After studying to become an architect, Giovanni Raspini decided to sidestep the industry’s bureaucracy and limitations 25 years ago and instead began pouring his passion for silverware into his own designs – a career move which we must be grateful for since his talent for design has resulted in ‘Neckplace‘, a collection of show-stopping adornments which draw attention to the collar bone – the second place that’s noticed on a woman, after her face.
Giovanni’s first playful experiments started off with manipulating silver into decorative tableware, arty vases and even frames but about 15 years ago, he decided to try his hand at designing dainty charms. Over time, he gravitated closer to jewellery design and created exquisite bracelets, earrings and neck pieces which today make up 80% of the production at his workshop near Florence.
Inspired by nature, each rich item in this ‘necklace only’ collection is so striking that it becomes the focal point when used to dress up a simple black dress or understated suit. Made from silver, some designs are plated in gold or incorporate coloured glass and wood.
I met Giovanni at his store on Corso Monforte, just off San Babila, where I was given the freedom to try on any ‘Neckplace‘ piece I liked. I couldn’t make my mind up between the pretty silver daisies, the regal gold-plated African lion and the gorgeous multi-strand neckchain that combines silver with yellow and pink gold tones, so Giovanni chose for me. He clipped a twisted snake – the star of the exhibition – around my neck and explained that this reptile, also coated in yellow gold is a strong symbol of power and sensuality.
All the necklaces are approximately the same length except a piece with dangling silver hearts that can be worn long as a single strand or doubled up.
Visit the Giovanni Raspini website to see more