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Travel inspiration with Meriko London

November 2, 2015
Meriko London

Meriko London was founded by jewellery designer Meri Hovsepyan in 2013. Originally from Armenia, Meri’s work is inspired by her travels and her love of nature, with each collection named after destinations that reflect her pieces. I caught up with Meri to talk travel inspiration, jewellery design and business advice – and left with a serious case of wanderlust!

You left Armenia when you were 13 years old. What are your fondest memories of being there?
My fondest memories are the people. Armenians are so warm and hospitable; even if you go to the home of someone with little money they will lay a table for you with the last of their food! In general, my childhood spent in Armenia was special. I was there until I was 13 and I always look back at my memories of playing with my friends in kindergarten and school with fondest memories and nostalgia.

What recommendations would you have for anyone looking to travel to Armenia? What about the area do you love the most? 
Armenia is known as an ‘open air museum’. There is so much to see, including many historical monuments and churches. Armenia adopted Christianity formally in 301 so you are never short of an ancient church or ten to see each day – they really are works of art.

My favourite place is Lake Sevan, about one and a half hour’s drive from the capital Yerevan. The colour of the lake is just stunning; it’s light turquoise in colour and later on became the inspiration for my jewellery designs. I remember as a child every time going there with my family, and how as soon as I could see the lake my heart would beat so fast from the excitement.

You’ve lived in a lot of places over the years – from Armenia and Moscow to London and Spain! Which place has had the most influence on who you are today?
It’s hard to choose between London and Spain. You can’t beat the thrill and fast paced excitement of life in London; the energy and pulse of life there never leaves you. London has it all – from history and culture, to the latest in art and design… it’s a jewellery designer’s dream as inspiration is on every street corner. As for Spain, or at least the South of Spain where we have a home and I spend a lot of time, that’s the very opposite and it truly nourishes my soul. Where London wakes me up, Spain chills me out. From my bedroom window I can see mountains on one side and the sparkling Med on the other. I can take my son to the old town in the morning, the beach in the afternoon and in the evening go to the huge array of fiestas and parties that seem to go on every night in the summer. I wake up each morning smiling because the sun is always shining and the air is always clear.

You’ve mentioned that travel and nature are your biggest inspirations. What impact have these had on the pieces you produce for Meriko London and which destination has been your greatest inspiration to date?
Other than Spain, which as you can tell brought me closer to nature and inspired my Gold Coast collection, I would say that California holds a special place in my heart too. It’s such a visually beautiful place… in fact it is quite Mediterranean in places. The surrounding areas of LA such as Orange County (Laguna Beach, Long Beach) and Santa Barbara are so, so pretty.

Where in the world would you love to travel to next and why?
I love all things Latin and I am dying to go to Cuba and Mexico. I love colour! And these places seem to be teeming with it. I love countries where the people are warm and the weather even warmer; where the food is delicious and art and culture is all around you. I can’t wait to get to Salsa and Samba in the streets of Cuba one day, and hopefully come away with some inspiration for a new collection.

At what point did you know you wanted to be a jewellery designer?
I can’t remember wanting to be anything else! As a small child I could watch my father make fine jewellery all day. Precious stones and gems were like toys to me, instead of learning colours out of a book I was introduced to the colour blue by being taught the difference between turquoise, lapis and aquamarine stones.  I specifically got my degree in Art History to understand the evolution of design, and then went on to study accountancy and business… the perfect stepping stones toward my vocational nirvana. Which is where I am now.

What advice would you give someone looking to start their own business?
Do your research, because it takes a lot of investment – both time and money, so you need to know exactly the direction you are going in. Know your competitors as well as you know yourself, and get to grips with the changing face of technology and social media, because without it no one will know who you are. It’s also important to surround yourself with the right team – you don’t know everything, so make sure you work with people that are knowledgeable, trustworthy and as passionate about your brand as you are. It’s not easy, and even when it looks like it’s all for nothing keep soldiering on as you never know if your big break will be tomorrow.

And for someone who’d love to work in jewellery design?

Remember, everyone out there is already bigger and more successful than you… so make sure you really have a passion for what you do or it will show in your work. Stay on top of the game – be creative, innovative and unique in everything you do. I truly believe that when you love your work, never give up and stay hopeful…good things happen. Well I hope they will!

