In 2012, Melanie Georgacopoulos, the ever-inventive pearl jeweller, became a guest designer for Tasaki, the most respected jewellery brand in Japan and the number one producer of Akoya pearls in the world.
Committed to a shared passion for edgy and exciting designs, the Japanese pearl company launched a line named M/G Tasaki with Ms Georgacopoulos. A decade later, the team celebrates their long-lasting relationship with a new chapter that mirrors the sparkle of their debut.
As a guest designer with access to Tasaki’s high-tech research arm and their limitless pearl inventory, Melanie Georgacopoulos gives complete freedom to her creative addiction of revealing the inner beauty of pearls by slicing, dicing or faceting them. She has been known for her appetite to experiment with pearls since she launched her own company in 2010 after graduating from the Royal College of Art in London. It soon became her trademark to expose the different shades found in the concentric circle patterns hidden below the nacre of a pearl.
The latest additions to her existing Wedge collection, that she says, could not have been designed for anybody other than Tasaki, is about carving and incising. A sharp-angled section of the pearls is taken out and a gold inlay is inserted in its place. The effect is mesmerising as the gold panel sparkles as it catches the light.
For Square Leaf, one of the new collections that mark this 10th anniversary, Melanie contrasts the hardness of a square gold sheet with the roundness of the pearls. The warm hues of the yellow gold gently fold and caress the pearls, highlighting the whiteness of the nacre. The geometric minimalism, which gives a false impression of simplicity, hides a complex and elaborated craft process perfectly executed in Tasaki’s ateliers in Japan. Clever mechanisms that simplify the life of the wearer are a neat addition to most of the jewels. As an example, the engineers have created a clasp that by pulling on a rectangular gold tag it adjusts the length of any chain. Bracelets can be shortened and tightened to keep the pearl on top of the wrist and necklaces can be worn long or short. Another technical feat is the genius ball-shaped clasp entirely made of yellow gold that is easy to open and close and echoes the roundness of the pearls and becomes an integral part of the design.
Triple Pearl is the other new anniversary collection. The line plays with three sizes and tones of pearls in a gradient of white, pink and purple. Ms Georgacopoulos had Tasaki’s younger customers in mind when she created the Triple Pearl’s ear cuff. Nestled across the top of the ear, it attracts millennials, who are more drawn to strong design than conventional pearl jewellery. The effect is mesmerising and confirm that pearls are the perfect complement to an edgy look.
When asked what triggers her fascination for pearls, Ms Georgacopoulos says: 'Pearls are inherently full of contradictions, youthful purity and age old wisdom, subtlety and perseverance, life and death. In my work I try to express these contradictions. The slash in the name M/G fully illustrates this quest to look not only literally inside pearls but also metaphorically, to liberate them. I set out to give pearls new life as a versatile material with a powerful aesthetic that breaks away from traditions and becomes part of contemporary culture.”
While some might think that pearls are traditional, the M/G Tasaki collection is sure to change your perception. With intricate and trend-setting designs, M/G Tasaki will challenge your idea about what is achievable with pearls.