Alan Crocetti’s Genderless Jewels
Derek Ezra Brown,
Alan Crocetti’s jewelry juxtaposes strength with a fragile use of gemstones and romanticism traditionally seen adorning women. But in Crocetti’s creative world jewelry is genderless, where men and women alike can share jewelry in sizes adaptable to each sex.
A version of this exclusive interview first appeared in the pages of the 15th issue of ODDA Magazine.
The character of your pieces are reminiscent of the old aristocracy, of a time when men wearing gemstones was a norm, however excluded to nobility. You, however create this effect for today, with innovative approaches to fit and challenging, yet minimal architectural design. Do you look at antique paintings, jewelry and/or modern design as figures of inspiration?
I never studied jewelry so I feel, somehow, that this got me a bit away from the whole jewelry design, business and the niche of what jewelry really meant. I don’t look at other jeweler’s work with the intent of research and I never felt like I should or had to. I like to analyze the body and this usually takes me to places. I’m obsessed with anatomy, so I don’t start designing thinking “I’m making an earring,” I look at the ear and I don’t underestimate it. When I was younger I was more fascinated about Da Vinci’s rough sketching than his actual final pieces. So looking at other jewelers’ work rarely inspires me even though I can definitely appreciate them. Not even sure if the logistic here makes sense, even though it does in my head.
Who are some of your competitors?
A couple I might want to confess are Shaun Leane and Ambush, both of which lack the romanticism you provide. Both, however, create covetable pieces men love to wear and collaborate with fashion designers.
“I LIKE TO ANALYZE THE BODY AND THIS USUALLY TAKES ME TO PLACES. I’M OBSESSED WITH ANATOMY” – ALAN CROCETTI
Was Shaun someone you ever looked up to?
I aspire to be as established as they are but I never saw them as competitors. I can see their individuality in their work and I like to think I also have my own. There’s a huge level of respect towards them so in that sense I can say I look up to them but not as competition.
Would you agree a level of intellect is important in Fashion, Art, and Design in order to innovate, break barriers, and help answer philosophical or societal questions through creation?
A certain level might take you far but it’s more a matter of sensibility.
How has your upbringing influenced your Art and love of Fashion?
I grew up in my parents’ knitwear factory in Brazil, so I was in contact with fashion from a very young age.
I wanted to work with it when I was really young, but I guess it was more out of admiration for my parents than an actual drive… my head was always everywhere. It wasn’t like I always wanted to be fashion designer, I also wan- ted to be an actor, musician, painter and plastic surgeon. My parents hated working in fashion and the business of fashion and did it for the money, I’m happy to actually really love doing what I do. I’m just not comfortable with interviews.
As a womenswear student at Central Saint Martins, you were given the freedom and tools to create the jewelry you wanted to create, which became your ultimate passion in design. What tools did you need to gather upon graduation for production? How do you make your jewelry, from sketch to, prototype, to final execution?
I studied womenswear so basically what I got from it that I still apply on a daily basis is just to be myself really.
I never understood how I could think outside a box because I never felt like I was in one to begin with. Denial? Maybe.
The making of a collection is always so different for me and non-methodical. Sketches and photos I take and like to play with on Photoshop. When I’m bored I’m at my best… commuting, hangovers and sleepless nights… Photoshop Mix and Photoshop Fix on the go. I draw a lot on my own body and there has been even a time that all I had was dry cleaning metal hangers to work with. Then it gets more technical. Technical drawings, wax carving and 3D projects, stone research and voilà!
Who are some of your favorite musical artists, perhaps ones that influence your brand?
I’ve been listening a lot to Cigarettes after Sex, Vessel and Bendik Giske.
You are able to rely on your own technical skills to create the clothing that accommodates your jewelry presentations and advertisements. You, thus, are independent of other brands’ clothing to create your world. Might you branch into furniture-design as well under the same label, to coincide with your jewelry?
I have always been very fond of design in general, I might adventure into other areas but my main focus is jewelry now. I have experienced making the garments for my presentations and film and coming up with concepts for displays, everything fascinates me and I always try to tell my story my way. However, taking those ideas/prototypes and turning them into business is beyond what I’m capable of right now, so I would not consider it for the time being, not until I’m sure I can have the same amount of attention and committed I have towards my jewelry. I do see a future in doing so but it’s a bit too soon. I am developing /sketching more accessories but that idea is still to be nourished.
From a social aspect, you are toying with notions of perceived masculinity. What was it about Fight Club, a satire on the modern man, that you found as a strong influence for your debut solo presentation at Fashion East?
My collection FIXATION was about the exploration of fractured, evolving masculinities. The boyish injured waifs that grow into unruly rebellious young men. It was about repressed primal violence boiling beneath the veneer of social acceptability and the beauty in the stories of tensions and contradictions that makes one decide whether to hold onto the purity of youth or play alongside the big boys.
So far you have collaborated with the likes of Asai and GmbH. Do you see yourself ever becoming the exclusive jeweler for a fashion-house, or would you rather keep collaborating with different fashion designers each season?
Collaborating gives me the opportunity to step into someone else’s world and that really adds up in the end. I would be thrilled to be the jewelry designer for a fashion-house as long as I could still work on my own.
Where do you see your brand growing in the long-run? Your highest vision for Alan Crocetti?
I love what I have done so far and every step I’ve been through so it’s a bit pretentious to think that further ahead. The idea is to push on innovation and desire and that those translate into sales and a thriving business. The highest vision is coming true step by step and I couldn’t be happier.
More Harvest seasons from now on.
Derek Ezra Brown
Derek Ezra Brown is a young journalist and fashion stylist who travels the world in pursuit of creating thought provoking fashion shoots and designer interviews.
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