Monday, November 29, 2010

Seconds of Style #20: Louise Douglas, Devine Little Treasures

Louise Douglas Jewellery is that special kind of find that doesn't come along every day. It is delicately unique, lovingly handcrafted, fine, feminine and each piece has a design quality that can only come from an equal measure of passion and experience. Louise's love of nature and everything organic is prevalent in her collections and I think it is this that draws me to her work - I am a kiwi after all. My favourite piece is the Gold Sea Lace Pendant. We have been chatting back and forth over the last few days and Louise was kind enough to answer a few questions about inspiration, blogging and what's next for her. See below for the interview.

By the way, if you haven't already trawled the crowded malls for Christmas presents, why not stay at home with a glass of wine and pick up something from Louise's beautiful collection available online at Clever Bastards

Coral Branch Collection - Branch Bangle - Peacock

Coral Branch Collection - Coral Clutch Earrings - Gold

Coral Branch Collection - Coral Branch Pendant - Gold

Sea Pod Collection - Sea Pod Choker - Gold - Rose

MY FAVOURITE! Sea Lace Collection - Sea Lace Pendant - Gold

Caviar Collection - Caviar Necklace - Gold

Seconds of Style: How long have you been designing and how did you get into jewellery design?
Louise Douglas: Well, it has been eighteen years. Wow, that sounds like an awfully long time ago! I have been fascinated with jewellery since I was a little girl, my mother and grandmother both loved jewellery and I was always digging through their jewelry boxes and dressing up. I started making jewellery when I was 18 years old and selling it to fashion and design stores throughout NZ. I then moved to New York when I was 21 and started to work as a designer for large fashion jewellery houses. I have done a few classes along the way, but really I learnt most of my skills on the job or from experimentation.

SOS: What inspires your design?
LD: I have always been inspired by the intricacies of the ocean and the natural world in general. I love art and fashion too, but the truth is, what I am always most inspired by stems from nature in some way.  I look at a lot of old scientific botanical style drawings when I design but I stylize things to fit my aesthetic. The main aim of my work is for people to feel closer to the beauty of nature when they wear it.

SOS: What is your biggest achievement so far?
LD: I accessorized and made jewellery for seven separate fashion designers for a New York runway show during fashion week. I worked 24/7 for 3 months, living off coffee and adrenaline. It was wild and fabulous! Something you only do when you are young and hungry. I also sold my jewellery to Sigourney Weaver once. We had to drop it off to her apartment in NYC. That was fun! But, right now it is really satisfying to be selling my work back in NZ at galleries I have always coveted as a younger jeweler. It just feels right.

SOS: Who is your favourite international jewellery designer?
LD: I have quite a few, in  terms of fashion jewellery I love Alexis Bittar. He s a true modern costume jewellery master. I also adore the work of San Francisco designer Jeanine Payer, but that is really just the tip of the iceberg- I love so many different kinds of jewellery out there!

SOS: Do you frequently read fashion blogs and if so, how do you feel they influence the fashion industry today?
LD: Yes I look at a lot of blogs! Design and lifestyle blogs, jewelry and art blogs as well as fashion.  I really love the the fashion blog by young teenager Tavi Gevinson, The Style Rookie. I think these kinds of blogs are personalizing fashion for people. It helps them find ways to take influence from high fashion runway, and do it on their own and in a unique way. I think blogs are having a huge influence on fashion and the world in general. It is all about sharing information and a personal passion for things. I hope it will help people to develop there own eclectic style that stands out from the crowd. Rather then just follow the basic trends that are feed to us via mass retailers or the over advertised editorials seen in many of the magazines these days.

SOS: What's next for Louise Douglas Jewellery?
LD: I am working on more one-of-a-kind exhibition work at the moment but, I would also love to work on a collaboration with a NZ fashion designer sometime in the future.  Right now, I am really enjoying establishing my collection in New Zealand and I hope to expand more into Australia next year.

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