[Georg Jensen Vivianna watch]
We came to know Swedish designer Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe through a watch. Specifically, the Vivianna (pictured above). Our own copy editor (and a lady of elegance and poise), Alison Reid, is the proud owner of this classic design, which Bülow-Hübe created for Danish company Georg Jensen in 1962. We've always been mezmerized by the open design and mirror-like dial. In fact, Bülow-Hübe meant for the shape and finish to cause it's wearer to reflect on the passage of time, not just note it.
While Bülow-Hübe's most iconic jewellery pieces were made for Jensen, her international reknown also led to collaborations with companies like Dansk, for whom she created a series of simple and organic silverplate serving pieces, such as the teapot and creamer pictured above and teak and stainless steel boards and utensils for cutting and serving cheese (see below).
[Dansk cheese plane and board]
Although her design is famous for or it's thoughtfulness and spareness, Bülow-Hübe's personal life was complicated. Born into a family of artists, she began designing jewellery as a teen. In the 40s, she had a child, Pia, out of wedlock. She later married, then divorced Pia's father, married two more times and had three more children all while pursuing her passion for design and eventually becoming the first woman with her own silversmithing workshop in Sweden.
Did we mention that she did all of this in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s? Even in progressive Sweden, she was a real rebel. She called her designs "anti-status jewelry." No wonder her pieces were collected by other rule-breaking women such as Billie Holiday, Ingrid Bergman and Brigitte Bardot. And although she died in 2004, her pieces still feel as fiery and original today as they did when they were created.
[image via: the brown sparrow blog]