A Word With

Behind The Brand: Monica Speaks With Caroline Issa

As part of our new #JoyOfGifting Campaign, Monica talks to Tank Magazine's fashion Director, Caroline Issa, about her far-flung inspirations and the personality of the gemstones which are so important to her collections. Here we share with you an extract from the interview which can be viewed in full in the first edition of our Newspaper.

Caroline Issa - Is it travel that inspires you the most in your design process?

Monica Vinader - I think that when you travel you are switched off from the everyday, so you free the creative part of your brain. Much of the creativity of travelling comes from simply seeing new things. I also get inspiration from visiting museums and from galleries, or from visiting an archaeological site.

CI: Looking back, what sparked you to create your first collection?

MV: I was at art school, and I was working in Santa Fé in New Mexico for a sculptor. I found the whole South West incredibly inspiring - the light, the people and the artist community. I discovered loads of tribal jewellers that were doing pieces by hand, involving a lot of wrapping with wire, which is how I started.

I went to markets and made this collection from found objects and jade. My collections to this day still have the spirit of that found, natural object, a celebration of a talismanic feeling that I still find in stones when I cut them. Those objects, and wire and jade pieces were my first proper collection, and I still have it, actually.

CI: What is it about stones that gets you really excited?

MV: I think it's mostly colour. The stones that excite me the most are the ones that draw you in with their vibrancy. For instance, amethyst, lapis and turquoise are just a few we use in our collections. Then you have something like a green onyx, where you have the strength of the colour and when you mix it with the facets, it looks amazing.

The stones have a sort of personality; I can't explain why but they do.

CI: Do you have a driving philosophy when it comes to your designs?

MV: I don't think that I have a complicated philosophy. I love to use great materials to make things that I want to wear and that people really want to wear themselves. It's quite basic, really; it's making jewellery I love and that's what propels me.

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