BETWEEN MINIMALISM & MAXIMALISM
The low-key, highly-talented jewelry designer IOANNA SOUFLIA, strikes a good balance between minimalism and maximalism, femininity and masculinity with her elaborate creations. Here, she reveals to MIKAELA THEOFILOU the secrets behind the confident dual nature of her jewelry.
She left Law School to study jewelry design at St. Martins. Since then, the low-key designer Ioanna Souflia has proven that she loves contrasts in both her life and her art. The most charming, creative and artistic contrasts. Like when she decides to tie different materials by combining the “hard” marble from Thassos, Tinos or Italy – which she sculpts herself – with more “trusted” materials, highlighting the beauty of diversity in her jewelry. She made her debut at London Fashion Week in 2014, and in 2015 she launched her first fine jewelry collection, Symbiosis – a black and white “game” of volumes and contrasts starring the white marble of Thassos, the shiny black gold, and black diamonds. In London, she won second place at the British ArtMedal Society awards and in the competition held at Central Saint Martins by a well-known jewelry brand. Her collaboration with fashion designer Jean-Pierre Braganza at London Fashion Week and her participation in an exhibition in London’s Goldsmiths Hall, where she was chosen among young designers from the United Kingdom, are just a few of the important moments from her career. A more “gentle” series followed, called “Adoucissement”, with smaller volumes and softer colors where she used pink gold and blue-gray Bardiglio Imperiale marble.
“I start each collection with a feeling I wish to visualize. Images of sculptures, details of clothes or buildings, color palettes and textures make up the mood board of the future collection”
Her latest Blueprints collection started out as a visual documentation of the urban landscape and how it interacts with blue. “In an effort to deconstruct the volume of my previous collections, I created frames of 18K pink gold, inspired by architectural blueprints”, she tells us. Like a hide-and-seek between architectural volumes and the sky, the frames reveal custom-cut triangular sapphires set among deep blue and white diamonds. There followed a series of distinctions and successes abroad. Today, the precious microcosm of the creations of the now internationally acclaimed Ioanna travels from Las Vegas to Paris Fashion Week and from Beirut to Tuscany, while she shares her inspiration and her life between Paris and Athens.
-How did you decide to integrate a material as stiff as marble as the protagonist of your collections?
Starting with my first collection, Symbiosis, I wanted to explore the harmonious coexistence of contrasting elements and highlight the beauty of diversity. Far from the classic image of fine jewelry and framed with gold and diamonds, marble was the right material to highlight the uniqueness of the antithesis. Its processing requires accuracy, controlled movements, strength to use the tools that shape it, and obviously time and patience.
-Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Well, from anything that has a personality of its own. Some things that creatively excite me are the forms of Brâncuși and Barbara Hepworth, the art deco drawings of Erté, the photographs of Nicholas Alan Cope and the work of Mario Botta.
-What has been the greatest challenge in your career to this day?
The creation of jewelry, which were later recognized, that don’t belong clearly under any of the usual jewelry categories: fine jewelry/fashion, jewelry/contemporary jewelry.
-You have already won a place among the most important international jewelry designers. Where would you like to be 10 years from now?
Full of professional achievements and successes with the same appetite for my work and the same authenticity I have today.
The cool girl | July 2018