MILAN–At the Gi by Ginevra Dondina showroom, the designer is watching fish made of resin solidify their form. She places tiny bits of paper into the heart of the crystalized substance and designs patterns with the tip of a toothpick into the giant opaque bead that is being formed out of an Ikea icecube tray.
“I like to design. I just love using my hands,” 28-year-old Dondina said. Collages made with magazine cutouts are scattered around the desk and in a lot of ways, her pieces are mini collages that combine influences from her urban lifestyle, her boho chic style and her yearning for more natural landscapes.
Dondina’s CV ticks off all the right boxes – at least for the jewelry world. After studying print making at Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Dondina went on to study goldsmithing at the Scuola Orafa Ambrosiana di Milano. Prior to starting her own label, she worked for Pellini Milano, one of the first historic Italian labels to be sold at Saks in New York City.
Like Dondina, the designs, the fish and the good luck charms that she crafts, are all diminutive in size – keepsakes that are either combined with silver and gold or cotton string.
“In the end, I just can’t do anything else than really small, discreet things. It’s just my nature.”
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: Marta Ferri: The Contemporary Atelier, Lorenzo Borghi: Old Style Milliner, Freccia Bestetti: Too International for Just Italy, Brunello Cucinelli: The King of Cashmere, The Mini World of Ginevra Dondina, Passaggio Cravatte: A Treasure Chest of Ties