As the European ambassador for Olympus, I’ve been out and about town snapping pictures on my new E-PL7 camera. Can we just talk about the chic cream color that is sleek and small enough to fit in my clutch?! Forget black and bulky with large camera bags, this one fits everywhere. My favorite feature is the wifi part, which lets me transfer the photos to my phone and computer so quickly! The settings are also very user-friendly, so I’ve been testing out all the angles and lighting and maybe having too much fun with this new Olympus.
I snapped pictures of my favorite shows, using my E-PL7! Shows include Mugler, Barbara Bui, Dior, Guy Laroche and Faith Connexion.
Christian Dior featured bold shapes, subtle florals, bermuda shorts and everyday colors in a beautiful show that was actually in the Louvre! Barbara Bui strutted some incredible coats, sporty vibes, awesome pointy flats, crinkled organza and crafted work–the kind of pieces we could easily throw on daily. Guy Laroche had some incredible color-blocked leather, sleek overalls, and easy silks and knits. And those coats…total statement pieces. Mugler Spring Summer collection was « cut with a scapel », lots of skin, body suits and fabulous models such Karlie Kloss and Georgina May Jagger. The show was dominated by monochrome looks in mostly black and white, with just a few orange flame-licked prints thrown in to turn up the heat a bit. As for Faith Connexion collection, it is a complete and multifaceted collection with lots of colors and embroideries.
Also, in the name of all things fashion, runways and Paris…I decided to go for a skirt over the pants look. I think the skinny leather adds an edgy boost. And hey, if I ever feel like changing up the look mid-day, I could always remove one garment or the other! But for now, all aboard, I think adding the pants and skirt give the look a playful touch. And it’s leather weather so…why not?
Then…just life in Paris in general. Angelina is one of my favorite breakfast and tea spots in the city. And their signature dark chocolate and mont blanc is to die for! (They sell the hot chocolate in a glass bottle to bring back home 🙂 ) Also, all the little bistrots–so great for hanging around and people watching! And photos of the view in general, because the Olympus has been working wonders with the local scenery! I also bumped into Brazilian blogger Thassia Naves, after the Dior show, who was decked out in Dior herself!
Last but not least I had the chance to interview one of my favorite French jewelry designers, Sonia Gaydamak, who designs the collection with her sister. Together, they crafted an incredible collection of show-stopping pieces, beautifully embellished to make the ultimate statement jewels. The images of the studded rings and cuffs are from her collection!
How did you get your start in jewelry design?
SG: I studied gemology and graduated from GIA when I was a student in New York. My sister was already designing a few pieces for our personal use, and her talent was quite obvious. We were determined to work as a duo and combine our strengths and sisters working together were always our dream. We have always seen our mother draw her own jewelry, select her stones and reinvent her style. After our studies and working in the rough diamond industry, we decided to take it from a simple hobby to a real business.
Your hand jewelry is your signature item. What do you love about this type of styling?
SG: Since we started, we wanted to add a signature piece to our name, but nothing really special came to mind. Katia was wearing a traditional bracelet that was too big, it fell on to her palm towards her fingers and that was it! It took a year for the development of the project and another year to get into the right retailers over Europe and the US.
The Gaydamak Hand jewelry is our signature piece. Our leitmotiv is that we must think outside the box and never limit our creations. We brought to the market a new and innovative piece of high-end jewelry at a price that women understand.
There are so many jewelry brands: young or established. There was no point for us to create pieces that resemble other designs. The hand is such an important part of the body, yet not exploited to its highest potential. We thought of another way to embellish it.
How do you go about creating a new piece? We’d love to know about your design process, from choosing materials to design development…
SG: We like to research a theme or an idea that is the starting point of a collection. Lately we have focused on lace and the different techniques that have been used to represent this fabulously feminine fabric in architecture and jewelry. We then create a mood board of colors and concept to help us view the ultimate result. We then draw a sketch and then seat with our jewelers to determine volumes, dimensions and techniques. The best moment is when we then get the wax and to the necessary changes. The piece is then ready to seduce our clients.
From the time when the idea is accepted by the team to the moment of delivery, it takes around 6 months. But in all fairness it depends of the complexity of the piece. For example the hand ring took over 9 months to be achieved. And it was worth the wait.
Some of our creations are a limited edition such as the Emerald one or the diamond fingerless glove.
What materials are you obsessing over at the moment?
SG: Funnily, one of our favorite is a pen and a paper! That’s the beginning of it all. But we finally see a jewel that we have deigned we love to see the stones alive. We are enjoying mixing hard stones such as tiger eye with diamonds. The contrast between mat and shiny stones is a very elegant combination.
How do you transition your jewelry from day to night?
SG: That’s the best part: this is one of our purposes – creating jewelry that is modern enough for our contemporary lifestyle. And for me personally it means wearing the same piece of jewelry with boyfriend jeans or with a gown.
Do you have any rules on how to wear jewelry?
SG: My only rule is to not have any rules.
Where do you find yourself going when you need a creative boost?
SG: Paris is always a good idea… And then really inspiration can come from anything : a book, an image, a movie, a building…
What kind of photos inspire you the most and why ? (fashion, food, landscape photos, black & white… ?)
SG: Lately it’s all about Rafael Neff. The way he captures details, colors, and overall beauty is absolutely and completely to my taste.
What’s the best about your work? And the worst thing about working in fashion?
SG: The best about my everyday job is working with my sister. The worst is coping with the industry’s BS !!
Your ultimate dream ?
SG: Making the hand bracelet become a regular and « normal » piece of jewelry.
My outfit was shot by Carin Olsson, the jewelry images are courtesy of Gaydamk Jewelry and all other photos where shot by me using my E-PL7 camera.
This post is in collaboration with Olympus.