Photographer: Tim Butler-Jones
Stylist: Melissa Fergusson
Talent: Laura Ehlen-Wilson
MUA: Rebecca Alexander
Location: Good Fellas Fitness
Wardrobe: Lululemon, Nike, NZ Boxer
I recently attended ‘subject to change’ art extravaganza showcasing at Lot 23. What a feast of work by Philippa Blair & Natalie Tozer: both New Zealand-born abstract painters who collaborated with their bold, experimental & ambiguous paintings – that provoke and excite. All the guests celebrated the 1st birthday of Lot 23 surrounded by frisky, vibrant & intoxicating art: (also) for sale. The exhibition continues until mid-December. Definitely worth a visit; the Brazilian coffee is magical too.
1. When/how did you discover your ‘love’ of jewellery?
When I was a little girl, I loved going through jewellery boxes of my mother’s and my grandmother’s – really anyone who would let me look and play. Each box contained different types and styles of jewels, that expressed who they were at the time. I would love to play dress ups with them, but the best thing (of all) was each one had a story, and a memory to go with it. I like to remember this when I am designing a collection. I hope that my creations have stories told about them, and create amazing memories for the person wearing “Roccabella”.
2. Where do you get your inspiration?
The world around me. If you take the time to look around, you can find the most amazing and fascinating things, you just have to open your eyes. For example my latest collection INK: a tattoo/jewellery collaboration. I was going to see this guy (I had my eye on) who was getting a tattoo, done by Brock Fidow. I was looking around his studio and was blown away by his talent. We started talking about relocating from Christchurch after the earthquakes, and our design process. It just came to me that a tattoo/jewellery collaboration needs to happen and Brock agreed. Now we have worked together in creating this seamless collection.
3. Do you have a ‘special’ piece of jewellery that you wear or gifted?
My diamond circle pendant my mum gave to me – I wear it everyday.
4. How did you come by the name “Roccabella”?
We inherited it when we purchased our Christchurch store in 1999 which we lost in the earthquakes. I love the name – it means beautiful rocks!
5. Tell me about your last exhibition?
It was amazing! Held at Lot23, for my collaborate collection ‘INK’. I collaborated with Brock Fidow who is a talented tattoo artist. The collection was a seamless combination of ‘Western traditional tattoo’ and ‘artisan jewellery’, all proudly made here in NZ. We hung the jewellery on a (majestic) stand, hung from the roof. I wanted it to be a discovery, so we used Fresnel lenses which magnified the jewellery in a trippy-kind of way. Sam E was our DJ who created an amazing vibe.
6. Who would you like to (really) ‘wear and/or endorse’ your work?
Russell Brand – love his style.
Lorde – she is amazing.
Banks, she is also amazing.
I think that’s all for now!
7. Any influences?
Oh yes, I love the creative talents of Solange Azagury-Partridge, she blows me away with her designs
8. What is your favourite colour?
I don’t have one, I love all the colours of the rainbow.
9. Do you eat breakfast?
It’s the most important meal of the day! Can’t beat Rye bread toasted with avocado. Tomato, lemon juice, and a sprinkling of Basil, finished off with a grind of salt and pepper. Oh, and a cup of coffee.
10. What makes you smile?
My daughter Lilly, she amazes me and makes me smile everyday. Love – out of the blue, and music which can instantly transform your mood.