Cult brand Gaydamak packs a punch with its signature hand bracelets

The Russian-born sisters behind the Gaydamak brand use cultural references and traditional gems to create statement jewels like their signature hand bracelets.


By Anastasia Nemchenok in London

The concept for Gaydamak's signature piece - an intricately laced piece of jewellery worn on the back of the hand - emerged from a traditional finger jewel that was too heavy to wear. Soon, however, it became a statement in its own right.

You can't miss the jewels of Gaydamak. The look, developed by the Russian-born sisters Katya and Sonia - who founded the company in 2009 - is strong and fashionable. Stocked in cult stores around the world, including Collette in Paris and Browns in London, the diverse collections feature rings, bracelets and elongated earrings set with incredible gemstones.  

The sisters studied gemmology in New York and use the traditional techniques of high-end jewellery making in their designs. Their signature pieces - the hand bracelets - come in many guises: delicately woven designs, pavéd in diamonds, sit side by side with iguanas and snakes.  

Art Deco influences are present throughout the collections, in the geometric motifs and choice of contrasting gemstones especially. The knot bracelet perfectly evokes the 1930s. Delicately pavéd with diamonds, it tightens into a perfect bow at the back of the hand. Likewise, Art Deco influences can be felt in the popular 2L line, with wooden panels highlighted with waves of diamonds.

Taking a nostalgic detour from their usual diamonds, rubies and sapphires, the sisters chose traditional Russian precious and semi-precious stones for the 1802 collection. Malachite, tiger's eye and rubellite were all popular in the Soviet Union era, though they almost vanished from the market along with the country.

The motif that unites the 1802 collection, a scalloped star setting, conjures up military medals of the early 19th century and the Napoleonic wars. At this time, the Russian Empire, fond of everything Parisian at this time, had adopted this delicate style, with diamond pavéd edges and embossed waves. By bringing it back, the Gaydamak sisters offer a historical curtsey to their adopted country of France.

The Haute Joaillerie collection consists of five parts: Kashmir, 2L, Koral and Kiara, together with 1802.  Organic shapes unify the jewels, while the fluid bands of the rings and bracelets are reminiscent of the twisted end-spindles of blown glass.  

The fingerless diamond glove is another remarkable piece of jewellery produced by Gaydamak. Seen as hand armour, it embraces the back of the hand with concentric diamonds radiating from the centre, forming flower petals in the negative spaces between them.

The nomadic tendency of jewellery has become an overarching trend and fashion is exploring new ways of wearing jewels. As they wander further from tradition, Gaydamak's hand bracelets - like knuckle rings and ear cuffs - are becoming a fashion fixture.

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