It’s about creating an impact on the catwalk. I love using very ordinary things to see what I can make with them ...
‘Using zips, chains and leather ribbon, Maria was able to create highly-original pieces’
Jewellery designer Maria Lau from Huddersfield likes to take ordinary materials and turn them into something extraordinary. Recent commissions have included accessories made from zips, pairs of tights, old doll’s heads and keys. HILARIE STELFOX reports
DESIGNER Maria Lau enjoys a creative challenge. When she responded to an appeal from a young fashion student who wanted pieces of conceptual jewellery to accessorise her final collection she was delighted to be offered the commission.
No matter that the materials supplied by student Maki Ischikawa included antique china doll’s heads, pairs of tights and old keys.
“We just clicked straight away with our ideas. I love using very ordinary things to see what I can make with them,’’ said Maria.
Maki, a graduate of the world-famous Central Saint Martin’s College of Fashion and Design and originally from Japan, had designed a highly conceptual collection based on the theme of industrial revolution and the subsequent growth in information exchange.
She’s now working as part of Alexander McQueen’s design team.
Maria, who studied textiles at Huddersfield University and completed her master’s degree course at the Royal School of Art, is based in the Bates Mill Artspace on Queen Street South.
She created three pieces of work for Maki; a floral mouth brace, a key chain belt and a doll necklace.
Such jewellery is not, of course, designed to be worn every day or while doing the supermarket run.
“It’s about creating an impact on the catwalk,’’ said Maria, who would like to work on more such collaborations.
Maki’s final collection, along with Maria’s jewellery, was photographed by Stuart Weston, who is known for his work with Toni & Guy hair stylists.
“I felt to be on the same wavelength because she was using antique fabrics and antique keys and dolls. I use a lot of reclaimed materials in my work,’’ said Maria.
In a separate, recently completed, project Maria was asked to design a collection of bag charms by DKNY at Selfridges in London.
Using zips, chains and leather ribbon Maria was able to create highly original pieces that complemented the new season bags and were given as gifts to DKNY customers.
“I was given free rein about what I did and they were quite open to my ideas,’’ said Maria, who has been asked to design bespoke jewellery at the store on previous occasions.
l Maria holds regular jewellery workshops at Bates Mill and her costume jewellery can be see at the Pixie boutique on Queen Street.