Created in Paris, Ilona Orel’s jewellery is a highly original combination of contemporary sophistication and age-old mysticism
“Every piece has a meaning,” she says. “I made the collection from universal symbols interpreted in a modern, edgy way.”
Previously the owner of a Paris art gallery, Ilona launched her jewellery brand in 2018. Motifs such as the third eye or the Earth moving on its axis recur in her necklaces, rings and earrings. Mysticism infuses her work, and Ilona hopes her creations will bring luck, protection and empowerment to the wearer.
“When people wear these pieces, they are wearing the meaning as well as a beautiful piece of jewellery,” she says. “I believe many of the ancient symbols I use have a universal language to them, so they become a kind of talisman.
“I am an artist first of all. I want to express myself through this medium and keep the quality over quantity.”
Each collection is small, with bespoke details such as diamonds with engraved messages that are invisible to the naked eye. Clients can choose shades of green or blue that are close to their own eye colour, making every object unique.
The emphasis on luxury makes Ilona’s pieces an antidote to fast fashion. They are intended to be treasured heirlooms rather than seasonal accessories, passed down through generations with a timeless appeal.
The jewellery is made in Paris, and all the materials used are certified as sustainable. “I work with all the best jewellery houses,” Ilona says. “I am a perfectionist and I want every piece to be perfect, inside and out.”
Most of Ilona’s jewellery also has some kinetic aspect, such as the Perpetuum Mobile cross with two moving axes. She encourages customers to enjoy the tactile aspect of her jewellery, and the movement can be soothing for those with stressful lives and a lot of restless energy.
“We function with all five of our senses,” she says. “The movement makes my pieces like living things. I think it is quite natural to want to touch them and play with them.”
While Ilona wants to expand into London and New York, she is determined that her jewellery will retain an exclusive, timeless feel, no matter how popular it becomes.