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Italian designers Roberta Paolucci and Paolo Giacomelli on their fine jewellery and adding a touch of 1920s sparkle

Founded in 1997 through a shared passion for classic Italian jewellery, designers Roberta Paolucci and Paolo Giacomelli, now known as Iosselliani, have since then managed to rack up an impressive client list including Missoni, Alessandro Dell’Acqua, Antonio Marras, and Kenzo. Though it’s nothing new to hear a designer talk about fusing traditional and modern references, what really places Iosselliani on innovative ground is their use of new materials, such as the amalgamation of stainless steel mesh and silver, and hand carving crystals – perhaps the result of one half of the pair Giacomellim (who creates each and every prototype) having studied traditional goldsmith techniques.

For A/W12 the designers looked to the luxury art deco era, producing geometric shapes and stones in intense colours and metallics, a collection with an over all ‘heirloom’ quality. We got in touch with the designers to discuss the challenges of collaborating and to find out what inspires them about the 1920s.

Dazed Digital: How did you to come to work together?
Roberta Paolucci:
It was love, first of all. And then a peculiar second sight we shared on handicraft.

DD: What’s the working process like for the pair of you? Can collaborating prove difficult sometimes?
Paolo Giacomelli:
Roberta envisions a new shape, I try my best to make it real. Finishing prototypes takes a long time, also.
Roberta Paolucci: Difficulties? Discarding. We produce only half of what we prototype. And we must both agree on it. So it’s tough.

DD: Can you tell us about some of the themes you referenced for your latest collection?
We are in love with tribal tools, adding a touch of 20s sparkle. The collection fuses together different elements, decadent and funky at the same time.

DD: What fascinates you so much about the 1920s?
Paolo Giacomelli:
They were years on the edge of the abyss. So familiar, aren’t they?
Roberta Paolucci: We love that peculiar mix of complex lines and immediate joy.

DD: What kind of person do you have in mind when designing?
Roberta Paolucci:
Ourselves, basically, and the people we love to stay with.
Paolo Giacomelli: Obviously we do not believe in marketing. We are artisans, telling our dreams to our friends, always surprised by their positive feedback. 

All photos by Gianluca Moro, Art Director/stylist Viola Rolando