London Fashion Week’s Estethica Exhibition, now in its 14th consecutive season, is the British Fashion Council’s showcase of the industry’s leading sustainable style-makers.
At the launch of the Fall/Winter 2013 exhibition at London’s Somerset house over the weekend, a number of sustainable designers who have previously graced the posts of EcoSalon were present, including Mich Dulce and Pachacuti. But it was the newcomer Rudá Rings–the work of Brazilian designer Janice Perez–that caught our attention with creations that are equal parts organic and outrageous.
Perez’s designs have indigenous roots, both in their name— Rudá means ‘the god of love’ in the indigenous Tupi Guarani language—and in the materials that she sources. The base of her rings are made of Brazilian hardwood that she reclaims from discarded furniture and demolished houses. She tops them off with raw stones—mainly working with hematite, pyrite, vanadinite, uvite and lapis lazuli—from 35 countries including Brazil, Mexico, Chile, and Kazakhstan. Lastly, Perez polishes the wood with carnauba wax, sourced from a palm tree commonly found in the northeast of Brazil.
Perez never alters the stone, as she says that she likes to use them “the way nature provides it” and then craft the wood around it. Formerly a shoe designer like her father, Perez decided to start her own label in 2007 and considered creating a sustainable and eco-friendly product as her core criteria.
In order to work with the reclaimed hardwood she uses, Perez had to develop her own techniques by adapting her knowledge of several handicrafts. The ring’s shape is partially left to chance once she whittles down a block of wood to a suitable size and then drills a hole for the wearer’s finger.
The result is that each of her creations is unique and utterly show-stopping. With some of her rings taking up a whole hand, her creations could more accurately be described as sculpture than as jewelery.
The British Fashion Council’s Estethica’s criteria includes elements such as sourcing of materials, life cycle of the product, and supply chain knowledge, among others. While Perez is certainly taking heed of these factors in her designs, most impressive is her demonstrable passion for her creations, which not even a language barrier was able to mask at London Fashion Week.
“The ring needs to fascinate,” says Perez, “At the same time it needs to be sustainable. The designer will achieve that enhancing his creativity.”
Images courtesy of Rudá Rings.