The poems tell the tale of a Pilgrim journeying through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise, where he encounters mythical beings, a magnitude of variety in landscapes, as well as fear provoking demons. The brands designer, Rosh Mahtini, who just happened to graduate with a degree in French and Italian, imagined the characters in gold and could almost feel them weaving their way through her fingers, as she turned every page.
She took Aligheri's imperfections in the poems, their stories and characters, and used these as the basis for her collection, which also has a melancholy vibe to each piece of jewellery.
I had the opportunity to interview the woman behind the vision, Rosh Mahtini.
Hi Rosh. Firstly, if you wouldn't mind, please tell me a little bit about yourself and the history behind the brand.
I studied French and Italian literature at university; after travelling and working for a couple of years, I launched my brand, Alighieri. It is completely inspired by Dante Alighieri’s ‘Divine Comedy’- I set out with the aim of creating one piece for every canto. It’s an ongoing anthology that fuses literature and design.
I've read that your pieces are inspired by Dante Alighieri’s 101 poems. What made you want to turn his literary creation into a creation?
I studied Dante at university, and I was inspired by the work on a visual and emotional level. Dante’s journey was one that captured my heart, and I was lucky to have some really incredible professors. I have also spent a lot of time travelling around Italy, and I feel a personal connection to Italian culture on the whole. I think this passion rendered itself into , for me, because I enjoyed sculpting objects, and have always been attracted to wearing lots of on a very monochrome palette.
Since your pieces are heavily inspired by the poet, can we expect any other collections to be inspired by other poets in the not to distant future?
Probably not, but at some point, once I’ve created the 101 pieces of the Commedia! Having said that, Dante’s work, itself, was inspired by great classical poets such as Virgil and Homer, as well as many musicians, and artists. So I’d love to do capsule collections that hark back to other poets.
What made you want to design , opposed to perhaps, clothing or shoes?
I don’t think I ever set out to be a designer, so it never occurred to me to design clothing or shoes. I loved the idea of writing, reading, researching, and creating objects. seemed to be a really natural fit for my concept, as I use the same technique of ‘lost wax casting’, that was used in Dante’s time, the 1300s.
Do you have any plans to brand out into other areas - perhaps shoes or handbags?
I would love to branch out into different areas, perhaps collaborate with other designers. My dream is actually to create a really beautiful book, with short stories, photographs and maps, for each piece of the collection.
And now it's time to showcase the beautiful pieces. They are seriously breathtaking. More pieces are available online here.
Will you be investing in a piece from Alighieri? The brand promises to be adding new pieces soon, in order to complete the collection and aim for their 101 target to complete Alighieri's 101 poems.
Lots of love,