Style Melbourne

5 Melbourne Jewellery Labels to wear this instant

If  “the clothing maketh the man”, then surely I can argue that jewels maketh the woman? After all there’s none more womanly than Elizabeth Taylor and the lady had quite the penchant for the odd sparkler (all £74 million worth of them). Alas, my relatively meagre collection is not quite so grandiose. Yet in the spirit of appreciating the finer things, I wanted to showcase a few local jewellery labels that are either emerging or that may be flying somewhat under your radar. And hopefully introduce you to a few new keepsakes!

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Owner of online jewellery emporium Alegorie and former designer of Drown, Alicia Hannah Naomi is now onto a directional new venture under her own name.

Your aesthetic in 5 words or less?
Asymmetry, organic and imperfection.

What materials do you work with?
At the moment I’m working primarily with sterling silver – it’s the most affordable precious metal and reacts well to a variety of finishes so you can do so many more things with it. I won’t ever go back to working in non-precious metals because they often have a devastating affect on the skin of the wearer.

Who would you love to see wearing your creations?
I think I would love to see Rick Owens’ wife and muse Michele Lamy in one of my pieces. I find her interpretation of a shared aesthetic enthralling – her eccentricity in jewellery selection is in stark contrast with the pared back minimalism I seek to embody in my designs and yet I feel that she’d be my ideal customer.

Coco Chanel’s “take one thing off before you leave the house” vs.  The Man Repeller’s “arm party”?
I enjoy wearing a lot of one kind of piece; layered necklaces, a stack of bracelets, fingerfulls of rings – but not all at once. If I have an “arm party” going on then I probably wouldn’t wear any necklaces. It’s important to create balance.

Other jewellers whose work you admire?
I’m greatly enamoured with the work of Julia DeVille, a Melbourne-based jeweller who’s work with taxidermy and other memento mori themes are deeply in tune with my style aesthetic whilst remaining completely different to my design aesthetic. Also based in Melbourne, the opulent and baroque work by William Griffiths of Metal Couture is greatly inspiring. He is an industry icon who has collaborated with international powerhouses such as Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood.

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Lia Tabrah’s O.T.T by Lia T. jewellery line is a favourite of local extroverts. Do we expect any less from a designer who has an affinity for crocodiles and Sally Spectra?

Your aesthetic in 5 words or less?
Glamorous. Fabulous. Outrageous. Humorous. Extravagant.

Your most treasured piece?
It would be a piece that is treasured for sentimental reasons. I would have to say it would by my dearest Nanna’s (who recently passed away) gold necklace. It’s a casting of her pet German Shepherd which she would always wear.

What materials do you work with?
24 ct Gold plated base metals, sterling silver, swarovski crystals and acrylic. I usually try to introduce a different material with each collection I design.

Who would you love to see wearing your creations?
I would have to say Iris Apfel, the New York based socialite. She is the most stylish, glamorous and outrageous elderly lady I’ve ever seen. 90 years old and still weighed down by 10 thousand layers of amazing accessories! I grew up in nursing homes and used to style the oldies. I have a great appreciation for older stylish ladies.

Coco Chanel’s “take one thing off before you leave the house”) vs.The Man Repeller’s “arm party”?
Oh, intentional over accessorising no questions! Unless of course that one statement piece is big enough that is weighs you down.

Other jewellers whose work you admire?
I invited fellow jeweller Alexandra Blak to a studio sale I had before christmas last year. She cracked me up for the entire day. Not only do I love her fabulous designs and amazing hand skills but I also love her personality. She is very true to herself and this reflects in her designs. Alexandra doesn’t follow trends, she makes what she loves. I find this really refreshing!

Special projects?
I have recently joined the Melbourne Metal Collective (MMC). An organisation set up to showcase Melbourne jewellery design. I’m a bit excited! We have a couple of events coming up during the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival. Penthouse Mouse and MMC are having our own events, which includes a 2 week pop-up shop held at Curtin House. We will also be taking over Australian Fashion Week.

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Winning the support of pop-up agency Jack + Bill, Edenborough Evans by Anna Cowan is currently typified by organic shapes in gold and silver.

Your aesthetic in 5 words or less?
Artisan, tactile, stylised, quality, bold.

