Lara Bohinc makes jewellery and furniture, an odd combination, you might think. But to any artist or 3D-designer it probably doesn’t seem odd at all: big sculptural form; little sculptural form. And it makes even more sense when you learn that Bohinc’s original training was as an industrial designer rather than in jewellery. That came later, with a MA from the Royal College of Art in London.
Modernism of the mid-20th-century variety snakes through much of her output, something that entirely makes sense when you learn that she is Slovenian: the spectre of mid-century modernism looms large in the consciousness of the art and design culture of her homeland and Bohinc sits among a clutch of creatives and artists who have risen to prominence through their reconsideration of the disproportionate impact of the design and aesthetic ideologies of modernism on their culture.
It’s there in both the furniture and some of the jewellery. Take, for example, her Full Moon Side Table, an elegant beast that is as much a sculpture as a functional item. Its smooth marble and brass surfaces and geometric lines would hardly be out of place in streamlined 1933 design of the Nebotičnik, the 13-storey “skyscraper”, in Ljubljana. Much the same could be said for her Solaris jewellery collection that additionally seems to reference historic moving models of the solar system.
But these works and aesthetics do not define Lara Bohinc. With an impressive track records of collaborations and work for top luxury brands—Gucci, Costume National, Lanvin, Marcus Lupfer and Cartier to name just a few—she is very much a versatile designer who explores a variety of aesthetics, from the girly moments of her Butterfly collection to things even suggestive of a racing car engine in her Schumaker collection. She’s also not a designer who’s averse to a little conceptual humour having produced pieces like sterling silver headphones that produce no sound.
Lara Bohinc sells her jewellery and accessories for men and women internationally through top department stores, online at at her flagship London shop in Goldborne Road where Portobello’s more directional luxury shops have tended to cluster.