For the bride seeking an edge, Loulerie boutique owner and jewellery designer Louise Stokes offers a bespoke service to create the perfect piece of understated wedding day bling.
My passion for jewellery began in New York. I was living in the city and working for a fine jewellery company when I fell in love with the countless amazing designers at markets and trunk shows. There was an offering of fashion-inspired jewellery there that I hadn't seen in Dublin and I knew I wanted to bring that curation home.
My first design happened very organically.
Eight years ago, a beloved Loulerie customer approached me about redesigning her engagement and wedding rings. It became a passion project for the both of us and the result was something so special. The process awakened about 1,000 other design ideas for me! And the rest, as they say, is history.
For someone who wants a bespoke ring ...
It's an intimate process and that's what sets us apart from other jewellers. I'll meet the couple to get an insight into their idea and style; then I work on sketches and present them.
The most important thing when it comes to jewellery is remaining true to yourself.
Think outside the box - there's always a way to add your own personal style or stamp to a classic design, either by changing the metal or texture. Don't be afraid to be different. I designed a ring for a client who didn't want a diamond centre stone - she opted for a rainbow moonstone. It's one of my favourite designs and it's so special to her.
I'm a magpie, always on the hunt for that one-in-a-million stone.
Right now I'm searching for the perfect stones for a ring I'm working on. I love yellow gold, as it's so flattering on almost every skin tone, and black diamonds are a firm favourite of mine too, as they give a subtle sparkle and more of an edge and a fashion finish to fine jewellery.
I created my first Loulerie collection three years ago.
My first collection focused very much on fine gold pieces, where the emphasis was all on the finish. In the new collection, I'm exploring diamond detailing. My aesthetic is very clean and classic, with a little edgy detailing or an unusual finish added for fun.
One of my favourite design memories ...
It was Christmas 2010 and I had been commissioned to redesign a client's wedding and engagement rings. The snow was so bad that year there was almost no way to deliver the finished pieces to her in time for the holiday. I was so excited for her to see the finished pieces that I delivered them myself. I still remember walking through the city with a vintage ring box, feeling like Santa. My heart always stops for a second when I present someone with a finished piece. Thankfully, she was thrilled. There's really no better feeling in the world.
Loulerie Jewellery Store, 14B Chatham St, Dublin 2; loulerie.com
By Jo Linehan?