I loved Loriann Jewelry’s Modern Renaissance collection before I even saw it.
My introduction to this gorgeous new line came via a phone call from the designer, Lori Friedman. I stood in my kitchen as Lori walked me through the collection’s evolution and inspiration; her words painting pictures in my mind.
I had to wait a few more months before I had the pleasure of seeing Loriann Jewelry’s Modern Renaissance collection for myself in real life, but oh my goodness, my darlings. It was worth the wait.
The beautiful strength of Loriann Jewelry’s Modern Renaissance.
It’s one of my favorite things in the world to see a jewelry designer’s aesthetic evolve over time, and I’ve now had the pleasure of featuring several different collections of Loriann Jewelry‘s work here on Diamonds in the Library.
As one might expect, the Modern Renaissance collection was strongly influenced by the art of the Italian Renaissance. It features bold enamel, fleur-de-lis motifs, and sword and shield-inspired designs.
But it is also an homage to the concept of the Renaissance Woman: the strong and curious “Jill-of-all-trades” soul who wears many hats, has many interests, and loves to explore new things.
The further Lori got into Modern Renaissance, the more she realized that it was really a tribute to one particular Renaissance woman: her own mother, Lily, who had recently passed away. In her own words:
After [my mother] passed in the Spring, I was flooded with the emotional impact of how much influence she had on my life and much of what I learned and my many interests were gleaned through osmosis. My love of nature, art and art history, antique jewelry, music and cooking were some of the gifts she bestowed upon me.
I am grateful to have experienced a childhood that was so rich in culture and tradition and that I was able to translate this into my art form to share with others. My Mother was a true Modern Renaissance woman and this collection is my tribute to her.”– Lori Friedman
It’s no wonder this collection is so compelling and impactful, with such a powerful emotional resonance behind its inspiration.
The Modern Renaissance collection uses colorway of yellow gold accented with black enamel, black spinel, iridescent moonstones, and black and white diamonds.
These are the Magdelena earrings, one of the best examples of how this collection powerfully juxtaposes strength and delicacy by pairing the drama of the black enamel with the elegant, slender curves of the fleur-de-lis accents and the soap-bubble fragility of those moonstone teardrops.
The Giovanna ring (a personal favorite of mine) is perhaps Modern Renaissance’s most overt reference to Renaissance era jewelry, with its high profile, quatrefoil shape, dramatic shoulders, and reverse-set black spinels.
It’s also just an incredibly badass and beautiful piece of jewelry, IMHO. Wearing it made me feel like a warrior queen who can do anything. Every time I put this ring down, I would find myself picking it up again to discover a new detail or delight in a fresh angle.
(Click here to go to my Pinterest board of Renaissance Jewelry if you’d like a reminder of what OG Renaissance rings look like.)
Giovanna isn’t Modern Renaissance’s only example of innovative stone setting. If you look closely at the heart pendants above, you’ll see that the pendant on the right features reverse-set diamonds and sleek-channel set stones while the pendant beneath features so many reverse-set diamonds that it almost appears to be feathered rather than covered in diamonds.
The effect is beautiful, but it’s also strong: this isn’t just a happy, pretty heart, it’s a heart that’s as strong as the diamonds that adorn its surface, representing a love that never ends.
Swords and shields were among the symbols of strength that Lori kept in mind while designing Modern Renaissance, as one can clearly see in the elegant length of the Lily fleur-de-lis earrings, one of the styles named after the designer’s mother.
Once again, we have a powerful blend of delicacy and strength, light and dark, shine and matte repeated over and over again with the enamel and the gold, the curves of the fleur-de-lis, the echo of weaponry.
I think that juxtaposition of opposites is really why this collection is so successful: it reflects the beautiful contradictions that are inherent in the human experience; both as an indelible part of our interpersonal relationships and within our own hearts.
What do you think of Loriann Jewelry’s Modern Renaissance, my darlings? Did it resonate with you as strongly as it did with me? Did you feel it in the pit of your stomach?
Let me know what jumped out at you here and which pieces you’ll be dreaming about later when you close your eyes.
A huge thank you Lori Friedman of Loriann Jewelry, for being a top notch human and a wonderful friend as well as a talented designers. And a warm thanks as well to the lovely Renee Wilson of Bijoux Jewels in Baltimore, MD, for being so welcoming when I showed up at her store to do this photoshoot during a recent Loriann Jewelry Trunk Show.
The artist was kind enough to gift me a piece of jewelry from this collection, but my opinions remain my own.