Thursday, April 23, 2009

Social Entrepreneurship - What's the fuss about?

As you must already know by now, I am as passionate about the topic of social entrepreneurship as I am about creating jewellery. That passion is translated to too many opinions. ;) As such, those opinions were recently reflected in a 1800 word article on the issue. You can read it here. The tone of it is a little abstract, but there are two side-bar stories of Singaporean examples of how we can link two traditionally disparate worlds - consumerism and sustainability.

A special shout-out to Chris from Olivegrin, the super efficient and accommodating art director of the graphic design firm. He also did the lay-out of this piece. Thank you, Chris! You saved me a load of headaches. :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Back to creating

I'm back in Bangkok. After a month of being away from designing, I'm so glad to be back in the City of Angels. While it was a fulfilling month of pitching the label and its philosophy to retailers and attending to private clients, I missed creating desperately and I only realised the extent of that longing when I started pouring over stones and drawings.

Here's the result of one of them: another organic hammered bangle - this time with elaborate swirls of sterling silver and sapphires, tanzanites and amethysts. This design totally gives away my penchant for romance and frills. As a mini celebration of sorts, I'm letting this one go at a marked down price for a limited price. Check it out on etsy.


Oh and as a lark, here's an out-take (totally at odds with the mood of the bangle) that I find somewhat amusing. Taken by the sweetest Taiwanese guy. We didn't intend for it to turn out so grungy but I guess my outfit determined the tone of the pic.

Monday, April 13, 2009

My love affair with Europe

Strolling Along Amsterdam by Lisa Burch

Like most females of my generation, I grew up on a steady diet of fashion magazines. I have fond memories of waiting excitedly in the last few weeks in August for the heavy fall issue of American Vogue to arrive. Similarly, I remember forking out precious pocket money just for Patrick Dermachelier's gorgeous portrait covers of Harper's Bazaar. They would be kept in pristine condition underneath my bed, and brought me happy reprieve in the midst of my adolescent angst.

Eiffel Tower by Misha Ashton


But if forced to pinpoint a watershed moment in my design influences, it would have to be my college summer holidays in Europe. Somewhere in the middle of travelling from tiny little Czech towns to metropolitan cities in Spain and Italy, a part of me changed.

Paris by Ciao Chessa

From the inherent almost-arrogant beauty and sophistication of Paris to the shameless, timeless sex appeal of Rome, it was impossible for a naïve, gauche 20 year-old-girl not to fall in love with Europe. And it was no surprise that I did as I became just yet another little human speck in this vast universe who lost her heart to the old world.

Amsterdam Homes by Lisa Burch

It wasn't only the history or the architecture of the cities that I loved. There was an old Viennese man who held my hand in the palace garden and spoke of his beloved city that once belonged to the Hapsburgs. And in Rome, the young men winked and blew benign kisses from their bicycles - it was inhuman to remain uncharmed.

And the women – oh the women! - and their dressing. I remember being completely in awe of a sixty-five year old woman on the metro, looking like a modern-day African queen. She was wearing a fire-engine red outfit with long shoulder-dusters and sharp, sharp stilettos. It was a completely unapologetic dramatic elegance in a pedestrian setting that would have seem so out-of-sorts in anywhere in the world but in Paris. 17 year old girls, dressed up for grocery runs, and yet, always seemed so casual about it. Chunky leather belts, multiple bangles (never just one!), layered necklaces and multi-hued scarves were part of their everyday diet. Beauty, to my eyes, seemed effortless and almost careless.

Instead of figurines of the Effiel tower and the Colosseum, I bought beautiful clothing and jewellery items as keepsakes of my travels. Without consciously realising it, they were dramatic pieces that I could not find in Singapore. Instead of a thin silver chain on a sedate, discreet pendant, I started wearing bold colours and dramatic pieces of jewellery. And then with the perfect clarity of hindsight, I realised that my aesthetic had been born in Europe. While it has slightly evolved over the years, to incorporate other influences, my aesthetic is still very much inspired by my love affair with Europe. And thus, with each piece that I design, together with a million other elements, there is always an abstract component that is my memory of Europe.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

New Singaporean stockists

More details later but here's some information for now...
Colette
Forum The Shopping Mall
#01-15
583 Orchard Road
Singapore 238884
+65 633 8589
Blackmarket
19 Jln Pisang
Singapore 199084
+65 629 68512

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Our first public event in Singapore


Hullo! We will be exhibiting at the event "Shop My Wadrobe" featuring many Singaporean and international designers, including the indomitable Jean-Paul Gaultier. We'd love for you to come by and say hi! There will be massive sales on sample pieces to up to 70% off. In addition, we'll be holding a lucky draw with cash vouchers and jewellery give-aways. Take a glimpse of some of the pieces at http://www.chooyilin.etsy.com/.
When: 4 Apr 09; 1100 - 1900 hrs
5 Apr 09; 1100-1800 hrs
Venue: Hide & Seek.
Directions are here.

For more information about the event, join our facebook page here or contact Madeleine Ho at placedelamadeleine@gmail.com.