Paula Bart

Jewellery designer Paula Bart has an amazing ability to combine hard and soft, masculine and feminine to create something worthy of coveting. We speak to her about her work

FAULT: So who is Paula Bart?

I was born in London but come from a mixed eastern European family. I’m petite with childlike features, which often gives the illusion that I’m much younger than I am. I think it’s mainly for this reason that I don’t like looking overly girly and have “a fear of Barbie”, as my tutor put it. Put me in a floral chiffon dress and I’ll have to tone down the sugary girliness with a clean masculine edge. I’m indecisive by nature and find it difficult to be one or the other entirely.

FAULT: Why do you love jewellery?

My father is a fine jeweller/silversmith so I guess to some extent a love of jewellery is in my blood. I love the fact that even in the fickle world of fashion where people are constantly reinventing their images, jewellery (in particular fine jewellery) seems to have longevity and has a greater connection with the wearer. I change a lot of my clothes but I still wear jewellery from years back which I wear almost everyday. I know it’s something I will keep forever.

FAULT: Where do you find your inspiration?

My inspiration tends to come from quite different places. I’m drawn to the subversive and things that evoke a sense of hardness or softness. I love texture so anything with a sumptuous tactile quality like soft fabric or whimsical ribbon. On the flip side I’m also inspired by utilitarianism, military uniform, sleek architecture and symmetry. I love the work of fashion designer Bora Aksu who also has a similar love of using contrasting elements of hard and soft in his work.Jewellery designer Paula Bart has an amazing ability to combine hard and soft, masculine and feminine to create something worthy of coveting. We speak to her about her work.

FAULT: What are you working on right now?

Right now I’m actually working for a high-end costume jewellery designer called Lucy Hutchings and am learning a lot. Unfortunately nowadays I don’t have much time to work on a new collection but I’ve got some ideas on the back burner which I’m sure I’ll get to develop later.

FAULT: Tell us about ‘White Lie.’

I would describe my graduate collection ‘White Lie’ as a collection of bold yet sensitive jewellery with an androgynous edge. It was based on a marriage between my love of delicate feminine themes and robust masculinity. Through a minimalistic use of polished square silver wire, I wanted to combine the soft tactile qualities of draped fabric with sleek, rigid material and form, in turn creating a sense of subtle deception and illusion. The jewellery is light and quite delicate with fluid curves just like folds of fabric, yet every piece has symmetry so there is also a sense of order and rigidity. I wanted the jewellery to be feminine yet equally sleek and sophisticated so women that don’t want to look too girly can wear it with confidence.

FAULT: What are your plans for the future?

After learning more about the industry, I would eventually love to get back to designing and set up my own label.

FAULT: What is your FAULT?

I’m an indecisive perfectionist. When designing and making, I have very high standards and usually have a firm idea in my mind of what I want but if it’s hard to achieve I tend to make my life difficult as I find it very difficult to compromise! It’s usually a case of all or nothing. Then again it’s worth it when I achieve what I envisaged in the first place.