Q & A WITH JEWELLERY DESIGNER
MELISSA CURRY

Irish jewellery designer known for her bold colourful design and blending of diverse influences.

Melissa Curry is a celebrated Irish concept and jewellery designer who is known for her blend of modern and ethnic designs that are considered to be classic and graphic. It is no secret that Curry is considered to be Ireland’s more exciting costume jewellery designers whose designs are steeped in symbolism to enhance confidence and femininity in the wearer.

With a background in visual communication from the Academy Charpentier, Paris, Curry first launched her career under Liberty of London, and has since collaborated with many famous designers from around the world. She finds inspiration in varied sources, and has created jewellery for brands such as, Toni & Guy, Swarovski, Moet et Chandon, Liberty of London, Philippe Start @ Bon, Galeries Lafayettes and Le Bon Marche. She has also designed a collection for Absolut and Swarovski, with a special edition of the famous BYOS ‘Success’ bracelet being displayed by Virgin Atlantic and Facebook. Amongst Curry’s famous designs is a bracelet made of rose gold, which was gifted to the First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters on their state visit to Ireland. Curry has also designed jewellery for the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton.

MDO: What was the inspiration for your jewellery?

MELISSA:  A range of different things have always inspired The Melissa Curry label. I am inspired by the world around us, news, developments in the world, nature, or a feeling, but I always build with a certain confidence and build to thrill. Each piece carries its own life and its own story, it adds to the fun and the wearer’s experience. My design career emerged from a background and interest in advertising so it’s very important to have a story and meaning.

MDO:  What type of woman did you have in mind when designing the line?

MELISSA:  Melissa Curry, designs for all different women, I like to think she is comfortable in their own skin and likes to express her individuality, and personality. I always tend to push a little in my design work, which adds a sense of surprise. My pieces evoke a playful elegance, confidence and are often referred to as mood enhancers. I like to think I design for all girls and women; there is a little MC for everyone. My special commissions permit me to work in a more personal way. “Jewellery is the most unique + fabulous way to express your individuality” Melissa Curry

MDO: ho would you most like to see wearing your jewellery?

MELISSA:  I have worked with so many different women; I’m always surprised to see who wears it. Michelle Obama was presented my SmartiesCollar, it above all fitted her style her strength and individual ity and elegance. The MC pieces have adorned such a great mix of wonderful women, Natalia Vo dianova, Saoirse Ronan…The Lady I would love to meet now is the fabulous Iris Arpel, the Queen of accessories.

MDO: What was your experience like with Michelle Obama, did they come to you for a design particularly or did you approach them?

MELISSA:  The Obamas were on their state visit to Ireland. I had followedtheir campaign and was mindful of the shift and what it represented to the greater world. I had designed my own mini campaign, called Smarties ‘Hope and Endurance’, a piece of jewellery symbolising change and highlighting the women of colour. The US Embassy loved it so much they presented it to Michelle on her arrival. I received a wonderful letter of gratitude.

MDO: The main style icons are…

MELISSA: There are so many style icons, however the wonderful Iris Apfelis someone I admire and celebrate. How could you not?

MDO: which style icons do you admire, the ones that have passed away?

MELISSA: I’ve always had a huge crush on Coco Chanel, Her life, her sensational style and personality. It was no easy road for her but she followed her dream and made it work. She pushed it to the fore. She inspired me throughout my time in Paris and beyond. The world has shared phenomenal icons, Diana Vreeland, and so on…

MDO: what’s your jewellery philosophy?

MELISSA: Be brave, be bold, be you. Follow your dream and make a difference.

MDO:  how do you like to wear your favourite pieces?

MELISSA: How do I like to wear it? I love the thrill and the unexpected, so I tend to wear comfortable and very simple lines for whatever occasion I attend so that a simple or strong piece of jewellery be comes the life and focus of my attire. I have an array of large and rounded silver bangles they were the prototypes for a project I was working on for Moet. They’re a part of what I wear; they have often stirred a conversation or two. I love the sensation of playing and letting the jewellery do the talking. Jewellery, like colour, has the advantage of enhancing your mood and it lifts you out of yourself, which is more important.

MDO: Do you have a most treasured item in your personal jewellery collection?

MELISSA: I had a few very special pieces that my father collected for me during his travels. Due to my many moves and travels,I have managed to lose many of my beautiful pieces, but I hold a very interesting Ethiopian cross which is a magnificent piece of architecture and symbol, hand crafted in Sterling silver.

MDO: Where do you take Inspiration to Design your jewellery?

MELISSA: Jewellery is incredibly personal and it is something we covet, it holds a sentiment and carries an emotion and memory; more so than we tend to recognise, especially for women. My latest collection has been inspired by my many years working and designing for women and girls. I have embellished them from the outside. My latest collection is a little deeper; it celebrates us all from the inside and encourages us to reach our own success and to be confident in ourselves.

