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Friday, 21 October 2011

Interview with jewellery designer Lucy Folk

After stumbling upon Lucy Folk's hoop earring inspired by peppercorns, I knew I had to talk to this girl. Anyone who can bring together my love for a ghetto hoop and my love for food has to be one cool chick. 

Lucy launched her range of ‘wearable food' in 2000. She preserves delicacies we love to eat into precious things we love to wear by electroplating the ‘real thing’ in fine layers of metal, moulding everything from popcorn to lobster legs, casting them in solid silver and 18ct gold and finishing with diamonds and semi precious stones. 

With a celebrity fan base including Snoop Dogg and Lily Allen and being nominated as ‘Accessory Designer of the Year’ 2 years running by Marie Claire magazine it's clear to see that Lucy Folk is onto something with  wearable food.

I talk to Lucy about making pasta jewellery, tacos and food's rather misguided place in fashion.

Why Food Lucy?

My family has been in hospitality forever and food plays an important part in our lives.  It is almost a bit of a joke as we are such foodie’s but food is something everyone can identify with and therefore it was a fun theme to explore.

What was the first foodie piece you made?

When I was in kindergarten we made necklaces using real pasta (rigatoni) and spray painted it silver and gold. Therefore I started making wearable food when I was a wee little girl.  In 2005, I created a range of jewellery  that represented this idea. However I fabricated the pasta in wax and then cast it in sterling silver. I made bangles with recipes stamped into them…such as Pasta of the Day is Nonna’s Spaghetti and Meatballs…its delicious !!

What’s the hardest piece you've created?

The hardest pieces must be the Taco Clutch handbag. It took around 8 months to get it sorted. We made the taco shell out of copper and burred the surface so it mimicked that of a taco and then had to figure out how to make it a bag. I went down numerous avenues of exploration and I am thrilled with how it turned out. It is available exclusively at my new store in Melbourne, Australia.

Do you get custom orders for specific food?

I had to make an engagement ring that was cast directly from Crunchola which is a type of breakfast cereal/muesli/granola. The ring turned out really well and it was made in sterling silver, set with small blue sapphires that represented blueberries. The lucky lady who received the ring , ate Crunchola with blueberries daily, hence the significance !

Were you worried that food didn’t have a place in fashion? 

I have never worried whether something has a place in fashion. I prefer to make something that is slightly humorous and creates some sort of reaction. Everyone can identify with food and therefore enjoy wearing something light hearted but made using only the finest materials.

Do you think fashion has a sense of humour?

Fashion definitely has a sense of humor! Think Lady Gaga, Jeremy Scott, Comme des Garcons!

As your not inspired by trends, what inspires each collection? 

Each collection is inspired by my life, travel, food and the seasons. “Taqueria” stemmed from my passion for Mexico and all the handicrafts that I grew up with in our house. My mum’s friend had a fabulous store in Melbourne that stocked art, furniture, and crafts from Mexico and Italy. We spent a lot of time there growing up and ogling over the colourful  treasures that made up Market Import. I have been to Mexico 3 times and I love it.  There is so much to be inspired by and the food is delicious. I always look to food and observe its shape, texture, and colour.

Who is the Lucy Folk customer?

My customer is someone who isn’t afraid to wear something bold and fun. Someone who values quality ,something unique and appreciates that it is handmade.

What’s your favourite food?

This is tricky ! My favourite chef is Andrew McConnell. He has 3 brilliant restaurants in Melbourne and all of his food is divine. Some of my favourite dishes are…Moreton Bay Bug and cabbage salad, tuna tartare with pea puree and goats curd. So basically Seafood would be at the top of my list !

What’s your signature dish?

My cabbage salad…

finely shave half a cabbage
zest a whole lemon,
add one cup of peas
finely chop half a red onion
chop a small chilli
add a handful of chopped mint
add a handful of chopped parsley
break 1 piece of dodoni fetta
dress with lots of lemon juice and olive oil.
Its such a great dish to accompany any fish, or meat.

Can we expect to see any Lucy Folk collaborations?

Ooh I hope so. Bring it on I say !

Lucy Folk is currently stocked in Harvey Nichols London and Colette Paris.

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