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Löblé

Löblé

Fiona Loblay’s eyes light up when she talks about snow.

“I love the feeling of floating over the powder,” she says, all dreamy over her poached eggs and coffee.  “It’s like being on a ride.”

This deep and seemingly unbreakable addiction to the pow has turned out to be as important to the Sydney-based designer’s work as it is to her weekends.

Tiny, blonde-haired Fiona Loblay is the maker behind Löblé - a new label producing elegant, perfectly proportioned jewellery with an emphasis on simplicity.

A fashion graduate of the Whitehouse Institute of Design, Fiona’s foray into jewellery happened almost by accident.

“I designed a snowboarding collection at Whitehouse  - two navy jackets with stitch printing on top, and grey pants with an A-line patch - and I was going to develop this after I graduated,” Fiona explains. 

“But in the mean time, there were lots of rings that I wanted but couldn’t find – so I just started designing them for myself.”

Drawing on skills she’d learnt at a short course after a stint in Whistler one year, Fiona carved her dream rings from wax over the course of a few weeks and eventually had them cast.  

She started with a trio of fine silver rings incorporating simple geometric patterns inspired by the branches of a jacaranda tree.  The idea was to be able to wear them all together, and to spin them around on the finger to reveal different shapes.

Her friends went nuts.

“Everyone would comment on them and ask me where I’d got them, so I thought: maybe I should do this.”

From thereon in, Fiona put her head down and “got serious.”  She enrolled in a jewellery and object design course at TAFE so she could “learn the process from start to finish” and contacted all of the most respected jewellery designers in the country. Elke Kramer, one of the best-loved labels in the country, answered the call.

“It was pretty exciting learning the ins and outs of the industry with Elke,” says Fiona.  She learnt about everything from design, advertising and packaging to the day-to-day admin associated with having a small business.

All of which lead to the creation of the next piece in her collection:  an extravagant, art deco-inspired ring made from heavy sterling silver and mother of pearl.  She called it the pyramid ring.

“I was really trying to think of the pyramid ring as more of a sculpture, a piece of art,” Fiona explains. “I’m always interested in how these pieces will look as objects as well as jewellery.”

This disciplined, artistic approach may well be a result of Fiona’s fashion design background.  The Bachelor of Design at Whitehouse is notoriously competitive, with graduates going on to create some of the most successful labels in the country.  (Camilla and Marc, anyone?)  Discipline, one assumes, is integral.

“There is a lot of cross over when you’re designing jewellery because you’re designing for the body, so your aesthetic doesn’t really change,” Fiona explains.

Motifs of geometry, art deco and, naturally, the snow, all shine through her designs – whether they be made from waterproof fabric or fine silver.  But Fiona says the overarching theme is one of empowerment.

“The most important thing to me is that people feel elegant and empowered when they wear these rings,” she says.

“They’ve been designed to be loved and kept forever.” 

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Löblé rings are available here and here.