MDO: Your experience of designing for Duchess of Cambridge for the Royal wedding?

MELISSA: Yes it was a very special time and I was very honoured to be chosen to design for such a wonderful celebration.

MDO: How were you approached at first?

MELISSA: I was approached by awonderful designer/stylist. It was very last minute, about a month away from the wedding and she was in a dilemma. Her client was looking for something that was special and different that would really carry her sense of style and personality through the event. It was very interesting, as we had no time to meet. I had to rely on the colour and the textures of the garments and coupled with a dab of intuition, I had to form the collection. It was a lot of pressure at the time but we got there and made something personal and suitable for her.

MDO: Is it just you creating the idea or did she have an input?

MELISSA: She didn’t have any input to it. I knew the colours of her dress which informed me of her person ality and mood. Jewellery is intuitive, so I had to dig deep and believe I was on the right track.I worked with gold wire,and 18carat gold Prince of Wales rope chain, a gentle symbolism and thread that joined all the components.I worked with deep earthy crystals and rubies, which were woven into the golden threads.The earrings were majestic, light and carried a playful elegance, with the golden rope and stones. They were particularly personal and I think very different.

MDO: When you spoke about the colour matching the personality, what kind of colour would you associate with a person who has a passion for black?

MELISSA: It appears to be artistic people.It’s a very easy colour; it’s a very forgiving colour. It s is a colour of mystery and contrast.

MDO: What is your favourite colour?

MELISSA: I tend to wear a lot of black, its easy to wear my rouge lippy, and an accessory that will really en hance my stepping out so it’s a great backdrop. It’s also very easy but I since I’ve been living in Ireland, black has been probably a more prominent colour due to the environment andchilly air. When I was living in Paris, I loved and wore a lot more colour.

MDO: If you could only wear one designer forever, who would it be?

MELISSA: Dries.Dries Van Noten. I love his intricacy,his artistry, his process and just the sensation I always get by his information that comes with his textiles. Marni would be another one of mine.

MDO: What is your wildest wish you could wish for?

MELISSA: I would love to see my company and my jewellery back in the arms of the world that would be my big dream. To have my work back out in the world where it was once thrived in my former life. So I’d love to see the Melissa Curry brand out and thriving.

MDO: Did you have a team behind you?

MELISSA: No I worked on my own. I like that, it gives me great satisfaction and I love the process. My silver smith worked with me on the silver elements, which were attached as my signature at the end.

MDO: It was all done in Ireland?

MELISSA: Yes, everything was created at my studio.

MDO: Did you get any materials from Ireland, locally sourced?

MELISSA: No, I have a silversmith who worked with me. He built some of the frameworks and then every thing was really made by hand by me.

MDO: But the actual materials all came from the UK?/p>

MELISSA: The UK and India. We worked with some Indian stones, and the gold was from the UK.

MDO: When you spoke about the colour matching the personality, what kind of colour would you associate with a person who has a passion for black?

MELISSA: It appears to be artistic people.It’s a very easy colour; it’s a very forgiving colour. It s is a colour of mystery and contrast.

MDO: People normally associate black with darkness and gothic….

MELISSA: It’s a very strong colour. It’s very informed, it hides us and is full of mystery. I myself like wearing black,it brings out the contrast, so it really works as a wonderful backdrop for colour.But then you’re dealing with contrast and really it’s about if you enjoy that contrast. Black is a very interesting colour; many of the greats including Yoji Yamamoto works with black, it is a common thread, consistent right the way through his collections. It is most interesting when the fabric has been explored and there is a hidden detail and the fabrics have been researched and developed.

MDO: What is your favourite colour?

MELISSA: I tend to wear a lot of black, its easy to wear my rouge lippy, and an accessory that will really enhance my stepping out so it’s a great backdrop. It’s also very easy but I since I’ve been living in Ireland, black has been probably a more prominent colour due to the environment and chilly air. When I was living in Paris, I loved and wore a lot more colour.

MDO: If you could only wear one designer forever, who would it be?

MELISSA: Dries. Dries Van Noten. I love his intricacy,his artistry, his process and just the sensation I always get by his information that comes with his textiles. Marni would be another one of mine.

MDO: What is your wildest wish you could wish for?

MELISSA: I would love to see my company and my jewellery back in the arms of the world that would be my big dream. To have my work back out in the world where it was once thrived in my former life. So I’d love to see the Melissa Curry brand out and thriving.

MDO: what is your weapon of choice

MELISSA: My hands, and I wouldn’t call them my weapon.

MDO: What’s your culture fix?

MELISSA: I love getting lost in nature. In Africa.

MDO: Is there a country that you would like to go, that you haven’t been?

MELISSA: I’d love to go to Peru, the Amazon and Madagascar. They are my top priority, I need to see and be surrounded by nature.

MDO: What’s your favourite book?

