Here’s a Q&A I did recently with Creeps and Violets designer, Steph Miller on her SS 14/15 collection ‘Melting Memories’ and her label in general.
1.How did Creeps and Violets come about and when did you launch it?
I studied fashion design at Otago Polytechnic and instead of making clothing for my graduation collection I made jewellery-that’s when I discovered my love for creating it. I’ve never formally trained as a jeweller and am pretty much self taught, other than some work experience I did with another local jeweller. I launched Creeps and Violets in 2012.
2. Creeps and Violets is an intriguing name, how did you come up with it?
In my jewellery I combine harsh and raw elements with soft and feminine ones, in the design and the materials I use. I incorporate things like sterling silver spikes, studs and chain and with bright powder coated daisies and semi-precious stones and pearls, so it was important for me to have a name that reflected these extreme opposites.
3. Can you tell me about your latest collection ‘Melting Memories’.
Melting Memories is my fourth collection, which I’m just about to launch for summer 2014. It’s based around the idea that nothing lasts forever, that everything’s only ever fleeting. With this collection I’ve tried to immortalize memories and done things like cast my grandmothers eternity band and my dog Frankie’s puppy teeth.
4. What’s the creative process like for you?
I don’t have a set creative process, everything’s done organically and unfolds as I go along. I like to play around with objects and experiment, collecting old trinkets, going op-shopping, flicking through magazines and old books etc, looking for inspiration.
5. How has your work changed and evolved since you started?
I guess the main thing that’s changed is that I’ve really found my own style in the craft of jewellery making. In the beginning I took myself way too seriously and was influenced a lot by what was going on around me. I’m at a point where I don’t care too much about trends or what other people are doing and am happy to focus on simply creating work I’m proud of.
6. Your latest collection has a definite 90s feel, is that a decade which inspires you?
Yes! I’m a 90s child and am influenced a lot by culture during that time. When I was designing Melting Memories I was watching Daria and Freaks and Geeks looking for inspiration. I always like to have a muse too and imagine who would wear my collections.
7. So who was your muse for Melting Memories and why?
Francis Bean Cobain. She has a kind of toughness, yet soft vulnerability about her I find really appealing…plus I would love to see her wearing my pieces.
8. Other than Francis Bean, who else do you envision wearing your jewellery?
I see the brand as being young and fun, so it’s ultimately aimed at younger woman who want everyday wearable pieces. I imagine the Creeps and Violets girl to be a bit like me and not take herself or life too seriously.
9. You’re currently based in Dunedin, any plans on moving? What do you see in the future for Creeps and Violets?
I love being in Dunedin and don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon. This place has such a supportive creative community, which I think is really important for anyone starting out. Every season I aim to get a new stockist and am definitely looking at getting into the international market in the near future.
Photography//Emily Hlavac-Green Model: Mary @ Ali McD Agency Make-up//Katy Parsons Makeup Art