I am very happy to be able to talk to the jeweller to the stars Loree Rodkin in person. I always thought that her designs were incredibly clever and visionary. She created the “bondage ring” some 18 years ago, a long time favourite of mine, which set this trend in jewelry making. We can see this trend present in many jewelry collections today whether it’s fine jewelry or fashion jewelry. The designs of Loree’s jewelry tickle my fascination with the occult. Loree is a true rock’n’roll chic at heart, a true eccentric, an avid collector of vintage jewelry and medieval armour… prime example where creativity sees no boundaries. She explains to me how she gets inspiration, her unusual beginning is jewelry making, why Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Taylor collected her jewelry and much more….
Jewelry making started off as a hobby for you. How did it all take off and when did you create your first collection?
Jewelry has been a passion of mine since I was a little girl. Instead of Barbies it was jewelry. My mother would give me jewelry and I’d already had an opinion about it whether I liked it or not. Later on in my life whilst I was managing actors I became close with Robert Downey Jr. who was a client. He had a very turbulent existence and an addiction to substances. I was babysitting him. Since I did not drink or do drugs I would make jewelry to keep myself awake at night to watch over him.
In 1988 I made a diamond skull ring which was noticed by the owner of the influential Maxfield boutique in West Hollywood. My first collection was launched and sold out.
Who were your first clients?
I was very lucky. My first client was Elizabeth Taylor. The Getty family commissioned pieces for Elizabeth and soon I was going to see her at house and she would come to my studio. Soon after her friends became my clients. Cher soon followed, Elton John, Madonna…I was also very lucky to have a large base of show business clients.
How would you describe your style?
Fashion forward with a rockn’roll twist. Accessories are key.
Do you wear other jewelry apart from your own?
I do wear a lot of vintage jewelry , I collect art deco jewelry. Also I love the jewelry designer Sevan Bicakc from Istanbul http://www.sevanbicakci.com/ . His skill is unique.
What materials do you use for your jewelry ?
Exclusively gold- yellow, rose, white. Diamonds , sapphires, precious stones…
Tell me about you famous “bondage” ring? They are my favourite jewelry pieces ever! You are the pioneer of rings that cover the finger that are so widely used by jewellers around the world. You started the trend. Quite a visionary…
I made it 18 years ago for myself. I’ve collected medical armour at one stage in my life and this ring is sort of medieval armour for the finger. I am obsessed with the mechanics of it. I remember someone asking me what was wrong with my finger referring to my ring. No, it’s not a bandage. I like the irreverence of it… like making jewelry that did not exist. I like when things look like they have just been dug out of the crypt. Unpolished diamonds, stones with flaws- whilst everyone was getting rid of the impurity in the stones I liked them like that and used them in my jewelry.
Prices in order:$ 71,125 , $19,225,$ 77,700
What historical period, movement inspires you?
Medieval times for they romanticism. Gothic buildings for they ornamentation as well as Art Nouveau .
How is your home decorated?
Minimalist. The opposite of my jewelry. I guess spending a lot of time in Japan had a lot of influence. It helps keep the chaos out of my life. Clean lines and no colour. Whites, greys…
Favourite piece of clothing?
Rick Owens is a good friend and so is his muse wife Michele Lamy. I love his black leather biker jacket. He is my favourite designer.
What do you wear? What is your usual outfit?
Leather jackets, mostly Rick Owens, lots of layering, platform boots. Usually black , cream or great colours in summer maybe some colour and turquoise. Never red or burgundy. Never warm colours.
Rick Owens, Isabel Marant, Ann Demeulemeester
Paris because of the lights and architecture.
Where would you live apart from LA?
Steven Tyler. Daphnee Guinness’s sense of freedom and style is really a work of art.
Summers are spent?
All over Europe….
Somewhere warm. I’m going to Bora Bora for Christmas.
How come you decided to create a sunglasses range?
I think that sunglasses is a form a jewelry for the face. When the sunglasses manufacturers SAMA offered me to design glasses for them I was more than happy to do it.
Do you design other things?
Fragrances-Candles and Scents
What scent do you wear?
Patchouli and Vanilla. It’s a dark fragrance. I was influenced by the scent of opium.
What flowers do you like?
I have gardenias in my home.
Opening of a shop in Dubai in October
You can buy Loree Rodkin rings online below:
How great is it that Michelle Obama is a fan of your jewelry! How did this come about?
When the White House called me I told them it must be a mistake. They assured me that it was not and that Michelle was quite a fan of my jewelry. I submitted some pieces and she wore them to the inauguration.