ANTWERP, Belgium — As a herald to spring, this month BoF spotlights Bali-born, Antwerp-based jewellery designer Heaven Tanudiredja, for whom sumptuous, handcrafted baubles in bold hues have become a signature.
The designer presented his newest work in Paris, last month, at the MADE space at the historic Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, a venue as ornate as Tanudiredja’s 12-piece collection. “My starting point was, as it has been for some seasons, mental disorders. Which, at first introduction, sounds heavy, but in truth I try to sculpt the beauty behind the chaos,” Tanudiredja told BoF. Indeed, with names like ‘Pyromania’ and ‘Anorexia Nervosa,’ his bib necklaces and cuffs carry a dark, frenetic undercurrent, accomplished by layers of dense embellishment with miniature chairs, wheels and hands.
Embellishment and mixed textures are key to Tanudiredja’s aesthetic, as is a compelling blend of soft naturalism and hard futurism. “I grew up in Bali with my Japanese grandmother and Balinese grandfather. There was an emphasis on nature in our house, so colour and texture became an important reference from then and still to this day.”
Tanudiredja injects his sculptural, geometric shapes, not only with ornamentation, but also vivid pigmentation. This season alone, his palette covered a spectrum from deep indigo and stark white to pastel mint and iridescent crystal. Each piece is handcrafted starting with the frame, coated in precious metal or coloured through a Japanese powder-coating process.
Tanudiredja trained in womenswear at Antwerp's Royal Academy, where he won the Christine Mathys Award, named after alumnus Dries van Noten’s business partner and awarded every year in her honour. They kept in touch and Tanudiredja was eventually hired to work on womenswear for the celebrated Belgian designer.
“But one thing [Dries] instilled in me was if I was not happy with something creative I was to keep looking,” he said. And it was very much with his former mentor’s blessing that Tanudiredja later switched gears and launched his eponymous jewellery line.
For this month’s Spotlight, Tanudiredja has created a custom BoF logo featuring one of his signature jewellery pieces from the current season, a 'Pyromania' neck sculpture in dusty blue. “For me, the logo represents something of a necessary collaboration," he mused. "A forum where a small business like mine can grow with the support of people like BoF. It represents optimism and the commerce behind craftsmanship.”
But don’t count him out of womenswear forever. “When I think about myself, as it relates to my work, I consider myself a designer not specific to category,” he said. “Considering my training in womenswear, it would be a natural next step to grow into this space.”
For now, however, he has a full plate. He and his small team fulfill orders from a number of influential stockists around the world, such as 10 Corso Como, Joyce, Dover Street Market and Luisa Via Roma, to name a few. “The next step will be to grow the studio, both in size and in category.”
In May, Tanudiredja will also debut his collaboration with Belgian designer Bruno Pieters for his eco-conscious retail platform ‘Honest by.’