Copper: latest trend for unique, affordable jewelry

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Updated 21 January 2013

Copper: latest trend for unique, affordable jewelry

The rising cost of gold and silver is driving jewelry makers and buyers for alternative metals as possible substitutes. Undoubtedly, the global economic crisis in which entire national economies are crumbling has enhanced our appetite for stability, strength and permanence. This has led to the resurgence of noble and classical materials such as copper in fashion jewelry.
The most familiar forms of copper are pure copper, brass, a copper-zinc alloy and bronze, a copper-tin alloy. No one knows exactly when copper was first discovered, but earliest estimates place this event around 9,000 B.C. in the Middle East. The fact that copper has been used for thousands of years proves that copper is a very adaptable and immensely versatile material. It is also one of the most common base metals used to harden soft metals. In other words, if you have a 14kt gold bracelet, it might contain up to 41 percent of copper and a silver plated pendant might consist of alternative layers of copper and layers of silver. Copper is one of the easiest metals to work with as it is very soft and pliable and thus easy to cut, form and fold.
Copper can range in tone from rose to deep brown. It can be beaten, laser-cut, polished and hammered into different surface textures, made rough, or smooth, thin or thick, matte or gloss. Copper has a quiet refinement and an understated, timeless quality because it holds the promise that it could last a thousand years or more. A copper jewel will take on a different patina in time but it will not lose any of its intrinsic beauty.
Egyptian born, Rana Nader is part of an increasing number of artists working with copper. She finished her art studies four years ago, specializing in mosaic, stained glass and oil painting. Rana, at first, produced paintings and mosaic pieces. However, she acknowledges that this artwork is not only costly but it also takes a lot of time and effort. “I also had to wait a long time to receive an order or two,” she said. This encouraged her to look for another artistic venture.
In January 2010, she decided to set up her jewelry design business after following a course on copper jewelry.
“Copper is inexpensive, available everywhere and can easily be shaped with traditional tools, which makes it possible for many to make good use of it to start a business of that kind,” she said.
Rana does not bend over a furnace like a traditional coppersmith. She first heads for the copper market where she purchases copper sheets and wires: “At the workshop, the production goes through many phases, from cutting, sanding and polishing to hammering, twisting and spiraling. The type of design should finally determine whether I will use sheet or wires. Maybe the best thing about copper is that it’s extremely flexible and can go with all styles. As for me, I enjoy doing modern, classic and even crazy designs,” Nader explains.
Over time copper jewelry will lose its bright shine but there is a very easy way to clean copper and bring back its bright and shiny look. All you need is a small glass of lemon juice, an old toothbrush, soap and a drying towel. Place one piece of jewelry in the lemon juice and leave it for about 10 to 20 minutes. Once you have cleaned the jewelry, use a little soap and the toothbrush to clean just a little more, then rinse and dry with a towel.
Copper jewelry has been worn by the ancient Babylonians and the ancient Egyptians saw it as a mark of high status in society. Throughout history, besides its use as an ornament, copper was also used for its incredible healing properties. Copper jewelry has been used for a hundred years, at least, to cure a number of ailments, including, arthritis.
Copper, which is the 25th most abundant element in the world, is emerging as a popular substitute for silver, gold and platinum. Copper jewelry has been worn throughout the ages. Copper artifacts from the ancient Babylonian civilization (8700 BC) predate the earliest gold jewelry by about 4700 years.
Using inexpensive materials for making art jewels is not new. At the Paris International Exhibition in 1900, Piel Freres, a Paris jewelry firm, caused a sensation by replacing sculpted ivory with plastic and replacing gold with copper and silver. In the 1950s, beautiful copper jewelry was made. The French artist, Claude Lalanne has designed some of the most stunning copper jewelry of the late 20th century and her pieces have become collector’s items.
The use of brass, bronze and copper has opened an exciting and affordable fashion-focused jewelry, a new area of artistry and sophistication. These new materials are re-energizing the jewelry landscape. Designers like Rana Nader are not only bringing a sense of individuality, personal expression and hand-craftsmanship but they are also reminding us that jewelry is made to be worn.

