Efva Attling recalls being attracted to the art of jewelry making from the time she was a schoolgirl. “I discovered in school at age 11 that metal suits my temper more than sewing,” says the Sweden-born jewelry designer, who trained with a goldsmith in secondary school before walking away from her passion to launch a career on the runway. “I was discovered by Eileen Ford [of Ford Models] and so I did this for 12 years,” Attling says. The runway model then turned rocker in the 1980s, forming a band called X Models and releasing a hit single, “Två av oss” (written by Attling). The following decade saw the designer as a television presenter and fashion editor before she returned to her initial calling. “Working in fashion, I found my true passion again as a silver and gold smith,” she says. “It took me 27 years and a lot of experience to become the designer I am today.”
Hammering elements of nature and sentiments of the human heart into intricate metal rings, necklaces, and bracelets, Attling creates delicate but wearable pieces for women who want to make a statement. The designer will host a trunk show in Traditional Jewelers in Newport Beach this Friday, showcasing pieces from her Fall Collection (see full details below). Here, the designer shares her inspiration and style.
What was the first piece you ever made?
When I was 11, I made two bracelets for myself — my mother kept them all of these years so I still have them.
What materials do you use, and why do you prefer them?
I love working with silver; it’s softer and easier, but harder in the finishing process. Gold is harder to work with, and quite ugly, but it’s easier in the end and the result is fantastic. I wouldn’t want to be without either one of them; they are like two different personalities.
From what do you draw inspiration for your designs?
People I see, people I meet, traveling, music — and love, of course.
Tell me a bit about your design-making process.
As a designer, my mind is looking for clues all of the time. [Conceiving an idea] can start with an expression that I think is important, and then I find a shape and decide if it is going to be in silver, gold, and with or without stones. Sometimes I sketch the design and leave it with my goldsmith to do the prototype in my atelier in Stockholm. And sometimes I do it myself.
What piece of jewelry do you never leave home without?
My wedding ring and a 3-carat diamond ring that is my own design.
What three pieces of jewelry should every woman have in her jewelry box? Something emotional, like a vintage piece; diamonds, big or small; and a fashion [bold statement] piece.
How can a woman play up her attributes with jewelry?
Jewelry is so much more then the right fit. A great piece can make you stand out and lift your whole appearance.
How would you describe your personal style, and how does the jewelry you wear complement that?
I am a fashion-crazy person. I mix high and low — Chanel with H&M. I love to choose jewelry after I’ve put on whatever outfit [fits my mood]. It could be all funky chunky silver or red carpet earrings.
Where in Newport Beach can your pieces be purchased?
At Traditional Jewelers in Fashion Island.
Efva Attling presents a sneak peek at her Fall 2014 collection from 2 to 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 10 at Traditional Jewelers, 817 Newport Center Dr., Fashion Island. 949-721-9010.