Pomellato’s Ode to Milan high jewellery collection is a heartfelt homage to the city

By Alvin Wong 27 July, 2023

Here is Pomellato’s stellar cast of high jewellery creations celebrating Milan’s familiar icons, as well as its irrepressible spirit and energy

If you are not careful, Milan will make your head spin. The city’s formidable fashionistas marching from the runways to the streets will leave you breathless. Its iconic architecture, whether the majestic Duomo di Milano cathedral, or the picturesque buildings lining the old streets of the Brera district, can sweep you off your feet. And not forgetting, the art, the shopping, the food and its people that weave constantly and relentlessly into the city’s ever evolving tapestry—all of which conspire to overwhelm your senses and make you wonder: which Milan are you experiencing?

Pomellato, which was established in Milan 56 years ago, knows the city intimately enough to affirm that there is never just one side to Milan. Even so, it isn’t stopping the Italian jeweller from attempting to present the best of the city in an extravagant paean to its place of birth.

Making of the Castello necklace in rose and white gold with rubellites and diamonds. Photo by Pomellato

Its new Ode To Milan high jewellery collection, comprising 33 statement pieces, span the boldly inventive to the nuanced. While each design takes inspiration from different aspects of the city, the collection, when taken as a whole, attempts to capture Milan’s rich diversity and unique energy.

“The (collection) is a private conversation between Milan and Pomellato. We want to unveil the mystery of its captivating personality. Our collection shakes up the codes of traditional high jewellery with contemporary yet elegant designs,” says Vincenzo Castaldo, Pomellato’s creative direction who marks his 20th anniversary with the company with this collection.

Milan in four chapters

The collection is presented in four ‘chapters’, each anchored by a different inspiration: Milan’s modern skyline (Vertical Landscapes); Pomellato’s own interpretation of the city’s past, in particular the medieval castle, the Castello Sforzesco (Contemporary Heritage); the jewellery house’s chain-making savoir faire (Creativity On Stage); and the gothic architecture of the iconic Dumo (Terrazza Dumo).

The Skyline necklace from the Vertical Landscapes chapter, for instance, captures the strong, angular silhouettes of Rationalist-style skyscrapers with imposing sobriety and geometry.

Skyline necklace in rose gold with spinel and diamonds. Photo by Pomellato

Its bold linear gold frame cradles the neck and settles beautifully on the chest, set with 128 cushion-cut spinels in rare, gradated colours that span warm scarlet to dusky pink, and sky blue to smoky grey. The fastidiously selected stones catch the light as you move, as windows do on a towering skyscraper overlooking the Milanese cityscape.

The Castello ring and necklace. Photo by Pomellato

Inspiration for the nine-piece Contemporary Heritage chapter, on the other hand, was sparked by a 1972 choker from Pomellato’s own archives. The historic creation, which was modelled after the Castello Sforzesco, births a selection of earrings, rings, bracelets and a choker that reference its neo-medieval look.

The Fortezza choker and matching earrings, especially, are evocative of the archival Castello creation. The choker’s gold plaques set with black ceramic and malachites, and accentuated by diamonds, recall the ancient fort’s doors. The design is echoed on the matching earrings with a pair of malachites again taking centre stage.

The Sipario body chain necklace features a large central link set with a random pattern of sizeable brilliant and fancy-cut diamonds. Photo by Pomellato

Pomellato’s mastery of goldsmithing techniques, particularly chain-making, comes to the fore on the Creativity On Stage chapter. Three stunning necklaces—the Lirica, Spirao, and Catena Milano—exemplify the jewellery house’s expertise with creative link-work and imaginative proportions that pay tribute to the La Scala theatre.

“The originality of converting gold links into high jewellery through contrasting proportions, unexpected chain-link combinations and elaborate diamond-setting echoes the drama and the richness of the mise en scène of La Scala,” explains Castaldo. The Sipario is especially gorgeous. A body chain necklace, anchored by a large central link with brilliant- and fancy-cut diamonds, it drapes the torso in a manner that is both sensual and theatrical.

The Terrazza Duomo bracelet and ear ring takes inspiration from the namesake cathedral. Photo by Pomellato

As for the Terrazza Duomo, Pomellato pays homage to the legendary namesake cathedral with an almost minimalist touch. Comprising a two bracelets and two earrings, the collection channels the Duomo’s 14th century gothic architecture, and interprets it as light and whimsical diamond-set sculptures with svelte, intermingling shapes.

“Milan, like Pomellato, treasures the past, and mixes it with a contemporary style that sets it apart,” says Castaldo. “Milan is obsessed with design. And when great design meets great makers, the magic happens.” Magic or, as some say, love.