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The humble insect takes on an haute, glittering guise this Autumn, as designers take inspiration from these creatures’ intricate forms to define a bold and beautiful jewellery trend for 2019. Angelina Jolie put this look truly on the map last month, when she wore a 50-carat diamond and platinum scorpion brooch to the premiere of “Maleficent, Mistress of Evil,” in Los Angeles. Wearing the brooch pinned at the hip of her sequined Versace gown, Jolie had collaborated with her long-time jeweller Robert Procop to design the piece.
But this trend isn’t entirely new. During the Victorian era, dragonflies, spiders, and beetles all populated modish jewellery, with some adventurous women even wearing live beetles and butterflies captured in cages as adornments, The Vintage News writes. And Smithsonian Magazine shines a light on makech beetles, which are sold as living jewellery curiosities in the Yucatán region of Mexico, their hard backs encrusted with crystals.
However, one doesn’t have to get quite so up close to nature to embrace this look. For a take on the aesthetic that’s less literally creepy, consider these pieces by Auverture’s designers.
Discover the trend
The Mexico-born, Los Angeles-based designer Daniela Villegas collects bugs and butterflies, displaying them in vintage shadow-boxes as an ongoing inspiration for her figurative jewels. She tells The Hollywood Reporter that “I collect insects and I love them, because to me they’re like living jewels.”
Big Spider Ring by Daniela Villegas, €9,860 – shop it here >
This Big Spider Ring by Daniela is designed in 18k yellow gold, with legs that grip onto the fingers. Its body is carved from Saturn chalcedony, while its head is embellished with pavé sapphires.
Bibi van der Velden’s Memento Mori collection elevates the most workaday of insects, among them millipedes, ants, slugs, and snails. The collection takes its cues from 17th Century Dutch still life paintings and their depiction nature and its decay. In response, Bibi’s collection spotlights flamboyant tulips and gnarled branches in 18k gold, on which crawl sapphire-studded caterpillars or rock crystal slugs. This charming Caterpillar Ring, fashioned in 18k yellow and rose gold and sterling silver, glistens with rainbow-toned sapphires.
Caterpillar ring by Bibi van der Velden, €3,350 – shop it here >
Gaelle Khouri’s Garden of Earthly Delights collection offers a beautifully sinister interpretation of the natural world. This Caterpillar Ear Cuff climbs up the outer edge of the wearer’s ear, and is crafted in 18k yellow gold with blackened silver legs, that sparkle with diamonds and blue sapphires.
Caterpillar Ear Cuff by Gaelle Khouri, €2,160 – shop it here >
This Amedeo’s Scarab Cameo Ring, meanwhile, pays tribute to the eternally talismanic scarab beetle, which the ancient Egyptians prized as a symbol of luck, immortality, and resurrection. Carved from sardonyx, the pale beetle sits amid black diamonds, and is set on a sterling silver ring.
Scarab Cameo Ring by Amedeo, €7,500 – shop it here >
And Anoushka designer Anoushka Ducas also taps into a beetle’s reputation as an amulet, with her Mythology Beetle Rose Quartz Charm. Finely-crafted in 18k rose gold, this head-turning beetle is set with a rose quartz body, and glows with varying tones of pink sapphires and black diamonds. Worn as a pendant, it conveys a timeless glamour.
Mythology Beetle Rose Quartz Charm by Annoushka, €3,700 – shop it here >
While insects might not be the most obvious of fine jewellery inspirations, these natural works of art have sent Auverture’s jewellers on some captivating flights of fancy. Explore this trend at Auverture, and discover the creepy crawly for you.