Minimalist jewelry by Michael Anastassiades and Shihara
A shared and refined aesthetic culminates in a new collection of jewelry and minimalist objects by Michael Anastassiades and Shihara
Best known for his streamlined luminous designs, London-based Cypriot designer Michael Anastassiades has turned his attention to minimalist jewelry by teaming up with Japanese brand Shihara. “The most important thing to consider when designing jewelry is its relationship to the human body and the space it takes up when worn,” he says. ‘I like the improvisation behind an abstract piece and the challenge it represents when it comes to wearing it. A solid design can exist in many ways. Shihara jewelry has this quality.
A common emphasis on clean, minimalist silhouettes meant the brand was a natural choice for Anastassiades, whose streamlined aesthetic is reflected in an 18k gold bracelet and necklaces, with interrupted buckles inspired by construction lines on the designs. of architecture. For Shihara founder Yuta Ishihara, the collaboration was organic. ‘I’ve been a fan of Michael’s work for a while now, but it was after seeing him speak in Tokyo in 2018 that we got to know each other well, and the idea of creating a collection together was born. Our work, while very different, shares many similarities, with minimal aesthetics and a focus on functional design.
Adds Anastassiades, “Yuta’s work seems to evolve from a mathematical sequence and everything is done with incredible precision. It was so similar to my own way of thinking.
The duo built pieces of jewelry on structural foundations, stringing short and long 18-karat gold pipes in a pattern of interrupted lines. “Strings are like construction lines used by an architectural designer. They are guides with which the user can build their own ideas”, explains Anastassiades. ‘I enjoyed exchanging ideas with Yuta. I am always surprised at how technically ingenious his mind is.
Ishihara’s jewelry incorporates hardware into the design itself, with screws and springs creating imperceptible metal fittings and making clasps invisible. “I like to come up with designs that reinvent functionality and focus on how functionality can be integrated into the overall design,” he says. “For me, good design is when the shape and design best suits the intended use. Even if a design is aesthetically unfamiliar to us, it should be functional,” he says, adding that those seeing his work for the first time may be confused as to how to wear it.
The collection also includes a mirror, floor lamps of different heights and a tray. The latter is made from wood sourced from Japan and treated with Japanese shiro-urushi lacquer, resulting in a glossy brown color that will naturally fade over time. The lighting is an extension of Anastassiades’ “One Well-Known Sequence” collection, teasing elongated metal tubes and LED bulbs in the same repeating pattern as the jewelry. Its “Beauty” brass mirror has also been redesigned in a portable size and fashioned into the shape of a convex circle, a liquid droplet of suspended metal. “Household items were designed as accessories around jewelry,” says Anastassiades. “These are simple designs to showcase and reflect those ideas.” §