French Designer Shourouk Takes Statement Jewelry to Another Level

Last night I had a really fun chat with French accessory designer Shourouk Rhaiem, who’s in town to fete the launch of her spring/summer 2011 collection tonight.

The event is happening at La Boutique, one of my truly favorite SF-meets-Europe boutiques, where owner Carole Harari has transformed the shop to look like a little piece of Rhaiem’s atelier in the chic Marais district of Paris.

The jewelry could be described as the antithesis of minimalism. Glittery silver sequins meshes with chunky Swarovski crystals, braided and twisted chains, and unexpected household materials like neon rope or rubber electrical wire casings. One look at her collection and it all makes sense that Rhaiem is an alum of textile research and design at the houses of Galliano, Cavalli and Chloe— and that her pieces have been snatched up by the fashionably fearless Lady Gaga and Sarah Jessica Parker.
“I don’t like things when they are too elegant or refined,” says Rhaiem, 30. “In fashion, you always have to find new ideas. I learn that you can use everything you want. Nothing is unexpected.” To find out why Rhaiem ventured into jewelry design, how Tunisian culture influences her work, and her obsession with tiaras, read my full interview  for the San Francisco Chronicle here.

A photo of Rhaiem's grandmother in a traditional Tunisian sequin wedding gown, an inspiration for her design aesthetic.

A collector of cosmetic clutches, or minaudiere, Rhaiem also designs her own bedecked in silver sequins.

A recreation of the designer's atelier in Paris inside La Boutique.

Info: Shourouk at La Boutique, 414 Jackson St., 6-8:30 p.m., May 19, complimentary drinks and bites, rsvp@rubypr.com

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