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Linear II: Mei Li Rose Jewellery Interview

Monday 20 April 2015

  one of my fondest blogging memories featured an immensely talented London based jewellery designer Mei-Li Rose and her eye catching Navajo-inspired nomad cuff back in 2013, the very same year she launched her contemporary eponymous label. As simplicity and geometry forms a dominant concoction of her core design concept I endeavoured to follow her progress, viewing her beautifully crafted minimalist collections at London Fashion Week in 2014 (I couldn't leave without trying on the Navajo cuff). Everything is painstakingly handcrafted by Mei-Li herself therefore each and every piece are uniquely individual and treasurable.

Her newest SS15 collection L II was developed from her previous Linear collection, focusing on clean, contemporary and minimal forms for thoroughly modern women yet with an edgy twist. Here I had the pleasure of interviewing Mei-Li about her inspirations, her love for minimalist and geometric aesthetics and global aspirations. 

1. What inspired you to become a jewellery designer? Was there a moment when you decided this is what you wanted to do?

I have always been interested in art and design, during my Art Foundation I undertook a jewellery module and fell in love with it. This lead me on to studying at Birmingham’s School of Jewellery, after graduating I went on to work as a bespoke jewellery designer for a high-street retailer. Mei-Li Rose developed during this time as I began to get frustrated bringing other peoples ideas to life, and started designing and making more and more in my free time.

2.  Your jewellery is inspired by shapes and lines, what is your personal story regarding these themes?

My collections are influenced by modern geometric inspirations. I have always been drawn towards effortless minimalistic styles, this is reflected in my personal style too.

3. What is the inspiration behind your new collection (title?). 

L II, (Linear 2), developed from my previous Linear collection and celebrates clean, minimal forms, creating statement contemporary pieces that can be worn from day to night. 

4. Describe the creative and technical stages of making your jewellery pieces. What is the hardest and most enjoyable part of the process?

Generally I start out with a few sketches, over the course of a few weeks these develop and I then move onto either metal work, or wax carving, for casting. I love seeing pieces come to life in front of me, it is so satisfying to create something new, this is definitely my favourite part of the process. The most taxing part is reproducing several of each design, for orders, each piece of jewellery is handcrafted in-house, and it takes time to ensure every one is perfect.

5. What is your favourite jewellery piece/s at the moment from your collection. What do you wear all the time?

I am favouring silver at the moment, my jewellery staples right now are the Two-Way Rectangle Necklace, I also live in my Double Row Hoops, and always have several rings stacked up. I’m wearing the Rectangle Double Finger ring and Double Arrow AboveKnuckle ring on one hand, with the Asymmetrical Double Row ring on the other hand. I find these go with everything, and are great day-to-evening pieces.

 6. If you're not making jewellery what do you do in your spare time?

When I’m not in the studio, I will most likely be catching up with friends. I love to eat out and discover new places, Brixton Village is down the road from where I live, which has lots of great eateries and cafes. 

7. Social media is still relatively a new tool to promote brand awareness in the jewellery industry. How do you utilise this platform to your advantage? What is your favourite platform?

Instagram is my favourite platform, I try to ensure I’m taking good quality images, that stand out a little. I find that a photograph delivers a more personal touch, and can convey your brand image/message. It’s also a great way to interact with your target audience.

8. Describe the person wearing your collection.

Wearers of Mei-Li Rose feel empowered, confident and stylish. The bold jewellery is eye catching yet feminine with a simple understated elegance.

9. Is there a jewellery designer or influential public figure you look up to the most? 

Jewellery designer, Maria Black never fails to impress me. She pushes boundaries but her designs still remain wearable and fashionable.

10. If there is a brand or a person you could collaborate a new collection with who would it be and why?

I’m a big fan of Scandinavian designers, I love minimal, well-cut clothing, I would love to collaborate with a design house, such as Acne Studios.

11. 5 words to describe your jewellery.

Minimalistic, bold, empowering, classic, geometric

12. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

In future, my aim is to grow further globally and to be stocked in several countries. At the moment I am concentrating on strengthening the brand within the UK. There are several stores I would love to be stocked in, namely, Liberty – they have an amazing selection of jewellery.

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