We talk to designer Loveness Lee about her eponymous jewellery brand, what makes London so diverse and her plans for Chinese New Year
London-based Loveness Lee designs contemporary creations for her eponymous jewellery brand. She developed her signature style and craft at Middlesex University, followed by a master’s degree from the renowned The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass) at London Metropolitan University.
Fusing together influences from nature and science, alongside a yearning to mix-up traditional jewellery techniques, Loveness Lee has created a distinct statement jewellery collection, unique in style and full of intrigue. We caught up with the Chinese-born designer to find out more.
How did you become a jewellery designer?
I developed a huge interest in science, especially chemistry, when I was in high school. I was also interested in design and art, strongly influenced by my architect mother. By becoming a jeweller, I can have the best of both disciplines. I get to experiment with materials like a scientist and design beautiful jewellery like an artist.
What inspires your collections?
Serendipity plays a big part in my design process as the shapes, colours and textures, although consistently recognisable, cannot be predetermined. The ‘trans-natural’ concept behind my jewellery is envisaged through a collaboration between nature, science and art, working in unison. My passion for materials has led me to experiment with different types in order to investigate the interplay between materials and design. I truly understand materials without using design to limit their potential. I let the properties of the materials dictate the design.
How do science and nature influence your collections?
Nature is the best designer and creates the most interesting textures, colours and shapes. By collaborating with nature I am able to use these features in my jewellery. With science, by injecting resin into a lamb’s heart I was able to cast the interesting shapes and textures of the principal branches of the coronary arteries and the larger cardiac veins. I later cast these in silver to make earrings and brooches. I have also mixed different chemical solutions to react with the surfaces of metals to create 10 distinct, beautiful colours.
What is the best thing about your job?
I am in my own little world when I am designing and making jewellery. Each piece has its own life, from the initial idea to model making to the finished product, I see its growth. I get huge satisfaction when the pieces get sold to happy customers.
What are your plans for Chinese New Year?
Workwise, I am taking my Chinese Zodiac animal collection to House of Fraser’s Oxford Circus store for a Chinese New Year pop-up event. Personally, I host a Chinese New Year dinner party at my house every year. I teach my friends how to make dumplings and we cook traditional northern Chinese food together.
Which are your favourite jewellery pieces for Chinese New Year?
My Chinese Zodiac animal collection is made up of 12 necklaces inspired by ancient Chinese calligraphy of the 12 zodiac animals. I was born on 2 February 1991 so my Chinese zodiac animal is the horse. I also like the Rooster design in my collection and it was the most challenging to make.
What do you like most about London?
I like the diversity in London. You can meet people from all over the world and get to know their unique culture and interesting life stories. Each culture is fascinating and sometimes inspires my designs. I also love the hidden gems in London. I often walk around without a destination or purpose and discover the most interesting parts of the city, with features such as peeling walls, weird looking seeds and creative graffiti. The surprises are endless.
Where are the best places to shop in London?
Oxford Circus for high-street brands and Portobello Road for boutiques and independent designers.
How would you describe your personal style?
In summer I love boho style and earthy tones with textured fabrics, paired with Loveness Lee big statement earrings. In winter I love full-leather looks with my statement jewellery.
Describe the ultimate Loveness Lee woman.
The Loveness Lee woman is strong and independent, and has a daring attitude to style. She is very comfortable with herself and not afraid to stand out from the crowd. She is unique in her own way and not scared to be different. She loves to wear statement jewellery to express her confident self.
The Loveness Lee Chinese Zodiac collection is available at lovenesslee.com and House of Fraser on 8 February 2018. Prices start from £158.