PURE BLISS LAU
The jewelry designer on deams of the Ballet and life at Parsons School of Design
by KOD Staff
Bliss Lau is a 32 year old jewelry designer, based in New York. Sensual and delicate, her collection traces the invisible seams of the female form. Featuring an array of body chains, Lau’s pieces accentuate spaces of the figure that are usually overlooked –breast bones, upper arms and shoulder blades. KOD caught up with Lau to talk about her education, influences and identity:
KOD: You started in handbags, how did you end up making jewelry?
Bliss Lau: When I was studying Apparel Design at Parsons in NYC, I would procrastinate from making bags by creating jewelry in my office. I suppose that was when I realized what I should be doing.
KOD: You graduated from Parsons School of Design which has impressive alumni (including Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Ai Weiwei and Ryan McGinley). What effect did the college have on your practice and ideas?
Bliss Lau: Parsons teaches you how to think, how to systematically organize a collection and continuously create new ideas from a single inspiration. We had to come up with hundreds of new concepts weekly and this kind of rapid-fire sketching produces a massive amount of designs; failures as well as brilliant moments. It made it okay to make mistakes – to look at your ideas and to rework them continuously.
KOD: The structure of your jewelry is very beautiful. What are you trying to achieve with these fluid and delicate shapes?
Bliss Lau: In the past I have called it ‘sensual armor’. I hope the person who wears my work will feel invigorated, excited and sensual. I want my jewelry to give them a twinkle that they didn't have before.
KOD: Your pieces are very sensual. Do you believe that modern women are still shy about their sexuality?
Bliss Lau: There will always be a prude! But she is not my customer so I am not worried about offending her. The woman who wears my jewelry loves herself, her body and her sexuality and she is very modern. So I beg to differ.
KOD: Body jewelry accentuates areas of women’s bodies that are usually hidden by lingerie. What kind of psychological effect does this have?
Bliss Lau: The psychological effect is exactly what I am going for. I have a chain lingerie collection that I sell exclusively through Kiki De Montparnasse in New York, LA and Miami. The bra is a breast decoration... how would that make you feel? Hopefully very, very sexy!
KOD: You’re inspired by the poetry of Anais Nin – do you have any favorite lines?
Bliss Lau: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
“Music melts all the separate parts of our bodies together.”
Ultimately all her poetry is good!!
KOD: Would you say you weave your own identity into your work?
Bliss Lau: My work is visceral; it is my reaction to the world. Of course, it is my identity.
KOD: How would you describe your personal style? Are there any designers you wear all the time?
Bliss Lau: I like movement and grace in my clothing. My favorite designers are Rosie Assoulin and Haider Ackermann.
KOD: Alicia Keys, Rihanna and Katy Perry have all worn your jewelry. If you could see anyone at all wearing your pieces, who would it be?
Bliss Lau: I think I would rather create costumes for the New York City or Paris Ballet because then I could watch them move beautifully all in one room! That is my dream.
KOD: You also have a men’s collection. Do you believe we will see more men wearing jewelry in the future?
Bliss Lau: I hope so! I like making masculine men's jewelry. A confident man can certainly pull it off. I think men are becoming increasingly interested in fashion and looking good with their own aesthetic. I am excited for the future of men’s style!
KOD: Your appreciation of jewelry and nail art shows us you appreciate the finer details of an outfit. Would you agree?
Bliss Lau: Every detail counts; every stitch, button and buckle matters to me. To be a jewelry designer you have to be a detail oriented person, therefore I see everything!