One of the main questions people ask me about my jewellery is ‘what inspires me’? So, I thought I would share a little of the process here, and what fuels the jewellery you love to wear.
When I first start designing a new item of jewellery, I usually have a rough idea in my mind of what I want to create. However, this isn’t always what the final item looks like. It can alter a lot during the design process. This can be due to various factors; when experimenting with materials the fit may not be quite right, or practical. It may be that during this process I stumble upon a better design, than the original concept. Sometimes, material alone can inspires me; I might see a crystal, or a stone that I instantly fall in love with, and want to incorporate it into a design. Usually, however, all my designs start off with just me, a pen and a piece of paper, but before I even get to this point there are many factors in my life that triggers these bursts of creativity.
Travel has a huge impact on my jewellery. They say nothing broadens the mind more than travel, which, I believe, couldn’t be truer! It isn’t just what you see, fashion wise, that inspires you, it is the culture itself; the architecture, colours, the shape of the landscape. For example a lot of my jewellery incorporates Swarovski crystals; the initial concept for using this material was a desire to create jewellery that sparkled and lit up a room, this was spawned from one of my trips to Manhattan, and my fascination with how much the Empire State building lights up the New York Skyline.
During a visit to Japan, I loved how they flawlessly stitched together traditional culture with the flare of the modern day world. I was particularly enamoured of Kyoto, watching the women fluttering past in their traditional kimono attire, perched on their getas (a cross between a clog and a flip flop). It was here that I saw the necessity of making sure that whatever I designed I had to make sure it was practical and not cumbersome. The shoes were designed so that the bottom of the long, flowing kimonos wouldn’t be dragged through mud, and it occurred to me that to wear these shoes everyday they would need to be light, as well as durable. The same principle applies to Colette Marie jewellery.
In recent months India has greatly influenced me. I love their infatuation with jewellery, the more the better, especially if you find yourself at one of their traditional weddings, and especially all the unique and different ways that they wear it. This is reflected in my handlets collection.
A big influence on my work is artist George Seurat, and his pointillism artwork. It taught me that the soul in a piece of artwork, whether it’s a painting, sculpture or an item of jewellery, is in the detail. One of his most famous items of work ‘A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte’, took him two years to create and is made up of around 3,456,000 dots! Now, it doesn’t take quite as long to make each piece of my jewellery, however each item, like Seurat’s paintings, is made with love, devotion and an extra special eye for detail.
I am fascinated with the Art Deco period, and this has had a huge influence on my brand, in particularly the logo. It was during this era that original Hollywood was born, where they balanced elegance and grace, with edginess and originality. This was when Coco Chanel first took off, glamour and indulgence was revitalised after World War One, and a new style of architecture was born. I think nothing can encompass this era more than F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book ‘The Great Gatsby’, with the decadent parties, and luxurious fashion.
The Art Deco era encompasses much of my inspiration, from drawing on distant and ancient cultures globally, to creating a modern style based on revitalised design ideas.
Other designers have also had a huge influence on my designs, in particular Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen. How they have always pushed the boundaries of fashion, never followed the rules, and beat to their own drum. Although my designs are very different to these two, I try in my own jewellery to not follow the trend but be my own trend, to always be timeless and uniquely Colette Marie.
So there you have it, a small window into what is behind the concept of Colette Marie Jewellery, and what gets my creative juices flowing! I would love to know what inspires you in your life.