Gilan and its Contemporary Heritage collection Featured

Ottoman techniques blend with modern jewellery design

by 19 March 2012

The Contemporary Heritage collection from Gilan
The splendour of the Ottoman court belongs to an era forever etched into the mysterious and mythical history of Istanbul. Ruling Sultans and their legendary Imperial Harem of ravishing and exquisitely pampered women resided in Istanbul’s opulent Topkapi Palace for over four centuries. Among the historical court’s staff was a head seamstress, and at one time in history this role belonged to the great grandmother of Muharrem and Ferhan Gilan, brothers, descended from one of history’s most decadent dynasties. Together they have built a jewellery house that pays homage to a family tradition of great artisan skill. Through innovative techniques and and ancient craftsmanship, Gilan’s influence reaches far and wide from its Turkish outpost.

Contemporary Heritage Collection
What set the maison’s collections apart are distinctively contemporary designs and a touch of old-world style. Necklaces, earrings, rings and cuffs look as though they could have been plucked out of an Ottoman heritage collection, yet they have distinctly contemporary details that blend old with new for a stunning effect. Gilan’s Contemporary Heritage Collection is one of the best examples of this unique quality with its signature rose-cut diamonds paying tribute to an ancient stone cutting, while being set in a unique silver nest that brings out the diamond’s brilliance. The design is finished against a contrasting, hand-engraved, yellow gold mounting. Each trinket is a conversation piece in and of itself, especially the rings which are crafted in various forms from spiraling, cut-out styles to graceful pear-shaped designs, all adorned with entrancing white diamonds that would have inspired Marilyn Monroe to belt out another verse in her ode to the timeless stones.

Gilan today
Modern screen sirens have adopted their own penchant for the distinctive baubles such as Salma Hayek and Drew Barrymore. Stunning Spaniard Penelope Cruz had a banner year in 2006, garnering an onslaught of praise and award nominations for her lead role in Pedro Almodovar’s “Volver.” Cruz opted to pair a Gilan diamond and silver ring with her soft pink Marchesa gown at that year’s Golden Globe Awards. Actress Nicole Kidman has her own collector’s piece in the form of a heart-shaped necklace given to her by her country music star husband, Keith Urban. What began as a word-of-mouth business with a select circle of fanatic clients and jewellery aficionados has transformed over three decades into an international jewellery house known for its stand out styles.

Gilan’s global expansion boasts two flagship boutiques and three beautifully designed shops in its hometown of Istanbul. One flagship is located at the city’s premiere shopping centre Istinye Park and another is housed in the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul At the Bosphorus. Gilan can be found in Paris at the famous Ritz Hotel, St. Tropez, Courchevel, Megeve and Bahrain. While eyeing future prospects in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, the brand has also already its way across the pond to North America. In 2005, Gilan became the first Turkish jewellery brand to call New York’s Fifth Avenue home, inaugurating its New York flagship just below Central Park. Their unmistakable ancient-cum-contemporary jewellery has also found its way into modern day American retail palaces such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus – quite a ways away from the city where the story of Gilan began.

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