Tessa has, very cleverly, turned sugar grains into diamond and made calories quite cool in this series of trendy jewellery. Taking a detour from the classic style that she is known for, the new line draws inspiration from childhood memories and sweet cures for a sugar rush, with fried eggs and pears thrown in for a healthy gemstone diet. On behalf of katerinaperez.com Smitha Sadanandan talks to Tessa Packard about the Fat Free collection and Tessa’s love for penny sweets.
K.P.: What inspired the Fat Free concept?
T.P.: Fat Free is primarily inspired by my love of English penny sweets – the nostalgia of buying them, their colours and engaging designs. It is also a collection that explores popular culture, its relationship with art and design, and the playful narrative behind it: the idea that a low cost, perishable item such as a penny sweet can be the source of something timeless and beautiful. Fat Free also draws on my experience of buying gemstones, and how the selection process recalls a memories of carefully picking out penny sweets as a child in my local sweet shop with as much consideration given to size and colour as one would expect from a jeweller buying diamonds.
K.P.: The Pear, Sunny Side Up Egg, Ginger bread man and the Evil tooth fairy are playful pieces. How did the narrative for these designs come into play?
T.P.: As with all of my collections, the designs are a culmination of a lot of research into the theme and narrative at play. Nothing is superfluous; every detail has been well considered. I used diamonds in this collection to visually evoke the sugar crystals or sugar powder found on confectionary and deserts. The range of Sweet-Shop necklaces and bracelets (the 18ct gold vermeil pieces) are designed to be hand-picked and layered together as they wish to re-enact childhood memories of selecting sweets in a sweet shop. For this reason, I purposefully designed the necklaces so that the charms would hang at different lengths, allowing you to wear two or three simultaneously. There is a range of cabochon-set stacking rings in the Fat Free collection called the Pick N’Mix selection and I have used cabochon stones that look like hard-boiled sweets. For me, narrative integrity is of utmost importance.
K.P.: Was this a collection you always wanted to work do?
T.P.: I had always wanted to do a collection inspired by sweets, perhaps accidently or consciously. Also, I had quite a few of the right stones in stock for many of the pieces. Of all the collections I have designed, the Fat Free has certainly been the most effortless. I do not know whether this is because I have a sweet tooth or because the designs just felt unbelievably right from the start.
The designer also does bespoke jewellery, details of which are available on her website. For a glimpse of her standout pieces and latest designs, visit Tessa Packard website.