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Fashion Forward Dubai pop-up store returns to Saudi Arabia

Fashion Forward Dubai will present a carefully curated selection of the best apparel and accessory designers from the region. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 23 May 2018

Fashion Forward Dubai pop-up store returns to Saudi Arabia

  • FFWD will present a carefully curated selection of the best apparel and accessory designers from the region
  • The pop-up is driven by Fashion Forward’s mission to promote, celebrate and develop the region’s leading fashion talents

DUBAI: Fashion Forward Dubai (FFWD), the Middle East fashion platform, returns for a second edition of their pop-up store in Saudi Arabia’s Rubaiyat department store in Jeddah from May 25 to June 15.

FFWD will present a carefully curated selection of the best apparel and accessory designers from the region including Anaya, Atelier Zuhra, Arwa Al Banawi, Baruni, Beige, Bint Thani, Hessa Falasi, Lama Jouni, Nasiba Hapiz, Sara Altwaim, Shahad Rehami and Sarah’s Bag. 

The pop-up is driven by Fashion Forward’s mission to promote, celebrate and develop the region’s leading fashion talents. Endorsed by the Dubai Design and Fashion Council (DDFC) and supported by Dubai Design District (d3), the initiative is dedicated to supporting the evolving regional fashion ecosystem in its pursuit of attaining commercial success and widening reach into new markets.

“Fashion Forward has decided to partner with the prestigious Rubaiyat for its second edition as we firmly believe in the synergy that this partnership brings to all parties involved. We were thrilled with the success of the designers in last year’s pop-up and are enthusiastic about the opportunity to continue nurturing our designers in growing retail markets, such as KSA,” said Bong Guerrero, CEO and co-founder of FFWD.

ANAYA: Named after the designer’s daughter and inspired by her creativity and drive to follow her dream of building a fashion empire for the power women of the new era. In 2010, Chathuri won the International Young Fashion Entrepreneur award from the British Fashion Council at London Fashion Week for her startup company ANAYA. 

ATELIER ZUHRA: Atelier Zuhra was established in 2015 under business entrepreneur Mousa Al-Awfi, who supported her dream to build a couture atelier in Dubai and dress up women with glamor and perfection. Zuhra passed her dream to her daughter Rayan Al-Sulaimani, who raised the bar by scaling up the designs to a more sophisticated and outstanding quality. 

ARWA AL BANAWI: Like her eponymous label, Saudi-born designer Arwa Al-Banawi is an eclectic mix of contrasts. Designed for the subtle woman, her aesthetic is both classically cool and feminine — earning her recognition from and a finalist position at Jeddah Vogue Fashion Experience.

BARUNI: Created by Fadwa Baruni, the Baruni brand is strongly led by regional and local cultural influences as well as the colors and textures of nature, developing a signature style for the Baruni collection. 

BEIGE: Launched in 2017 by Muna Al-Othaiman, contemporary womenswear brand Beige fuses clean silhouettes with impeccable tailoring, evoking timeless modernity. 

BINT THANI: Inspired by art and architecture since its inception in 2012, BINT THANI offers curated collections that amplify the brand’s DNA of feminine and wearable styles for an international, design-orientated customer. 

HESSA FALASI: An Emirati brand established in 2011 in Dubai and inspired by Arabic culture, where traditional abayas are given a modern twist with a variety of high-quality fabrics, a kaleidoscope of colors in on-trend fashion. 

LAMA JOUNI: Lama Jouni is a high-end ready-to-wear label created in November 2013 in Paris. The name of the brand represents the designer and founder of the company. 

NASIBA HAFIZ: The woman who wears Nasiba Hafiz is not afraid to try new things and is not restricted by background, place or time. She has traveled the world and knows how to inject her heritage into a style that is particularly hers. 

SARA ALTWAIM: Born to a family of art lovers, Sara Altwaim has a passion for everything artistic. She took up writing poetry as a hobby and fashion design as her life’s passion. 

SHAHAD REHAIMI: Shahad Rehaimi’s Abaya collection is extravagantly unique and caters to trendy women. She aims to demonstrate every woman’s perfection through different fashionable styles.  

SARAH’S BAG: Dynamic, passionate and determined, with an epicurean’s delight in beauty and art, founder and creative director Sarah Beydoun designs handbags and accessories that are known for their intricate craftsmanship, attention to detail and vibrant, high-spirited appeal.