“All of these everyday objects–leaves, flowers, beetles–are infused with memories from my childhood or travels. Each piece has a story behind it, but can also be appropriated to have a personal meaning to the woman wearing it.”
French designer Aurélie Bidermann’s collections often feel less like traditional jewelry than they do ecstatic celebrations of the natural world. Scarabs glitter with emerald tsavorite, leaves wind around mother of pearl, strands of wheat bend, forever frozen in an unseen breeze. With childlike wonder, each piece feels as though Bidermann has dipped a moment in gold for eternal preservation.
The result is imaginative bijoux that feel as fanciful as they do wonderfully familiar. (Never before has a ginkgo leaf had such fetching appeal.) Within the collection, you’ll recognize patterns of lace, sunbursts, petals. But Bidermann’s interpretations are transformed through a playful prism, where the designer is a slave not to the reality of the thing, but the spirit of it. Proportions can be exaggerated, lines manipulated. “I live by the concept that more is more,” Bidermann remarks. “Playing with scale is fun, especially when it comes to bold pieces of jewelry.”
While some designers anchor their collections around the repetition of certain geometry, every one of Bidermann’s pieces stands on its own, unique in their composition and influence. No doubt her wide range of interests and past experiences have created a deep inspirational well from which to draw. Before founding her line in 2004, Bidermann earned her Masters in art history from École du Louvre, studied gemology in Antwerp, and worked at Sotheby’s. Jewelry, however, proved to have an undeniable appeal. “Ultimately,” Bidermann muses, “I had an inner creativity that I wanted to express, and I found my outlet in designing jewelry. It came very naturally to me–my background in art serving as the lens through which I design my pieces.”
Thirteen years in, Bidermann continues to create exciting, wearable jewelry with legions of fans the world over. In addition to two stores in Paris and one in New York, Bidermann can be found in boutiques across thirty seven countries–not to mention in countless magazines and the bodies of some of fashion and entertainment’s boldest boldface names. Beyoncé can be seen frequently wearing the line, and Bidermann’s Pistil earrings make a positively electric cameo on the cover of Vogue Paris. Below, we talk to Bidermann about finding inspiration, holidays in Normandy, and the secret to Parisian style.
How do ideas typically come to you?
I think my designs come from the perfect mix of dreaming and sketching. Nature, travel, and art all have such a strong presence throughout my collections; they are woven into the DNA of my brand. My love for exploration prompts me to try to discover at least one new place a year, and I always carry a notebook with me during my travels. I find myself inspired by the vibrant colors in nature or the unique culture of the place I am visiting and sketch ideas in my notebook.
What is the last trip you’ve taken that’s inspired you and why?
The last trip I took was to Seville–it has such amazing beauty! I would simply walk down the street and be inspired by the beautiful colors and unique architecture of the gothic cathedrals and historic palaces that add to the sense of old-world glamor throughout the city.
Your range of materials that you use is fairly wide. How do you decide which new materials you will incorporate into your collection?
The material I use will depend on the piece, but most of my designs are made with gold-dipped, organic materials with the incorporation of precious gems, such as rubies or sapphires. I like to use unique materials and stones, and all of my pieces are handmade in Paris.
Such interesting and fashionable women wear your pieces (Sofia Coppola, Giovanna Battaglia, and Beyoncé, to name just a few). What women inspire you in life?
I am inspired by all types of women. It is a surreal moment when I see amazing women such as Beyoncé and Sofia Coppola and Giovanna Battaglia wearing my pieces–it is such an honor. I also get excited when I randomly see a woman in my jewelry pieces on the street! I love seeing how everyone styles them. They are meant to be enjoyed by all women.
Your range of interests—sports, dance, fashion, travel, art—is very diverse. Do you think your varied interests influences your designs?
Absolutely. As a designer, you are constantly finding inspiration from your surroundings. My childhood has a lot to do with it, as I was fortunate enough to be introduced to art at an early age, as well as travel. I grew up surrounded by the beautiful nature of Paris and spending summers in Ibiza and holidays in Normandy. All of these memories come together now to influence my designs.
What quality of yours do you think best helps you as a designer?
My imagination! I dream up each piece and marry together fantasy and real-life influences to create designs that are unique to the Aurélie Bidermann brand.
What is it about Parisienne style that people love so much?
People are drawn to the juxtaposition of casualness and effortless elegance that defines French style. It is all about pairing vintage with iconic, classic pieces or new and modern pieces, all while maintaining a sense of confidence. French style is never underdressed or overdressed; it is a balance of both worlds that is easy and cool.
If you had to choose three of your pieces you couldn’t travel without, which would they be?
This is hard, I love all of my pieces! If I had to choose, I would say my nine personalized gold bangles that I never take off, my lucky charm necklace, and a great statement earring such as the Pistil earrings.
What role does jewelry play in your life as a woman, aside from being a designer?
Jewelry has always had a very personal meaning to me. It is a passion I shared with two of the most important and influential women in my life, my mother and grandmother, and as a woman designing for other women, I know how special each piece of jewelry you give or receive can be.