Pearls and heart-shaped pendants have their time and place, but the jewelry that we really, really covet has an edge. Lynn Ban calls her debut collection Dangerous Beauty, a name that she says refers to “Something beautiful that can either harm or protect you,” but that we interpret as “Something so beautiful that it tempts us to rob a bank.”
For a first-time designer, the level of sophistication is astounding. But that’s because Lynn Ban is hardly a stranger to haute joaillerie. A renowned haute couture vintage and jewelry collector with her own in-house store at Barneys, Ban has honed her eye on the finest baubles in the world.
But she also has a great sense of everyday chic. The luxurious and striking sterling silver and diamond cuff and bangles are sexy, timeless and utterly wearable. They’re the kind of versatile pieces that look just as fierce with black tie attire as they do with your basic blacks. Which only makes sense, as Ban says that her starting point for the design was street fashion: “My inspiration started with looking at how people dress in the city. Their attitude, their toughness, the statement they are making. Their clothes are like their armor.”
The idea of protection took her in the direction of martial arts weaponry, which resulted in the three Handcuff Hinged Bangles, which are hybrids of Chinese Throwing Stars and handcuffs. Each has a distinctly different shape, opens and closes with a sleek hinge and is adorned with streak of channel set diamonds in the front. They look beautiful as single pieces, but together they are criminally gorgeous.
The sculptural Propeller Cuff has a more industrial -but equally hard edged- inspiration. Its stunning, voluptuous curve is influenced by the shape of a ship propeller, and, for that extra dash of nonchalant glamour, both edges are lined with pave diamonds.
So back to the idea of dangerous beauty, does Ban think that great jewelry has a tendency to make people behave badly? “Oh definitely!” she says, “Throughout history people have gone to great lengths to possess the jewels that they desire.” Just don’t take that as a cue to rob, cheat and steal.