Creating a New Collection - The Work of Valentina Falchi
From the desk of Roz Eberhard, Director and Curator at Eclectic Artisans.
CREATING A NEW COLLECTION……a conversation with designer-maker Valentina Falchi into what inspired her current men’s collection; Brightside.
EA. Your latest offering, Brightside, has a strong emphasis on geometrical shapes. What is it that draws you to this style?
I never initially set out to design a men's collection. But as I started thinking about the differences I decided to challenge myself. The first thing that came to mind were forms. When I think of women, I see organic shapes, moving lines. When I think of men instead, forms become more defined, rational structures. At the same time I recognize that men have a lot of emotions and mixed feelings, just like women. We are not so different after all!
EA. Are you a sketcher, photographer or CAD design artist?
Definitely a sketcher! Although often, when I have an idea, I need to transfer it directly to metal, without going through sketches.
EA. Where do you draw your inspiration from for your work?
Inspiration is everywhere. An important source is always nature, however, input can come from anywhere: a shape, a smell, a feeling, a picture, a journey, a book, a music, from life!
EA. Many jewelers rely on the process of creating samples from non-precious metals to refine their designs. Is this something you do?
Yes. Please see the second question.
EA. What is your favourite technique or material to work with?
Silver is my metal. For a long time I have not loved the colour of gold even though recently I have been appreciating it more and more even if I use it only as a galvanic bath.
EA. I noticed that you are using Rhodium in this collection, what draws you to this metal?
In general, I really like black. Brightside collection is defined by the contrast of the two outer faces of the triangular section. I wanted them to be the same in shape, but different in appearance so the contrast between "black (rhodium)” and “white (silver)" helped me to better describe what I wanted to convey with this collection: for every dark side or sad, difficult moment in your life, there is always the good, positive, cheerful one. "Be happy" is basically the message that BrightSide wants to shout out loud!
EA. What is different between designing a collection for men instead of women?
I'm not used to designing for men and it was a strange, more difficult path.
EA. Do you ever feel that you need to follow trends when creating a collection?
No. I think for me, that creativity and inspiration mean I am unable to follow trends.
EA. What was the biggest risk you ever took with a design?
Well, unfortunately there’s no safe place in a designer’s life. We do what we like but who knows if what we like is what clients like? Of course we try to do the best but every design or collection costs time and money and nobody can assure you that it will be a success. We live 24h/365 with our fingers crossed.
EA. What is your favourite piece in this collection?
I really like the bracelet, it was the first idea. I also like the pin! It is so tiny and shiny!! A perfect light spot for every man’s jacket, shirt or tie!
EA. Do you create a new collection annually? Or when you feel it is ‘time’.
I would love to do it annually. I try to, but it is not so easy and is affected by so many different factors: inspiration, money, time ....
EA. How do you judge if a collection has been successful?
First of all, my satisfaction! Then, of course, the clients’ reactions, sales, media publications etc. But these things are not always related to each other.
EA. What is the biggest challenge you face working as a jeweller?
Surviving against the big companies that can convert everything in marketing. That’s not competition! But most of them have no soul so who won?? Hehehe!
EA. Have you already started thinking about the next collection you will produce?
Yes, I'm looking for some “Equilibrium” but, hey, shhhhhh, it’s a secret!
Photographs © Valentina Falchi