I was recently asked to describe my style. I’ve seen this question asked to most designers and they always answer so succinctly and in such an elegant manner. I, on the other hand, was paralysed. How does one describe one’s own personal style? What if it’s ever changing? Do I have a signature look? Style principles I adhere to? Surely being a woman close to 40, who runs a jewellery label, I should have some kind of idea of my style. After all, it’s so inexplicably linked to who I am as a person.
(Should I, by now, know who I am in this world?)
I think because of how we design at The Straits Finery, Chern and I have never seen ourselves as the classic definition of ‘designers’. Sure, we design, come up with every collection concept and story but we also do all other things that no one talks about when they run a brand. At least no one writes about it in all the glossy magazines. You have to make a decision for every single thing from what accounting software you use, to your business bank to which envelopes you’re using to pack things, to slip in notes to customers, boxes for sending parcels - or to use boxes at all. You name it - we do everything. It all sounds boring and fiddly but honestly, we love it. Show us all the 120,00 swatches of paper in different colours and we will sit down to understand how that paper is made, how it can be used and what impact it has on the environment. All this resulting in a wealth of information (some more useful than others) that we hope to use down the line. It could even be used for design inspiration! No one said that the search of inspiration needs to be graceful or glamorous.
But I digress…
Our intention at The Straits Finery is for every woman to feel that she can add an element of herself into her outfit no matter what she’s doing, no matter which hat she wears at any given time. The Straits Finery woman is a multifaceted person who flits between boardrooms to a fun night out to sitting in pyjamas giving herself a facial at home. What does she wear close to her to take her through these activities and roles seamlessly? It’s always her jewellery. And this is always at the heart of everything we create. Jewellery to us, is art with function; worn day to night to accent and adorn you to express your creative flair.
So how would I describe my own sense of style? (do I even have style?!)
I guess I tether between simple structured pieces to softer styles with movement; always feminine but not too girly. Fortunately, our Straits Finery pieces help me to do just that - oscillating between having very subtle hints of gold jewellery to the mega stack of rings and layers of necklaces. We design each piece with elegant, simple shapes that can accent your pared down look or can be artfully stacked and layered with each other to create a personal statement.
By Amira Yahaya