Thursday, 17 March 2011

Hannah Martin's The Man Who Knows Everything

Hannah Martin's The Man Who Knows Everything.

With a prestigious Central St Martins design education and a handful of awards behind her, it should come as no surprise that Hannah Martin is shaking up the world of luxury jewellery as we know it. Her luxurious and decadent collections are described as ‘jewellery for men, that girlfriends will steal’ and if I had a piece in my possession I would certainly sleep with one eye open from fear of Susie pilfering it. Each time I see her well crafted designs I am utterly blown away. Well this evening, he London based jewellery designer managed to trump everything that has preceded it. For her fifth collection, entitled The Man Who Knows Everything, Hannah has launched with an awe inspiring installation at Dover Street Market, an exclusive fashion film and a unique augmented reality experience that allows fans to wear one of Martin's creations in virtual reality. A triangulated launch that will blow more minds than just mine.

The character that this collection is based upon is the Comte de St Germain. Ordinarily the designer makes up her characters but this alchemist has popped up at various points in history. In fact, the infamous Comte de St Germain appears throughout history across the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. In each account he remained the same age, always impeccably, yet simply, dressed to fit with his transient surroundings. His only remarkable refinery was the bountiful precious stones that adorned his hands, set into buttons, which covered the buckles of his shoes, and filled his travelling cases and trunks.

"He is supposed to be an alchemist, someone who can obviously live forever because he has been noted throughout time and always described in the same way. When we began researching him on the Internet there are some people who think he is still around somewhere. With this in mind I wanted the collection to be both ancient and super modern."
Hannah Martin on the Comte de St Germain

Now, the challenge the designer always faces is telling the story of the collection in a way that people can experience and understand. The narrative of this collection might be less specific than in previous ones, but it is certainly more mystical and the designs themselves deserve a grand scale. So, the Hannah Martin team devised a triangulated launch that allows as many people as possible to try, play, ponder and marvel.

The Euphoria of Lights encased in Waldemayer's obelesque

Firstly, the Dover Street Market Installation that I was fortunate enough to explore this evening. for myself. For the next two weeks, this installation, designed in tribute to the man who can seemingly travel time, is the main focus in Dover Street Market’s infamous ground floor window. Moritz Waldemayer, the great unsung hero of the design world has offered his pioneering eye for light and monumental structure and created an imposing yet elegant obelesque thanks to the craftsmen of Corian – all focused on a single ring taken from this first series within the fifth narrative, the Euphoria of Lights - the Comte's Pyramid Ring. A cage of lasers (yes lasers!) surround the special piece and when interrupted by wanting hands, the lasers let off different sounds, allowing visitors to create their own soundscape as they reach for the ring. This multifaceted presentation takes you from reality to the fantastical and back again in a disorientating manner. It is a real feast for all of the senses. If you are in London over the course of the next two weeks you have to experience the installation for yourselves.

However, thankfully this is not a London centric launch. Those of you who live outside of the capital and beyond can all still experience the collection's unveiling thanks to genius minds of Holition. Leaders in creative ‘augmented reality’ for luxury brands, this Curtain Road based company have partnered on this unique event and have brought the future closer by offering an international audience the ultimate shopping experience where they can virtually “try on” one of Hannah’s definitive pieces and experience a little of the Dover Street Market magic...

Download A4 PDF to cut out your own ring.

Wear the Comte's Pyramid ring in a virtual reality.

As much as the launch installation was jaw droppingly amazing it was busy and dark and altogether not very conducive to this blogger's snaps. Thankfully, the talented folks at Showstudio have created an installation video...

The Hannah Martin installation at Dover Street Market, 17 March 2011 shot by Zoe Hitchen for Showstudio.

Now, Hannah Martin is used to challenging the craftsmen of Hatton Gardens with her architectural designs but now she is turning her attentions to exploring the possibilities of online. Anyone can now download an application and cut out their own ring for the opportunity to engage with Hannah’s most pioneering work to date, and try on this definitive piece of jewellery from the comfort of their own home in the process. The difficulty always faced lies in demonstrating the tactical nature of jewellery and in telling the story of her narrative rich designs, with the help of the geniuses of Holition, Martin has done just that.

1 comment:

Jason said...

Wow, so beautiful and innovative.


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