Sep 21, 2017

A single trip to Barcelona inspired this jewelry collection

See Paul Syjuco's interpretation of Gaudi's Casa Batllo in jewel form

Unlike the rest of us, when Paul Syjuco travels, he travels for inspiration.

The fine jewelry designer took a trip to Barcelona last November and found himself poring over the details of the city’s landmarks.

Earrings of blue sapphires, emerald cabochon drops and diamonds
Inspiration: Casa Batllo rooftop mosaic and cross by Antoni Gaudi
Tassel pendant of opals, sapphires, jadeite and seed pearls in gold
Inspiration: Palau dela Musica Catalana stained glass inverted dome by Lluis Domenech i Montaner

He returned to Manila and designed a collection for his label Aum by Paul Syjuco directly inspired by the trip. Called “Moderne,” the collection pays homage to the Art Nouveau movement, particularly the Spanish Modernista movement.

“I’ve always loved Art Nouveau as it is so romantic, extravagant and ornate; possibly one of the reasons it was relatively short-lived as it was expensive to execute,” he says. “But to see Barcelona and experience the architecture and designs that were and still are incredibly beautiful—this was when I felt that it wasn’t just a movement but a true, radical revolution.”

Baroque keshi pearl brooch with diamonds and coral branches
Inspiration: Casa Batllo ceiling detail by Antoni Gaudi
Necklace and earrings of coral, diamonds and twisted gold laver
Inspiration: La Pedrera facade and railings by Antoni Gaudi
Earrings and ring of fine peridot, champagne keshi pearls and diamonds in gold
Inspiration: La Pedrera rooftop detail by Antoni Gaudi

“The buildings weren’t just adorned with nature, they seemed to be from nature itself,” Paul says. “These were not just decorative, you could feel the passion. The ideas were expressed in timeless heritage sites of such scale. Seeing works by Antoni Gaudi, Luis Domenech i Montaner and Josep Puig i Cadafalch up close, I thought there was only one word for it: ‘insane.’ Another would be ‘otherworldly.’”

Paul Syjuco’s bangle of golden keshi pearls and diamonds in gold
Inspiration: Casa Amatller mosaic detail by Josep Puig i Cadafalch
Ring of kunzite, rubies and diamonds in rose gold
Inspiration: Casa Fuster Catalan vaults by Lluis Domenech i Montaner

Check out the jewelry starting today until Sept. 23 at Aum by Paul Syjuco at The Peninsula Manila, Makati, and at Aum Trinoma, Quezon City, from Sept. 26-30. Email [email protected] for inquiries.

Bangle and earrings of golden keshi pearls and diamonds in gold
Inspiration: Casa Amatller wrought brass detail by Josep Puig i Cadafalch
Earrings of pink tourmaline cabochons, blue Ceylon sapphires and diamonds in gold
Inspiration: Palau dela Musica Catalana facade and bas relief by Lluis Domenech i Montaner
Incidentally, Paul Syjuco, a third generation jeweler, was our Northern Living cover in March 2014.

TAGS: aum by paul syjuco barcelona jewelry paul syjuco Peninsula Manila travel


Bea Ledesma

Bea Ledesma is the group publisher of Hinge Inquirer and a columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer. She has a dog named George, and spends much of her leisure time photographing him while he naps. You can see more of her dog photos on her Instagram @bealedesma.