards larger sized stones, and stones with perfect cuts. The overall symmetry and proportion of the gem I use, does play a big role in my work process. This will then influence the way I approach a stone, to then design into a piece, rather than exclusively selecting on the type of stone itself.

Diamonds, however, are a lot of fun to work with by themselves. With that said, when Diamonds surround any large center stone, they never take away from that stone, and only enhance the beauty of other surrounding stones from the Diamonds. It’s a win-win situation!

5. Which is the jewel in your private collection that you love the most?

A Rose Gold Watch that was inherited from my Grandmother. 

Photo credit: Alexandra Mor - private collection

6. What are the 3 principles that you learnt from your mother’s work and apply in your business?
  • Maintain an attention to detail.
  • Always dress to the nines! You never know who you’ll meet getting groceries.
  • Never visit anywhere empty-handed.

7. The woman wearing jewelry signed by Alexandra Mor is ... (in 5 words please).

My Collectors are authentic, empowered, nuanced and unapologetically bold.

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

La femme fatale

The fact that women, besides disabled or elderly persons, children, Roma people or national minorities etc, are being considered a vulnerable group has always intrigued me. 

To some extent, I can understand the explanation behind it – a simple search on the internet, on this issue, leads you to several human rights organizations, which state that “these are particular groups who, for various reasons, are weak and vulnerable or have traditionally been victims of violations and consequently require special protection for the equal and effective enjoyment of their human rights.” (Icelandic Human Rights Centre)

Briefly said, these groups are especially vulnerable to abuse of human rights.
It just seems unfair to put it this way as we all are human beings. After all, it’s not all about the physical strength if it’s up to be said what would be the main characteristic that differentiate men from women which offers them the supreme advantage of not being categorized as such.

We've all seen women in leading roles in politics or achieving excellent results in science for example. What about femme fatale? Does that kind of woman look vulnerable to you?

Rene Lalique Art Nouveau Dragonfly Brooch
An art nouveau enamel, diamond and gem-set pendant brooch, via Bonhams

Erté ‘Adventurine State II’ Necklace
Art Nouveau Pendant circa 1905 

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Saturday, July 12, 2014


"You cannot always tell what keeps you confined, what immures you, what seems to bury you, and yet you can feel those elusive bars, railings, walls. Is all this illusion, imagination? I don't think so. And then one asks: My God! Will it be for long, will it be forever, will it be for eternity? 

Do you know what makes the prison disappear? Every deep, genuine affection. Being friends, being brothers, loving, that is what opens the prison, with supreme power, by some magic force. Without these one stays dead. But whenever affection is revived, there life revives." Letter from Vincent van Gogh to his brother Theo van Gogh, July 1880

Probably every one of us has such episodes in his or her life, but no matter how painful they are, they make us stronger.

So yes, you might feel trapped from time to time and have no idea where you’re heading to, but consciously or not you’re working on a better version of yourself.

Man in a Cage pendant by SAXONS of OXFORD
Atlas pendant by SAXONS of OXFORD
Vitruvian Man by SAXONS of OXFORD

Sometimes a SOS cry helps you break the barriers and receive the support you need from the people who care about you. Then you’ll see eventually that things worked out just the way they're meant to be.

PS: This is the first post in which I present you jewelry for men. But these jewels are so beautifully crafted that I'd wear them myself. No wonder that 'Man in a cage' pendant has won the "Technical Excellence" award in the sixth Editor’s Choice competition of International Jewellery London. Read more about the winners here.

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

The expression of femininity

Not all women love jewelry which is why having many jewelry items or wearing different accessories every day is out of discussion for them. But even those women do have few jewels they love to wear because of their significance: their engagement / wedding rings (which I totally understand why they’re so fond of) and a pair of earrings. They often are the earrings they received as little girls or at some point later in their life on a special occasion.

The earrings have always been an expression of femininity and it seems mandatory for a girl or a woman to own at least one pair.

I cannot be the kind of woman that sticks to just one pair, especially when such beautiful creations expect for their wearer:

Bochic Earrings

Cardan Earrings Blue & Green Chalcedony
Art Deco Vintage Sapphire and Diamond Gold Earrings, via Romanov Russia


Yves Earrings White Gold
Miseno Earrings from the Seahorse Collection

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