Being in college felt like the time of my life. My final goodbyes were said when I took part at the New Designers exhibition as a part of the CSM team.
And then came the Tateossian project. In July a group of six of us were contacted by Hannah Martin because we had been chosen to be a part of a creative team to design either a men’s or women’s collection to mark the brand’s 20th anniversary.
There is going to be a competition – with a prize for the chosen design. But most exciting, is the judging panel that sees all of our work, they are some of the most well-respected people from the fashion and jewellery industries. It is always great to get feedback from people who have achieved a lot in a field you’re trying hard to get into.
And a cherry on the cake is that we all get to show our designs, pieces, sketches and all the background work at Christie’s! I think this is the best thing a young designer can ever hope for.
At the first meeting, Robert Tateossian and his creative team set us goals – to create a collection with our choice of material and even costs that would celebrate the brand’s 20 years of achievements.
To begin with, I decided to give my new take on one of the most iconic of the Tateossian pieces – the double-loop leather bracelet.
I grew up in Moscow, Russia and my parents spent their early years in the USSR where there was no fashion and jewellery markets whatsoever. It was a time when you either make your own gowns and accessories or just followed the masses of Soviet people dressed in uniform-style pieces that left little space for self-expression. That’s where you could, and had to, get creative. Young people were making beautiful woven bracelet out of phone cables because they were made of coloured plastic and that’s where I got my inspiration – turning something common and unexpected into intricate and delicate pieces of fine jewellery. It is a really exciting and rewarding process.
You can use different techniques to create amazing patterns and what is more, this type of design is suitable for all sorts of materials. The only problem I encountered is actually putting all of my ideas on paper since the patters are so intricate and detailed it’s hard to grasp it on a piece of paper, therefore, I have to get into the model-making to present my ideas visually.
Meeting with Robert and the technical team several weeks later really helped define our designs. Robert is really specific about what he wants to see. The pieces not only have to be creative and modern but also respond perfectly to his and the customer’s idea of Tateossian style. In CSM it was easy, we had a lot of freedom with our work. Now there is a new challenge – taking into account the brand identity and the technical part of the production we have to fit our creativity into the real market to produce pieces that would ‘live’ in the real world, not only on the gallery shelf.