Since 2005, Cornelia Webb has been gracing us with her luxe modern and feminine jewelry. Now, the Stockholm-based designer is teaming up with Net-A-Porter for a bridal collection, tastefully merging the avant-garde and the elegant with a series of headpieces, earcuffs, bracelets, and beyond. She unveils her process.
When did you know you wanted to be a jewelry designer?
It wasn’t until I was already established as a jewelry designer that I knew it was what I wanted. In 2009, I was selling my chain dresses at Léclaireur in Paris. Before that, I thought I would go back to med school and be a doctor. Jewelry was a creative outlet that I needed to express myself and work with my hands.
What was the first piece you sold?
It was in 2005—a fossil shark tooth on a chunky brass chain. We actually ended up putting this in the collection a few seasons later, but as a metal cast. An actress told me that when she wore the necklace, it really turned heads and received a lot of compliments.
What is different about your designs compared with others on the market?
My designs are always anatomically fitted. I work with the body as my canvas, and if I’m not making a real cast of it, I’m at least drawing on it or bending wires around it. I don’t aim for a perfectly polished finish; I leave little marks, like fingerprints, to show that it has been touched. I’m a sucker for natural beauty, and that is—most of the time—not perfection as it’s defined today.
How did you end up working with Net-A-Porter on a bridal collection, and what was the creative process?
After working with them for a couple of months with the main line, they asked if I’d be interested in developing a collection exclusively for them. I was of course thrilled, and was triggered by the thought of developing something specific and having a customer to please. My process is the same as when I’m making wedding and engagement rings. You can’t just process what you have in your own head; you need to establish what the clients’ desires and dreams are. I find that it makes the design process more natural and interesting.
How much jewelry do you wear on a day-to-day basis?
I’m very moody in my way of dressing and can be totally “jewelry naked” one day and then the next, I’m overloaded with accessories. I always think of what jewelry I want to wear first, and then dress according to that. If I want to wear my biggest showpiece on a Monday, I do, and then I balance it with a t-shirt.
What jewelry trends are you expecting to see this spring/summer?
I think we’ll see a lot more of the asymmetrical big earrings. Necklaces will take over again and I’m expecting to see the choker develop into something new, like sitting lower and with fresh material combinations. I hope, and think, that we are heading towards what has always been my goal and vision: to redefine what a piece of jewelry is.