Dripping with colorful diamonds, it is easy to attach ardent adjectives to Sabine Ghanem Getty’s exquisite jewelry: timeless, sophisticated, enchanting, and covetable are just a few deserved descriptions. But the 29-year-old, who has been designing jewelry under the moniker Sabine G for two years, says it better herself: “I design jewelry of today with a feel of yesterday.”
Indeed, time plays an important role in the Geneva-born, London-based designer’s exclusive collection for Latest Revival, Harelquin, which mixes angular Art Deco shapes with the soft colors of pink and pale blue sapphires. “I used the 1920s as a base; a ring I had found in a vintage store as inspiration for the detailing in each piece; and icons such as Catherine Deneuve and Marisa Berenson for the feel of the whole collection,” she explains, adding that classic film images of both women helped her to find the right colour combinations and “mood” for each piece.
Similarly, Sabine’s first collection, Relic, was inspired by a 12th Century medieval box which she found while looking into a book of decorative arts. “I was amazed by the beautiful intricate work done on the surface of that box,” she says. “I took inspiration from all those shapes and started to design a piece. The theme was so strong that it was very easy to elaborate and create a whole collection based on that.”
With fans from Celine Dion to Man Repeller’s Leandre Medine, Sabine’s timeless jewels are quickly capturing chic hearts across generations. Latest Revival spoke to the designer about Harlequin, her affinity for colorful gemstones and the “nerve-wracking” moment her boyfriend proposed with a surprise ring – the only piece of jewelry she was forbidden to design herself.
You launched Sabine G two years ago, can you tell us about your start in the business?
I started designing because I couldn’t find work in a big company such as Van Cleef and Arpels or Harry Winston. I thought I would design for myself and for fun – I never imagined it would become a serious business.
To me your pieces feel like they could be found in my grandmother’s jewelry box – they are just far more delicate and chic. What aesthetic were you aiming to achieve with Harlequin and Relic?
I am glad you feel that when you see the pieces because it is the DNA of ‘Sabine G’. I wanted to create jewellery that was soulful, that had a story, that looked like it was passed on through generations or found in your grandmothers jewelery box. I wanted all of that with a modern twist.
You studied at the Gemological Institute of America in New York, which gemstones are your favorite to use and what do they mean to you?
I love all stones, especially rubies, sapphires and coloured diamonds but my favourite is the emerald. I find it so rich, deep, mysterious and interesting. I also love using pink because it is joyful and modern, yet marries very well with old structures like the Art Deco designs of Harlequin.
When you first set out to design a collection, where do you start? Can you share your process with us?
I use ‘time’ as a base, then ‘things’ for detailing, and finally ‘people’ for the fantasy and the world of the collection. I need all three to create a strong identity for each collection. I usually design very quickly but it can take months and months to get to that moment where it all comes out in an impulse. I do research everyday, I love to look into decorative arts and all forms of artistic expressions from past generations. I then focus on a detail, something that catches my eye and elaborate on that. Each collection has a story and each piece is an expression of that story.
How does your Swiss heritage shape or influence your jewerly design?
I don’t know if it does directly influence my jewellery. I think I am greatly influenced by childhood memories of film and fashion imagery, but I am sure that places I have lived in and traveled to growing up must have influenced me a lot as well.
Have there been any emotional moments that have made an impact on you since you started Sabine G?
It was a real emotional moment for me when I met Celine Dion, an artist I greatly admire, and to hear her thoughts on my first collection, Relic. She bought the big earrings, which was my first design ever. It gave me great confidence.
You recently got engaged – did you design your own ring?
I didn’t design my engagement ring. My fiancé bought it from SJ Phillips in London, it is an emerald ring from the 1920s. I am so specific that I wanted to design the ring myself. I told him “you will probably mess it up let me do it”. He said that it was really important that the ring came from him – he wanted it to be old fashion and a complete surprise. And it really was in the best way. I couldn’t dream of a more perfect ring for me, and the compliments I get from most people is: “The ring is so you”. He said it was the most nerve-racking experience and that he lost half of his hair in the process [laughs].
Finally, which is your favorite piece from the Harlequin collection?
I love the blue sapphire ring because it is so harmonious. It looks like it has always existed. This is when you know you found a timeless combination.