The Canadian jewelry designer gained recognition with her collection of intricately crocheted metal accessories and now presents her SS12 collection at Paris Fashion Week. We met up with her when she was showing for the first time in Paris.
How important is it to present in Paris ?
Arielle de Pinto : It has always been important to show your work in Paris. My studio is in Montréal and I’m often in New York because up to now I show and sell my collection there. The strongest of my American clients are come to the Paris Fashion Week. For me Paris is inspiring, so I feel that I can show crazier pieces here.
Were did you learn your craft?
A.d.P.: I never thought I would be working within fashion as a jewelry designer. When I was younger, I used to paint and to sculpt. Then I started doing prints on paper, and later on fabrics because I was interested in their structure. In my art schooI in Montréal we learned a lot about fiber structures, about knitting and weaving and nothing of it was wearable. Our teachers criticized us, if we went too commercial. I wanted to experiment anyway. First I was baking chains in to cakes…then I tried to work with chains exclusively and discovered my passion for the crochet technique. One day, I met Judi Rosen who was doing provocative high waist jeans. I started to put my crocheted jewelry in her shop.
How did you start your own jewelry brand?
A.d.P.: I got a good response for my work but It did not sell a lot, sometimes only one piece per month. But once the “Number 6” store in New York bought almost all my collection things began to happen. I had an article in the New York Times in December 2006 and suddenly everything went crazy.
Why do you want to continue to present your work in art galleries as well as in commercial accessory showrooms?
A.d.P.: Personally I prefer the galleries, but I needed to develop a commercial line as well. In the art and in the fashion world you get a very different kind of exposure but I like them both. Now I have big range of jewelry, like tapestry and wall hangings, masks or body pieces made out of crochets. Sometimes I wonder if I have the right audience during a fashion week. Actually, my jewelries can be worn as necklaces or bracelets… You can put them everywhere on your body and they will adapt to you.
In your look book the jewelry pieces were presented by naked models as if you would invite the viewer to a tribal trip. What did inspire your new collection? How are you working?
A.d.P.: The models you see in the look book are all close friends of mine. For my last look books I spent so much time with styling, so I felt this time that the nudity would be a good idea. My materials look better on a naked body! And most of my pieces are very sculptural, physical. I’m very influenced by landscapes. I don’t do sketches before hand, I just do the crochets in a free-style. A lot of ideas are coming during the work.
You’re pieces look sensually organic, unstructured and have been patiently made by hand.
Where did you get this obsession for the technique of the crochet, which is “weaving” with metal?
A.d.P.: Doing the crochets is driving crazy everyone! So I tried to teach my grand mother to do the crochet so she feels occupied and as a part of my adventure. But after a couple of hours she quit definitely, completely exhausted. I can understand her, because some of the crochet dresses take several weeks of highest commitment to be finished. You have to do Yoga in between working sessions in order to keep going! There are knitting machines everywhere but no crochet machines at all. So I have to do it myself!