Jeweler Kristine Dee partnered up with fellow jeweler and good friend Paul Syjuco last year to produce Deux Yeux, a collaborative jewelry collection launched in Firma. Translating directly to "two eyes" from French, the collection is the two designers' take on jewelry that's inspired by ancient royal jewels.
"Deux Yeux means 'as seen with two sets of eyes,' pertaining to Paul Syjuco and myself," Kristine explains. "We fell in love with royal jewels, particularly those from the Mughal dynasty, and how their shapes still remain beautiful and relevant despite how long ago they have been made. This is our theme and we worked on this as an inspiration to come up with a collection that showcases our individual styles."
"Combining the art of royal jewels and my feminine/masculine aesthetic was a challenge," continues Kristine, "but I made sure all the pieces I made for Deux Yeux achieved this balance." Read on to find out more about her, and watch this space to find out more about Deux Yeux from Paul Syjuco's point of view. Don't forget to click on the photo gallery to see the collection!
WHAT WAS YOUR POINT OF REALIZATION WHEN YOU KNEW YOU WANTED TO DESIGN
I am actually trained as an industrial designer focusing on furniture and home accessories, which I still practice, but majority of that is my husband's operation for the export market. When I walked into the metalsmithing workroom in the Pratt Institute in New York and eventually took jewelry courses, I was so excited at the thought of making jewelry with my own hands. It was actually more for myself than for selling. People started complementing my pieces, how they are a combination of industrial design principles and jewelry making. Inspired with this, I made some more. That's how it started.
WHAT KIND OF JEWELRY DO YOU LOVE TO SEE A WOMAN WEARING?
I want to see them wear jewelry that really suits their lifestyle and personality, not something mass-produced but something special and unique to them with the best proportions. I want them to wear a piece that people will surely notice and siguradong babatiin sila. That will be the best compliment to both the wearer and the designer.
WHAT ARE YOU IN THE MOOD TO SEE, IN TERMS OF JEWELRY, THIS SEASON?
More colors and unique shapes and proportions. Novel, but not trendy.
WHAT DO YOU FIND IS THE BEST THING ABOUT DESIGNING JEWELRY?
Fulfillment after finishing a beautiful piece and [hearing about the] compliments the wearer receives when wearing it. That's the best part.
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE YOUR AESTHETIC, AND YOUR DESIGN PERSPECTIVE?
One of the most important criteria is if I will wear it (for ready-made pieces). My aesthetic is a combination of feminine and masculine, put together with good proportion or form. My pieces are feminine but not overly girly, yet they are not too structured that one would consider it too hard or masculine. I try my best to find the balance in each piece. I am guided by both my design principles and the wearer's taste and preferences, especially for made-to-order to jewelry.
IF YOU HAD TO PICK, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE FROM DEUX YEUX, AND WHY?
Oh my, it is hard to pick but it would have to be the Vanda Bloom cuff. I like that it has all these textures going on but is still very elegant and timeless.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN THE YEAR TO COME, BOTH PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY?
Everyday, I thank God for all that he blessed me with. Nothing compares to the love of my family followed by being able to do what I truly love. I look forward to producing more beautiful pieces for everyone to enjoy, to have another collection that is always better than the last.
Click on the photo gallery to view Kristine Dee's Deux Yeux collection.