I’m always on the lookout for jewellery designers challenging the status quo, and I have long been a fan of Lebanese, Beirut-based Dina Kamal, ever since she established her jewellery and architectural practice, DINAKAMAL DK01, eight years ago. “For me, both these disciplines are about emotional impact,” Kamal explains. “I create a response by understanding the essence of a space or the context in relation to the material and its purpose.”
Kamal’s debut PNKYRNG collection launched in June 2010 redefining and modernising the signet ring through her contemporary and architecturally informed aesthetic. One of Kamal’s classics is the flat plate ring (from £2,100), studded with diamonds and available in bevelled 18ct beige, and pink, yellow or black gold. “Pinky rings communicate a certain edginess and attitude,” says Kamal. “I like the fact that they are both empowering and mischievous. My desire was to capture the universal appeal of this unassuming silhouette in a new way. My influence is rooted in understanding the significance of heritage, what it means to us and how we value it.”
Another design with a similar subversive quality is Kamal’s witty twist on the classic ID bracelet. Her ID 18ct gold cord plate bracelet (from £10,600) combines the ID disc with a classic rope chain and a secret rondelle of seven diamonds set into the edge. The generous chain length means this versatile piece can also be worn as a necklace by adjusting its chic clasp.
Kamal’s fascination with global cultural heritage is also evident in her Tribal Earrings Series (£11,200 for 18ct brushed beige gold with white diamonds), which pays homage to nose rings and earrings worn by ancient peoples. The sleek lines and beautiful proportions are also an example of how Kamal’s architectural discipline resonates throughout her jewellery design.
Another favourite of mine are her Marquise earrings (£13,450 for 18ct gold with white diamonds), inspired by the pillars of Claude Nicolas Ledoux, an 18th-century French architect. Kamal’s statement earrings are ridged strips of beige gold set with 16-natural white marquise-cut diamonds, illustrating perfectly how striking the combination of texture and simple outline can be.
Finally, with a nod to popular culture, Kamal’s Twin Peaks Series is a tribute to director David Lynch and his 1990s cult TV drama. The rings in this series (from £13,500 for twin emerald pinky ring in 18ct brushed beige gold) form two distinct peaks and are affectionately referred to as “empowerment” rings.
Kamal’s fine jewellery showcases an exquisite balance of proportion, sensitive use of materials combined with charming wit and cultural references, making her designs as relevant and covetable today as they will be in the future.
Juliet Hutton-Squire is a jewellery consultant and co-founder of Adorn Insight (adorninsight.com).