For her newest incarnation, Monica Sordo has looked to the “dazzlingly incongruent” interior architecture of Café Aubette, in Strasbourg. Designed by Theo van Doesburg, a leading painter of the De Stijl movement, he took an aging Neoclassical building in the center of Place Kléber and boldly transformed it into a work of art. When Sordo stepped into Café Aubette, it was exactly as it had been described, as if stepping into a painting. Cubism, minimalism, and rich primary colors span floor to ceiling, down staircases and through each perfectly crafted windowpane. Simplified geometric forms can often be underestimated for their impact; Sordo recognized this and sought a way to translate Doesburg’s abstractionism into her jewelry.
One of the most significant design characteristics of Café Aubette that struck Sordo were the staircases. Much like the merging of color and stone in the building design, her pieces blend metal frames with stones to create simple, structural beauty. Most recognizably seen in her Sulu cuff and choker, brass cubist framework outlines mother-of-pearl, labradorite, and obsidian stones. The color palette of white, gray, and brown reflect the paintings of Doesburg and Jean Arp. As she began to delve deeper into staircases of the time period, Sordo’s thoughts continuously returned to the beauty of the Nautilus design. Named for the perfectly symmetrical Nautilus shell, this architectural reference can be seen in structures around the world. Sordo offers her own interpretation, with the tonal and contrasting stone Nautilus earring and bracelet set. Delicately fanning around the wrist and earlobe, these additions to the collection remind us why glamour and elegance should be a fundamental element to design.
As a designer, Sordo will invariably have a story behind her collections. She is curious about art, architecture and travel; this is what gives depth to her craft. Like every collection before this, she connects to the woman who has the same innate sophistication and distinctive style. For Fall 2017, statement earrings, sculptural bracelets and a fresh take on her iconic choker usher in a new era of Monica Sordo jewelry. The brand continues to gain notoriety, this year through collaborations with Cushnie et Ochs and the curation of Mario Testino’s store in the MATE museum in Lima, Peru.