Lebanese jeweler Gaelle Khouri’s latest collection, The Next Perspective, confirms her as a force to be reckoned with in contemporary fine-jewelry design.
Glittering circles in diamonds and gold intersect each other and orbit the body in this avant-garde sculptural collection, inspired by the complexities of thought that define the human experience. “We are bombarded by our thoughts, and I wanted to explore the idea that every thought is our interpretation of a fact; it’s not the reality. It comes from our own experience and emotions,” says Khouri.
Despite the abstract complexity of her inspiration, the result is surprisingly simple, thanks to her equal preoccupation with the intricacies of jewelry construction. Khouri spent a long time with her goldsmiths to achieve balance in the technical complexities of the collection’s intersecting hoops, lines, and angles. The Episteme earring is large enough to make an impact yet falls easily and sits lightly on the body, interacting seductively with the ear, neck, and shoulder. “Everything is done by hand,” says Khouri. “I wanted the earrings to work for every woman.” Inspired by a tumult of emotions, the Twister of Thoughts ring is a piece of wearable sculpture that expresses a fluidity of movement as it runs along the thumb.
Khouri, who divides her time between Beirut and London, is one of a flock of talented young female jewelers from the Middle East who have taken on the mantle of the region’s centuries of jewelry craftsmanship and are applying it in a singularly modern way. Khouri started out her career in finance but eventually realized her future lay in a sketchbook, not in spreadsheets. “The creative life found me,” she says. Inspired by her time interning for Oscar de la Renta and Elie Saab, she learned fine jewelry under noted Lebanese artist Bernard Renno and launched her eponymous collection in 2015.