With a strong focus on the female body, Deborah Pagani — who is known for fusing Deco and Rock aesthetics — wanted her latest collection of jewels to feel like a second skin. “Like a tattoo, you don’t take these pieces off,” says the New York-based designer, who launched her namesake line in 2008.
Titled Deca Nueva, Pagani’s new collection is comprised entirely from yellow gold, white gold and white diamonds; a conscious decision to pair back, in order to use each piece as a building block for bigger and better things.
“Also like a tattoo, you can continue to develop the look with layered rings, adding the very delicate necklace or by adding the ear jacket to a stud you already never take out,” Pagani explains.
Here, she reveals the inspiration behind Deca Nueva, taking us inside her detailed design process from concept to creation.
This collection feels a lot more paired back than your first collection, yet no less glamorous – or intricate. How did you nail that aesthetic?
My focus for the collection was the female body. In regards to the weight and dimensions of the pieces, I wanted every piece to fit close to the body, treating it as though it was a second skin. The pave work feels light and the gold is minimal, which altogether creates fluidity in the pieces.
Indeed, this collection feels like a bit of a departure from your previous, more angular styles. Were the curves of the female body an inspiration for the curves of the new pieces?
Even beyond the woman’s physical form, which was obviously a huge inspiration from a design perspective, I really drew from the sexuality of a women’s physique alone, which I feel like is overlooked nowadays. Woman believe there is so much more to beauty than just themselves, but really who doesn’t find a woman’s body beautiful?
Why did you decide to stick with only diamonds, rather than using colored stones, for this collection?
I wanted the pieces to feel like they were a tattoo or second skin, so having the pieces feel less three-dimensional was important in creating this. Also, from a style perspective, I love mixing yellow gold pieces with white gold pave diamond pieces everyday, so having one classic yellow gold style and then adding clean diamonds to the same piece shows how well they work together.
How long, on average, did each piece take to create? The large Deca Nueva rings, for example, almost look like masterpiece works of art.
I wanted the rings especially to float down the finger, which in a sketch was much easier to accomplish than actually crafting them. Much like a sculpture, I really had to take weight into consideration, especially since I wanted the pieces to be completely comfortable. Unlike many of my past collections, Deca Nueva is about seeing the beauty in the pieces but being able to forget that you’re wearing them. Each piece was an evolution, finding which lines fit where and how to keep the pieces complete without losing the intricate details. The rings being the heroes of the collection, they took a few months from start to completion.