Maria Antonietta Mittoni:
The Bengal tiger’s precious coat is the texture that contains jewels by Maria Antonietta Mittoni. To open a box that reproduces the coat of this almost extinct and fascinating animal, (this designer’s distinct symbol), means to enter into an enchanted world of ancestral traditions with echoes of nature, mystery and the sound of tribal rhythms. Making the choice to wear one of her creations means not only to distinguish oneself but also to feel a strong bond to the Human race and a special link to creatures from the animal kingdom.
Nature’s generative powers, her infinite colours and shapes are Maria Antonietta Mittoni’s incessant inspiration, whom, with exuberance and a passionate love of life, Earth and its inhabitants, brings jewellery to life that tells stories of extraordinary people and animals. Nature is ever present in her creations whether it is through the use of animal like enamels, the design of Venetian glass beads or whether it is actually touchable as in the use of leather, fur, semi-precious stones, shells, coral, horn and many others.
And so unique pieces such as the “Cuore Maya” (Maya Heart) are born, a necklace in which the symbology of blood is represented with the use of coral and the use of a precious glass pearl reminds one of the mysticism of human sacrifices. The “Pettorale di Atahualpa” (Atahualpa Breast-plate) – the last Inca Emperor – is reinterpreted by the designer using fish skin and Philippine shells.
Not one of Maria Antonietta Mittoni’s creations is repeatable: just as each snowflake is different from the next, so each necklace, each bracelet and each ring that comes out of her workshop is unique and singular.
The truly amazing “Chevron” necklaces travel back in time in a triumph of colour on a backwards journey from Venice in the seven hundreds to Africa, cradle of the human race. The Venetians, invincible merchants, interpreted the style of the people that they encountered and created glass beads evoking African iconography to use as exchange goods: beauty in exchange of riches. Maria Antonietta Mittoni uses those same antique beads and pearls today, or in some cases she brings them back to life thanks to the able Murano artisans, and celebrates the femininity of a mother-lover-enchantress woman completing them with folds of coloured silk like long tresses of hair that cascade over the shoulders.
Being a charismatic woman and a true lover of fashion, interpreted and lived in through her distinctive personality, Maria Antonietta Mittoni could not but pay homage to the genius of Madame Chanel. The necklaces that she designs link gold and silver chains with natural stones of absolute elegance and originality, with unusual chromatic combinations and with a touch of fascinating inspirational genius and curious details: reproductions of the Romanov family crowns – the last Tsars.
Since ancient times man has always felt the need to protect himself (sometimes in true belief, sometimes in fun), from negative influxes and because of superstition has worm amulets of all kinds. Maria Antonietta Mittoni not only embellishes traditional deer horn with silver, rubies, sapphires and emeralds, but she also turns a classic charm bracelet into a truly original lucky charm. Her charm bracelets are strewn with unusual charms: only odd numbers and letters, bags, boots and shoes that symbolise travel, various sports articles representing play, animals, four-leaf clovers, horns, cornucopia, keys, padlocks and London crests discovered at the famous Portobello Road markets and all combined with semi-precious stones, enamels and pavè that only add to the extreme originality.
The constant desire to experiment has led Maria Antonietta Mittoni to research new techniques and to widen her study of natural textures and this has since been given shape in the form of rings made from hand enamelled Plexiglas, sometimes embellished with pavè animals: feline furs, loved by the designer, make a huge comeback in infinite variations and can also be found on the matching silver pens and on beads that make up charms or necklaces.
It is the force of Mother Nature that has once again inspired Maria Antonietta Mittoni’s most recent creations. The strength of a lion’s roar and the eagle’s pride when unfolding its wings are all captured in her jewellery-sculptures, true works of fine chiselling part of the “Wild Life” collection. Prominence has also been given to the tenderness and dignity of the maternal instinct: a mother bear reaching out to protect her cubs or a lioness cuddling her young. And the earth moves round.
Earth made from silver and gold that in bracelets and necklaces from the “Le Monde” collection intercalates with large flat pendants: a map of existence punctuated with drops of precious stones that tinkle like water, and circles of life that in their infinite perusal gather up the wisdom of animals.
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