Check out the Laia Bonastre Leiva's interview on LESNOUVELLESVOIX.COM
Gisèle Ganne, jewellery designer
Death and divorce are the two words that define Gisèle Ganne’s latest collections. Wether you’ve lost someone loved or you’ve been divorced, her jewellery can help you mark a new stage in your life. Just like we own a jewel for each important celebration; her melancholic yet romantic pieces are made to be worn during your bad moments, also, to be kept in the story of your life.
Hi Gisèle, how were your beginnings and what motivated you to start designing jewellery?
Since I am 3, I claim to everybody that I will be a designer! I didn’t really know the specification but it will be a creative job. I started with 3 years of art school with in mind to be a Walt Disney cartoonist but change my mind and did 3 others in product design school where I got my BA and MA and I finally end up to do a second MA at the royal college of art in jewellery! That wasn’t a straight way but I end up to do what I was really meant to do and I love it!
What is your unique selling point?
DIVORCE + MOURNING in a glamorous gothic chic way.
What has been the most challenging collection you have produced and why?
The one I am making now!! It will be launched in few months! It is a little bit different from the others collections and I hope it will be as well received than the other one!
You have a quite defined style…death and divorce seem to be the themes that dominie your jewelry pieces..why is that? Has it always been like this?
It all started at the Royal college of art where I did my master, I watched the movie “The rules of attraction”, there is an amazing scene of suicide in it. A girl is in her bath, she starts to put on ring on the side, a second one and another one and finish by a rasor blade. It was so beautiful and interesting to see the relation with jewellery and death that I start doing research of funeral ceremony and death. I discovered Victorian mourning jewellery which I felt in love with. From there my first collection was born THE BLACK WIDOW where each piece tells a story about the deceased and their widow. But for me mourning wasn’t just about dead people but also dead friendship, relationship and marriage so the natural next step was DIVORCE JEWELLERY. And once you divorce, you need to find another perfect husband, to hunt for the perfect men where come from HUNTING MAN and recently THE NEW AMAZON. For me, the jewellery box tells the story of a life, you have jewellery for your birth, your birthday, some from ex-boyfriend, some from holidays, engagement ring and wedding ring…. a jewellery for each happy moment in your life. Life is not just full of happy moments there is also the bad one and I guess my jewellery illustrated those one ( death, separation, divorce….). I will quote ALEXANDER MCQUEEN (my idol btw) by saying: ” It is important to look at death because it is a part of life. It is a sad thing, melancholic but romantic at the same time. It is the end of a cycle- everything has to end. The cycle of life is positive because it gives room for new things”.
Skulls, birds heads&foots, antlers between others are present in your latest collection. What are their meanings for you?
It is a great medium to work with. Nature always inspired me in particularly the decayed nature! But for the Hunting man and the new amazon, I used them as symbols of the hunt. Here is the statement I did for the collection:
Continuing with her previous collection that explored the rituals of mourning and divorce, Ganne’s new theme moves beyond the loss of a lover to the hunt for another. This exciting new collection brings together traditional customs and practices that surround the act of hunting, making use of symbols such as the stag, the trophy and the prey. Just as one would display trophies of their hunt, Ganne’s jewellery invites the wearer to bear the mark of the hunter, symbolizing both the pursuit for a new lover as well as the evidence of conquests.
In keeping with her explorative and unusual use of materials, Ganne expands her tangible vocabulary to include a diverse color palette with the use of gemstones and foxtails. This collection pushes the boundaries of her previous use of materials, adopting current technologies and unique processes in order to create a new definition of wearable taxidermy. Worn during the hunt, these pieces are designed to attract and seduce potential prey, using the plumage as bait.
As far as I know, you have stores in Hong Kong and London. Are you planning to open more in a near future?
Yes, definitely but I don’t want to be everywhere either. I quite like to stay exclusive!
Which materials do you use to produce your pieces and which one is your favorite?
They are mainly 18k gold-plated sterling silver mixed with animal memorabilia such as skull, fur, leather, teeth, hair…. The DIVORCE ring and knuckle duster are made with a special technique which named electroforming. Electroforming cover some objects by a thick layer of metal. In each of my ring there is a real bird skull inside which have been recover by metal. They are quite special to me as i have been known thanks to my Divorce collection. But I can’t really say there are my favorite either as I loved all of them!
For instance, can you explain us the creative and production process behind one of your jewelry designs?
I attached my biography/statement which explain most of it.
Why are you based in London? What is your relationship with the city?
I moved to London in 2006 for school. I did my jewelry master at the Royal College of Art and i just felt in love with London! There is so much to do, to see, it is such an inspirational city! I love it! You really feel like everything is possible in London!
What are your future plans?
A NEW COLLECTION and more press, celebrities wearing my jewelry and more stockists. I just hope to grow my brand and I hope to be an internationally renowned jewelry and accessories business.
If you want to know more about her, check out her website: www.giseleganne.com