Seda Imperial, an inspiring fusion of cultures

August 22, 2014 Press

Carrera y Carrera: Seda Imperial

According to an Eastern legend, forty-six centuries ago there was a Chinese princess named Liu-Tsu who, at the age of 14, was obliged to marry a Barbaric Khan against her will for political reasons.  As revenge, Liu-Tsu hid in her shawl the best kept mystery of the Far East ever known – the secret of Imperial Silk embroidery – and threw it into the ocean depths.

Centuries later, the captain of the ship San Felipe navigated the 7 seas, from Manila to Acapulco and from there to Seville, fighting against adversaries from all continents.  One day at sea, he glimpsed something in the water.  The shawl appeared in the hands of the captain, who guarded it as if it were treasure.

That same night, a storm broke.  People say that one April afternoon the ship appeared by itself in the port of Seville; nothing was known of the captain or of its crew.   A woman found the shawl and gave it to a young embroiderer.  This woman was the captain’s lover and an aristocrat of the period who, along with the young embroiderer, preserved the mystery.

Carrera y Carrera; Seda Imperial

The Manila Shawl, source of inspiration for Seda Imperial

Over time, that shawl Liu-Tsu threw into the ocean became what is known today as the Manila Shawl, considered an adaptation of the immemorial Chinese tradition and one of the primary Spanish emblems, thanks to the fusion of Eastern and Western cultures.

The Manila Shawl, originally from China, is a purely handmade garment, hand-embroidered in natural silk and fashioned with skill and dexterity.  The creation of a shawl requires the expert hands of an embroiderer that dedicates months of work to make a garment and adornment of incalculable value.  Carrera y Carrera jewels are similarly created through meticulous work by master goldsmiths.

Carrera y Carrera; Seda Imperial

Emperatriz: Seduction, femininity and daring volumes

This line is inspired by the hand-embroidered floral patterns of Manila shawls.  Daring volumes, bold asymmetries, and a mix of yellow and white gold along with colored gemstones comprise an innovative and audacious vision of the floral theme.

The jewels are presented as flowers with petals of varying sizes that bring realism and volume to the pieces.  The transparency of the precious stones reveals the painstaking work of the interior of the piece, creating a magnifying glass effect that enlarges each detail and allows it to be appreciated in an extraordinary fashion.

Asymmetrical pieces where different proportions are visible and give movement to jewels with very pure parts as well as richer ones through which the whole framework may be appreciated, creating an astonishing set of contrasts.

Carrera y Carrera; Seda Imperial

Garzas: Eternity and passion

Drawing inspiration from the herons embroidered on Manila shawls, the artisan goldsmiths of Carrera y Carrera elevate this figurative element to its maximum splendor.  Voluptuous shapes, sublime detail, and magnificent finishes make this line an excellent example of gold craftsmanship.

Announcing the arrival of Spring, the heron symbolizes a change of life and is a talisman to attract happiness and prosperity.  According to the ancient art of Feng Shui, the image of a heron is used to ward off any negative energy.  In Chinese culture, the heron is viewed as one of the most important birds, preserving its secrets, traditions, and customs.

The jewels of this line are presented as a pair of intertwined herons in love who in their embrace surround a prasiolite as if it were a pond, wanting to remain that way for the rest of their days.

Carrera y Carrera; Seda Imperial

Sierpes: Fascinating pieces full of detail and movement

The name of this collection is inspired by one of the most iconic streets in Seville, Sierpes Street.  Located in the center of the Andalusian capital, Sierpes Street partly takes its name from its sinuous shape that mimics the movement of the fringe on the Manila shawl, the star of this collection.

The pieces present lattices that imitate the openwork of the shawls, simulating threads of silk that entangle themselves to create embroidered frames.  The painstaking work of the fringe is reflected in the meticulous craftsmanship of these jewels created by hand, detail by detail.

Sierpes demonstrates the different stages of the shawl:  a more figurative stage where the principal motif is a flower; a more geometric stage with a relief featuring lattices; and finally, a more theatrical stage through pieces featuring links that mimic the characteristic movement of the Manila shawl fringes.

Carrera y Carrera; Seda Imperial

Orquídeas: stunning jewels of extraordinary beauty

Stunning jewels of extraordinary beauty represent the Fine Jewelry line of Seda Imperial.  A world where creativity, inspiration, and innovation join luxury and elegance.

Impressive pieces where different orchids, conceived one by one in a distinctive fashion by the master goldsmiths of Carrera y Carrera, are repeated to make floral bouquets of great volume.  Rubies of varying sizes bring a touch of color to the pieces, mixing with diamonds to create a gradation effect where yellow gold makes its unique appearance.

The star of this line is a necklace of generous volumes and great technical complexity.  It is a completely articulated jewel that adjusts itself perfectly to the body.  The setting work of this necklace is simply breathtaking: more than 2,800 gems have been set with unmatched skill by the artisan goldsmiths of Carrera y Carrera, who have used all of their expertise in the service of art.

Carrera y Carrera; Seda Imperial

Designing Seda Imperial, behind the scenes

Koke Quero, Carrera y Carrera designer, says she likes to convey her rebellious and passionate character through the pieces she designs.  It is something which, along with her five colleagues in the design department, she has translated seamlessly to the pieces of Seda Imperial.

Her more than 25 years of experience with the brand allow her to completely understand the Carrera y Carrera DNA and express it in her designs.  Koke likes to design pieces with great movement, such as those of the Emperatriz line of Seda Imperial in which all of the floral patterns are articulated.

The legend that inspired the collection is mysterious and astonishing.  Koke has managed to capture these two characteristics in the jewels since she enjoys designing asymmetric pieces, pieces that start one way and finish another.  Stunning pieces worthy of being admired from every angle to understand the story they encompass.

Carrera y Carrera; Seda Imperial

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