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Eri Dwi Suciaji: Designer behind Emily Blunt’s stunning earrings

Josa Lukman

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Fri, February 1, 2019  /  05:03 pm
Eri Dwi Suciaji: Designer behind Emily Blunt’s stunning earrings

Sparkling: Actress Emily Blunt poses with her Best Supporting Actress trophy for her performance in science-fiction horror 'A Quiet Place' at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards. Her stunning waterfall earrings were designed by Indonesian jewelry designer Eri Dwi Suciaji. (Courtesy of Central Mega Kencana/Forevermark Indonesia)

When actress Emily Blunt stepped onto the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards red carpet, all eyes were not just on her striking pink gown but also on her stunning waterfall earrings – designed by Indonesian jewelry designer Eri Dwi Suciaji.

Clad in a custom crystal-embroidered pink Michael Kors gown and Forevermark jewelry, Blunt collected her Best Supporting Actress trophy for her performance in science-fiction horror A Quiet Place along with a nomination for Best Actress in Mary Poppins Returns.

While most would recognize the major brands responsible for her stunning look, few people know that her 11,73-carat diamond waterfall earrings in 18-carat white gold were designed by the 29-year-old Indonesian jewelry designer.

The earrings – worth approximately Rp 900 million (US$64,371) – were selected by Blunt’s stylist Jessica Paster out of 16 specially-made jewelry pieces from Forevermark Indonesia.

After the De Beers Group-owned jewelry brand’s launch in the country in April last year, the recent awards season marks the first foray of Forevermark Indonesia into the realm of international red carpet events.

Thirty-two sketches were submitted for approval by Forevermark USA, which was later curated into 16 designs by 13 Indonesian jewelry designers.

From the set, a necklace has previously been worn by actress Sandra Oh to the Golden Globes after-party and the pieces will remain in the US to be shown to stylists for the upcoming Academy Awards and later be returned to Indonesia to be put on display.

Up close: Forevermark Waterfall Diamond Earrings set in 18 carat white gold. Up close: Forevermark Waterfall Diamond Earrings set in 18 carat white gold. (Courtesy of Central Mega Kencana/Forevermark Indonesia)

Eri could not help but be pleasantly surprised that his design was worn by such a renowned star like Blunt – especially because out of the 32 original sketches, he only created one and it made it into the final 16 pieces made and delivered for the stylists’ perusal.

Eri said organic and natural shapes have always influenced his designs. 

“The inspiration for this particular set of earrings comes from the beauty of waterfalls. I’m an avid traveler and many of my inspirations come from the beauty and grandeur of nature,” Eri told The Jakarta Post on Thursday in his office in South Jakarta. 

He has spent nine years as an in-house jewelry designer for Central Mega Kencana, which holds the license for Forevermark in Indonesia.

The designer: Indonesian jewelry designer Eri Dwi Suciaji is the man behind Emily Blunt's stunning diamond earrings at the SAG Awards.The designer: Indonesian jewelry designer Eri Dwi Suciaji is the man behind Emily Blunt's stunning diamond earrings at the SAG Awards. (Courtesy of Central Mega Kencana/Forevermark Indonesia)

Eri’s career in jewelry design came by chance. As an art school student in his hometown of Yogyakarta, he got an offer to work as an in-house jewelry designer upon graduation from one of his seniors who worked in Central Mega Kencana.

He initially declined the offer, wanting to feel “free” after graduation and able to explore other forms of art.

“After some time passed, I eventually got bored and asked my friend whether the job was still available. The company said the offer still stood and I drew several designs that landed me the job,” Eri said.

Eri underwent further training at the company to familiarize himself with the basics of jewelry design, from sizing precious stones to developing his designs into finished products.

As an in-house designer, he has to meet targets, either weekly or monthly, creating sketches for new jewelry pieces.

All these years, he has designed different kinds of jewelry but his favorite is rings for women, which was also the first piece he created as a designer.

“Demand for ladies’ rings is quite high, so I mostly explore designs for that particular category,” Eri says.

On paper: The inspiration for the earrings comes from the beauty of waterfallsOn paper: The inspiration for the earrings comes from the beauty of waterfalls (Courtesy of Central Mega Kencana/Forevermark Indonesia)

The process starts by finding the inspiration, then traditional or digital sketches become two-dimensional flat drawings with a side and top-down view, which in turn gets developed into 3D renderings before finally going to production.

“At that point, as a designer, I will have to control the production process as well, whether the finished piece is made according to our specifications or not,” he says.

When designing the waterfall earrings that were worn by Blunt, Eri said he did not find any particular difficulties despite the larger dimensions, as he is used to the job.

But before starting to work on their latest piece, Eri said jewelry designers must keep the 4Es in mind: estetika (aesthetics), ergonomics, economics and evolution. 

“Aesthetic-wise, we have to make sure the jewelry will be pleasing to the eye. For ergonomics, we surely wouldn’t want someone to feel light-headed after wearing a particularly heavy set of earrings, for example,” he says. 

“We also need to keep in mind the value of the jewelry, first and foremost. For evolution, designers should take note of what’s in trend.”

Even with the challenge of designing for the opposite gender, Forevermark Indonesia brand manager Devi Chayadi found that male and female designers have different styles in design language.

Based on her observations, female designers tend to go for smoother lines, while male designers usually go for precise, symmetrical designs.

“If you look at Mas Eri’s designs, all of them have design considerations that come from the male’s approach to design. Of course, it has its own challenges because he’s not the one who is going to wear them,” Devi said, adding that such an issue will be solved on its own when designers are in tune with the market.

As a man working in an industry mostly targeting women, Eri realizes he must be able to understand certain parts of the female anatomy, such as wrist measurements or even curvature of the ears – vital knowledge for men who work in industries where they are not the intended market. 

Other considerations include the price of the final products assigned to designers along with market trends.

“And the limit is only in how far the designers’ imagination can take them,” Eri says. (ste)

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