Rosy Abourous is hard to define as a person, and hard to corner into one creative field. She is not merely a boutique owner, or the jewelry designer of her brand Rosa Maria. She designs for whom she proclaims to be ex-hippie children of the 70s: those who dismissed ideals of the bourgeoisie for more intimate and sincere experiences with life.
She is as avant-garde as the pieces she promotes in her boutique IF and as obscurely beautiful in spirit and person as the jewelry she designs.
The various lines within Rosa Maria are a fusion of themes, inspirations and philosophies.
“My collection doesn’t come from nowhere,” says Abourous, but perhaps one can argue that it reflects an ethereal world of fairies and medieval alchemists trying to turn ore into gold.
The variety of styles, materials and inspirations are various and somehow, it is all fused together so naturally and harmoniously.
It is a considerably large collection of necklaces, rings and earrings, and an artistically complicated one too. Mainly inspired by the jewelry that once belonged to her grandparents, pieces which she’s now inherited; aspects of this jewelry from a by-gone era are to be found in her contemporary designs.
But she also borrows from the many pieces she’s collected and amassed over the years while traveling. Pieces from Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt have inspired and leant Abourous’ jewelry an ethnic spirit. She is consciously aware of its presence in her designs too, carefully treading between the bold contours of African jewelry and the painstaking details of the filigree work of Bedouin jewelry.
It is interesting to see how Abourous herself is styled. She is to be found wearing unconventionally creative layers and silhouettes, and on her hands clusters of rings from across her collection, layered one on top of the other — four rings or sometimes 10 rings in varying widths and styles. She refers to them as a bouquet, appearing somewhat haphazard but there is a method behind the organic assemblage.
Silver rings can often be found oxidized like pewter, and resting on top is either a tourmaline, or smoky quartz bordered in small chips of pink or black diamonds. So unconventional in the pairing of color and material, and layered with thin delicate rings of silver rosebuds and stars.
The delicacy of floral motifs inspired by pieces from the 19th century has been fused with a sense of rawness. The gold and silver she uses are emphasized so as to appear thick and tough as if the silver had just been mined. Her jewelry does not gleam like shiny baubles but twinkle subtly. Dutch rose cute diamonds, frosted diamond chips, gold and pink gold are all used sparingly but their impact is a powerful nostalgic reminder of the heirlooms that once rested in family jewelry boxes.
“Everyone interprets my designs in their own way, but it completes their own collections,” says Abourous.
Victorian and Ottoman floral work, basic lines and craftsmanship collide with the nature of various diamond cuts and stones once widely used. Now, all have been reinterpreted into modern designs and what appears is a complicated mélange of design references into the region’s social and historical past.
There is something so beautifully unconventional about the way Abourous is, and so organically natural about the spirit of the designs of Rosa Maria.
Though she claims to have never adhered to hippie principles of love and free spirited creativity as others around her have growing up in the 60s, her collection certainly reflects somebody with a little sense of the hippie in their heart.
Her art is to be embraced, treasured and passed down along with all of our grandmothers’ other pieces.
Rosa Maria is available in Beirut and Paris.
Frèrès Evangelistes Street, Georges Zahar Bldg.,
Ashrafieh, Beirut, Lebanon.
Hôtel des Mines,
125 Boulevard St. Michel,
Tel: +331 43543278
A cluster of rings, layered to be worn as a bouquet.