Karma El Khalil’s celestially chic “Conversations with the Moon” jewelry radiates splendid light and color
As long as humans and their ancestors have walked the earth, they have watched in awe as the same moon transforms from a silver sliver to a crescent shape to a half-moon to a moon-like glow. orb. During the long, lonely nights of the Covid pandemic, gazing out of her apartment and reflecting on the moon, Earth’s one and only natural satellite, helped New York-based designer Karma El Khalil stay centered and create very sculptural and luminous 18 carat sound. gold jewelry collection, ‘Conversations with the Moon’. Embodying a universally appealing, timeless and chic aesthetic beauty, simplicity and ethos, El Khalil’s designs are jeweled meditations on his experience of watching the moon transform into shape, size and brilliance.
As El Khalil explains, “I called the collection ‘Conversations with the Moon’ because I spent many nights looking at the moon from my apartment in the middle of New York. Observing all eight phases of its 27-day orbital period up close, El Khalil became grateful for the moonlighting of the city’s canyons of steel and glass buildings. “While the ambulance sirens wailed,” she recalled, “the moon continued to shine, which in an existential way gave me hope.” Even though so many have lived in relative isolation for much of 2020 and 2021, El Khalil continues: “During lockdown in 2020, my sleepless nights were greeted by a sight of the moon crossing the muted horizon of New York as the still hours passed. . At a time of great isolation, I found great comfort in the fact that this celestial body connects every being on our planet, and as such it reminded me of something we all too often tend to forget: our unit.
Known for his minimalist yet fiercely feminine jewelry that embody angular yet sultry and alluring silhouettes, ‘Conversations with the Moon’ builds on the aesthetic trends that have made El Khalil a favorite of cultural stars such as musicians Miley Cyrus and Rihanna, as well as actors Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie. This new collection shimmers with pieces in 18k yellow gold or 18k white gold that shimmer and shine with recycled diamonds. (The gold is also recycled, having been melted down from some of El Khalil’s previous collections and prototypes.)
While some of the rings that make up this latest range are set with moonstone and chalcedony to embody a luminosity subtly enhanced by tiny diamond accents, El Khalil’s cocktail rings set with champagne diamonds, morganite, of green tourmaline and topaz sparkle like moonlight reflecting off the windows of skyscrapers. . Earrings come in the form of morganite pendants or flamboyantly chic chandeliers of sky blue apatite and diamonds. Unlike previous collections of El Khalil, Conversations with the Moon embodies a sculptural spectrum that ranges from rough gemstone silhouettes to extremely refined shapes: the pendant necklaces contain irresistible bits of raw blue opal, raw red spinel or raw dioptase, which shimmer in shades of forest green. The versatility and classicism of the designs in this collection are epic: they are luxury jewelry that can be worn every day to make a memorable statement.
As she dreamed of this new collection, “sometimes I felt like the moon and I was in dialogue,” recalls El Khalil. “The moon was my companion during a time of total isolation, a mysterious presence that I knew embodied much longer than a human life, but with whom, in this moment, I felt physically, visually and emotionally. connected.” Looking out from his apartment into the city’s sea of gleaming glass buildings, El Khalil recalls: “As New York’s lights from high-rise buildings gradually dimmed as the pandemic raged, the brightness of the moon was getting noticeably stronger with the passage of time. In a sense, the vibrant glow of city lights has been replaced by the vast moonlight. As the moon grew brighter,” she recounts, “it brought more and more light through my windows, which inspired new jewelry designs.”
The visual and visceral experience of the moon has given El Khalil the unexpected gift of crystallizing new shapes and concepts for his latest collection. “What I’m grateful for is the beauty and knowledge I absorbed while talking with the moon,” she recalls. “When we are open to seeing and listening to nature, we can learn invaluable lessons about life.” [Writer’s note: Approximately 240,000 miles from Earth, the moon also helps stabilize our planet’s wobble and regulate our climate.]
El Khalil is part of a long tradition of fine jewelry designers who have created sets inspired by the moon and its role in our universe. One thinks of the many Neolithic and Bronze Age necklaces that have the shape of crescent moons. Then there are the moonstone jewels designed by New York-based Count Fulco di Verdura in the 1940s, as well as the 18-karat gold and ruby Moon drop earrings created in 1969 by the Athenian jeweler Ilias Lalaounis. Commissioned by Aristotle Onassis for the 40th birthday of his wife Jackie Kennedyand anniversary, these LALAounis jewels were also made to coincide with NASA’s first moon landing. In 2019, to celebrate the 50and anniversary of the moon landing, LALAounis created a limited number of Apollo 11 Moon earrings that shimmered with diamonds on the surface of the moon.
While El Khalil’s moonstruck, New York-inspired jewelry collection stems primarily from her sculptural and poetic imagination, ‘Conversations with the Moon’ also seems driven by a compassion for the human family expressed by the 20th-century Lebanese-American poet and painter Kahlil Gibran. (While El Khalil is of Lebanese descent, she grew up in Africa, Lebanon, France, and the United States.) Like Gibran, who also lived in New York for part of her life, El Khalil is , under a cosmopolitan art, carefully focused on connecting to diverse cultures and beliefs. She happens to do this via jewelry design, rather than poetry or prose.
As Gibran wrote in his book The Prophetpublished in 1923: “In the silence of the night, I walked your streets, and my spirit entered your homes, and your heartbeat was in my heart, and your breath was on my face, and I knew you all. Yes, I have known your joy and your pain, and in your sleep your dreams were my dreams. Created during a time of global fear, pain and mourning, El Khalil ‘Conversations with the Moon’ embodies the life-giving lunar energies to craft jewelry that soothes the human spirit while adorning the human body.