Summer Snow: Fleeting Beauty

Summer snow studs in watermelon tourmaline

When fine jeweler Alice Cicolini began contemplating what “prettiness” meant in the context of her pattern and color-driven namesake line, she landed upon Summer Snow—a collection equal parts delicate and feminine, but imbued with the same strength found in the rest of her works.

“The pieces are also light on the body, which means I can create some scale without weight,” explains the U.K.-based jeweler, who received her master’s degree in jewelry from Central St. Martins, and, inspired by the Silk Route, launched her namesake line in 2009.

Summer snow ring in watermelon tourmaline & blue sapphire

A former curator and commissioner for the British Council in the U.K. and India, Cicolini drew upon a flurry of global references for her Summer Snow collection, in which carved disks resemble the cross-section of a South Indian temple pillar. But turn them around and they resemble stylized blossoms—“which remind me very much of Chinese chrysanthemum textile patterns, where these graphic blooms tumble across the fabric over a geometric grid of bamboo,” says the designer. The pieces speak to Cicolini’s artistic philosophy, learned from her friend, mentor and Central St. Martins course director Simon Fraser, who “helped me to see that jewelry was a place where you could still create a hybrid identity creatively — part fashion, part craft, part industrial design.”

Cicolini used transparent stones such as rose quartz and amethyst for the first group of pieces in the collection, which conjured up a distinct memory of Moscow “and the flurries of summer blossoms that fell from the city’s plane trees, which Muscovites described as ‘summer snow.’” The carved disks also reveal a twist of branches behind them, which take cues from Art Nouveau paintings. 

Summer snow drop earrings in watermelon tourmaline

Cicolini, who has since incorporated the likes of malachite, black jade and dendritic opal into the collection. Most recently, Cicolini has also woven slices of “delicious” pink tourmaline into her work, paired with amethyst, ruby and spinel. “Each season brings new materials and interpretations,” she says.