In the Studio With: Faraone Mennella

March 14, 2008

I was thrilled to be able to stop by the showroom of Italian jeweler Faraone Mennella yesterday and check out some new pieces. I got to spend quite a bit of time with the co-owners and designers, Roberto Faraone Mennella and Amedeo Scognamiglio, and talk about their artistic passions and newest creations. 
If you don’t know that much about the line, here’s a quick rundown: The company began a mere five years ago when longtime friends Roberto and Amedeo decided to pool their creative talents (Roberto just finished school at Parsons and Amedeo runs his own bespoke cameo business). With friends who are stylists and journalists, the pieces were picked up immediately for media coverage and were snapped up by Neiman Marcus. Today they have a loyal following of socialites, high society, and fellow designers like Carolina Herrera, who they work with on a special collection for her stores. 
I particularly loved the beautiful rose gold case above. While the company started out making gorgeous chains, they are now evolving to the bead-like Tuka Tuka collection seen in the top picture. These beautiful little rose gold orbs move and slide around, and are lovely to the touch. 
The two necklaces above really show what Faraone Mennella is all about. They love cabochon stones, and nearly every piece they do uses the smooth, rounded cut. Above left, a beautiful bezel-set aquamarine necklace with diamond spacers. Above right, a bi-color quartz with diamond bar necklace really stood out from the crowd. They created it specifically to go with the animal prints so widely used in fashion last season. 

Lastly, here are some more classic designs from the duo. Chains are their bread and butter, and they often mix the twisted gold links with colored ceramic links. At right, a multistrand necklace of twisted coral shows their roots: both designers are from Torre del Grecco, a mecca for coral jewelry.
If you like the look of cabochon stones, check out Lisa Sheldon’s collection on Portero. Another good bet is Tito Pedrini, who likes to use unusual color combinations to create striking designs. 
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