Your jewellery has a particular aesthetic that is easy to spot, particularly when it comes to your of interpretation of nature. How did you perfect the process of preserving orchids in your jewellery?
People have been preserving elements of nature for ages. I haven’t “invented” the idea of “immortalizing” a flower. I loved the idea of it. So I did some research and found out more about the process and became very fascinated. After establishing the sourcing and making sure the process was up to my standards I started introducing flowers such as orchids and roses as part of the components of my jewellery collection.
Never just a rose or orchid on a pendant…I really try to spice it up every season by mixing different links and stones in innovative ways. Of course the floral part is the focus but I embellish every piece with something very special so there’s this romantic, feminine element to it but also very “high fashion” and edgy all at once. And every piece is unique, just like the women wearing it.
What elements do you think make a great piece of jewellery?
A great piece of jewellery consist first of an idea. The challenge is executing it the best way possible. It needs to have wear-ability (for the most part, as I sometimes create pieces that are extremely unpractical but oh so fun for a special evening or an editorial), top quality, and just this “it” factor that make you go “AH”! Jewellery purchase is usually triggered by an emotion (or offered as present that is intended to create an emotion, in the hope to be a good one) and it should make whoever wears it feel very special. It’s amazing how the right piece can truly make an entire outfit.
What are your biggest obstacles as an independent designer?
My biggest obstacle is definitely getting my newest work out and noticed before it gets copied or imitated, knocked off or simply before it “inspires” another designer to do something very similar. I have been in a lawsuit with someone who used to work for me (and I mentored and taught all the tricks of the trade) because of that in the past and it isn’t a pleasant experience. Trademarks are important but don’t always fully cover you. So I would advise every new company to be very careful with whoever they chose to hire. Other than that, a big challenge is the usual fluctuation of the prices of gold (now at a record high) diamonds and other precious stones. t definitely affects the price of the finished product so it’s important that your clients understand that sometimes things are out of your hand.
The one thing that hasn’t yet been an obstacle for me is to not be able to reinvent myself every season. I wake up every morning with new ideas and accumulate them until it’s time to pass onto the chopping board. I wish I could do and show much more, but I’ve been mentored wisely. Keep people wanting to see more, keep them on their toes 😉 One day I’ll come out with a huge collection of random pieces that didn’t make the cut and will call it Marie-Lise’s “cutting board collection.” Could be very interesting.