Visiting Milan last week brought up a gem of a find when I visited Mita Marina Milano. Artist and textile designer Marina Aliverti Colucci has teamed up with art and fashion journalist Mita Crosetti to create a line of jewellery called Mita Marina Milano. Their inspiration is Milan and their style is very much their own.
These two women, of a certain age, have been life long friends and as they were walking together in the Engadine, the idea to create a line of jewellery came to them. Two years on I am sitting in their sun-filled showrooom above via Montenapoleone looking at suede trays full of jewels that are just waiting to come out and play.
The perky, gamine Marina with a shower of cropped auburn curls bouncing around her freckled face tells me: "The idea was to make jewels that you could wear on the Metro or on the bus." One look at the minimalist and almost comically outsized pieces confirms that these are indeed jewels to wear everyday without compromising on style. With no diamonds or coloured stones in sight, these jewels are all about form and volumes. Mita, which by the way is short for Margherita, is the philosopher of the duo and sagely proclaims: "what's useful must be truly and entirely useful, whatever is not useful must be of extraordinary beauty."
Necklaces made out of big flat hoops are a tongue in cheek twist on the traditional gold chain while the jumbo sized Cheope rings - 'always wear two' is Marina's advice - are almost big enough to house a family of mice. The look is strong and architectural so no wonder Zaha Hadid is a fan. Marina tells me that she wanted to create pret a porter sculptural forms in miniature and channels her artistic rigour into swooping, smooth and bulging forms of these jumbo jewels. I get a sneak peek at the cheeky 'boob' rings, which are literally that. Plump breasts that sit on the finger and again I follow Marina's advice and try on a pair, one in polished gold and the other in a matt finish.
The jewels were originally made in Palladium but the duo soon realised that this would send costs soaring. Instead a practical mix of gold, usually 9 carat and pink, and silver was the way ahead. This means prices are reasonable with a big gold ring selling at around 1,000 euros. You can buy them on the Italian retail website Yoox by clicking here or at www.forzieri.it
These are jewels for women who are confident of their style and want to have some fun as well as create a striking and very individual look. I was very inspired by these two elegant and spirited Milanese women who prove that style is alive and kicking in Milan and not just amongst the young hot designers. On the way out I caught sight of one of Marina's canvasses, a mosaic of black and white photographs of nudes and sculptures over which is scribbled: "On fait des folies a tout ages". I love it, a call to fun for all ages.