Anny Apostolidis lifts her chin and cocks her head for effect. “When I was in New York,” she mimics, evoking all the obnoxious attitude she can muster before breaking into laughter.
Sitting in her studio (a shared space in the Nicholas Building) the Melbourne-based designer is downplaying her creative journey. She spent six years working for a local jeweller before graduating from NMIT and moving to New York to learn the ropes as a production assistant under jeweller Nora Kogan – a role she assumed for 10 months before returning to Melbourne in April 2012 to start her own fine jewellery label, Mavro.
Her debut collection-in-progress, WMBK (an acronym for Williamsburg, Brooklyn) is a tribute to those instrumental months she spent between Kogan’s studio in Park Slope, Brooklyn and the diamond district in Manhattan.
The collection is a convergence of tough and delicate contrasts: angular shapes inspired by crystals and geodes, knuckleduster styles and durable stones set against fine sterling silver with delicate milgrain edging, subtle hand-engraving and hand-twisting.
Worn on their own, the pieces make a delicate and seemingly effortless statement. “I like wearing a whole lot of really delicate stuff to make it look like chunky stuff,” she shrugs.
While her progress was momentarily stalled by several requests for custom-made engagement rings from her friends, Apostilidis is busy growing the WMBK collection and fleshing out Mavro’s 90s-inspired range of hand-twisted bangles, hoop earrings and ear cuffs with name plate rings and evil eye motifs. It’s an era that will always symbolise the restless influences that have informed Apostilidis to do things a bit differently.