Melanie is a Greek and French jewelry designer. She first studied sculpture at the Edinburgh College of Art where she graduated with a First Class Degree in 2004. She then moved to London where she gained an MA in Jewelry and Metalwork from the Royal College of Art in 2007.
She has since then been working as a freelance consultant for the likes of Ian Scott Kettle, Antoine Sandoz Ltd and major international brands as well as developing her own pieces. Her jewelry has been exhibited and sold in exclusive galleries and venues across Europe including Sotheby's and Selfridges in London, Galerie Marzee in the Netherlands, Platina in Stockholm and Galerie Sagiannos in Athens as well as sought after by international private collectors.
Her timeless collections are stocked in Dover Street Market and Erickson Beamonin London, as well as Urban Grange Hall in Dallas and Gallerie Sagiannos in Athens. Her jewelry has received press coverage in the Greek and Italian Vogue, The Financial Times, The Times, Flux magazine, Marie Claire amongst others. Seen both as natural material and a cultural concept, the pearl is full of inherent contradictions.
Historically, lives have been risked in its harvest - yet the purity of its surface's light reflecting qualities, is a wholesome reminder of untainted and resilient life. Once uncovered from its caging shell, the pearl is a symbol of youthful innocence and ageing wisdom, of delicacy and endurance, of life and death. From its very elemental nature that renders it the only organic precious stone, to its culturally invested status as a symbol of power and wealth, it has long since adorned the bodies of women around the world.
It is this mystic quality of the pearl that Melanie Georgacopoulos' work sets to recapture. Disengaging the concept from the aesthetic and symbolic confines of the classic pearl necklace Melanie sets to reinvest the material with modern meanings far removed from tradition. The endless aesthetic possibilities that the pearl can provide as jewelry are explored. Melanie's work constantly defies convention, bringing the pearl to the domains of art and high fashion, whilst retaining its quality as a wearable accessory.
Melanie's newest collection, which includes a variety of structured statement necklaces and rings, emboldens her signature theme of de-constructing and re-constructing the pearl by introducing concepts of toughness, weight and volume, all relevant to the image of the modern independent woman. Images of medieval armory - utilitarian yet breathtakingly intricate and complex - are a far cry from the “girly”, “safe” world invoked by the classic string of pearls.
In the neck pieces, pearls arranged as series of chains weighed down by the weight of the metal and taking the shape of the wearer's body s well as designed to be worn in a number of different ways. The culmination of the idea of shape and plasticity that undercuts this collection is the one piece chain mail pearl bib that brings together the concepts of toughness and raw beauty and ties them beautifully with the subtleties evoked by the pearls' natural surface. The gold chain and large pearl ring pieces are playful at first sight – the wearer can wear them and play with them in a number of different ways. Yet at the same time, imagery of medieval ball bearings are born in mind, enriching the playful quality with an unashamedly raw edge. Finally, Melanie introduces us to pearls de-constructed and reconstructed as voluminous lush “pompoms” for gold ring and neck pieces, evoking dreams of harlequins and marine flora.