Delfina Delettrez has mortality on her mind. “For the past 500 years, skulls, still-lifes and butterflies have represented the famous phrase ‘memento mori’ – ‘remember that you must die’ – alluding to the uselessness of material things,” the jewellery designer says. “What interests me, however, is subverting this idea: if death is right around the corner, then we must embrace life and consider the ephemeral as precious. We must constantly surround ourselves with beauty.”

Her spring/summer 2015 collection, with spiral rings that twist up the finger, was inspired by engagement rings. “I like the diamond’s contrasts, this poetic and romantic side against the indestructibility,” she says. The evil eyes, phantom lips and clasping hands may be playfully surreal, but there is weight to everything she does.

Delfina believes in the power of stones. “Many people think that the white diamond brings positivity or the black one brings something more gloomy,” she says. “Instead, the white one is the warrior’s stone, for battles.” The pupils of her signature eyes are encrusted with black diamonds, a stone with, she says, “very strong powers. It is considered the third eye because it doesn’t exist – a symbol of sight in darkness. It is an amulet against bad luck.” Her own luck, however, is yet to run out. In February, seven years after opening her first boutique in Rome, she opened her first London store. “My first impression of the space was that I had finally satisfied my desire to get into one of my jewels,” she jokes about the store on Mount Street in Mayfair. Glass cases appear suspended in midair, emerald walls are lined with alcoves and her jewellery sits on Mongolian fur. (“I always felt a great power and a great synergy between stones and fur.”)

Part of the fur-loving Fendi dynasty, Delfina was drawn to the jewellery belonging to her mother, Silvia Venturini Fendi, and her grandmother Anna Fendi. When Delfina was pregnant, she made her daughter a talisman, a ruby ring she will inherit when she’s older. “I still like to wear it,” Delfina says. “I like to think that by wearing it, I make it stronger and more full of meaning.”

Text by Janine Bartels