Haute jewellery from the House of Gilan is one of Hollywood’s best-kept secrets. Gwyneth Paltrow, Penelope Cruz, and Zhang Ziyi have been seen wearing Gilan’s creations combining black diamonds with colourful stones like mandarin, amethyst, ruby, emerald and sapphire in high-profile events from the Golden Globe Awards to the Chinese Film Festival.
The number one name in haute jewellery in Turkey, Gilan is a family-owned jewellery house founded in 1980 by two brothers: Muharrem and Ferhan Gilan. At the heart of the House is a commitment to Turkish culture and preserving traditions of the finest handmade craftsmanship.
During the 15th Century, Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror of the Ottoman Empire commissioned the Grand Bazaar and ordered it to include a section for valuables and jewelleries. He invited top masters from around the world to establish ateliers in the court.
“(The Sultan) elevated the art of jewellery to its apex. Gilan maintains the artistic objective of Sultan,” says Muharrem Gilan. His great grandmother was the head seamstress for the Ottoman Court and created customised dresses for pashas, or the highest official title of honour in the Ottoman Empire. Following this design footstep, Muharrem Gilan has infused into Gilan this hereditary passion for design and luxury. “Each Gilan piece of jewellery is hand crafted, reflecting my family’s passion for stunning jewellery.”
The jewellery house has preserved century old techniques of jewellery making. In their atelier in Istanbul, skilled craftsmen use the same techniques and similar tools as 600 years ago, handcrafting contemporary creations inspired by the homeland of Byzantine, Roman, Ottoman cultures.
Gilan’s signature creations includes the combination of rose cut diamonds set in yellow gold with detailed engraving work on the back. “This diamond cutting technique, also named Mystery Palace Setting Technique, is only preserved by Gilan today. Only very few craftsmen still master this exclusive technique.”
Gilan designs are also distinguished for its use of stones. “The combination of black diamonds with colourful stones in Gilan’s designs has created a new trend amongst the luxury buyers that were ready for a departure from the classical approach. Mostly, the stones in Gilan’s pieces are of one-of-a-kind amorphous forms that cannot be replicated. Gilan was so passionate about stones and Istanbul that we created a new unique cut for precious stones called the ‘tulip cut’, an ode to the elegant flower that is the symbol of Istanbul.”
Many of Gilan’s collections, “Sunset on the Dome”, “Sunset on Hagia Sophia” and “Journey to Dreams” are gorgeous items that have woven a piece of memory into jewels. “Our jewellery draws its inspiration from the splendour of Istanbul. The riches of the cultures that passed through this magnificent melting pot of civilisations, Roman to Byzantine and Ottoman have been the fuelling force behind Gilan’s designs.”
Gilan has boutiques across the world including Turkey, France, and the United States. It can also be found in the Four Seasons Bosphorus in Istanbul and the Ritz Hotel in Paris.
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