Join us this friday for an in-house trunk show, celebrating the arrival and success of Leah Alexandra's Spring Summer collection - with Leah Alexandra!

Leah Alexandra Belford has been designing jewelry for over a decade. Having received her Bachelor of Design at Ryerson University, Leah is as technically skilled as she is innovative. Her pieces are classic and timeless, yet her collections are always on trend. Violette is going on our 10th season with Leah Alexandra and we couldn’t be more thrilled about her new Spring/Summer collection for 2012. To celebrate its arrival, co-founder and buyer for Violette, Erin Weir, recently had the chance to sit down with her good friend Leah to chat about jewelry, design, and inspiration…

Erin: How did you get your start in jewelry design?

Leah: A massive turquoise necklace on the cover of Vogue in 2002 led me on my own hunt to find stones to make a piece, and one thing led to another…

E: What do you love most about designing and creating your own jewelry?

L: Seeing others wearing it and get so much enjoyment in doing so, especially when they’ve layered several pieces. I love getting to pile it on too of course!

E: Speaking of piling it on, you’re a master of mixing and layering. How do you come up with such great combinations?

L: I always make sure there are several different lengths of necklaces in a collection so they can be layered together. Arm parties should be a daily event. More is more and I love how you can take staple wardrobe pieces and make them new again with jewellery.

E: When you design, do you have a specific type of person in mind – or do you design for yourself?

V: If I wouldn’t wear it, I don’t make it!

E: You spent a lot of time by the seaside growing up, in Cape Cod and Barbados, and now you reside in Vancouver. It seems like you’re very drawn to coastal places. How do you interpret this into your designs?

L: Definitely! I have sea water in my blood- My favourite stone has always been turquoise, no matter what the season I always favour the aqua hues like chalcedony & Peruvian opal. It’s a bonus that those stones are so flattering on every skin tone!

E: If you could sum up your aesthetic in three words what would it be?

L: Gemalicious, Colourful, Fresh.

E: How would you describe this season’s collection?

L: Between the three new groupings - Ballet Slippers, Sedona Sea and Rio Revelry, I’d say there’s something for everyone, from soft, & feminine to fun & bold.

E: If you could design jewelry for any famous person who would it be and why?

L: Am I allowed to travel back in time for this one?

E: Of course!

L: I’d go to the 1960’s and create some big, bright, geometric shapes for Twiggy or any of the pop art era celebs.

E: If you could collaborate with any designer (clothing, décor, or jewelry) who would it be and why?

L: Paule Marrot. She was a textile designer & painter from France working in the early-mid 20th century. I love her whimsical patterns & drawings and her obvious love of colour!

E: Finally, when you’re not designing, and creating jewelry how do you like to spend your time?

L: When it’s sunny- riding my bike around our beautiful city or concocting something in the kitchen. And Traveling, it’s the perfect way to recharge creative juices and get inspired- right now I’m planning a trip to France!

Violette and Leah Alexandra will be holding an in-store trunk show on Friday, May 4th from 7:00 – 9:00pm. Get a chance to meet Leah, view her new Spring 2012 collection, and partake in refreshments. To sweeten the deal, all Leah Alexandra jewelry from previous seasons will be 20% off.

For more information call 250.388.7752.

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