Her beautiful edgy pieces have graced the runways of Chloé, Balenciaga and, Chanel. As she celebrates twenty years of jewelry design, Delphine-Charlotte Parmentier tells us about the influences that shaped her extraordinary career.
As a little girl, I used to hang out in my grandparents’ atelier in Paris. They made buttons and belt buckles in every shape, size, and color imaginable. Absolutely everything was handcrafted.
My grandmother was a massive influence. She had a fantastic sense of fashion, and she was a free spirit. She taught me to always to be true to myself and find my own path in life.
The very first jewelry item I ever designed was a nickel-and-silver ring. It was a mix of the ethnic and punk moods that I’m still channeling today. A dental technician helped me with it!
I admire individuality in fashion. Much of my inspiration comes from the street.
When I start designing I need a clean slate. I have to make sure there’s nothing from the previous collection within my range of vision.
Chaos is inevitable. Especially when you’re working on a tight schedule as I do during fashion week, but you’re only allowed a certain level of chaos. Then you have to be quick and get organized, because you have deadlines.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve been surrounded by Swarovski crystals. My mother used them in her jewelry designs, so when I started designing, it felt natural to use them too.
My style is urban—crystal provides contrast. It brings a softness and femininity to my designs. It adds glamor.
I design jewels to be worn on almost every part of a woman’s body. When you work in haute couture, that’s an ongoing challenge, both creatively and technically.
Being able to say my designs are ‘made in France’ is very important to me. But I have to work hard to balance the commercial and the creative side of the business.
Working with other designers means you are not entirely free to express your own ideas. You follow their vision, but with your sensibility. With my own label, I’m free to do things the way I want.