Come Down Selector
Yasmine Ganley: How do you feel your sales experience has and will help with Elliott? Gabrielle Elliott: I guess having confidence and knowledge inside the industry, in terms of market and price point. Also, having realistic expectations, the fashion industry can be cruel and fickle. I definitely feel I am prepared for which ever direction Elliott takes me, for the best and the worst! I love the sound of these gifted heirloom pieces from your Mum! Tell me more!? My one ‘life piece’ that I would be lost without is my ‘Peace Dove Pendant’ gifted to me by my mother in my late teens. Made by Auckland based jeweller Peter Minturn it was a limited edition silver pendant to mark the inaugural International Womens Day in New Zealand during the 1970s. For me it represents a time in my mother's life, and in my country, of great significance. It is a symbol that is minimal in its design but stands for so much. I wear this necklace everyday, I am naked with out it. Your designs are described as ‘understated’ which is said to reflect your own style. Why did you decide to create understated pieces rather than chunky and bold jewellery? And, what influences you? I like the idea of jewellery being an adornment of the body, a part of it rather than ‘on it’ as such. I think this is why I also really love the tarnishing and markings you get from certain metals when worn over a period of time. Each person’s chemical make-up is different and that’s also true of metals, when they meet they have their own reaction and relationship to each other, even their own smell on the skin. I find it intriguing. In terms of my own style - less is more. It’s taken me a while to become comfortable with this. My influences come from my day-to-day admiration I have for other people's aesthetic and how they put pieces together. I take in what people are wearing around me all the time, working in the fashion industry it just ingrains it in you! Describe the Elliott wearer? Girl, boy, if the ring fits, WEAR IT! I see from your Instagram that you have a massive appreciation for cars. Tell us about this, your special cars and the ultimate ‘drive’? There have been three cars of significance in my life; my Papa Rogers 1973 Ford Falcon Luxury V8, my Papa Nicks 1974 Holden Kingswood V8 ute, and my very first car, ‘ Audina’ an ‘86 Audi Coupe that had a straight 5. Since I can remember, my father took me along to the saloons at Western Springs, then in my teenage years down south the V8’s and 6’s were everywhere, all the time, and then on to the beautiful ‘Audina’ who was and always will be my #1!! The ultimate drive? The Delorean DMC-12. Even just being able to lick the bonnet of one of them would be epic!! Does this fascination with cars leak into your jewellery designs at all? I think now that I have been asked this question probably yes, it does a lot. My preferred body of a car tends towards the sleek and angular: Ferrari, Maserati, Lotus and Audi super cars that were introduced mid 70s - 80s. I have massive appreciation for whats under the hood, but mostly it’s the visual aesthetic. Tell us about the idea of using raw metals to allow for natural tarnishing? I have experienced raw metal with a lot of my ‘60s & ‘70s jewellery, copper pieces particularly. I do however see it making a comeback and tarnishing being acceptable again with the growth of the jewellery industry at present. You love and follow the works of jewellers like Peter Minturn, Hans & Karl Hansen. What is it about these jewellers that you love? Those designers have a different aesthetic yet focus on metal and shape to give their pieces movement and stature without the need to add in many precious stones. I see their work being more focused on the metal and how they can manipulate it to adorn the body. I love your cat ears-shaped design table! Tell us more about your working environment - design rituals, music you like to listen to? I'm a bit cray on cats, just like cars they have always been in my life from childhood. When I was building my work bench I wanted it to be a larger simplified version of the traditional style jewellers bench that I could use as a platform for not only smithing but also the design process too. The cat came to me as the adverse to the traditional arc shaped jewellers tables. Initially I thought it wasn’t such a good idea technically speaking but I just went with it anyway. It has actually turned out to be super good for leverage while filing and sawing so it was worth the doubt! Music wise, I’m still missing 95BFM since leaving Auckland 4-years-ago and I stream it almost always. If I’m needing to be grounded it’s Ritual De Lo Habitual ~ Jane’s Addiction - that always gets me where I need to be.
AFTER A CAREER WITH SOME OF NEW ZEALAND'S LEADING FASHION HOUSES, MELBOURNE-BASED GABRIELLE ELLIOTT, WAS INSPIRED TO RETURN TO HER DESIGN ROOTS, AS A JEWELLER. YASMINE GANLEY LEARNS ABOUT ELLIOTT THE LABEL, AND THE RELEASE OF HER FIRST READY-TO-WEAR, SCULPTURAL JEWELLERY COLLECTION PHOTO: KELLY THOMPSON