I have been lucky enough to been put in touch with Clare from Dubai’s luxury jewellery house Phioro who not only creates the most beautiful jewels but who is also full of amazing advice (more on that in the next few weeks).
For now, did you know that Tanzanite is 1000 times rarer than Diamonds? Me neither. Read on for Clare’s incredible knowledge and passion for her business. Phioro meets every girl’s requirement for unique and elegant designs.
Tell me more about how you started your career?
I began by studying Art Foundation at Bournemouth Institute of Art & Design, at that point I had no idea that I would end up in jewellery – I am an artist who loves object and sculpture. When I tried metalwork I was hooked! I loved the way you can work with metal and stones to create something so beautiful, sculptural and yet wearable.
From there I went on to study Jewellery & Silversmithing at the School of Jewellery in Birmingham. And from there onwards I set about creating the Phioro brand.
Phioro was founded in 2008 in the UK, however I was pulled back to the UAE – my hometown and haven’t looked back since.
How did the idea to do a Bridal line come about?
We started in Engagement rings and have been creating and designing bespoke, personalised engagement and wedding rings for almost 3 years now.
However it wasn’t until my own wedding came about that I realised how much women need Bridal jewellery to complete their look for their special day. I designed my own wedding jewellery inspired by my one-of-a-kind Engagement Ring concept – ‘My Eternal Sunshine’ and the Eternal Sunshine Collection is the first in our Bridal Range.
We are also working on another Bridal Collection named ‘Ophelia’, it is inspired by ‘Baby’s breath or Gypsophela’ flowers and will be launched officially in Spring 2014.
How does having a customised piece with Phioro differ from other jewelers ?
Most jewellery brands you find here are not specialised in one-of-a-kind personalised design, the service we offer is a very unique concept in the UAE. Phioro’s ethos is to truly understand our client’s story and translate this into a stunning piece of jewellery that reflects not only their character but their inner love story. We believe that every jewellery piece should have a story. Something that resonates with the client, so much so that they couldn’t help but become emotionally involved with it.
Secondly, the careful selection of quality stones and precious metals, plays a huge factor in how beautiful a piece will ultimately be. Many clients have no idea what a difference this makes to how desirable a piece of jewellery looks when wearing it. However, choosing the best quality diamonds, with an excellent cut – even when they are only 1mm in diameter – can be the distinction between an average, or an outstanding piece.
Thirdly, we believe an object should be resoundingly beautiful, and well-made. A piece that has lasting value is something that one can treasure forever. We consider a piece of jewellery from all angles, and often hide secret details within its form to add intrigue to a piece. These aspects require a great deal of time, attention and an extremely critical eye for detail. This is a key element of the design process at Phioro Jewellery; we carefully watch over the manufacturing process so that every detail is carefully maintained and delivered with utmost excellence.
Which materials are your favourite to work with?
I absolutely love Tanzanite, I think it’s colour is mesmerizing and I love the way that it changes when the light plays against it. It is also an incredibly rare stone, 1000 times rarer than diamonds.
However, you can never beat diamonds for their sparkle and classic beauty.
What motivates you when it comes to designing?
I love being able to dream up an incredible form and then see it in reality a month or two later. It is in incredible feeling seeing that piece sparkling in front of me, but once it’s done there are a million more ideas that I want to develop from it! It is a never-ending cycle.
When it comes to designing for our Bespoke clients, it is a truly rewarding process. Because often the piece starts with the love that someone has for another person, and that is channeled into the jewellery, which is then gifted to that person – who is overwhelmed with having this totally unique and utterly priceless piece as their own to treasure forever.
This is why our Tag Line is: Forever in Love – it has so many layers to the work that we do.
Which celebrity would you most like to design a piece for and what would it be?
I think it would have to be Gwyneth Paltrow; she is the epitome of style, class and success, and yet so humble and beautiful inside and out. I would love to design a one-of-a-kind diamond necklace for her, that would reflect her true character in its form.
Which other designers inspire you the most, and why?
I am extremely inspired by Stephen Webster, I have met him personally and his Rock star attitude and rags to riches story really captured me. His designs are striking and bold, a lot like our Fine Jewellery collections.
I love Alexander McQueen’s total innovation, his work in fashion was ground-breaking and I try to emulate this within my designs in jewellery.
Within Dubai, I adore Michael Cinco’s work, his mystical bridal gowns are breath-taking, and I love the detail that he captures within every creation.
For more information on Phioro see http://www.phioro.com/