“For me, the egg is always representing new beginnings and transformations,” says Jacqueline Rabun. “You see this form a lot in my work because we’re constantly molding and constantly evolving.” Rabun’s medium is jewelry, but the London-based designer sounds more like a sage or a mystic. Her sinuous, spare bangles, earrings, and rings all stem from a place of mindfulness and emotion. Take, for example, a design titled We, a rose-cut diamond engagement ring and wedding band that fit together in one clean unit.
Rabun, 55, studied fashion design in Los Angeles before making the jump to working with metals. “A friend had a beautiful jewelry gallery on Sunset Boulevard, and I happened to walk in, and I saw works of art, wearable art,” Rabun recalls. “I became obsessed with this idea of creating these small sculptures.” At first, her experimentations were more of a personal puttering, finessing a process of hand-sculpting pieces before casting them in metal. Rabun then moved to London (“A love story,” she says) and, in 1990, debuted her inaugural collection of textural, hammered sterling silver and 18-karat gold pieces that were quickly scooped up by Barneys New York.
Rabun’s new collection, entitled Black Love, pays tribute to the strength of the African-American community, riffing on a heart-shaped motif constructed of two seed shapes and executed in 18-karat black gold, black diamonds, and sterling silver. And while in the past she’s collaborated with Georg Jensen and Halston, this month, Rabun will debut a series of functional objets d’art with the Vienna-based design studio Carl Auböck for this year’s iteration of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, in Milan. “I don’t really design for design’s sake,” Rabun muses. “I design because I have something to say.”