Call me materialistic, but who would forgo a jewelry present, and who would not get upset if their fiancé didn’t hand out an engagement ring on a wedding proposal? Whether it’s an engagement ring, a keepsake from the deceased, or an ecclesiastical ring, we constantly identify ourselves with jewelry and put meaning to it.
This time around, Hf met Korean jewelry designer Kim Youngsil, who goes by the alias and brand name Saint S.il, to hear about being a jewelry designer and some tipson wearing gems.
K: I am a jewelry designer based in Seoul, Korea. I own a jewelry shop named “Saint S.il,” which comes from a combination of my father’s favorite word and my name. I am also a mother of a five-week-old son. I am an avid fashion lover too.
Hf: How did you become a jewelry designer?
Y: I became interested in art during my high school years and eventually majored in metal design at Hanyang University. I didn’t like how the professors were teaching us dull routines, so I started making my own jewelry and posted them on my blog three years ago. Surprisingly, the blog became popular and many bloggers were asking if they could buy my products, so I opened up a workroom, this time with silver materials included, to officially kickstart a career. I opened up a store afterwards.
Hf: What are some of your brand’s distinct features?
S: Our products are 100% hand-made. We have a work room behind our store, where we have four craftswomen working hard to meticulously craft products for our customers. I would prefer our products to be distinct from the plethora of factory-made products, so we use more gemstones than cubics, and in doing so, we try our best to preserve the rawness of the gemstones.
Hf: Could you give us a peek into the new collection for 2015 S/S?
Y: For the new season, Saint S.il’s products feature layered necklaces and rings in carefully selected designs. You could layer them as you like by choosing which layer of necklace you want to appear on top of clothes.
中：對於春夏季，Saint S.il的產品以層次感重的項鍊和戒指作設計特色。你可以自由選擇與衣服搭配的首飾為頂層 。
Hf: How does your daily work routine go?
Y: It’s always different, but normally, we have design meetings in the mornings, and then everyone’s off to do their work. I do some work too, such as sampling, but I run to meetings in the afternoon with buyers and fashion designers, and I like to entertain myself visually by visiting brand stores. As a matter of fact, I get most of my inspiration from fashion. I think of ways to implement the trending colors or patterns from fashion to my jewelry brand.
Hf: Who do you admire?
Y: Karl Lagerfeld. I really like the buttons that he makes at Chanel products. It’s like a piece of art. All of them are different. Their brooches so pretty too, made out of resin. It’s so detailed. I’m always impressed how he does such a good job of it. Nowadays, I come to think of how jewelry can be embedded in fashion accessories too, such as in handbags.
中：我最欣賞的是Karl Lagerfeld，我真的很喜歡他為Chanel產品所造的鈕扣，就像一件藝術品，每一粒都不一樣。他所製的胸針亦很精緻， 以樹脂製成，造工非常仔細。他的作品美得讓人留下深刻印象。現在我也在想如何令首飾變成像手袋一樣的時裝配件。
Hf: Could you give us some tips on layering jewels?
Y: Jewelry and fashion go together. The most basic one would be matching gold accessories with warm-toned colors such as beige and brown, while silver accessories would go along well with cool-toned colors such as white and blue. Also, if the outfit I wore that day has too much patterns and colors, I prefer to keep accessories on a low key by arranging simple ones to balance out the flamboyant look.
When you want to put on multiple jewels, I would advise you to put the main, bold ring on the index finger along with simple ones such as knuckle rings on the side fingers.