True to the label’s eponymous fruit, there is a bitter sweetness to Lemon Jewellery’s creations. Owner and designer Libby Haines creates dramatic statement pieces that transcend the mundane to uncover elegance in the grotesque and bring a stunning originality to the wearer. This is not a label for shrinking violets!
We sat down with Libby to talk all things lemon: chokers, moodiness and making bold decisions.
Why did you start Lemon Jewellery?
I’ve worked in the fashion industry for years in design and production, but in 2013 I was at a bit of dead end career-wise. My boyfriend and I decided we needed a change and we packed up and moved to Bali. Quite a few of our friends in Bali have amazing labels of their own and they were all pushing me to try my own thing. Without their help and encouragement, I’m not sure Lemon would have been born!
My professional background is in garments and swimwear but jewellery is what I was really drawn to doing. I have always used it as a way to express my personal style, layering up in bold/unusual pieces. Starting Lemon felt like a way for me to make something that was different and exciting. I like the idea that it can be worn by anyone and you don’t need to be a certain size or body shape for it to suit you.
Did you always know you wanted to be a designer?
Originally I studied visual arts at university and wanted to be a painter or even art therapist. Fashion became a stronger obsession as I studied and eventually I knew it was the only thing I wanted to do. It’s definitely the creative side I love most about the industry and now I really can’t imagine doing anything else.
How has the brand changed since you first started it?
I think the aesthetic has changed a bit since the first collection but it has happened naturally and gradually, just in the same way that I have changed I suppose and so has my taste and what I enjoy creating. Ultimately the concept has stayed the same.
Who is the Lemon woman?
I don’t know if I have a particular customer in mind when I’m designing. I love the idea of my jewellery being worn by a strong independent woman who knows her sense of personal style and self, and she wears Lemon as a way to express that. But honestly it doesn’t need to be that complex either; anyone who thinks the pieces look cool (man or woman) and feel comfortable in them is enough for me!
How do you describe your aesthetic to someone who has never seen your pieces?
Moody, statement pieces, not for the faint-hearted.
How do you imagine the pieces from the latest collection being worn?
I personally wear all the pieces to death – I like to layer them up with fairly plain outfits and let the jewels speak for themselves.
Where are you most inspired to create?
I work from home mostly so guess this is where the majority of my creating happens, although, my inspiration seems to come from the most random things and in the most random places. When this happens I am normally without the resources to write it down or draw it properly. I normally end up scribbling something down on a receipt or putting an obscure note in my phone that I later have to decipher.
Which is your favourite piece from your latest collection?
The Half Bone Choker is probably my favourite piece from the collection. I wear it nearly every day and feel like it can be worn casually or added to an outfit to make it a bit dressier.
What are the essential ingredients to one of your designs?
I think I like to make sure each piece has a small quirk to it that is distinctively Lemon. I don’t like anything too neat or perfect either. It obviously needs to look beautiful when being worn, but I aim to create pieces that have an edge so that people feel a bit special and a bit different when they are wearing Lemon.
What’s next for Lemon Jewellery?
I’m currently working on my next collection, which I am really excited about and in the process of planning the next campaign. Planning and shooting campaigns is one of my favourite parts of the whole process! I’m looking forward to sharing it with the world!
Shop Lemon Jewellery’s latest collection here.