Back Story: Colette Steckel grew up between France and Mexico and, though incredibly different, both countries continue to play a large part in who she is, all while informing her design aesthetic. “I still call both countries my home, as my family and I split our time between Paris, Mexico City, and a newer home base of Los Angeles. All my life, I’ve loved traveling the world and experiencing different cultures, and many of the collections I have developed are related to a different image or memory from the places I’ve traveled to.” The designer launched her namesake jewellery brand in 1995.
Design Philosophy: The designer’s French-Mexican heritage plays a large role in shaping her aesthetics. “My jewellery is daring and reflects the drama of Mexico, but has a feminine undertone that is informed by the elegance and impeccable style of France.” The element of Colette’s design that has evolved most over the years is her use of colour. She has been incorporating colour into her creations through hard stones. “I have been using lapis, malachite, turquoise, and most recently, enamel, which infuses my jewellery with a fun, vibrant feel – and a little sense of humour!”
What’s New: The latest SS20 line, Santos y Cielos, is inspired by medallions that Colette designed for her father for luck and protection, which he wore daily prior to his passing. “I’ve been working on the line since my father’s passing in December 2017.” The pieces are meant to be worn close to the heart, to give the wearer strength and remind them that as long as they have faith, there will always be a powerful source protecting them from above. “I believe that there is a higher power that influences our lives from above. Santos y Cielos was created to provide a sense of closeness to this divinity and is an homage to my faith.”
Inspiration: Travel is Colette’s greatest and primary source of inspiration. However, various elements of the Santos y Cielos draws upon divinity, as well as Colette’s roots – from the delicate details of Paris to the striking beauty of Mexico City. “Catholicism is also ingrained throughout French and Mexican culture, so the religious aspect of the collection is also tied to my French-Mexican heritage in that way.”
Unexpected Details: Jesus Christ, Madonna, saints, and religious motifs form part of the symbolism that shines across Santos y Cielos. Vintage charms and watch chains are the foundation of the line. “The majority of the charms used in the collection were sourced from antique markets in Paris; the hand painted charms were the perfect way to seamlessly mix new with antique elements. By utilising an old-world technique, the small paintings give the pieces pops of colour, without taking away from their heirloom-like quality.” The charms are accented with diamonds, coloured sapphires, rubies, pearls, and tsavorites.
Message of Hope: Santos y Cielos is one of Colette’s most personal collection yet, as the inspiration from her father links up the charms that she hand-painted for the collection. “In times of pain and uncertainty, many of us look to our jewellery as a sort of armor that keeps us safe from harm’s way. My hope with Santos y Cielos is that these pieces can offer a sense of strength and hope – and later serve as a reminder of our resilience.”
Celebrities Seen in Colette: Madonna, Rihanna, Adriana Lima, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Luna Blaise, and Laura Dern among others.
Where to Find: Colette’s work is carried by retailers like Montaigne Market, Tsum, Moda Operandi, Maxfield, Sylvie Saliba, Archives, and Luisa Via Roma.