I first encountered the Lauren Elan Collections while browsing through blogspot. As a blog lover, I had noticed several references to Toronto-based jewelry designer Lauren McMillan. But one day, I saw Blair Eadie from Atlantic-Pacific wearing a neon friendship bracelet. Neon? Friendship bracelet? It was love. I called my girls (by now, you know who I’m talking about) and told them about Lauren Elan. They were all in. That same day, I ordered four bracelets, each in a different colour. Still today, my neon yellow bracelet is a staple in my wardrobe.
I’m excited to present you this wonderful interview – I’m betting you too will soon be hooked on Lauren Elan’s colourful jewelry!
What influenced your current collection?
This season's collection was influenced by a love for rich textures, mixed materials, bright colours, and sparkle - as usual. I really wanted to provide plenty of brightness for summer, as well as a good dose of everyday bling in the form of bold bracelets (gold and silver alike).
What is a typical day like?
Every day tends to be different for me as I balance my full time job, with this 'passion project' - we'll call it (that takes up at least 3 days per week in the studio). I'm a bit of a night hawk and enjoy my mornings, so I usually make it into the studio by noon with an Americano in hand and work until about 6 or 7 on studio days.
Bella bracelets, available in gold and silver
What motivated you to become a jewelry designer?
There wasn't a defining moment that I wanted to pursue my passion for creating, I just sort of fell into it. I've always needed an outlet for creativity on a regular basis. When I found myself creating pieces for events, friends, family, and gifts, I realized I should focus that energy into a business and sell it via our online venue. Fortunately, with a tonne of hard work, it's evolved into something that's really worked well.
What are some of the materials you use in your jewelry?
I LOVE combining unexpected materials with high quality metals, so I often involve various mixed mediums (such as bright ribbons, waxed cord, semi-precious stones, crystal...) with metals that I plate in gold, rhodium, and various oxidized versions of brass, gold, and silver.
Out of all your creations, do you have a favorite?
The Bella bracelet (super fine and dainty) is an everyday favourite that stands alone really well, and also stacks beautifully with other pieces (I usually wear the gold version). I'm crushing on the Kensington necklace this season as the neon lime colour is my absolute favourite right now. It's a colour that is unlike any other and works well as a contrasting colour in any outfit – busy or monochromatic. It's a definite statement piece.
Kensington necklace – neon is the new black!
Those who love Lauren Elan love neon! Do you predict any other upcoming trends?
I'm hanging onto the neon trend as long as fashion allows, it's so fun! I think that sparkle, mixed metal, and pops of bright colour will always have their place, and that's what the Lauren Elan brand is all about.
So many fashion bloggers have been raving about your jewelry. How has the blogosphere influenced your creative process?
I looooove seeing how fashion bloggers come up with new ways to style my pieces. It's so great to see combinations and pairings that I would never come up with myself. The bloggers that I've worked with have been truly amazing for my creative process. Sometimes I may have a design in mind, and then when I see fun trends that they bring into play, or ways to wear a certain piece, it will push my designs in another direction.
What’s the best fashion related purchase you have ever made?
Ugh, such a tough question! I would love to say that it's a pair of designer shoes or a handbag that I spent a fortune on... but I might have to go with something silly like my Earnest Sewn ripped up jeans (or shorts for that matter). I literally wear them 3 to 4 days a week, eeks! I did buy a vintage Chanel lambskin classic two and a half years ago and I do love it. I feel like it has a story since it's likely been on the arm of someone with a life far more grand than I... years before me.
Music wise, what are you listening to these days?
I couldn't name songs, as my favourites constantly change, but there are some bands that I always seem to go back: Anberlin, Robyn, City and Colour, The Temper Trap, and various 'feel good' top 40 hits...