Your most treasured piece?
A beautiful yellow gold, diamond baguette ring that I received from my mum. She was given this ring as a gift when I was born. It’s very special.

Who would you love to see wearing your creations?
I would love to see my work on anyone with an amazing style; that person who you look at and think ‘wow he/she looks amazing!’

Other jewellers whose work you admire?
I have always been attracted to the fun and joyful jewels of German jewellery designer, Karl Fritsch.

Special projects?
We are returning to Paris in June for our third exhibition at the Premiere Classe trade event. We will also be collaborating with some amazing designers this year.

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Already an accomplished jeweller Taë Schmeisser, launched her bëuy label last year. The first collection, Crest is a rather modern take on regalia.

Your aesthetic in 5 words or less?
Artistic. Innovative. Tangible. Bold. Imaginative.

Your most treasured piece?
It’s actually what’s inside the piece. My most treasured piece of jewellery is my own gold-lidded wheelie bin necklace. Inside it are little bits of chocolate wrappers and scrunched up pieces of paper that my nieces and nephew put in when we’re on the couch having cuddles or watching TV. They’re the only ones with fingers small enough to fit in there and I love the interactive, intimate, secretive and playful nature of it all.

What materials do you work with?
I’ve been trained to work in glass and precious metals but bëuy is the exciting skip, hop and leap into diverse material jewellery. These collections consider the parameters and techniques of the materials as being integral to the design process. At the moment I am working on pieces that use 100% German wool felt in a very sculptural and bold way…very exciting!

Who would you love to see wearing your creations?
I would love to see Lee Lin Chin wearing a white pair of the Brazen Baroness Earrings. She is fashion fearless and a woman with ageless style.

Coco Chanel’s “take one thing off before you leave the house” vs. The Man Repeller’s “arm party”?
Oddly enough I rarely wear any jewellery at all. So I guess this means I am with Madame Chanel. I love a truly bold statement piece on a monochromatic canvas. I believe in highlighting a feature, then supporting it. If it’s a new dress you’re showing off, then small accessories. If you’re going with bold bright earrings, then a dark palate will really make them sing. Basically pick one focus and commit.

Other jewellers whose work you admire?
He’s not a jeweller but as an accessory and clothing designer, Issey Miyake is always an inspiration when it comes to his understanding, respect and love of material. My mother gets pieces from my father as anniversary, Christmas and birthday presents so I have grown up admiring his work over three decades. Even independently, his clothing and bags are beautiful objects. He is my design hero.

Special projects?
We were recently on location at a disused olive curing factory shooting bëuy’s Autumn/Winter 2012 collection. The new collection is darker in nature and more mature (bëuy has grown up!). The pieces explore and abstract the internal structure of the human body to create sculptural works. Keep your eyes peeled and your necks and wrists ready for some very unique adornment over the cooler months!

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My latest discovery is Karlie Gartner, who fashions opulent pieces out of vintage and reclaimed materials in her own unique way. Can’t help but covet all of it.

Your aesthetic in 5 words or less?
Pushing the 5 word boundary here with a few joining words..”Old world glamour (with a) poetic twist”

Your most treasured piece?
A silver bangle I had made and engraved in Vietnam in 2005. I wear it everyday, so its been with me many places and seen many things.

What materials do you work with?
I work with vintage materials – old jewellery, rhinestones, feathers and lace. I love to breathe new life into forgotten treasures. My aim is to showcase the personality and the hidden story of past life and love that is preserved in each of the pieces I weave together to form my weathered creations.

Who would you love to see wearing your creations?
Kate Middleton – she’s stylish and graceful, yet young at heart!

Coco Chanel’s “take one thing off before you leave the house” vs. The Man Repeller’s “arm party”?
This is a tough question! I see the merit in Chanel’s thinking, but I’m more one to change my outfit to work with my accessories! I think it depends on my mood… one day I’ll be all about simple ladylike styling, the next i’ll be stacking bangles up to my armpits!

Other jewellers whose work you admire?
I love Tom Binns, Michelle Jank, Miriam Haskell and YSL’s Arty Collection.

Special projects?
I’m currently working on a collection of restyled vintage handbags, so keep an eye on my blog for further updates.

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