First Look: Rush Jewelry Design’s Yves Saint Laurent–Inspired Collection

A specific—and compelling—design inspiration (always one of my favorite topics) is critical to storytelling from an editorial standpoint but also from a romancing-the-product standpoint. With this in mind, doesn’t a jewelry collection inspired by Yves Saint Laurent just sound sexy?

Dig a little deeper into the new Icon collection by Rush Jewelry Design, which references the late French designer’s fashion from the 1960s and 1970s, and you’ll find that its combination of geometrics, opaque stones, and “corduroy” textures does indeed add up to something undeniably sensuous and very sophisticated.

“I have always known I would make a collection inspired by the work of my favorite designer, Yves Saint Laurent, as so many of the design elements within his collections make for interesting jewelry,” says the line’s designer, Jennifer Rush. “I like to look at clothing and accessories and imagine what these pieces might translate to if they were constructed not out of fabric, but rather out of metal. In addition to being one of the most iconic designers of our time, YSL was, above all, an artist and curator. His ability to curate his entire life is actually what inspired me most to focus a collection based on his fashion design elements.”

Rush Jewelry mood board
A spread from designer Jennifer Rush’s sketchbook showing early phases of the Icon collection

The Icon collection pays homage to YSL’s muses Victoire Doutreleau, Loulou de la Falaise, and Betty Catroux. The first introductions embrace motifs that draw from a range of fashion inspirations, from garment details and silhouettes to patterns and textures, including YSL’s famous Mondrian dress from 1965.

The color blue, expressed in sapphires and lapis lazuli, is also a theme.

“Although I started working on the designs for this collection last summer, in December we took a family trip to Marrakech,” says Rush.  “Marrakech was a second home to Yves Saint Laurent and was one of his favorite places to design. He and his life partner Pierre Bergé are buried there. Their home is situated on the property of the famed gardens Jardin Majorelle. Much of the property is painted in a cobalt blue, which is now commonly referred to as ‘Majorelle Blue.’

“The blue is almost identical to lapis blue, so it seemed like a natural stone choice to incorporate into the Icons pieces.”

Rush Jewelry lapis necklace
Icon Victoire matte lapis necklace in 18k yellow gold, $4,700

The pieces are anchored by a distinctive link, something that could be described as an oblique diamond shape or an off-kilter parallelogram. “In general, I prefer when things are mismatched,” says Rush. “For example, I don’t like when two earrings are exactly the same. They should be mirror images of each other, not copies. So the Victoire link is kind of an extension of that, a mixed up set of lines with uneven beveled edges.”

Rush Jewelry Victoire link bracelet
Icon Victoire Link bracelet in 18k yellow gold, $7,900


Rush Jewelry YSL coloring book
A photo from Rush Jewelry Design’s 2019 lookbook, which features an image from a coloring and activity book based on the drawings of Yves Saint Laurent. “In his younger years and even into his early years as a designer at Dior, he was known to create beautiful paper dolls,” says Rush. “I was particularly interested in this aspect of his design process because it’s so unusual. He was a master renderer.” Icon Loulou Crescent earrings, $3,790, and Icon Loulou Crescent pendant, $3,185 (chain sold separately), both in 18k yellow gold.  

New “icons” will be rolling out throughout the year and will also feature opaque stones and take their cues from other YSL fashion signatures such as fringe, suede, bell sleeves, and lace-ups.

See more from the current collection below.

Rush Jewelry Design Icon Victoire sapphire ring
Icon Victoire ring with blue sapphires 18k yellow gold, $3,900 (also pictured at top)
Rush Jewelry Icon Loulou Majorelle Crescent earrings
 Icon Majorelle Crescent earrings with lapis in 18k yellow gold, $3,950
Rush Jewelry Icon Victoire drop earrings
Icon Victoire Drop earrings in 18k yellow gold, $3,300
Rush Jewelry Icon Victoire ring
Icon Victoire ring in 18k yellow gold, $2,650
Rush Jewelry Icon Victoire signature link necklace
Icon Victoire Element Double Signature Link necklace in 18k yellow gold, $7,200


Top: As seen in Rush Jewelry Design’s 2019 lookbook, Icon Victoire ring with blue sapphires 18k yellow gold, $3,900, and Icon Majorelle pendant with lapis in 18k gold, $4,990, and YSL’s iconic Mondrian dress from 1965


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Amy Elliott

JCK Contributing Editor

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