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MEET THE DESIGNER ELIZABETH LEFLARPlease introduce yourself and...

June 17 2017


MEET THE DESIGNER ELIZABETH LEFLAR


Please introduce yourself and your brand!

I am a native of the Pacific Northwest, currently based here in Berlin. Raised by two artists, I always knew that I was meant to make things, but for many years, could never quite figure out exactly what. Jewelry design is something I sort of stumbled into but it left me completely enchanted.

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My label comes out of that enchantment. It’s born out of curiosity and guided by an instinctual design aesthetic. The precise inspiration behind the line is mysterious to me and takes many forms, but in the end, I think the greatest inspiration goes back to that idea of transformation - from the physical transformation of the materials, to that feeling when you put on a piece of jewelry, the stories it may carry with it, and the sense of empowerment all that can make you feel.

What is the most important consideration when designing a new collection?

“Would I love to wear this?” So much design - fashion or otherwise - has turned to mass appeal, but I was raised to trust my eye and my creative instincts, so if I’m not personally excited to wear a piece myself, then it has no place in my collection.

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In your most recent collection, the Tidal collection you use organic shapes and natural materials, like pearl, sterling silver, and brass. How does nature inspire you in your designs?

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, my family spent a lot of time outdoors and on the Oregon Coast, so I’ve always felt a really strong connection to that area.

For this reason, the Tidal Collection is probably the closest to home for me, drawing its inspiration from there. Dancing down the windswept beaches, climbing the rocks and peering into tidal pools - there’s so much rough and rugged beauty. As a child, I always had sand in my shoes and a beach agate in my pocket. I loved the idea that this all could be reinterpreted and incorporated into something to wear, still to treasure.

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You employ ethical practices in the production process. Could you please explain about it a bit?

Again, my entire childhood had a backdrop of forest and ocean, so this is something important to me. In an effort to reduce my ecological footprint, I use recycled metals whenever I can, sustainably sourced pearls, and I work with local suppliers at every opportunity.

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Can you tell us about any exciting plans for the year ahead?

I’m currently finishing the prototypes for my upcoming collection, which will play with light, some bolder shapes, and finally introduce a little color! This time inspired by our beautiful planet’s transformative nature, it plays with organic versus geometric form. It will definitely be something new for the line and I can’t wait to share it with Studio183 soon!


website: www.elizabethleflar.com

instagram: www.instagram.com/elizabethleflar

facebook: www.facebook.com/elizabethleflardesign

twitter: www.twitter.com/elizabethleflar

MEET THE DESIGNER MOONKIDPlease introduce yourself and your...

June 15 2017


MEET THE DESIGNER MOONKID


Please introduce yourself and your brand!

I am Anja Mrakovic, the founder and designer behind Moonkid Jewellery Design, Berlin based contemporary jewellery label.

Everything started as a personal side project while I was still working as an architect in Zagreb and Montreal. After moving to Berlin I decided to finally pursue it as a full time profession. If I should briefly introduce the brand, I would say that the brand tries to combine different expressions - it is bold in one way and minimalistic in another. Combination of color applied to a pure geometric form is what makes my jewellery striking but simple at the same time.

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What is the most important consideration when designing a new collection?

So far, with color as the hallmark of my first collection, I was constantly introducing new items to fit into the existing span of various colors and patterns. I am still just in a phase of experimenting with some new techniques and materials for the new collection while my main concern is to stay original - staying inside the same aesthetic range but avoiding the trap of repeating myself.

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Who is your muse?

It is hard to talk about a specific person that influences my designs. I wouldn`t say that there is some specific “muse” that inspires me… It is more about various influences that come from my background, many of which maybe even I am not aware of.

Also, very often people ask me if I was inspired by Africa or Egyptian jewellery – although it was never a conscious decision, my love for travel has to have something to do with it.

What kind of craft techniques do you use when creating your unique pieces?

The process is strictly mechanical – no soldering or welding, only “dry” joints. Some pieces are also industrially premade, which I then assemble into small structures. At the moment, I work mostly with copper and cotton thread folded in different patterns, a process that requires great precision and time.

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How does your background in architecture influence your designs?

I would say that the influence is mostly visible from the fact that I approach each of my pieces as a structure made of different layers: a body that consists both of inner “skeleton” that keeps the form and an outer  "facade".

The skills, tools and insights acquired from architecture education are definitely something that allowed me to quickly scale down to jewellery, considering I had no formal training as a jewellery designer.

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Can you tell us about any exciting plans for the year ahead?

My main wish for the future is to continue developing new jewellery and skill sets, but the main preoccupation right now is to increase the online presence of the brand, and expand to markets outside of Berlin and Germany.

Website: http://www.moonkidjewellerydesign.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MoonkidJewelleryDesign/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/moonkidjewellerydesign/

MEET THE DESIGNER EVELYNE-MEvelyne, please introduce yourself and...

May 30 2017


MEET THE DESIGNER EVELYNE-M

Evelyne, please introduce yourself and your brand?

