Visit Sabine Getty’s new home for a personal presentation of her latest jewellery, inspired by the Memphis Group design movement.
Sabine Getty was born in Geneva, raised in Lebanon, and is now based in London, yet her heart lies in Memphis. That isn't Memphis, the ancient capital of Lower Egypt, or Memphis, Tennessee, the birthplace of rock 'n' roll, but rather the Memphis Group, late 20th century, post-modern Italian design movement, admired by everyone from David Bowie to Karl Lagerfeld.
Getty's most recent jewellery collections, Memphis and Baby Memphis, drew inspiration from this ‘poppy’ design collective, founded by Ettore Sottsass in Milan, in December 1980. Sabine's mother, an Egyptian interior designer, furnished the family home with Memphis pieces when Sabine was young, and Sabine included a few Memphis heirlooms in her intimate London showroom, where she displays her exquisitely crafted rings, torques, necklaces and chokers.
In the popular press, Sabine is best known for her 2015 wedding to the billionaire Joseph Getty, held at the Church of the Twelve Holy Apostles in Rome. However, in jewellery circles, she is a highly respected designer, and a graduate of the Gemological Institute of America, whose work is stocked in Browns, Maxfield LA and on FirstDibs.com. Her client list includes Céline Dion, Rihanna, Catherine Deneuve and Nicole Kidman, among many others.
In this interview, Sabine describes how Memphis found its way into her work, how Yves Saint Laurent is growing in her affections, and why London is right for her, right now.
Quintessentially: Where does your love of Memphis Group furniture come from?
Sabine Getty: I think it comes from my childhood. I was born in the 80s and I remember being surrounded by Memphis furniture as a child. I had a Memphis desk chair, bedside tables, and all my lamps were Memphis. It was such a wonderful and happy way to live, surrounded by playfulness and colour.
Q: How did it inform your collections?
SG: I am always drawn to things that are quite childish, colourful, happy and fun. For me, Memphis is exactly that. It happened very naturally as I was drawing and playing with different coloured stones. I realised that the shapes I was going for and the colours had something very Memphis about them.
Q: Tell me a bit about the accompanying shoot for your collection. The shoot looked like fun, and included some really interesting LA characters as models, such as Langley Fox, the great-granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway, and Dimitri Dimitrov, the manager of the Sunset Tower Hotel?
SG: This is such a fun part of the process. I have always been a big movie-going and theatre fan. I am obsessed with characters, and strong, interesting, theatrical heroines. I wanted to recreate that in my look book by choosing people I know, (rather than models), people I find fascinating and different and I then use them as characters in my very own play. The play is this collection.
Q: What other sources of inspiration have you been looking at recently?
SG: I have been looking at a lot of Yves Saint Laurent's genius design and play with colour. They just opened the YSL museum in Marrakech and I cannot wait to go there, to be inspired by all his incredible pieces.
Q: How has your multicultural upbringing influenced your work?
SG: I think it does subconsciously. It mostly makes me understand how very different women are. The opulence-loving Middle Eastern woman, versus the quite minimal European woman. It’s not a cliché at all, they are actually very different and both amazing types of women to design for.
Q: Is London a good fit for your work at the moment?
SG: I love London. London is booming at the moment in the creative world. There is so much going on here and so many interesting people live in this city. I consider myself very lucky to call it my home and I’m constantly inspired by the great Londoners I meet.
As part of Quintessentially’s Art Patron Programme, we are hosting a visit to Sabine's newly renovated, private home to view her creations and personal art collection.
For more information please contact Tali Zeloof firstname.lastname@example.org