April 25, 2016

Cue Clemmie Watson

Get a new statement piece for spring.

Cocktail rings are so 2006. If you’re looking for a conversation piece to wear out this summer, the work of Clemmie Watson what you need.

The Los Angeles-based designer’s necklaces, collars, earrings, and more are show-stoppers when it comes to getting dressed—throw it on with something easy and simple to make a statement. The pieces are also like nothing we’ve ever seen—feathers, chains, and stones are a few of the components of each creation. Here’s what Watson has to say about her work:

You use a lot of natural materials. How did you develop your aesthetic?

I have always been drawn to natural objects as a medium for expression. Nature has a way of communicating a sense of mystery and, fortunately, those materials also tend to be more malleable, as a general rule. For example, horse hair can be long and flowing versus stiff and prickly depending on how it’s treated. I am self taught, so I tend to be drawn to materials that I can manipulate easily.

How has your Thai culture influenced your designs?

I had the opportunity to visit Thailand several times and my mother has a lot of antiques and furniture from Thailand, not to mention being from there. Thai aesthetic has always inspired me with it’s ornate and layered style. I often notice the shapes of my necklaces and earrings emulate the same shapes as the architecture.

What are some of your favorite textures to incorporate in your designs?

I love the buttery softness of leather, the strength and lightness of feathers, and the porous yet smooth qualities of horn and bone. Sometimes I include semi-precious stones, but they are usually rough cut and asymmetrical. Pyrite and hematite are some of my favorites because of the muted luster and simultaneous silver and gold tones.

Your capes are amazing. How would you suggest somebody wear one?

I love them best styled with a plain camisole or button up shirt. A friend once told me that fashion is all about permission to express yourself regardless of the context or occasion in which it’s worn—that you are a singular channel for whatever makes you happy. If one of my capes makes you happy, wear it to Sunday brunch with the in-laws.

Who are your muses?

Siouxsie Sioux, Karen O, and Tilda Swinton.

What’s on the playlist you listen to while creating jewelry?

I am a child of the post-punk and Industrial 80s—so, droning, driving, dissonant, and aggressive bands capture my imagination. Crystal Stilts, Black Sabbath, Sex Pistols, Black Angels, The Liars, The Cure, Prince, Jesus and Mary Chain, and Sisters of Mercy.

The Details: Check out Clemmie Watson’s designs for yourself at TRAFFIC LA, 1608 Main Street.