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January 20, 2010

Hanna Bernhard

I am so excited to finally do this post-it's a been long time in the making.

Recently my mother stumbled upon Paris-based jewelry designer Hanna Bernhard. For us it was love at first sight. We were immediately compelled by the scale and depth of their creations.  In fact we didn't realize exactly how large some of her pieces were until the day they arrived at our doorstep. 'Hanna Bernhard' is actually a husband and wife team based in Paris, and they have been creating jewelry for more that twenty years. Needless to say all of the Hanna Bernhard creations are a work of art on their own. Each piece comes with its own hand-crafted stand. We have ours on display in the dining room.

There is an obsessive, frenzied quality to their work that makes me wonder about the psychology that went into its creation. What goes on in the mind of 'Hanna Bernhard'? Lucky for us, they obliged when my mom hit them up for a quick interview.

First, the pictures...here are the Hanna Bernhard pieces we have acquired thus far.

 

Here is the squid.

The squid is over a foot long.

Wearing the squid with a Jelly Garcia dress I bought in Tokyo, sequin tube top from Mango, and Gucci wooden platforms.

The squid was telling me dirty jokes.

 

Here is the shrimp. 

I'm wearing the shrimp with a Moschino saftey pin jacket, Urban Outfitters shirt, Citizens of Humanity jeans, and Prada studded booties.

 

And here is the octopus!

This Chanel faux fur jacket from the 1994 Fall collection was MADE to be worn with megasized octopi. I love them together!

 

You have already met the antelope...

And you will soon be introduced to the baboon in an upcoming post!

Here is the interview with one half of Hanna Bernhard. 

When did you and your husband start designing Hanna Bernhard? 

I had started to design jewelry before meeting my husband Fernand. This was over 20 years ago. When we met he had just finished his dental prothese studies. We combined both of our skills-my love of colors and his aptitude at sculpting-and have naturally started to make jewelry together. 

Where does the name Hanna come from?

Hanna is my hebraic name.  

What do you look for for inspiration? 

Mostly nature, but we are also influenced by our love for Art Deco and Art Nouveau. We are both in love with Lalique jewelry. 

You seem to feature animals so often--why animals? 

My father was a Natural Sciences teacher, I have always been surrounded by gems and fossils -which he was collecting-, skulls of animals, books, etc. We have a countryside house, I used to go there every week end when I was young. My dad and I loved to hunt for butterflies, insects, and fossils. Fernand has spent most of his childhood in Corsica, he was living by the sea and diving to watch sea life was his favorite activity. He was very romantic and spent days alone in the nature, observing plants, flowers and insects. 

Do you have any exciting projects or collaborations for the future that you would like us to know about?

We do have projects, including with a world known couture house; we are not superstitious but it is probably better to talk about them because the project is not concrete. 

6) Do you have a favorite peice?  If so, why is it your favorite?  
 Fernand is afraid of snakes, but paradoxically it is what he likes to make the best; may be a way to tame this animal.. He loves any sea creature, also insects and monkeys -he would may be say 'not true', but he is always talking about making more monkeys ! 

I have several favorite pieces: 2 peacock pins, male and female (you can see them on our site). I really love the colors, in shades of turquoise blue. I had kept 2 pieces at home, a huge ostrich pin and a huge parrot pin, but I have finally sold them after several years. I sold the last one to Iris Apfel.

Thank you so much to Natalie for doing this interview, and thank you so much for your beautiful jewelry!

P.S. On February 25th at V.O.D. boutique in Dallas, my mother and I will be hosting a trunk show with great statement jewelry from the 70's and 80's. We are bringing all of our Hanna Bernhard collection and will have a few pieces for sale. If you're around, please come!

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