MELISSA: It’s funny, I was thinking about this the other day. I was always touched by The Unbearable Light ness of Being. Probably the book that marked me most as a youngster. Then I watched the film and of course Daniel Day Lewis and the wonderful Juliette Binoche played it. The story always stayed with me.

MDO: What’s your perfect getaway?

MELISSA: A spontaneous surprise, as long as it’s out of Ireland.

MDO: Men’s jewellery, what do you think is most needed for a man – Rolex or Cartier?

MELISSA: For men’s jewellery, I would go Cartier. I find it more sophisticated.

MDO: Perfect engagement ring?

MELISSA: I designed one. It embraces the individual. I built it into the BYOS collection actually and it will be brought to life very soon; it’s a little engagement ring for people whether it’s a girl/girl or a girl/man. It’s literally embracing the happiness that goes with coming together.

 

MDO: Your first jewellery?

MELISSA: My first piece of jewellery was a little pair of earrings from Tanzania. My father bought them for me when I was probably about 11 or 12. Beautiful, and they had a little screw in back that I was intrigued by, so that would have been my first gift.

MDO: Topshop or Chanel?

MELISSA: Chanel. Although with that said,Topshop does a spontaneous cool piece of jewellery or a fun piece of design at great and affordable prices.

MDO: Power comes from?

MELISSA: Within.

MDO: Proudest moment in your career?

MELISSA: Proudest moment in my career…I think when my success bar, the first piece, was gifted to the First Lady of the United States by the Irish government. It was the marking of the change and it marked the milestones in my own life. It marked a new beginning.

MDO: What’s your vision for the future of your brand?

MELISSA: I built it for global distribution and I built it for women. I believe in positive change for girls and women and I very much see my connections encouraging girls and their confidence from within.

MDO: Is there a new collection that you’re anticipating for your brand?

MELISSA: Yeah well BYOS is really very new right now, so I guess…

MDO: Will you be bringing out any additions?

MELISSA: Oh absolutely, we’ll always bring out new pieces.

MDO: Your thoughts on Birth stones?

MELISSA:  I’ve always worked with birth stones but I’ve worked with diamonds in this collection. What I’ve worked with are the four main elements that I would have worked with throughout my career on my special commissions. I’ve always worked with pearls and I’ve worked with diamonds. Every special commission that I have designed has always embedded a little shimmering diamond that is seen or unseen by the wearer and it always celebrates the woman. I’ve worked with the more holistic properties and the more holistic side of the elements, and right through the brand each piece is embedded with the diamond. Did you know the diamond carries the biggest energy punch. I designed it to remind you to share your inner sparkle with the world,the diamond brings joy, trust and illumination.

Melissa Curry Knows what it means to re-evaluate success. From her exciting rise into fashion in paris in the early 90s through a massive change in circumstances that lead to her return to Ireland and a complete change of focus. Through it all she has strived to stay true to herself, but she has also learned the importance of success in a very real economic sense.

Financial independence may not be everyone's idea of success, but it is a Critical precursor to any real effort to reach personal fulfillment. For women who lack the economic power to meet the basic needs of food and shelter, financial dependence becomes a trap which stifles their potential for growth.

The Success amulet is modeled after gold and silver bullion, a bar of wealth and strength that reminds the wearer to care for herself and strive for her own independence and success. It is your own metric of strength and courage: Success in life is whatever you choose it to be, a goal, a dream, an endeavour or pure joy. The amulet acts as a positive affirmation, a cue to stay focused and believe in your ideas of success as a woman.

Maisondopulence is the only exclusive boutique showcasing this jewellery collection designed by Michelle Curry. Her designs embody the many dimensions of a woman, and we have personally hand-picked our prestigious collection of fine jewellery by Melissa Curry that celebrate life’s relationships. The exquisite pieces that have been handcrafted with care, immense attention to detail and passion can be tagged and gifted and will surely inspire the wearer and make them to celebrate life. You will find a gorgeous selection of gold and silver jewelry along with pearl necklaces and diamond stud earrings for every occasion, as well as jewellery designs that are both modern and unique at Maisondopulence, which lets you celebrate every stage of life with beautiful jewellery.

Shop now The Exquisite , Prestigious Jewellery collection from Melissa Curry.

LONG DROP O - EAR
(STERLING SILVER W/ DIAMONDS)

PINK LOVE RING BRACELET

IMAGINE - RING (STERLING SILVER)

LITTLE O - NECKLACE
(VERMEIL ROSE GOLD W/ DIAMOND)

LITTLE O - WRIST
(VERMEIL ROSE GOLD W/ DIAMOND)

STUD O - EARRING
(STERLING SILVER W/ DIAMONDS)

LITTLE BAR OF STRENGTH -
WRIST (VERMEIL ROSE GOLD)

LITTLE BAR OF STRENGTH -
NECKLACE (STERLING SILVER)

OHLALA COLLAR

Images Credits: Melissa Curry
 
Written by Tanya jey