Sia Taylor is an English jewellery designer who was a mystery to me for a very long time, an enigmatic person, the only image I had of her was the portrait I could see on the White Bird website.
Never present at her agent’s Paris showroom during fashion week, never previously seen at a Trunk Show, never even spoke to her on the phone when I bought her brand for a jewellery designers’ store in Beirut, Sia remained an ethereal character, a kind of paradoxical heroine out of Jane Austen, discreet and silent, but nevertheless endowed with amazing talent!
I’d met the Lebanese creator, Dina Kamal, last July. It was early on a Saturday morning and I’d been trying to battle against the persistent fog from the previous night’s frolics. A mushy brain, cotton mouth, echoing sounds with nauseous shivers , you get the picture?
Since the summer, I met Dina again in October in a much more lucid state, but it was only this last week, going to see the Oscar Wilde exhibition at the Petit Palais finally, that my spirits lightened up. The mists dissipated at last and I threw myself fervently on my computer to draft this post.
Just before fashion week, I got a call from Vincent, who told me in his unequivocal tone: “You must meet Emilie Duchêne, you’ll love her.”
I’m ashamed to say that I knew neither Emilie nor her jewellery brand, Thea Jewellery, nor of its resounding success in her native Belgium and also in the United States, where many celebrities have adopted her jewellery.
However, Vincent is unstoppable, oblivious to my lamentable ignorance, singing the praises of this young designer and her own brand of customised jewellery (in fact he alone has this talent, I’m seriously thinking of employing him as my PR: he could sell the Eiffel tower to the Mayor of Paris!) convincing me to go and take a look.
Lise was one of the first jewellery designers I met in my previous life, when I was a creator myself, exactly 10 years ago.
At my first Premiere Classe trade fair in 2006, I was her neighbour, and used to observe her with the curiosity of a neophyte, because on her stand everything was absolutely perfect and coherent and because it was never empty from day one till the end.
I’ve often been criticised in the past for constantly talking about expensive brands.
That’s quite true. I love gold, and gold is expensive.
Therefore I’ll attempt to cure myself by telling the story of an extremely popular, affordable, well-known and incredibly creative costume jewellery brand.
This is a story which starts off as a fairy tale.
It’s the story that Catherine told me one grey February day at a cafe in the 3rd, a haunt just below her new workshop. Before meeting her, she’d warned me in her hoarse voice, à la Jeanne Moreau: ” OK I’ll tell you all about my life, but be sure to bring a sleeping bag “. That was quite a start, so I also brought along my pen and exercise book.