Architecturally Inspired Jewelry: What You Should Be Wearing Right Now

Check out these pieces that are modeled after buildings by well-known architects.

By Archana Aithal Rose December 28, 2016
Editorial credit: Christophotographer

A diamond skyscraper- luscious as that sounds, it may be a while before someone constructs one for real. Or perhaps I’m a killjoy. If Baccarat could construct an entire hotel out of crystals, does a diamond skyscraper seem like such a distant dream? Maybe when Trump makes America great again, we’ll all be rolling in diamonds and build twinkling towers with it. But for now, someone’s building miniature diamond skyscrapers that can dangle from your ears.

Related: Houses Designed By Famous Architects Are Tough To Sell In Modern Market

Think tiny houses, but of the jewelry world. Belgium-based Jewelry Designer, Payal Shah Parikh, founder and director of L’Dezen creates one-of-a-kind statement pieces drawing from her love for architecture. Her designs are such a roar in the fashion world, they’ve found quite the fan following- Lady Gaga just happens to be one of them.

Payal’s design decisions make sense having been raised in Hong Kong, a city of skyscrapers. That, combined with a degree in interior design and architecture from London made her view jewelry in architectural dimensions. “Designing jewelry has a lot of the same elements as interior design and architecture – you work with shape, color, scale and how realistic the design is when actually in use,” she says. “Sure, you can have a beautiful abstract piece but it needs to be able to function in the end.” This interest in jewelry design started when her father, who’s in the diamond business, showed her some beautiful diamond slices. “I started playing around with them, creating interesting, almost architectural shapes for earrings and rings. Sliced diamonds have a flat glass-like façade that reflects the light beautifully – just like a glass skyscraper actually.”

Photos courtesy of JJsCollections

With such a unique perspective and a strong sculptural presence, her brand L’Dezen has been able to generate a great deal of interest with the Hollywood jet set. Jessica Alba, Carrie Underwood, the late Joan Rivers, Sophia Vergara, Sharon Osborne, Mindy Kaling and the wildly experimental Lady Gaga have all sported L’Dezen designs. Payal opened up her bling box for Agorafy, sharing the inspiration behind some of her stellar pieces. 

“The Gehry Ring set in 18K rose gold is a doughnut-shaped wavy dimensional ring. The sliced diamonds are in the internal part of the ring to give it the rigid texture with a mesh design on the outside. This helps extenuate the curved shaped of the ring inspired by Frank Gehry’s Lou Ruvo Centre, which was a form of Deconstructivism architecture. The contrast in the two sides are supposed to represent the way we use our brains every day, flowing from the left-brain to the right-brain thinking, and back again without noticing the difference. ”


“The Neuer Zollhof is also another Frank Gehry design and another form of Deconstructivism architecture. It could be called the ‘Dancing Building’. This futuristic yet harmonic design is a favorite building to many. The Neuer Ring is an ode to this form of architecture and all the petals of this flower move flexibly. The flower petals dance as you wear and move the ring, which is the exact visual experience you have when you see the Neuer structure. ”


“The Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid is noted for its distinctive architecture and flowing, curved style that eschews sharp angles. The simple ring was designed to fill the negative spaces and curve with the diamond slices, hand crusted on the two parallel lines, inspired by the wave form of the building.”


“Marques de Riscal in Spain is the oldest and most traditional wineries of Rioja, set in a framework that combines tradition and the future. Gehry presents an innovative, avant-garde design, but in keeping with the history of the place. The explosion of color and shapes create a movement through the forms. The Marques ring is a rose gold complete inverted wave, which expands in width at both angles. What’s unusual about this ring is that there are two ways of wearing it. The design looks completely different to the eye when worn on two different sides because of the irregular-shaped angles. The whimsical aesthetic of this design also inspired other earrings with the same movement.”


“NCPA in Beijing by French architect Paul Andreu is an egg like, ellipsoid domestructure. However, the exterior is split in two different forms of titanium and glass surrounded by an artificial lake. The Ellip Bangle represents that dome-like structure. Its negative spaces showcase the unique materials that have been used to create different depths within the structure. The sliced diamonds have been encrusted in a way to give the piece, a titanium feel.”





Archana Aithal Rose

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Archana Aithal Rose

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Archana Aithal Rose

Archana Aithal Rose’s articles have appeared in The Times of India, CNNGo, Condé Nast Traveler and Vogue, covering such broad range of topics as fashion, art, travel, culture, celebrities, architecture and technology. In addition to writing, Archana's also known for her mad photography and cooking skills.

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