20 Nov Firouzeh – life in the sparkly lane
A couple of weeks ago, jewellery designer Touran Firouzeh popped along to Brown Thomas to launch the Firouzeh pop up store. I caught up with Touran to talk all things bling!
Tell me about the collection and all about your background!
Humans, throughout history, have loved adornment. My collection creates these adornments combining history, creativity, beauty and art. Firouzeh jewellery is inspired by the finest Persian and Byzantine treasures. Made using 18 carat gold mixed with pure silver as its alloy, Firouzeh pieces retain the brilliant colour of 24 carat pure gold. Drawing on history for its inspirations, my collection is entirely unique and handcrafted. Every ornament has a story behind it, whether inspired by some of the oldest treasures and tales of Persia and Byzantium or by current prominent events affecting our world. Symbolic forms from old customs and beliefs are incorporated into in what my opinion is one of the finest forms of art. Through my collection I want to share a side of Iranian and Byzantine culture which is so often forgotten in the current political climate between east and west: the rich history, creativity and culture which continues to flow despite the present lack of harmony.
I draw very much from my heritage when designing my jewellery. My father being a diplomat, we traveled and lived in different countries from the time we were born. My brothers and I were brought up to respect and admire different cultures, and we all developed an interest in history from my father (he studied it at university). My mother is from Iran, so I have been surrounded by Persian history and culture from a very young age.
When choosing accessories for an outfit, what are your top tips
I generally like to contrast my outfits and accessories – if I am wearing a simple, single coloured outfit I like to wear bold, statement pieces. If I am wearing something more complicated, I like to accessorize it with simpler, more understated pieces.
Being a bit of a magpie myself, I always gravitate to the shiniest pieces, what is your advice on balancing the bling!!!
A little bit of sparkle definitely adds a certain something to any outfit! I think it depends on each person’s personality; I love to wear my gold pieces as I glisten and glow when I wear them.
What are the key accessories trends you like this year?
All over London all the shop windows were covered with butterflies, dragonflies and flowers. I love the nature theme, the floral patterns and fun accessories. It just livens everything up, and is such a feminine, summery look. I will be wearing my butterfly earings to the Christmas parties.
When designing and making jewellery, what are the stages you follow to come up with the perfect piece?
There are three stages to designing my pieces. The first, is inspiration. I get inspired by many different things. My main style comes from history; I love ancient pieces of jewellery, so like to take old designs and techniques and create something that works today but continues to reflect an ancient past. I often spend time in places like the British Museum looking for inspiration. I also love characters from history, like Helen of Troy, so like to take themes like that and draw out ideas from them. I like my pieces to have stories behind them, I think it adds another dimension to jewellery.
The second stage is putting ideas on paper. Many pieces have come through just doodling around and playing with an idea or a theme that interests me. I try and draw the idea of a piece I have in my head as specifically as possible, so that I can then go on to stage number three.
Stage number three involves discussing my ideas and drawings with my goldsmith. He is phenomenally clever and really helps with the development of a piece. He tells me whether my ideas are possible and if it is a good idea to use certain technique such as granulation or filigree. He is also fantastic at translating my original ideas into actual pieces of jewellery.
Coming up to the Christmas season, what kind of gift ideas would you suggest from your collection?
With Christmas coming, a great gift idea from my collection would be my Byzantine Angel. This piece is a particular favourite around this time of year. Another one would be my flower pendant called ‘Ninanva’. With a beautiful pearl center, it is very feminine and has a timeless look. A lovely pair of pearl earrings from my collection to match would no doubt make someone very happy as well!
In general fashion terms, you recently visited Ireland, what you do think of our fashion scene? Can we match the trendiness and edginess of our European counterparts?
Absolutely! Ireland seems to be very in touch with the current trends and certainly gives their European counterparts a run for their money! I particularly like several Irish designers such as John Rocha and Louise Kennedy. And if it is edginess we are looking for, not many people can beat Lainey Keogh!
What is your most coveted possession?
I would have to be the Filigree dragonfly!
If you could make a custom piece for anyone, who would it be and why?
Kate Winslet. I absolutely adore her! I think she is a seriously talented actress and is so beautiful. I like the fact that she doesn’t cave to the current trend of trying to be too skinny. I would absolutely love to make her a piece of jewellery.
I am working closely with a couple of charities. I am designing a tiger inspired piece which will be auctioned to raise money for the protection and conservation of tigers for Tiger Time. And as for collections, I always have new ideas in my head, I just have to see what I can do with them! Hopefully another collection will be on the cards soon.