Having just finished Central St Martins, it was an honour and a privilege to get the phone call from Hannah Martins, asking me whether I would consider working on a collaboration between the school and Tateossian for the company’s 20th anniversary, that would result in an exhibition at Christies as well as being judged by a host of prestigious and experienced judges.
Within 48 hours of getting the phone call we had all travelled, some from further afar than others, to the Fulham based head offices of the company, where we met Robert Tateossian, the design team and Hannah Martins who – as an already established and incredibly successful designer – was going to mentor us throughout this project. With the brief delivered and Robert’s vision for the company after 20 years of success and expansion understood, we all headed our separate ways again to start to consider what angle or approach we would each take for the design process.
Tateossian is a brand synonymous with creating men’s, and more recently women’s jewellery, that has clean fluid lines, a sense of fun and fashion, while being both functional and timeless. The most important thing for me when designing for this iconic luxury company has been to stay true to the original design ethos within the brand, but to expand and develop on some of the ideas and concepts already present in their collections. Challenged with creating jewellery for Tateossian’s 20th anniversary I decided to start this exciting challenge by looking at both men’s and women’s jewellery.
Having never designed for men before, it became a personal challenge to create a men’s collection that had a sense of style, purpose and adventure, portrayed through the clean fluid lines and mechanical designs that have become synonymous with the brand. To gather inspiration I have looked at another luxury industry; the sports car and the iconic man who is privileged enough to drive these cars. I shall primarily use the designs in the wheel alloys to create both cufflinks but also rings as market research of the Tateossian shops in London, suggested that men’s rings could be developed and expanded.
For the women’s collection I have decided to develop one of the main collections already in place at Tateossian, The Luce. The Luce shape has so far only been used in a beaded form in the company’s signature fibre optic glass, precious stone and leather. However I would like to use The Luce as a shape multiplied and repeated to create an almost lace-like pattern. As a brand, Tateossian is renowned for using new materials and developing techniques within its jewellery. Therefore, I think that it would be fitting to develop The Luce using the materials that Tateossian has already become familiar with, and is recognised for, however developing a technique within the brand; laser cutting. I would like to expand the Tateossian design process with laser cut materials mixing these with precious metals and stones to create multi-dimensional, intriguing and wearable jewellery that is fun, fashionable and unique.
So far, after two design meetings and a month of design development I have decided – with the help of Robert, Hannah and the design team at Tateossian – that I shall focus on designing for women. The challenge for me throughout this project has been to design a capsule collection that stays true to the company’s history but also looks forward to the company’s future, while most importantly remaining commercially viable. I hope that all of us will create collections that Robert will be proud to label as Tateossian’s and that will show the brand’s iconic history and future at Christies in November.