Today, I've been holed up in East London, with the hope of creating what I think will be quite an inspirational post for tomorrow but I didn't want to let jewellery designer Mirit Weinstock slip away into the quiet night so I'm posting this quite late in the day.
Weinstock is based in Tel Aviv and has been designing jewellery since 2011 but before that, after graduating in fashion design from Shenkar college, she created a MissMi fashion line, engaging wearers all over the world to wear her designs. Weinstock is still currently studying her masters in fine arts whilst successfully building her jewellery brand, which will potentially lead way to incorporating other discplines like sculpture into her work. For now, Weinstock hasn't had a shabby start at all seeing as she launched her "Shuttlecock" collection and it was snapped up straight away by colette and now sells in fifteen key stockists world wide as well as her own online e-store.
Four collections in and Weinstock has caught my eye with her delicate and subtle designs incorporating unexpected materials that range from the feathers of a badminton shuttlecock to the current collection of dainty twigs and eyelashes. There's a very interesting and quiet sensitivity about the way Weinstock chooses her objects to electroform with metal or physically use in her work. The twigs with the daisy seed puffs embedded into the buds are a particular joy to behold, even through mere pictures. Weinstock is still getting started so her entire back catalogue to date is available online so that you can choose from a simple shuttlecock feather hair grip to the more ornate enamel-covered moonstone and octagon necklaces. Weinstock was kind enough to answer a few questions as well as provide some inspiration images just to paint the fuller picture behind these delicate but ultimately memorable objects.
What made you decide to launch your own jewellery label when you were initially designing ready to wear?
I started to design jewellery because I wanted to add them to my dresses to create a complete look. Quickly I fell in love with the jewellery world, combining it with elements from the world of fashion such as pleats, knitting, threading etc. It took me almost two years just to explore, try things and then developing it into an entire jewellery collection.
What inspires the themes behind your jewellery as you've explored everything from a mundane shuttlecock to the natural form of twigs to human eyelashes?
jewellery I started working on my first jewellery collection I was inspired by Japanese traditional jewelry and was fascinated by the lightness of them. I searched for a beautiful material that carry this light feeling and came a cross the shuttlecock ball. The shuttlecock are made from natural duck feathers. The shuttlecocks were re-constructed, colored and combined with pleats and knitting to create jewellery. Also, the natural feathers went through Electroforming process - a metal forming which covers the original feathers with silver. I was fascinated by the endless ways I can work with a natural material and transform it into jewellery.
With this mood I continue to work on my "Raffia & Twigs" collection. I chose to work with another unique material : raffia fibers, a natural rope made from raffia palm trees in Madagascar and used in traditional textile and packaging. Fascinated by this material, I transformed it into jewellery by braiding, weaving and knitting it and then covering it with silver or gold. More inspiration for this collection was found in branches, twigs, bones, thorns and trees.
Silver "twigs", combined with Amethyst, Citrine or Sapphire stones are at the center of the second group of designs. The twigs are made of 925 silver, silver plated 18K gold or silver gun tone, and carry a gentle and poetic flavor.
Each collection has a different story combining different inspirations. The fusion of themes and materials creates new, unique jewelry objects. I love to explore a new world every season.
Tell us more about your latest A/W 12-3 Stardust collection?
The inspiration for the first group of the women's collection was found in eyes, tears, the moon, satellites, stardust and the sky at night. Silver domes and octagons covered with enamel are at the center of this group, combined with feather eyelashes, chains of tears, sapphire and smoky quartz stones. To these I added fake eyelashes dipped in silver and gold.
The second group of the collection was inspired by the Senecio Daisy's poetic white seed puffs, pussy-willow branches carrying pretty, fuzzy, furry flowers, and leafs. I created lean silver branches and combined them with stones, fake eyelashes and the original dry furry flowers to create pendants and brooches.
How have your jewellery designs changed over the seasons?
My jewellery collection M♥W was launched in February 2011, so far I showed four collections. The designs are changing as I try new techniques and new materials every season such as electo forming, enamel colours and I just started working with porcelain for my next spring summer collection.
Please tell us a little bit about the fashion scene in Tel Aviv - is it growing and what are your top picks for young designers in Tel Aviv?
I believe there are many talented creative people in Tel Aviv. The fashion scene is growing and there are all kinds of events and fashion fares. We also had a first Israeli fashion week in Tel Aviv last November that recieved international coverage. It's not easy to be a young fashion designer in Israel and I'm happy to see that designers keep on working and creating great stuff, such as : Arama footwear and Noritamy jewellery.