Behind the Designs – Kwiat

Aug 23, 2010

Brides.com recently met with Kwiat’s director of design, Janice DeBell, as well as Greg Kwiat, great-grandson of the brand’s founder, to discuss the design process of some of Kwiat’s most memorable pieces.

The Beaded Engagement Ring

When designing this highly detailed ring for the fiancee of a Kwiat family member, DeBell kept the symbolism of engagement rings in mind. “I really like to keep the engagement ring as close to the hand as possible,” she remarked. With an emerald-cut diamond at its center and small diamonds on the band, this ring is reminiscent of the intricate beading of an elaborate wedding gown.

Modern Cocktail Rings

“They have an ethnic look, but still read ‘Kwiat’,” says Greg Kwiat, of the brand’s modern cocktail rings. With a mix of rose-cut and full-cut diamonds combined with varied-color metals, these rings are lightweight and eye-catching, as well as surprisingly comfortable and wearable. The trademark of quintessential Kwiat pieces are “timeless, elegant designs that will be in style today, tomorrow and for your grandchildren,” according to Greg. Some of the family’s most classic pieces have been around for 100 years.

The Melody Collection

This collection began from a pair of earrings inspired by the jazz age. The motif evolved into the bracelet and necklace illustrated here, with intricate designs that are truly musical. “I love that these pieces look good with any complexion,” says DeBell, “making them perfect for any bride.”

The Rose Cuff

The Kwiat name in Polish means “flower,” so it was only appropriate that this dazzling rose cuff was designed for Mrs. Kwiat, the matriarch of the family, for when she attended the wedding of one of her sons. This exquisite piece features a ruby at the center and open veining on the sides. DeBell says that showing a little skin through the jewelry helps make it fresher, younger, and more feminine. She also commented that her inspiration comes from architecture, textile, and even furniture, by studying how things come together. “We’re making wearable sculpture,” she says. “And it’s important that you wear the jewelry — it doesn’t wear you.”

The Crochet Collection

When beginning the design of this collection, DeBell says that she needed to map out the elevation, using color in her sketches (seen here) as a sort of topographical scale.”When I first proposed this collection to the Kwiats, they loved it,” she says. “But they were surprised when they saw that the actual piece wasn’t flat. It has elevation.” The elaborate, elegant necklace and bracelet have both height and movement. Greg Kwiat notes that pieces like this and others can be used to heighten your everyday jewelry collection, not just your wedding day collection. “Diamond fashion jewelry is becoming more popular now,” he says.

Dangling Earrings

The look of estate jewelry is captured in these dazzling danglers. Their movement and a graphic fresh design make them young and versatile. “These earrings are a perfect example of an art deco motif—geometric and repetitive in their pattern, ” says DeBell. “They are 18-karat white gold with full-cut round brilliant stones and briolette hanging diamonds, which gives a textural difference to the piece.”

Diamond Headband

Part of Kwiat’s 100th anniversary collection (in which 10 pieces were created for each decade since the company’s birth in 1907), this platinum and floral diamond headband was designed by DeBell in 2007 and worn by Greg Kwiat’s wife on their wedding day. Considered to be the modern alternative to the tiara, headbands are becoming exceedingly popular with modern brides.

Kwiat fine jewelry is available at King Jewelers in Nashville, TN and Aventura, FL. For more information, please visit http://www.kwiat.com and http://www.kings1912.com

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