Two months ago I went to the opening of Natasha Zinko’s first store in Mayfair in London and completely fell in love with the playfulness of Natasha’s jewellery designs. The “oh so seen” jewellery motifs such as the skull and the cross take on a new dimension in her designs. A fun one! Look at her vision of the human skeleton above. It’s a fantastic pair of earrings (they are also quite large in size) and make any outfit a good 10 years younger looking. Apart from skeletons,you can find many different symbols as well as….wait for it… rabbits and elephants!And it strangely works. Serious jewellery, as it is made of only precious materials and stones, but for that mischievous girl always present in us. The store is at 46 Maddox Street , in the heart of Mayfair and here you can also get a glimpse of her pret a porter collection called Abrakadabra which I dare say is reminiscent of Rick Owens. We talk about her inspirations, her new store in London and her quirky jewellery and pret- a porter collection…
How did you get into jewellery design?
I have always had a passion for jewellery. I enrolled at Central Saint Martins and graduated with honours in a BA degree in Jewellery Design. I started by experimenting with objects to create jewellery and then I tried to focus on one theme to create an entire collection. Before entering Central Sain Martins, I enrolled myself at Chelsea College of Art and Design where I took a course in Fashion Design.
What inspires you?
Different things really. It could be a painting or piece of furniture or other concrete objects. But I am also inspired by concepts…like the idea of big and small. In my latest jewellery collection, I played with the contrast of bunnies and elephants. How they could co-exist, play, and interact. We called this collection David & Goliath. Go figure.
What kind of woman do you design for?
An intelligent individual, a trendsetter. She loves life and is traveling the world. She can be a week in London, another in Moscow, the next in LA and Paris. But most importantly, she is always happy and self-motivated.
What is your favourite material and what materials do you use in your jewellery ?
Like any girl, I love diamonds. I have a passion for using rough diamonds because they look so natural. I appreciate the vintage old-school style of jewellery and then the challenge of making it modern. I only use gold and combine these with either diamonds or other colourd precious stones. Sometimes they are perfectly cut, sometimes more rough, more natural.
Tell us about your present collection?
For jewellery, I have recently created the “David & Goliath” collection (as mentioned above). But I also have redesigned more earrings with the use of rough diamonds, some of them sliced, others coloured diamonds, and others both. They are very feminine because the diamond is so light and not chunky, but also fun because of the colours. For ABRAKADABRA ready-to-wear, my Fall-Winter 12 collection goes back to the basics that I feel is the most essential in every wardrobe. I’ve cut-out backs in my jersey t-shirts, or tattered leather sleeves. I also added frills and layers on my leggings which give that extra kick to the outfit. I introduced the first ever wool winter coat, which I think is very architectural as it has a corseted bodice that billows in the waist. The coat is also lined with suede to give that contrasting look. Lastly, the jersey dresses, both long and short, have been real bestsellers this season. I think it’s because I use such high quality material (same jersey is used on my t-shirts and leggings) and the jersey feels so good on the body and flatters the shape, even if the dresses are so simple.
The price range is from £180 pounds up to about £5,000. My basic pieces are from £180 to about £600, and then of course it gets more expensive with the use of leather and other materials.
Favourite fashion designers?
Karl Lagerfield and Alexander McQueen
Iconic women for you are…?
Natalia Vodianova and Anna dello Russo
Where can we buy your jewellery?
The jewellery is sold in Maxfield in LA, The Alchemist in Miamio, a store in Odessa and in Kiev (in Ukraine), and most recently, in a newly opened boutique in London’s Maddox Street.
What are your favourite stores and restaurants in Moscow?
I love Vogue Café and my favourite store is TCUM, where they stock my ready-to-wear line, ABRAKADABRA.
You also design clothes- how did this come about?
It began as a one-off project. Like other designers, it answered a personal need that I was looking for comfortable clothes that fitted well and always..always..flattered the female form.
What was the inspiration behind this?
Like I said above, I’m inspired by making women look good, while also having fun, being different. I am inspired by details. This is why I often reference antiques. But largely, this is connected to my surroundings. I find inspiration in the details of what I see around me and I have a passion for taking one part and developing this into 3d objects.
Who wears your clothes and where can we buy them?
An intelligent individual, a trendsetter. She loves life and is traveling the world. She can be a week in London, another in Moscow, the next in LA and Paris. But most importantly, she is always happy and self-motivated. My clothes are sold in TCUM in Moscow, in Saint Tropez, in Kiev and Odessa in the Ukraine. And I also have a showroom in London for private appointments. After all, the clothes are made in London!
Currently, I want to grow my presence in London. The clothes are designed and made in London so this gives real legitimacy to be present in this city. I will look into putting together a fashion show and maybe doing some collaborations.
What is your favourite city to live in and why?
London. It’s a melting pot of so many cultures and they all combine greatly together.
How fun is this piece?