Ilenia Corti created Vernissage in late 2007 in collaboration with Matteo Mena. The two shoes and accessories designers started working on this new project sharing their fantastic worlds in an uncontaminated space where creativity reigns, a surreal place, characterized by the contrast between dream and reality. Vernissage collections are an invitation to assist to the show of the frozen Nature in its vital tension, an image fading in time, a testimony of the memory of when small things were the most enchanting. Each jewel, each accessory crystallizes into a fragment of this fragile and mysterious universe; a black and white freeze frame of dusty gold filigrees, its spires trapping diamonds, agate, jade, amethyst, fragments of mother of pearl.
The project finds its inspiration in the tension between a dream vision, childlike vitality and the pragmatism of the adult world, in the fascination of animals perennially conserved in their prime in the glass cases of any Natural Science Museum, like portraits of a nostalgic, melancholy nature that got lost in time, creatures from faded 18th-century illustrations of botany and entomology books which survived a natural catastrophe.
Each jewellery collection tells about insects camouflaged between leaves and twigs, deers with white horns stuck in the tentacled branches of the trees, of small flying animals frozen on candid roses as they stopped and drank the morning dew. Diamonds in nuances from grey to black, and the use of pink, yellow burnished silver and gold create a suggestion of ancient times, of lost beauty.
Behind every collection, an intense work of collaborations with artists completes the full meaning of each piece, assembling moods, colours and words like small chapters of a book. Unique pieces, reproducible but never identical: this is the key to make every collection alive.
Vernissage is produced in Italy according to the traditional rules of high jewellery. The collection is handmade by expert craftsmen who collaborate with one of the leader companies in this sector, Santagostino, belonging to the Corti family.
Vernissage jewels want to highlight the frame of the jewel which is usually hidden. The skeleton on which decorations and stones usually lay is highlighted by a filigree of godronné and burnished gold. Each creation is hand modeled and finely hand carved, down to the cuts and the settings for the stones.