When Rallou Katsari was studying jewelry making at Alchimia, a contemporary jewelry and design school in Italy, she crafted a brooch in gold and shades of blue. “It signifies a beautiful period of my life,” says the Greece-based artist, who launched her namesake line, Rallou, in 2007. “It reminds me of the greatest teacher I ever had and the things he taught me—Manfred Bischoff.”
But while Rallou understands the ability of a special piece of jewelry to conjure up a sense of nostalgia, it’s the present she’s most interested in capturing. “One of the things that helped me a lot in improving my quality of life and minimizing the everyday stress was the theory of mindfulness,” explains the designer, who first fell in love with jewelry-making as a teenager, fashioning bracelets from threads. “It is very easy to think about the past or the future, and that results in not allowing ourselves to live in the present moment.” That intention is visible in all of her pieces, designed as mindful triggers—“pieces to be cherished as reminders to appreciate and enjoy living,” says the designer, whose works have shown in contemporary jewelry exhibits around the world.
It all started with the Drop ring, from Rallou’s Seemingly Solid Collection (available at August)—the first piece the artist envisioned. “It celebrates the simplicity of a single drop, where the drop is a physical representation of the present moment,” says Rallou, referring to the sculptural form that seemingly appears to emerge and flow over the 18-karat gold in which her pieces are crafted. “The nailing of the diamonds and the curves in their form give it an ultimately harmonious and a well-balanced result.”
That commitment to mindfulness also extends to Rallou’s design process, starting with her inspiration. “I create the right space in me in order for inspiration to find me, and not the other way around,” she says. To achieve that, she dedicates time to absorbing her environment, and focusing on the feelings and things she hopes to express through her work. “A peaceful and open mind is the only way for the inspiration to find me, and for me to be there to welcome it.”
Up next for the designer: a presentation of her new collection in September, following Paris Fashion Week (“You will be able to see what happened when the drop… dropped,” says Rallou), all while focusing on living in the moment. “I never really make a decision on where to dedicate my career,” muses Rallou. “This is where I am today, content with my decisions, not knowing the exact path this passion will take me.”