The lingering, tingling beauty of Delfina Delettrez’s jewellery is captivating in its own right. Stones hover off her earrings and rings articulate over fingers, not to mention the bracelets like tourbillons that swivel and spin gracefully on the wrist. Doing justice to such delicate apparatus in a bricks-and-mortar space is no mean feat, one the Roman designer gave to her friend Rafael de Cárdenas, the New York-based architect who last week unveiled his retail space for her brand along London’s mega shopping strip at 109 Mount Street. Switching up the apothecary atmosphere of the original Roman boutique, the 60sqm London space is a sleek and linear showcase of opposing materials, where satin brass and polished wood meet swirling malachite-effect walls embedded with shearling covered display cases (you’ll have to look a little closer to spot the diamond rings nestled inside).
Though a little stricter than one might expect from Delettrez’s cabinet of curiosities, the boutique is perhaps a nod to the more purist vision of her recent creations, with an earlier penchant for baroque decoration making way for a twisted, future minimalism. That’s not to say Delettrez’s esoteric side hasn’t run riot of late, with her issue of A Magazine Curated By unfolding an obsession with alchemy and more specifically gold – the thematic concern that she offered to a myriad of collaborators from Francesco Vezzoli to Katerina Jebb to translate across the pages. Cardenas’ work got the Midas touch too, with his task to reinterpret plans for the boutique in an imaginary ‘mind map’ linked to the medieval ideals of the four humours. In a series of spectacular digital renderings, he married key elements of the space (notably glass, metal, wood, and stone) to the four seasons, in turn linking each back to the humours of Hippocrates medicinal teachings – sanguine, cholera, melancholy, and phlegm. A mind-bending video accompanies the works, debuting exclusively above, lifting the architectural imaginings off the page and into a galaxy near you.