Lara Bohinc’s talent for creating iconic jewellery sees her merge timeless elegance with modern flair. Originally from Slovenia, where her background was in industrial and graphic design, Bohinc shifted her focus while studying for a jewellery and metalwork MA in London. Today, those industrial-design influences manifest themselves in the geometric, sculptural quality of her work. Not only does her eponymous label remain highly sought after by a discerning global clientele, the designer has also been awarded an MBE and has worked as a consultant to Cartier for over 10 years.
Recently, I was invited to an intimate lunch Bohinc was hosting at London’s hip Groucho Club to celebrate the launch of her new autumn/winter 2013 collection. Presented with this exquisite showcase of jewellery, I quizzed Bohinc on her ideas around luxury and what makes her brand the style statement it is today.
JHS: What does luxury mean to you?
LB: Something special and rare. It has a distinguished quality that goes beyond necessity. We have to be careful to preserve the prestige and sentiment of the word. Expensive doesn’t necessarily mean luxurious.
JHS: Your signature is streamlined sophistication with a strong geometric undertone. What are your influences?
LB: Most notably nature, architecture, art, mathematical formulas, the human body (and the way it moves), and women, of course. For my most recent collection for Palladium Visions, I was inspired by the qualities of the metal itself: its lightness and strength. I took inspiration from bridges and architectural structures and so the designs are cage like, with diamond-scattered crossings holding a free-moving South Sea pearl inside – symbolising the idea of lightness.
JHS: What does jewellery say about its wearer?
LB: One never really needs to wear jewellery in the same way that one needs to wear clothes. So, jewellery can tell a story and can be like a personal amulet.
JHS: How should Lara Bohinc jewels be worn?
LB: You can wear my pieces with a T-shirt and a pair of jeans or an evening gown. Or naked.
JHS: If you could choose one piece of jewellery to own that you don’t already, what would it be?
LB: A particular watch from the About Time collection designed for Omega by Andrew Grima in 1970. It is a truly unique piece with a large, bold face held within a nest of yellow-gold rods with small, white-gold rods scattered around the frame. It has a strong sculptural quality and would make a head-turning statement. I’d wear it every day.
JHS: If you could live in another decade, which would it be?
LB: The 1920s, when people were looking towards the future rather than the past. Even today, some of the pieces created in that era seem very contemporary. Some of my favourite designers, such as Raymond Templier, Georges Fouquet and Jean Després, hail from that period. I love the fun and decadence of it.
First picture: Palladium diamond and pearl choker, £35,200. Second picture: Palladium diamond and pearl ring, £7,700. Third picture: Palladium diamond and pearl earrings, £22,000.