Prairie Collection ~ Behind the Scenes
Our little team is always so thrilled to see a collection come to fruition after many months of hard work; from designing to making, polishing to shooting. Natalie & Em are our incredibly talented design duo, and we caught up with them over a cup of tea to delve into their creative minds and find out more about the inspiration and process of our latest collection, Prairie...
Tell us a little bit about where the inspiration came from for Prairie?
Natalie: With this collection, we wanted to create something with a whimsical, feminine energy. Designed in the depths of winter, we were daydreaming of long summer days spent outside which fed into the aesthetic and the concept behind Prairie.
Tell us about the process, where do you begin? From concept through to creation?
Natalie: Generally, we start with a shape. Our collections tend to revolve around one particular shape, or two shapes intertwined, so this starting point helps us to gather momentum around developing a cohesive collection.
Once we have settled on the key shape, we start to sketch out ideas around this. This is usually a very rough, evolving process, where we generally both scribble all over each others drawings until we hit the mark. It’s such a collaborative process, there’s a lot of bouncing back and forth and finishing each others sentences (figuratively speaking!). Once we have our key styles, we start to flesh out the stories into categories (rings, bracelets etc), keeping in mind our clients preferences.
We are not particularly interested in current trends as such, our design process is more of an ongoing evolution of our style and is therefore quite personal and unique. We take great care to ensure that we are speaking our unique language through our design in order to ensure it stands apart and is distinctly us.
Once we have our collection plan and sketches, its time to start working on the sample range. Transferring concept to physical form is always a long and further evolving process. Physically translating a design into material form is an important step as the material dictates so much. Being able to bring these pieces to life ourselves, means that the process can really continue that organic progression. Being both designers and makers means there is no middle man in this process so we have a holistic understanding of the pieces from a production, wearability and overall design perspective.
Once the sample collection is complete, it's time for costing, ordering stones, shooting the pieces and a campaign shoot. This all happens 6-8 months before the product is actually launched online!
How did you choose what stones to use in this collection?
Natalie: The theme of Prairie for the collection for us conjured up visions of pale, straw coloured grasses and a soft muted blue sky.
I actually had some rare pale blue sapphire material that I had collected a few years ago, and we drew inspiration from these. It has actually been really challenging to source this rare material, but after months of searching, our trusty supplier has been able to custom cut these stones especially for us.
What is your favourite part of the process?
Natalie: Seeing everything come together in the context of being worn and styled on our shoot day is always a highlight. It’s the first time we generally see the collection as whole, and on the body, and get to creatively tell the story and realise our vision.
Finally, what are your favourite pieces from the collection?
Em: I personally love the large maple earring, one because it makes a statement, but at the same time is fine and delicate and isn’t overbearing. To me it’s the embodiment of what the collection is all about.
Natalie: I am in love with the Willow story, especially the necklace and drop earring. I have always loved star set diamonds, and this is the first time we have created a whole story around them which I am so excited about.
Campaign Photography by Sam Riles @samrilesphotography
Model & Props @Fleurette_