Isola Madre, the paradise of the Mellerio house

Oct 10, 2017

I am very happy to finally be able to tell you about the Isola Madre collection imagined by Laure-Isabelle Mellerio for the eponymous house and presented in July 2017. A new opus that touched me a lot for many reasons.

On the last day of the haute couture and jewellery week, I had an appointment on rue de la paix in the boutique of the house where the presentations are now most often organised in the private museum located in the basement and which I can only invite you to ask to discover as the pieces kept are really beautiful. I particularly like to go to this address because the presentations there are on a human scale and intimate, just like the house.

In July, not all the pieces were ready, because that is also the game when jewellery is made in the old fashioned way and by hand. So we discovered some of the pieces but also some sketches while waiting for the delivery. August passed and the annual holidays of the workshops too, so I received the visuals a little while ago and above all I went to admire the missing pieces during the fashion week in September. And I was not disappointed!

For this collection, the house takes us to Italy, a few kilometres from Craveggia, the original village of the Mellerio family, more precisely on Lake Maggiore, which you may know as one of the most beautiful places in Northern Italy. You may not know it, but there are three islands on this lake, two of which still belong to a very old Italian aristocratic family: the Borromeos.

This family of rich Milanese bankers acquired Isola Madre during the 16th century, which is highly prized for the quality and luxuriance of its gardens (the “fault” of an exceptional microclimate which allowed the family to introduce and preserve botanical species which are sometimes capricious: giant magnolias, forests of rhododendrons, azaleas, bougainvilleas, ginkgoes, camphor trees, water lilies, palms, water irises….), but also Isola Bella, where a palace was built to show their financial and political power during the Renaissance. Here too, there are magnificent gardens. Finally, Isola Pescatori is home to a fishing village and remains an island, admittedly simpler than its two neighbours, but just as timeless.

These three places will give birth to jewellery collections and July 2017 allowed us to discover Isola Madre, the island of gardens, which the company has managed to render perfectly in very colourful creations with great finesse and refinement. Enamel is making a comeback in the pieces and is accompanied by diamonds, tourmalines, spessartite and tsavorite garnets as well as coloured sapphires. The company called on the skills of excellent lapidaries to cut the blue chalcedonies in which the gold motifs are set, and also on a Parisian enamelling workshop that was able to perfectly render the brilliance of the leaves represented in the Foglio collection. I suggest you discover this opus that I found very successful and, personally, I can’t wait to see the rest.

Giardino ring, blue-green tourmaline (2.24 cts), pink sapphires (0.57 ct), spessartite garnets (0.79 ct), tsavorites (1.18 ct), diamonds (1.79 ct), green guilloché enamel, rose gold. Photo: Mellerio

Finally, as a little historical note, I asked the house if the Borromeo family had been a client of the Mellerio. And indeed, I had the pleasure of discovering their pages in the archives. The one I am proposing to you takes you back to 1850 and 1851 with the orders of the Count of Borromeo. In this house, history meets the present and that is always a good thing.

Foglio ring, tsavorites (0.36 ct), diamonds (1.67 ct), green guilloché enamel, rose gold. Photo: Mellerio

Lago ring, chalcedony, unheated oval Burmese ruby (1.38 ct), tsavorites, diamonds, rose gold. Photo: Mellerio

Foglio earrings, tsavorites (0.53 ct), diamonds (3.89 cts), green guilloché enamel, rose gold. Photo: Mellerio

Giardino earrings, blue-green tourmalines (2,66 cts – 2,79 cts), pink sapphires (5,29 cts), spessartite garnets (1,39 ct), tsavorites (2,82 cts), diamonds (0,82 ct), green enamel, pink gold. Photo: Mellerio

The page of the Mellerio archives with the orders of the Count of Borromeo. Photo: Mellerio

See you soon!


marie chabrol

Hello my name Is Marie. Speaker, consultant & teacher, I write with passion about the world of jewelry.

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