Alex Monroe Interview Questions
1. Hi Alex. Tell our ladies a little bit about yourself and ‘Alex Monroe' jewellery...
Ah, well. I'm six foot four, 24 years old, and very handsome. I wish. Actually I've been making jewellery for 25 years now so I'm no spring chicken any more. It's the only I know how to do. I have three lovely daughters and am married to Denise. I design and make every original piece of jewellery. I design at least two new collections each year which we sell at the London, Paris, New York and Tokyo fashion shows. It sounds glamorous but it's blooming hard work. I love the time I get in the workshop best. That's what I am; a jewellery maker.
2. When did you realise your love and talent for jewellery design and creation?
Oh, that's nice to assume I have some. Sometimes I'm not so sure. I suppose it's a progressive thing. I love making things, making anything, not just jewellery. And I think I'm continuously honing my skills so I'm not there yet. That's probably what keeps it fascinating, always striving to do things a little better, always hoping for those elusive highs.
Inspiration for the collection....
3. With nature being your primary inspiration, where else do you seek inspiration?
Everywhere. You can't help it. In a film or an exhibition. The look of a woman on the tube. My kids. It's all around me. I keep piles and piles of sketch books and notebooks. I'm scribbling all the time.
4. How does an Alex Monroe design come about, from start to finish?
Cor blimey! How long do you have? Here's a condensed version;
a/ Initial idea or inspiration (eg. The inevitable pain of love, or freewheeling on a bicycle on a spring morning) It's usually a very broad theme.
b/ Original research; Museums, books, countryside, churches or whatever
c/ Draw up some ideas
d/ Develop your ideas into loose designs
e/ Get into the workshop and start making
f/ Take all the things you've made and construct them into pieces of jewellery
g/ Stand back and have a look. Does your original inspiration show through? And does everyone in the studio want to wear the pieces you've made. Are they desirable, fashionable and wearable?
5. Is there a story behind any of the Alex Monroe pieces from the main/Evans collection?
Everything has a story behind it. For the Evan's collection we looked back a generation or two at the fuller figure. But we didn't want to reference the unattainable glamour of Hollywood. We imagined a child watching her mother getting ready for a party in the ‘60's or early 70's. That intimate personal glamour. The smell of her perfume and carefully fastening earrings or a necklace. Some of the inspiration comes from William Morris imagery too. Furling curling leaves. I think we've retained that nostalgic sense of voluptuous glamour.
The bumblebee and celebs....
6. What has been the highlight of your experience in the industry so far?
It's all been good so far. But when I see someone unexpectedly in a restaurant looking gorgeous in our jewellery or if I get a nice message from a customer. That's as good as it gets. I suppose I can't deny that my other great pleasure is getting the odd afternoon undisturbed at my bench. It's still my greatest treat.
Evans and Alex....
7. Our ladies love wearable, quirky and feminine designs, any style tips for the Evans lady and her new jewellery?
I don't think that's for me to say. Do your own thing is my only advise. And I really hope you enjoy it! That's what counts.
8. Finally, what's next for ‘Alex Monroe'?
Oh my days. Lots. We've started the year running. Exhibitions in Paris, New York and Tokyo. I'm writing a book. New collections. Lots and lots. It makes me tired just thinking about it. But it's all fun so I've a lot to look forward to.