Halo &Co AW17 Interview
We caught up with Nicola, one half of incredible jewellery design duo Halo & Co, to get the lowdown on what to expect from them come AW17.
What sparked you and your sisters, interest in jewellery design and when did you decide to make it a career?
Life began growing-up close to the Yorkshire Moors, with time spent dreaming of a world of glamour and finery. Watching old movies we would both be inspired by the outfits and spend time dressing up in our grandma’s clothes and raiding her jewellery box for those touches of instant glamour! I think this is what ignited our love of jewellery, and indeed an insight into the power of accessories as a tool to change the look of an outfit.
With this new found love of fashion, art and a thirst to see and experience creativity, Stephanie was prompted to train in the front line of the Birmingham Jewelry Quarter whilst I studied at the New York Fashion Institute. Whilst in New York City working for design house Karl Lagerfeld I developed a true appreciation of couture quality. On returning home, I joined Stephanie to create our own business to fulfil our creative ambitions.
Tell us about the inspiration for the AW17 collection? Do you find it easy to find inspiration or do you have to search for it?
Each season we do two different looks, something that has a laid-back feel and then a high glamour dare to wear look. It is important to offer different vibes for women to select from, we all have alter egos and accessories allow us all to express this. The collection titles are: –
Butterfly Kisses, full of high-octane glamour with texture in the form of glitter and holographic metalwork. Rich gold plating is fused with bright pinks and electric blues. It’s a bright exciting palette that will brighten any winter day! As we have a very international customer base color is integral to our designs.
Drama Queen, with dark Rhodium plate and palettes of muted grape and burgundy this collection has a rock and roll edge. The inspiration actually came from Anne French in both dress sense and attitude, she charmed many at the English court but her looks were at the time unfashionable and although she was never recognized as a great beauty the way she captivated those around her is well documented. Indeed, her presence influenced women at court to copy her sartorial style. Her true beauty came from inner strength and personality. This ‘difference’ as well as her wit, intelligence and effervescence attracted the King. Playing on feminine/masculine was the essence of the inspiration and big bold shapes.
Describe the collection in three words?
Diverse, challenging and individual.
What was the most difficult part about bringing the collection together?
The hardest part is the final cut. Knowing which items to put through into the collection and leaving pieces out that do not meet every criteria.
And the most rewarding part about bringing the collection together?
For me it’s always seeing people trying on the pieces and having fun with what we have designed. Jewellery should bring joy and when it is something that has come from you, well that’s the best feeling.
Which celebrity would you love to see wearing your creations and why?
From an artist point of view someone like Lady Gaga, were we would have no boundaries creatively, but to be honest seeing all types of women in our jewellery is what counts. When we see all ages and types of women, taking a piece of jewellery and wearing it in totally different unique ways. It’s great to see everyone’s individuality.
This is the first year in the new BFC show space– how was the experience for you?
We loved the new space, the jewellery section had amazing natural light flooding in and there was a general buzz around the whole space. London Fashion Week is always very special for us, it’s something we have always taken notice of and seen great designers showcased there and to be part of it is great. We are proud to be part of the UK fashion world.
What are your ways of dealing with a design block?
Our studio is in North Wales so a bracing walk along the seafront or standing on top of a mountain looking across the Welsh Valleys clears the mind. It is no wonder artists and poets from Turner to Dylan Thomas spent time gaining their inspirations from North Wales.
Do you have a favourite jewellery designer?
To be honest we try not to look too much at other jewellery designers as it’s important to have your own DNA around your designs but I admire for leading the way, Stephen Webster and Alex Monroe, both are the originals for two totally different looks.
As a UK based designer what are your thoughts on Brexit and the impact it may have on your business?
Brexit is happening, so it is now about finding positive ways to move forward to make a United Kingdom, the emphasis on United! Export opportunities are very strong right now due to the strength of the pound so we always like to think that there is always a rainbow after the rain! And keep positive to find ways round challenges.
Most importantly to continue to enjoy the journey we are on, but our aim has always been to be original and creative, making items of jewellery people will fall in love with. The brand is continuing to grow and we are working on projects in both LA and throughout the Middle East so on wards and upwards!!