Au Revoir Les Filles
One of the reasons why I love blogging, is sharing and celebrating people's stories and talents. Through my blog, I connect with inspiring people who I wouldn't normally cross paths with in everyday life.
One of those people was Teresa Tiong, the creator and designer of jewellery label Au Revoir Les Filles. Originally from Singapore, Sydney based Tiong studied fashion design at Esmod in Paris, an internationally renowned fashion school founded in 1841. Back in Australia, she worked for many years in the fashion industry, at labels such as Sass & Bide, before launching her jewellery line in 2014.
Au Revoir Les Filles is straight out of fairytales. Tiong's designs are beautiful yet slightly dark, taking inspiration from nature and the shadows within. I interviewed Tiong, asking her about her craft and inspiration.
Inspired by the beauty and rawness of the pieces, I shot this editorial in collaboration with Melbourne based make-up artist and friend, Emily Moran.
Lei Lei: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background
Teresa: I grew up in Singapore, and loved playing dress-up and applying my mum’s lipstick when young. I used to sneak and read her fashion magazines whenever she went out. I was very lucky in that she inherited a lot of vintage clothing and jewellery from my grandmother, and having these items around me encouraged my love of fashion.
I studied fashion design at Esmod Paris, one of the oldest fashion colleges in Europe. That experience inspired a lot of the brand's identity, including the name. Back in Sydney, I worked for labels like Sass & Bide, Manning Cartell and Charlie Brown, before finally launching Au Revoir Les Filles.
You worked in fashion design for many years, how did you decide to get into jewellery design?
I like the ephemeral nature of fashion, however I love the timelessness of jewellery and how well-made jewellery retains its longevity much better. Old jewellery, especially those passed down from my grandmother, have a lovely aged patina to it. But I will always love fashion, and am always thinking about what new outfits I can pair with my jewellery.
What is your process to create the beautiful pieces?
I sketch by hand, drawing many variations and evolving a design until I’m happy with it. That gets made into a prototype; jewellery always looks best when worn, so its important for me to see how it moves with the body. Sometimes I'm lucky and a proto comes out perfect. But more often than not, I have to refine the design after wearing and testing it, and proceed to a second sample. It can take a long time, and sometimes designs might get discarded when they don't work out, but I believe in the process and have learnt to be consistent with it.
Where do you get the inspiration for your collections?
Everywhere… it can come from a snatch of song, the character of a movie, or a line from a book. These little inspirations come together like little stars, forming its own constellation, and from there you get the shape of where the collection will go. Having an idea is like planting a seed, the more attention you give it, the better it will bloom and withstand the passing trends.
What is your proudest moment to-date?
Our latest collaboration with Tigerlily! Our jewellery was featured in their latest Bobo campaign starring Zippora Seven. It was shot in Waiheke Islands, and is absolutely stunning. The lovely girls at Tigerlily loved our designs, and I’m super excited to be a part of this wonderful collaboration.
What’s next for you and Au Revoir Les Filles?
Going to Vegas in September! A girlfriend is getting married next year and a group of us girls are celebrating her hen’s (bachelorette party) over there in true decadent style! I will be stopping by LA, checking out the boutiques, and hopefully doing a pop-up store for Au Revoir Les Filles if all goes well.
Thank you Teresa for taking the time to speak to me.
See more of Au Revoir Les Filles here.
This is the first of three posts for my collaboration with Au Revoir Les Filles. Stay tuned for the others in a few days.
Photography and MUA by Emily Moran.
Edited by Lei Lei Clavey