The curiously creative Marcelle Lawson-Smith
Marcelle was born in Belo Horizonte, a city in the mountains of the "baroque" state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. She completed a BA degree in graphic design and has also trained in fine art, jewellery, photography and ballet. Whilst at university, she took on projects with fashion clients, working on design projects and retail window displays, which she loved. After lots of coming backwards and forwards to the British Isles, whose culture she fell in love with at an early age, Marcelle came to London “my big dream city” in 1996 to do post-graduate studies in communication design at Central St Martins. Shortly afterwards, she married an Englishman and has remained in the UK ever since.
Becoming a jewellery designer wasn't really a formal decision for Marcelle, it just happened. She explains: “My graphic design work has always been based on a strong conceptual idea and striking visual aesthetic. I have always loved fashion and my work has always been connected to fashion. One day I met the famous and unique Brazilian fashion designer Ronaldo Fraga, who invited me to create a collection to be displayed in one of his catwalk shows at Sao Paulo Fashion Week. That is how my first collection was born - TimeLifeTree - based on the 'tree of life'. I enjoyed doing it so much and the response was so good that I decided to change the focus of my career towards jewellery and accessories.”
“The TimeLifeTree collection (available at ShopCurious) is about the passage of time. On the one hand this is a nostalgic sense of time going by, and on the other, the sense of looking forward to the future. The central symbol is the tree – the tree of life – that appears without leaves, as in winter, representing the inner self, the introspective side of the period before the arrival of a new season and the next phase of life.”
One thing that Marcelle really appreciates is when customers connect with the concepts, the ideas and the emotions behind her collections, as that is the reason why she creates them. Marcelle has designed collections in gold, silver, stainless steel, fabric, paper, leather, hair, wood, soap and even pasta. She loves to use all sorts of materials, textures and detail... “for me it is all jewellery,” she says. The techniques and processes involved in producing her pieces range from the hand-made through to the computer-based. “I particularly like collaborating with manufacturers who don't normally work with jewellery.”
Now a bit more about the curiously creative lady herself: Her favourite places include “the top of Primrose Hill, E&O, the Design Museum, Jivamukti Yoga, WholeFood, Dover Street Market, Little Venice, Portobello, Brick Lane, the V&A, the Apple shop on Regent's Street, Lucky 7, Borough Market, Alfie's and the Tate Modern.” Her list of top cities includes “London (of course!), Tokyo for the amazing food, the incredible energy and culture, Amsterdam because it feels like home, Sao Paulo for having great shops and markets, and some of the best Italian and Japanese food in the world.” Her ideal dinner party guests would be: “David Bowie on my right and Damien Hirst on my left.”
So is Marcelle ShopCurious? “I was born curious,” she says “My life is all about finding the new, the interesting, the exciting in everything that I do.” And what are her plans for the future – her dream collection, perhaps? “All my collections come from my dreams. My plan is to make all my dreams become reality”.
Look out for further collections from Marcelle Lawson-Smith that will be coming to ShopCurious soon.