Your top tip for travel:
Insider knowledge. I believe you won’t ever truly experience a place if you don’t live it like a local. So immerse yourself in the culture, language, food and customs. Make friends with local people who will show you the unseen parts of where you are. That’s when you go from being a tourist to being a true adventurer.

Meri’s newest collection, Colorado Escape, is now available online at www.merikolondon.com and through stockists in London, Madrid, Malaga and New York.

London Style

LCCA Four Seasons Fashion Show

September 8, 2015

Other than scanning through the usual flurry of excitement on twitter, I have to admit that LFW passed by almost unregistered for me this season.  A busy work schedule has meant little time for swotting up on SS16 trends (I will regret this come March), but I did get in on a little piece of the action this Monday evening at the LCCA Four Seasons Fashion Show. Held by the London College of Contemporary Arts, this year’s graduates showcased an impressive collection on the catwalk, centering around the theme of constant change and up-cycling within the fashion industry today.

I particularly loved the collection from Vilma Indrisiunaite for it’s simple lines and crisp white palette, the raw edges of Sally Spencer’s dresses, and special mention to Bryony Sansome for naming her luxury streetwear collection ‘Heavy Metal Peacock’. Perfectly fitting and very, very cool.

We had a brilliant, prosecco-filled evening, met some lovely designers – including one who asked for a selfie – and left genuinely impressed with what the graduates had to offer. Looking forward to seeing their names pop up over the next few years.

Emma x

London Style

Women Fashion Power

February 15, 2015

In the spirit of LFW and all things fashion related, I thought it might be time to post a few pictures from the opening night of the Women Fashion Power exhibition at the Design Museum. Yes, that’s right ladies, the opening night which took place back in October…

My laziness is certainly not a reflection of how much I enjoyed this event. The exhibition is both inspiring and utterly fascinating for someone like myself with an interest in how women use the way that they dress to define their position in the world, and I urge anyone with a love of fashion to head down to London Bridge and take a look before it finishes on the 26th April.

Featuring outfits and personal style philosophies from the likes of Lady Gaga, Diane von Furstenburg, Charlotte Olympia Dellal and Anne Hidalgo, the exhibition hosts the most wide-ranging presentation of modern fashion ever to be shown in the UK.

You can find out more at https://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/women-fashion-power.

Life Style

Sibling Rivalry

October 21, 2014
Amy Rees

Amy Rees

Last month I took Amz along to a bloggers’ event in Covent Garden. Typically for us, what was supposed to be a free evening out descended into a trip to Zara, and a few purchases later we ended up in Starbucks drinking chai latte. What can I say, we’re predictable.

I loved my sister’s outfit so much that night that I managed to coerce her into letting me photograph her for the site. No mean feat.

The feather fedora paired with the structured skirt tied everything together in a way that induced a tinge of annoyance that I hadn’t picked it out myself, and the black tshirt kept the outfit casual and wearable as a daytime look. Add a chunky black necklace and some Vagabond boots and you have one jealous older sister on your hands.

Hat: Topshop | Top: ASOS | Skirt: Topshop | Boots: Vagabond | Bag: Mulberry | Necklace: H&M

Emma

Life Style

Joining the hat brigade

September 28, 2014

I’ve never been a ‘hat person’. In the past I’ve always felt self-conscious with something balancing precariously on my head, and would look longingly at those who could pull off a fedora with ease.  When I spotted this burgundy bowler in Topshop I must have been feeling adventurous (or maybe it was the £7 price tag) because I took it straight to the till  – and so my new found love affair with hats began.

I’ve since been on the hunt for a few to add to the collection and recently picked up a gorgeous black fedora from DP’s – something that would have been completely out of my comfort zone a few months ago. If you’re anything like me and have strictly avoided joining the hat brigade, give it a go. You’ll be surprised at how easily they can transform an outfit, plus a beanie’s got to be pretty cosy in the winter months, right?

Bowler Hat – Topshop | Scarf – Rhodes Town Market | Top – Topshop | Leigh Jeans – Topshop | Shoes – Topshop | Bag – Mulberry