By Ashley Davis
A lapis lazuli and malachite pendant with multicolor sapphires and set in 18-karat gold from Brent Neale’s new Splash collection.
New York—Designer Brent Neale Winston makes happy jewelry.

Rainbows and unicorns, hearts and mushrooms so cute they could be plucked from a cartoon, Brent Neale creations are an idealized homage of their subjects, an acid trip version, at once childlike and psychedelic.

Now, Winston has turned her whimsical eye to the sea in a new collection called “Splash.”

Winston looked to disparate oceanic artistic tributes for inspiration, specifically Sandro Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” painting and 1980’s rom-com “Splash,” starring Darryl Hannah as a mermaid who comes to New York City in human form—a mix of classicism and camp that defines the Brent Neale approach to adornment.

In the Splash collection, this translates to a new clamshell motif, seen in a ring that hinges open to reveal a pearl, stud earrings with flush-set sapphires and pendants with gemstones like lapis lazuli and malachite custom-carved to resemble the shell’s shape.

More abstract pieces also figure into the mix, many of which incorporate South Sea pearls, whether adorning the designer’s signature “Knot” ring or nestled in the curve of hoop earrings, new for the brand.

Vaguely nautical link bracelets, whether rendered in gold or set with diamonds or multicolored sapphires, are destined to become Brent Neale classics, as are bangle and cuff additions to the line’s “Gypsy” series, in which gemstones are flush-set in the bold gold styles.

“I’m really excited about this collection because it was a chance for me to bring in some new materials, like South Sea pearls, and home in on some more technical processes,” Winston said in a statement heralding Splash.

“The clamshell ring in particular was challenging—we had to perfect the opening and closing of the piece—and I also got the chance to work in combination with my New York manufacturer and an Italian partner to create the bangles, hoops and chains. I love large scale jewelry, so I had to find new ways of achieving the look for the ease and comfort of everyday wear.”

The collection will land at Twist for the 2019 holiday season, undoubtedly with a splash.

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