This Line of Jewelry Mimics Fabric Floating in the Wind

Plaitly debuts the Drapery Collection, a series of gold and silver necklaces, bracelets, and earrings that capture fleeting moments.

Cambré Ring and Triangle Plié Pendant from Plaitly’s new Drapery Collection

Caroline Quinio has always been drawn to how fabrics interact with the human body, especially the organic, free-flowing shapes that emerge when a ballerina dances  across the stage. “Like a shadow, the shapes created by fabric are defined by the body, but they take on a life of their own based on the material, shape, and movement of the person wearing it,” says the founder of New York design studio Plaitly, which debuts a jewelry line that explores this very sensation. Called the Drapery Collection, the gold and silver necklaces, bracelets, and earrings seem to capture these fleeting moments. The pieces of jewelry, named Plié, Cambré, and En l’Air for particular ballet positions, evoke fabrics rippling in the wind or draped over the human body. 

To achieve the gentle billowing effects, Quinio digitally designed each piece using a custom algorithm that simulates gravity forces on fabrics in a virtual environment that she creates. “Each piece begins as a simple shape, such as a square, triangle, rectangle, or circle, that is draped along a chain in the environment,” she says. This makes the pieces appear as if they were “designed indirectly as opposed to being directly sculpted into a desired shape.” From there, she 3D-prints each piece in wax, hand-casts them in metal, and hand-polishes them to a glossy finish. “3D printing was key to getting these complex forms out of the computer,” she says, noting how each piece retains elements of both her virtual and handcrafted techniques.

(FROM LEFT) En l'Air Statement Earrings; Cambré Ring, Triangle Plié Pendant, Entrelacé Bracelet, En l'Air Statement Earrings

The resulting wearables effortlessly mimic the visual reverberations of movement. The Cambré Ring, which is adorned with a freshwater pearl, evokes a delicate piece of fabric dangling organically over a finger. Ditto for the En l’Air earrings, which capture fabric stirring in a soft breeze. As remarkable as the end results are, Quinio insists that the analysis, influences, and latent forces that make up the collection’s origin story are far more interesting. “Good design is a compelling, rigorous process that manifests in thoughtful, beautiful objects,” she says. “The Drapery Collection embraces this.” 

PHOTOS: Veronika Greenhill and Manuela Fraioli, courtesy of PLAITLY


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