Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Designer Spotlight: Starring Louise Damas

I came across Louise Damas’jewelry collection while combing through various blogs and online shopping sites a couple of weeks ago—otherwise known as my favorite form of multitasking. As soon as I clicked into her e-shop, I wanted to adorn myself in all of the accouterments on her site and then meet her because both she and her jewelry seemed so effortlessly cool.

I went to go visit Louise at her apartment-cum-workshop on an 11th arrondissement street close to Père Lachaise cemetery last week. Home to grungy chic Oberkampf, the 11th has the sketchy hip vibe that attracts post-college creative types (uh, hipsters). I wouldn’t say it’s the Brooklyn of Paris though—maybe the Long Island City? Actually, I have no idea.

As expected, Louise is the quintessential cool Parisian. Born and raised in Paris, she graduated from the Sorbonne two years ago with a degree in literature and launched her jewelry line during her final year of school. She’s a DIY evangelist and has been creating things since she was younger, so jewelry making was a natural hobby, and now career, for her to fall into. I wondered if she’d be at a nondescript entry-level job if she weren’t designing jewelry (do they have those in hashtag France?), but she claims she’d be studying for a higher degree in literature. Girl crush alert: I love people who love studying.

She hasn’t left literature behind though, and much of her inspiration comes from the great heroines of European classics. Emile Zola, Charles Baudelaire, Stefan Zweig, and Colette rank among her top authors, and one of her favorite pieces in her new collection is a ring named after Mrs. C, the main character in Zweig’s Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman. The walls of Louise’s workshop are lined with books: a collection of rare editions passed down from her grandmother, two sets of encyclopedias, and stacks of livre de poche books that could have only been purchased with a class syllabus in hand.

Currently at work on her third collection, she makes all of her pieces at a desk in her apartment. Aside from the usual necklace-bracelet-ring combo that constitutes a run of the mill jewelry collection, her new line incorporates ear cuffs, headbands, and shirt collars, and includes strands of gold braids, Swarovski crystals, and semi-precious stones. Her line is currently available at a few boutiques in Paris and online at her e-shop, which you can buy (and ship to the Etats-Unis!) here.

Bobo chic, no? Au revoir! 

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