Fawaz Gruosi has the gift of making gems converse to sublimate women. Between his Lebanese roots and the city of Florence, where he grew up, his atypical character emerges. At 17 he started his career at the famous Florentine jeweler Torrini. Then trained in the biggest houses like Harry Winston or Bulgari, he launched his De Grisogono brand in 1993. When he decided to set black diamonds, it was an immediate success. Today, under his own name, Fawaz Gruosi opens a new chapter. In his new London boutique in Berkeley Square, the windows offer a fireworks display of color and volume. For this new collection of high jewelry, the creator who loves iconoclastic materials calls upon a forgotten material and explored the mesmerising, mysterious sun-golden glories of amber.
A fossilized resin from a pine ancestor, amber can be between one hundred and fifteen million years old. It is not uncommon for it to contain plants or insects that are just as old. The first precious material known to man, amber became so coveted that it created a trade route in its name, opened by the Phoenicians. Associated with many cults related to the sun, starting with Phaeton and his chariot of fire in Greek mythology, amber accompanies the history of mankind, from medieval rosaries to the sculpted figurines that European courts love. Amber has been deposited on the shores of the Baltic for millennia, which has earned it the name "the gold of the North". It was there that Fawaz encountered the precious resin, so rich in history and symbols.
He was introduced to amber by a Lithuanian friend who loves to collect amber on the beaches of the Baltic Sea, the area where the finest specimens are found. Intrigued, Gruosi began to learn more, and when he discovered a spectacular strand of antique amber beads in a Milan antique shop, he seized the opportunity, purchased the beads, took the amber home and allowed his imagination free rein.
In Amber, in its timelessness, its embrace of fragments of eternity, Fawaz Gruosi has found a fresh and captivating expression of everlasting love. In amber’s organic composition, and its aeons-old story of metamorphosis, he has found today’s ultimate bio-material and a very modern message of life, light and luxury. In its story and rarity, he has found preciousness. And in its warmth, sensuality and tactility, he has found an entirely new and exciting gem material, a new colour and texture. With amber, he challenges preconceptions of value and preciousness, and infuses his High Jewellery creations with the life force of the sun, with his own creative energy, with the fire of passion, and with each unique specimen of amber, a cocoon of precious memories, preserved forever.
“To me amber is incredibly beautiful because it is made by natural phenomena, taking millions of years to be transformed.”
In this collection, Fawaz Gruosi uses the rich, honey golden yellow amber that is the rarest and most sought-after. The amber has been skillfully carved, into cabochons or curvaceous elements, the creole shapes of drop-hoop earrings, a slender bangle inset with a single diamond, the smooth half-oval surmounts of earrings, linear yet mellifluous layers on voluptuous rings, all intended to amplify the material’s innate warmth and sensual tactility. With characteristic panache, Gruosi plays with the deep rich colour, combining amber unexpectedly with fuchsia pink sapphires and onyx cabochons, with rose gold, diamonds and yellow sapphires, or as the frame to a sublime aquamarine, outlined in blue sapphires. He sets amber cabochons like gemstones, graduated, into gold drop-hoop earrings, and most dramatically of all, creates a spectacular wide cuff bangle, its centre cinched with a line of amethyst baguettes, punctuated with square, sugar-loaf studs of green jade.
The dialogue between the designer and the gemstones can only be conceived in the deepest respect of the jeweler know-how. Partners for several decades, the craftsmen of the Geneva workshop know the relevance of his intuition. Just like Patrick Affolter, the faithful ally who brings these iconoclastic jewels to life where the opulence of the Orient meets the grace of Florentine treasures. Inviting amber into a high jewelry collection has meant new challenges. The lapidary had to chisel cabochons, drops and sticks to offer harmonious pairings. Equally virtuosos, the goldsmiths applied gold motifs to amber, set with diamonds, rubies, pink, yellow or blue sapphires or tsavorites. As visible from the front as from the back, the extreme delicacy of the finishes testifies to the care taken to each piece of jewelry. This is all the magic of Fawaz Gruosi's high jewelry, bringing together tradition and daring.