That's a Wrap (Necklace) by Victoria Gomelsky
During the height of the pandemic in 2020, designer Ramona Albert, a Brooklyn, N.Y.–based architect, decamped, with her husband and young son, to a house in the Hamptons, where she indulged her love of gardening and reflected on the trajectory of her design career.
“I had this dream of expanding my architecture and design business into a lifestyle brand,” she tells JCK. “To make my designs more accessible to more people.”
Albert, a native of central Romania’s historic Transylvania region, designed and manufactured a gold bracelet inspired by the sinuous curves of plants and vines and took it to the beach, where she and her son photographed it. “Mommy, you should do this,” he told her.
“Out of that, I started designing more pieces,” Albert says. “It came about from the quietness that COVID created—having this beautiful place in the Hamptons, which reminded me of Transylvania.”
The Wrap bracelet, as she named that first piece, has spawned close to two dozen iterations, each one slightly more refined than the last. “I’m very slow,” Albert says. “I love to understand how our bodies interact with the natural world. How the sand and sky are being reflected in the piece.”
A few months ago, Albert took her learnings from the revision process and applied them to the next big piece in the collection, a statement necklace that she 3D modeled before casting it, initially in gold-plated brass.
Although the Wrap necklace, now available in full 14k gold, has the signature coil of a snake, don’t mistake its graceful twist for a serpent. Albert is very clear about her design intentions. “I love vines that get on everything and ferns that have this beautiful coil when they grow,” she says.
To capture the right balance in the piece, Albert placed a piece of fabric on a person, to see how the draping fell. She added a hinge to the back and ensured the piece was weighted toward the bottom so it wouldn’t fall, given its open design. When finalizing the design, she also paid close attention to how the piece interacts with the wearer’s environment.
“If you’re wearing a blue shirt, it kind of reflects that color,” she says. “In nature everything changes. Also, our eye gravitates to these things.”
Above all, Albert hopes to inspire in her clients an appreciation for carefully constructed, timeless design. “I feel like we’re moving so fast in everything we do, and we lose this element of good design,” she says. “I want to bring this pause back to our lives.”
Top: The Wrap necklace retails for $2,200 in gold-plated brass and $29,600 in 14k gold.