Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Go, go, go, Willow & Clo!

Lately, I was fortunate enough to interview Chloe Townsend, the designer and founder of Willow & Clo, an Irish Jewellery label which has got the press all abuzz recently. And rightly so! Aside from being lovely and giving up some of her valuable time for me, Chloe heads a business with an ethical stance and a design aesthetic that I really admire.

1.What kind of pieces do you like to wear and which designers influence you?

I'm lucky in that I get to design the kind of pieces I like to wear! So I love layering the wrap necklaces in my collection and combining these with a pair of my Raindrop earrings with stones for a pop of colour! I like jewellery that is stylish yet wearable and I appreciate simple elegant designs. That's why I'm inspired by Me & Ro. The pieces have beautiful craftsmanship and I love the way all their pieces have inspirations of a spiritual nature. For me the meaning behind a handcrafted piece of jewellery is important as each piece is special to me.

2.The Irish flavour is palpable and notable in your designs, have you studied the designs of Ancient and Medieval Ireland? Would you ever consider basing a collection on something like that or do you think it too kitsch?

It wasn't my intention to create a specifically Irish inspired collection but after a trip up to the Giants Causeway I found it impossible not to create a collection based on the natural Art Deco landscape formed by the rocks there. I had been thinking of creating an Art Deco collection for a while and seeing the Giants Causeway was the surge of inspiration I needed to go ahead and create it. Its not medieval jewellery but it’s certainty ancient Irish.

3.Your bio page notes that you use recyclable materials where possible, what do you think of the efforts of the fashion world to go green? Do you think enough is being done?

I think it’s very important to be aware of where your materials come from, especially in fashion where so much packaging goes to waste, and try as much as possible to incorporate a green ethos into every brand. For me I like to use recycled packaging, I do think more can be done in this area as it is hard to find and always more expensive. If more people were to switch to Eco friendly packaging it would make it more accessible to everyone. In saying this I am very happy to see that there is definitely a shift towards the fashion world going green, the more popular the idea gets in fashion the more customers will value these ideals and I am looking forward to the day when being green is the norm.

4.Which collection are you most proud of and what do you think your greatest achievement so far has been?

The collection I am most proud of is my new Sound Wave Collection, It is inspired by music and formed using the beautiful waves that sound creates. Music is a huge passion in my life and the idea sparked from my boyfriend’s hobby of writing music. I had been working on the idea of a secret message collection and when he was editing a song I saw how different sounds make certain waves and I thought it was such an interesting way to use sound to portray someone’s secret message where only the wearer knows what it says.

I would have to say I feel my greatest achievement so far is opening my own Atelier in Dublin. It was a very exciting day when I signed the lease and got to work on the decorating. I’m one of these people who needs a space to go and work to be productive so it started out I was going to rent a space for me to do my design work, but then one thing lead to another and now it’s my design and showroom where people can come see my work too

5.And, finally, if you could pick anyone as your dream campaign girl, who would it be and why?

Mila Kunis, apart from loving her style she is also a very good ambassador for ethical jewellery. She does a lot with Gem Fields who are an ethically sourced Emerald and gemstone company. Not only does she have a great interest in the jewellery industry she embodies the Willow & Clo ethos, She Cares about her style and looking good but is passionate about where it comes from. Plus she would look great wearing it!

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