Michelline Syjuco is firmly cementing her stance as one of the Philippines' foremost accessory designers one accolade and one beautiful collection at a time. Her latest commendation comes from Preview, which includes her in this year's batch of Ten Designers to Watch. Quite an unsurprising inclusion, really, as Michelline has been continually exhibiting her avant-garde design aesthetic and remarkable execution techniques through dissident pieces of jewelry that unfailingly convey her signature creative vision.
Her latest endeavor is a collaboration with lifestyle store Firma called Modern Mythologies, where she—together with fellow accessory designers Joyce Makitalo and Nicole Whisenhunt—produce jewelry collections inspired by Filipino komiks heroines such as Darna, Dyesebel, and Galema.
PLEASE TELL US ABOUT MODERN MYTHOLOGIES. HOW WAS IT CONCEPTUALIZED?
Modern Mythologies was something I had been conceptualizing for some time. I've always been fascinated by our own local take on superheroines, and I thought that a collection based on this theme would be really mind-blowing. When I met Joyce Makitalo and Nicole Whisenhunt, I realized that it would be an even better concept if we partnered up and came up with our own interpretations of the theme.
WHICH KOMIKS HEROINE/S DID YOU CHOOSE AS YOUR INSPIRATION, AND WHY?
I was actually inspired by all three —Darna, Dyesebel, and Galema. I thought about what kind of jewelry I would like to see them wearing, and I created from there. More than their costumes, however, it was their personas that inspired me. I like creating for strong, independent women, and these heroines are just that.
HOW DID YOU TRANSLATE THE INSPIRATION INTO YOUR HANDCRAFTED PIECES?
I usually let the materials dictate what a piece will end up looking like, so it was important for me to find the right materials. From there, I imagined what each character would like to wear, then I began molding my pieces to suit each one’s character.
WHAT MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES DID YOU USE?
I used a lot of raw crystals for this collection. I bought them in raw geode form and had them cut from there. I didn't want to buy readily available stones. I wanted each stone to be as unique as the piece itself because I wanted them to be truly special. I also used a lot of brass and silver, but dipped in gold for that extra shine.
WHAT ARE ITS SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES TO YOUR PAST COLLECTIONS?
It's similar to my past collections in terms of the materials (brass and silver) and the gold-dipping technique . But they are very different from my past work because this time, I used a lot of raw crystals which I worked on myself, and many of the pieces are in shades of yellow gold.
Read on to find out more about her collection, and click on the photo gallery to see her collection for Modern Mythologies.