Mel D’Alessandro is a Melbourne-based lady who cooks a fine eggplant parmigiana, likes a good crime series and has a very cute cat named Bruce. She also happens to be a very talented jeweller whose label, MLD, is becoming renowned for its distinctly Italian flavour. Inspired by her heritage, Mel’s pieces are influenced by the years spent trawling through her mum, dad and grandmothers’ collections of Italian trinkets, charms and costume jewellery. Drawing the connections between then and now, she takes these pieces that are often a sentimental part of her childhood memories and relationships with her family, and recreates them in her own contemporary way.
Often feminine, MLD toes the line between elegance and frivolity. Ranging from simple, classic hoops for the everyday to chunky Euro-bling style rings, her pieces are graceful and light-hearted. Her jewellery can be spied on many-a Melbourne lady, being stocked in well respected boutiques like Monk House Design, No Order Market and Kuwaii.
Mel creates each piece by hand from her Brunswick studio, until its inherent form takes shape. Using humble sterling silver and hand hammered details ensure each piece is totally individual and one-of-a-kind. We love how she references her Italian upbringing. For example, the coin necklace references the iconographic emblem pendants her nonna used to wear when Mel was a child. The squiggle is a modern day Corno, a traditional amulet worn to ward off evil. The big hoops embrace the sexy exuberance of a 1990s Isabella Rossellini. With pieces named after her grandmother and grandfather, Mel’s work is like the biggest and sweetest head-nod to her family. And, no doubt, nonna would be proud.
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