By Rebecca Doulton
Looking at the new Joie de Vivre collection of Francesca Villa jewellery is like taking the roof off a doll’s house. It’s a magical, Alice in Wonderland world inhabited by creatures and objects from a child’s nursery: miniature teacups; naïf butterflies; ballerinas and tin soldiers; birds; musical notes; plump hearts; and all sorts of motifs that point to the joyous objects and memories of our childhood.
Aptly named Joie de Vivre, this latest Francesca Villa fine jewellery collection weaves different subjects, timelines, cultures and memories inspired by objets trouvés she gathers from her travels around the world. Established in Rome, Francesca Villa was born in Liguria, on Italy’s north-western coast, and was the creative director of one of Italy’s most famous goldsmiths, designing jewellery for major brands such as Bulgari, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany and Mikimoto. Since 2007, Francesca has captained her own vessel and finds inspiration in people from her childhood including her great-grandfather, a real captain of the merchant marines, who told her wonderful tales and bought back trinkets and souvenirs from afar.
In Francesca Villa’s charmed universe, careful elaboration goes into the making of all the pieces, where excellent metalwork, top-quality stones and Italian craftsmanship combine to bring this unique jewellery to life. The Joie de Vivre medallion, emblazoned with the name of the collection in large rose gold letters, is a perfect example of Francesca Villa’s spirit, with tiny gold charms hanging from the circle, little gold hearts, apples, flowers, butterflies and coloured gemstones placed higgledy-piggledy in a delightfully childish way. The toy soldier and ballerina earrings, featuring these iconic childhood figures sculpted in pink gold, are suspended between large loops studded with strawberry pink rubies.
Eclectic, fun and original, Francesca Villa jewellery is certain to put you in a good mood.