Okay, so it’s the 1st of June tomorrow- cray! And June in Barcelona equals music festivals. Do I hear Sonar? And festivals equal hipsters, neon and purple/pink/blue hair and unless you didn’t know; hipsters equal fashion!
Are you still studying or working and not able to attend any of these music festivals? Oh, oh, oh, don’t cry…Your office or go-to library is the new coffee break because as you already know; Your Coffee Break equals fashion.
Today I’m talking about accessories and that final touch for the right Sonar effect making your festival look complete. In other words, to make our tie-dyed denim/ tribal prints/chiffon or neon cut-off outfit complete we want that outstanding or chunky necklace.
The staple to every outfit is having the right accessories, am I right? The use of chiffon and silk as the main fabrics on clothes have demanded the use of the accessories to give some character to the final look. Pastel coloured garments paired with bold coloured accessories for that perfect match. It’s all about combining basic garments such as a long chiffon skirt and a basic cotton top with special accessories. And yes, the turban is still a must-have for this summer. Don’t forget to add a touch of mint colours for that perfect mani/pedi.
I have had the opportunity to interview one of my favorite jewel designers here in Barcelona. Her name is Lucia Vergara and she is the creator of Après Ski; a well known brand amongst the hipsters.
Where does your passion for jewellery come from?
I studied Audiovisual Communication and worked three years on television in Valencia, but it didn’t took long before I realised that this wasn’t really my thing. I came to Barcelona hoping to dedicate my time to something more creative, possibly related to fashion. I got to know Lydia Delgado (a Spanish designer) by chance and she gave me the opportunity to do an internship with her. She was the one who thought me to love accessories and we gradually developed a signature line.
How was Après Ski born?
After three years of working for her and occasionally collaborating with designers such as Ailanto, I decided to start my own personal project. I guess, by that time, I’ve learned how to be independent and in my family they are all very “handyman” and have always been interested in woodworking, jewelry and decoration. Après Ski emerged spontaneously, where I was making necklaces for myself from pieces that I found from my travels. My friends loved my creations and started asking for some. Since then, my business has grown rapidly!
What is the process of creating a gem?
It depends on the piece, but I almost always collect a variety of pieces that I buy during my travels and then create free compositions. Sometimes I also draw up sketches, have them manufactured and use them for later purpose. I spend several hours getting my own colour mix and enamelling; this is what I enjoy the most. The most boring part is the assembly.
What materials do you use?
Wood, brass, enamels and patterned or textured plastics. I’d love to work with ceramics, but for the moment I’m experimenting.
Where does the inspiration for each collection come from?
From my travels. I try to travel as often as I can. Inspiration also comes to me when I have the time to keep my eyes open and let my imagination fly free for a while. While looking for pieces in the markets, I’m already designing mentally. But the inspiration for a collection can also be found in a picture, a landscape, a piece of pottery, a painting…
Is it hard to give away pieces once created?
No, quite the opposite. I am very excited to see other girls wearing my design.
Do you have a favourite jewellery brand?
Well, I have no special reference but I love the way Marni mixes materials, the geometric designs of FAUX/real and the necklaces of Anntian ceramic.
Where do you see yourself and your business in the next few years? Any special projects in mind?
I cannot imagine being a huge company, but yes, having a little more time to design and learn more techniques would be great! I hope to get some help with the production. I take one step at the time. I would like to make new products and I think it would be a fun project to make an “Après Ski for kids.”
Has it been difficult to get into the market?
I have a feeling that jewellery is a highly valued accessory here in Barcelona, especially if we are talking about original pieces. Après Ski has been getting good feedback since the very beginning.
Apart from your e-shop (www.apresskishop.com), where can we find your design in Barcelona?
At Boo, Chandal and Le Fortune; very special shops and the owners are so friendly!
Where is your favourite “coffee break” in Barcelona?
There are several of places, but one of my favorites is El Velódromo, because the pastel-green color predominates. This place gets a lot of light and they make a delicious coconut and pineapple juice.
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