Book Review: Modern Expressions by Fernando DaSilva
Modern Expressions by Fernando DaSilva
North Light Books
Fernando DaSilva has a fabulous flair for cutting edge design and a uniquely fashion savvy eye that informs every aspect of his work. He is one of the most innovative designers in the DIY world, with a true gift for seeing the potential in materials that most others miss. His is the only DIY designer to have been written up in Women's Wear Daily magazine and Harper’s Bazaar and is the only male Ambassador in the Create Your Style with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS initiative. One can see why when paging through his book Modern Expressions, it is a virtual feast of eye candy that will delight the senses and inspire the reader to break out into exciting new directions in their work. There is no other book in the jewelry making market like it, which is what makes it an absolute must have for anyone who is serious about learning how to think like a designer.
The book has an Haute Couture vibe with gorgeous fashion sketches that suggest how to wear the pieces and lots of style tips from the Brazilian born designer. There are a wide variety of techniques explored including knotting, wire wrapping, exposed wire work, metalsmithing and endlessly creative variations on stringing techniques. You will find an array of interesting materials here including velour and clear plastic tubing, plastic beads, chain and components, various chains, fibers and more. Fernando has a terrific eye for unique combinations of fresh and interesting beads put together in fresh and interesting ways.
Some stand out designs from the book include Rock the Haus, a Bauhaus inspired thoroughly modern study in color and form. The combination of clear acrylic tubing with vibrant yellow sponge beads and simple rounded shapes in silver, white and brown is absolutely breathtaking. Fiesta in Wonderland, a vibrant confection of candy colored lampwork beads with a truly brilliant stacked acrylic pendant is whimsical and wonderful and is dedicated to this humble reviewer. Monsier Laurent is a mod homage to the work of Yves Saint Laurent, elegant in its simplicity. This piece introduces the reader to using copper sheet metal to create a chic segmented crystal embellished pendant. Perhaps my favorite design (in a book filled with favorites) is Back to the Future. This runway ready asymmetrical piece features SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS bicones threaded through crystal clear acrylic tubing combined with sleek silver chain for a stunning effect. It is truly hard to pick favorites because every design has so much to offer in terms of concept, color, execution and idea.
If you’re stuck in a design rut and looking for a book to jump start your creativity, look no further. Fernando DaSilva will take you by the hand and lead your work into fascinating new directions. Viva la Fashion! Viva Fernando!