When Simon approached me to design and make the first pieces and to set the creative direction for the collection I was immediately excited by the prospect. He allowed me the freedom and trusted my approach and judgement on the aesthetic direction to go in, and as any creative knows, this freedom within the brief is much craved! With the ability to immerse myself completely in the research of the Chavin culture and the cultural aesthetic I was able to draw on my vision purely and design a beautiful collection, which was as true to this.
I wanted the collection to have an ethnic feel but fused with a luxe thread running throughout.
I was so stubborn with my vision for an ethnic luxe collection that the result turned out to be strong and not watered down at all - I wanted tie-dye wool tassels, charm-like earrings but all done with a rock ‘n’ roll edge and overall styling, and fused with the luxury of black diamonds, rubies, leather and wool. I see myself as not only a designer, creative director and maker but also as a jewellery stylist- I like to set trends in how jewellery should be worn and what looks good together. I am my work and a living advertisement for it, there is no distinction between my work and me, it is all blurred.
The way I work when I set trends or creative direction for companies or even my own work, is that I start with words… I brainstorm everything that I want the collection to say and represent. It can be a list of themes, finishes on metals, list of materials or just random key words- this helps me to get into this world.
I am a perfectionist but also a visionary when it comes to the process from concept to creation - it takes a lot of my energy and focus because it is all I can think about. I was very inspired by the bright colours and texture of the woven wool which is traditionally worn in Peru, I have a bag from there which is this bright coloured woven wool, and the concept of the tassels in tie-dye wool grew from this.
One of the major feats of this collection and an aspect I am particularly proud of is the concept of ‘build your own’ which I designed for this Chavin collection. It means our customers can add and mix and match the Peruvian style charms and tassels to make an either minimalist pair of earrings or something hugely eclectic with a mish-mash of looks - I personally prefer them all mixed together as it makes for a much more interesting aesthetic, however, this would be for the braver more bold customer. The genius of this concept is that they can all be purchased separately from your exclusive Chavin stockist, so you can really make a pair of earrings, which are personal to you- they could even be asymetric or work in odds!
These are some of the key words I used for Chavin:
Antiquity, concept of artefacts buried and dug up, archeology, antiques, Indiana Jones, mixed media, colourful, tie-dye, leather, woven wool, texture, energetic, passionate, genuine, eclectic, quirky….
As a result we named the collection Antiquity - it is that old feel, fused with new that really appealed. I am hugely proud of the collection because it was so different to my normal work, which is all fine jewellery, but it allowed me to design for bigger pieces which I could channel in a more fashion way. The concept of the brand and the direct connection with Peru and donating is brilliant, it definitely sets us aside from the crowd! We have some exciting developments to work on for the next collection, set to look ammmaazzzhhhing!
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