What would you do, when you are nostalgic or affectionate, and as a strong woman you want to reveal your emotions in a subtle & intelligent way? How would you project your inner strength, compassion, and beauty to draw the good in your professional and social galaxy similar to the cosmos movement? Your uniqueness is your gravity. Developing a personal style accentuates your self-confidence and allows you to shine.
As a spirited campaigner for individuality, how would you integrate your beautiful mind, your identity and your taste in jewellery? Yes, body ornaments are part of your brand and developing a signature style for a woman with a purpose in life is imperative. Indicating your allegiance to your dearest, a society or ideology through jewellery is not only delightful but convincing.
Last week, I was invited to meet with Elie Top a brilliant and genial fine jewellery designer at Archives, Toronto and had the pleasure to conduct an interview. His collections, mécaniques célestes, cosmogonie secrète or étoile mysteries,, reassure the strong woman that design, craftsmanship and modern rendition of the symbols and celestial mechanics, undoubtedly play upon her strength and evoke harmony.
The pieces are about discovery as they unfold through interlocking cages and artistically engraved compartments. The precision is achieved by ambitious design, the technology of three-dimensional printing and high artisanship. Luckily, with the cosmogonie secrète collection, you are in “control,” you have a “choice” in selecting signs and symbols that represent an idea, a message, a renewal, an advent or a new life.
Elie Top, French-born jeweller started his career in design at YSL and continued to be the celebrated accessories Director at Lanvin for 15 years. He has launched his own brand in 2015 with Elie Top, Mécanique Célestes Collection.
Jupilings: Tell me the story of Elie Top, the first project that had set you on this path of designing fine jewelry:
Elie Top: I have been designing costume jewelry for years especially for Lanvin alongside Albert Elbaz. So Fine Jewelry was the natural next step to express myself in the most personal way. I went back to my roots, a mix of baroque and industrial aesthetic, ornamental and mechanic.”
Jupilings: What was the source of inspiration behind the current collection:
Elie Top: After “mécaniques célestes” and “étoile mystérieuse” , “cosmogonie secrète” is the third series. A trilogy about the space, but in more narrative, ornamental and esoteric way: based on the four elements: fire, water, air, earth, every single thing is connected from the colours, the animals to the seasons. Nothing is unbound, perpetually significant. I was dreaming of the portrait of Agnes Sorel by Fouquet, the priestess of Dune (the Lynch movie), or Excalibur and the heraldic language and shapes. Bestowing on the object of protection and power.
Jupilings: What is the voice of your brand:
Elie Top: I would say medieval, futuristic and casual, based on the idea of a secret for independent and strong women. It talks about design, structure, and systems.
Jupilings: If you were to describe your team of craftsmen in two words:
Elie Top: Enthusiastic and inventive!
Jupilings: What is your advice to a man buying his partner an anniversary gift:
Elie Top: not to do it on his own but always with his partner! Women know remarkably well and much better what suits them!
Jupilings: What makes a piece of jewelry an heirloom:
Elie Top: Not necessary its value, certainly more the person, maybe the first owner, who has been wearing it, the way and the circumstances it was worn creates an aura and symbols that the descendants will enjoy to carry on.
Jupilings: Who is your muse or fashion icon:
Elie Top: I admire and love many women, but certainly the most important and influential in my life is Loulou de la Falaise. I met her very young at YSL, and worked with her for many years; her taste of huge, bold, barbaric jewels worn in a total free spirit made a deep and definitive impression on me. I miss her every day.
Jupilings: What do you do to conquer fear or self-doubt:
Elie Top: I work! Fear and doubt are essentials to move on.
Jupilings: Which side of Elie Top drives the wheel of your life?
Elie Top: The creative part is the most important, since ever. I always gave the creativity the priority: looking for beauty.
Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the leading actor:
Elie Top: Eh…, Eric von Strohiem in all his movies.
Jupilings: What is your life Motto:
Elie Top: Remain faithful to yourself.
Images are courtesy of Elie Top.