Elle Jewelry designer Clare Vessot says that her love of fine baubles runs in the family. “My mother had the best collection of fabulous diamonds and gemstones,” she says. “I loved playing with them when I was younger.” The Montreal based designer first got her start in the industry after attending Ryerson University’s fashion program. “It was 1985, and I went for an apprenticeship at a leading independent jewellery company in Toronto,” Vessot says. “It all just clicked.” Now, as the designer for Elle Jewelry, Vessot creates everything from
dazzling statement pieces to delicate sparklers. ELLE Canada caught up with the bauble maven to talk musical inspirations, her design process, and her favourite pieces from her
Spring/Summer 2012 collection.

Where do your design ideas come from? “I attend a lot of trend forecasting presentations, and I love them! Last year, when lace was all the rage, I thought ‘Oh! We have to do lace for Elle!” Sometimes, ideas come from a combination of different things: like if I’ve been travelling, or what type of mood I am in. And definitely, music inspires me!”

What type of music do you listen to when you’re designing? “I love the blues, soulful music, I’ve actually gone so far as listening to bluegrass. It’s really energetic and edgy, life jazz, but a little bit different. I love instrumentals, they put me into the zone!”

What is designer Claire Vessot’s favourite piece in her spring collection? Find out on the next page…


What’s your design process like?
“I always sketch first. Sometimes, I’ll do just a little thumbnail sketch, and then use Photoshop to manipulate my drawings. If I’m out and I get inspired but can’t sketch, I’ll send myself an email so that I don’t forget the idea! Often, I use clay to mould shapes myself before we create them.”

How do you stay inspired? "It’s funny, ever since I’ve been involved in creating jewellery, it’s never felt like a job! I always say: If you do what you love, then you’ll never have to work again!"

How would you describe your design style? "Very sleek, and simple, with a twist of something unusual!"


How do you source your materials? “I travel to the Hong Kong show every September to try and find unique materials—like a different colour crystals, or suede, or really beautiful ribbons.”

What’s your favourite piece from your
Spring collection? “The corset cuff is really spectacular. It’s a lace up cuff, with a quatre-feuilles motif on it and little tiny grommets. I love it!”

Read more:

Style and error: How to wear a buttoned up white shirt

Spring fashion: Mint green

Spring/Summer 2012: Trend report

Runway scandals and feuds