My name is Evelyne Meyer I was born in Switzerland in 1982 and went to school for fashion and design. In 2010, I created the first fashion jewellery creations under the label Maschenbrödel. Because of the great passion for design and the increasingly concrete visions of jewellery, I did several goldsmith internships, in Switzerland and America, in 2012. New processing methods developed which mixed with traditional jewellery production. The result of this is today’s collections, which can be seen under the brand EVELYNE-M. In 2014, I opened my own shop with a small workshop in the heart of the colourful District 4 in Zurich.

What is your main source of inspiration?

My work is inspired by the urban environment of the city, the geometrical forms of the Déco era and the uniqueness of nature. The fascination for astronomy and mysticism also exert a great influence on my designs.

What is the most important consideration when designing a new collection?

On the one hand, the sustainability of the materials, on the other the comfort of the wearer. My jewellery is for women to wear every day like a second skin. I only like beauty when it is comfortable at the same time, so this is my second biggest demand on myself, even if I design new pieces.

What is the most rewarding aspect to being a goldsmith?

I think everyone should be able to have at least one craft. It’s not as glamorous as most people imagine. It is great to be able to give a thought or a vision a shape. Something that is invisible to make visible and wearable. And, of course, make others happy with their own creations.

If you could only choose one accessory to wear, what would it be?

This is difficult. I love shoes, but without my bangles I go nowhere and I never take them off. They are, a part from my husband, my most faithful companion.

Can you tell us about any exciting plans for the year ahead?

Gladly, I just have to hold back my euphoria. I am already looking forward to my new collections which will be presented at the end of September. I’m still working on the prototypes but I already know that they will put in my new life line section. I’ve been working for a while to create some new constructions. Astronomy and wickedness will meet.

instagram: https://www.instagram.com/evelyne.m/

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/evelynemjewelry/

website: www.evelyne-m.ch

MEET THE DESIGNER THORNING ASTRUP / AARHUS Please introduce...

May 20 2017


MEET THE DESIGNER THORNING ASTRUP / AARHUS

Please introduce yourself and your label.

Thorning Astrup / aarhus are an indie fashion brand. We seek to enhance the Nordic style and build on ancient virtues while at the same time exploring new crafts and technologies. It is a goal for our company to redefine the way you use and wear jewellery.

We are two designers each with a different background and share the development and production of new products as well as share our daily lives as a couple. Maja Thorning is a designer and architect from Aarhus School of Architecture whereas Niels Astrup is a digital designer with a past as a product and interaction designer. Together we complement each other perfectly.

We are located at Headstart Fashion House in Aarhus City harbour.

How do you approach a new collection? From where do your ideas evolve?

We have a design dogma that we only design one defining detail to every product. That detail must be something unique and defining for each piece. It can be a pattern, a type of material or a shape.

Our ideas evolve from art, materials, nature and all the people with which we surround ourselves. Often we start out exploring a concept or combination of materials and let the development evolve from working thoroughly and methodically with the concept or material.

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Do you have any muse? If yes, who is it and why?

I don’t think we have one specific muse. Our inspiration changes constantly, but artists like Tara Donovan, James Turrell and Richard Long are amongst our absolute favourites in relation to their devotion to their concepts and selection of materials. Also Iggy Pop serves as a kind of muse, because he’s approaching seventy and still freaking cool!

Concrete plays a significant role in your current collection. Tell us about the materials you have chosen to use and why you have selected these specifically.

We wanted to create something that to begin with was industrial and cold and through processing and crafts became delicate and exclusive. We talked about how fun it could be to take one of the big concrete blocks you see at construction work sites and make it into a necklace. However, when we started working with concrete we soon learned that the material wasn’t suited for small items and we had to develop our own custom concrete material which took about a year before we had the right aesthetics, feel and weight to it. So if you compare our items to other concrete items you’ll find that ours is much warmer, lighter and softer but also more durable in a smaller scale.

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Why have you chosen to go down the minimalist route with your designs?

We surround ourselves with noise. Noise from your surroundings, screens, people and media with everybody wanting to stand out. That is why we think that the items you keep closest to yourself and your heart must be simple and minimalist. On the other hand, it is a challenge to design for the minimal. You need to pay close attention to the details you want and the ones you have to kill. It is a constant struggle of killing darlings and working in the gap between choosing the right material for the right detail and vice versa.

Reflecting on your work aesthetic, how does Denmark inspire you as a place?

You must come to our city of Aarhus! The last decade, especially during these last few years, the city has exploded with creativity and small businesses. Aarhus is fairly small so everybody kind of knows each other or knows somebody who does. That means that networking is relatively easy and you’ll find great meetups amongst artists, musicians, designers, carpenters, bakers, bicycle repairmen, etc. The city is also booming with the second wave of Nordic Cuisine and it seems like a new restaurant, wine bar or food market is opening every week which makes going out a treat.

What are the next steps for Thorning Astrup/aarhus?

The next step is a new collection coming this spring. It is still in development so we can’t reveal too much right now. But we can say that we build upon our existing ideas and use some fantastic exclusive materials. Additionally, we are working on an all male jewellery line that we can’t wait to show.

www.thorningastrup.com

www.instagram.com/thorningastrup/

www.facebook.com/ThorningAstrup

twitter.com/ThorningAstrup