Notch this one up as a rediscovery of sorts… last night I had the opportunity to reacquaint myself with the work of jeweller Barbara Rabito. Although it’s fair to say ‘jeweller’ doesn’t quite do the lady justice—her exquisite necklaces are more akin to wearable artworks (see gallery below).
Her statement pieces are undoubtedly elaborate, but look closely and you discover that each extravagant work is an amalgamation of trinkets collected from around the world. Rabito’s work first came to my attention when I did a piece on her for InStyle magazine some time ago—and an exhibition at Becker Minty boutique yesterday reignited the love affair.
One could spend a great deal of time poring over each necklace being surprised and delighted at each element—in fact, I did: vintage brooches and buckles, the inner workings of old watches, a chainmail coin purse, floral applique from a Collette Dinnigan dress and Eiffel Tower keyrings. I even spotted a couple of antique brass draw handles, a tiny hand-painted saucer and what I suspect was once a silver soap dish.
Needless to say, each necklace is a one-off.
As Becker Minty co-owner Chris Becker put it to me last night, Rabito’s extraordinary eye allows her to create beautifully balanced jewellery using the most diverse elements. Often arranged asymmetrically, they somehow exist in complete harmony.
Prices begin at $345 to upwards of $700, exceptional value for a one-of-a-kind, handmade work of art (around the price you’d pay for a simple Tiffany key pendant, minus the see-it-everywhere factor).
Barbara Rabito is exclusive to Becker Minty—visit the Potts Point store (Manning Street) shop online if you’re outside the Sydney area (go to Jewellery—Women’s Modern—Necklaces to browse the collection).