Montpellier-born designer Marion Vidal trained as an architect for six years, before swapping blueprints for jewellery. For the last 12 years, she has been merging the two creative disciplines, creating her own unique brand of ‘architecture for the body’ in graphic statement necklaces and structural brooches. Inspired by the work of her design heroes – many of them brutalist architects like Carlo Scarpa, Louis Kahn and Aldo van Eyck – Vidal uses materials in contrasting ways: marble with fabric ribbons and enamel with gold.
‘Tiger’s Eye’ and ‘Pink Quartz’ rings from Vidal’s S/S 2017 collection
But by far her most favoured option is ceramic. She is fascinated by the integral juxtaposition in its make-up. ‘It is raw and precious at the same time.’
In expressive pieces like her Gela necklace, ceramic is finely sculpted into globes and hung dramatically in clusters. Elswehere, Vidal’s pendant emblems are carved into rigid, geometric shapes, lightened by delicate fabric chains, in a range of bold colours, from hot pink and lime green, to peach and grey.
Brass brooch from Vidal’s S/S 2017 collection
As well as an artist’s preoccupation with materials, Vidal has an architect’s eye for the bigger picture. ‘I am very much interested in structural plans, in details and materials, in articulations and transition between spaces,’ she explains. Each piece is designed to complement the next, so the wearer can build upon each design, like interconnecting rooms in a house.
This collection is Vidal’s most refined expression of ‘wearable architecture’ yet.