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POM Magazine

Saskia Diez- Devine Design

The German jewelry designer Saskia Diez thinks that jewelry is always a gift, regardless whether someone gave it to you or you bought it yourself. Saskia Diez designs jewelry for people like herself. Her designs are very accessible, playful, artistic, progressive and androgen. “The way I think modern people are”, she explained in an interview with POM Magazine’s Anke Verbeek

by Anke Verbeek

I find it interesting that your designs are minimalistic and at the same time very present and visible.
I try to have both sides in my work. The designs are totally present without screaming. Size doesn’t matter, even a tiny piece of jewelry can change your posture or your attitude for the day. Choosing a piece and putting it on is a moment of self-awareness. It doesn’t matter what outfit you’re wearing, with jewelry you can totally change your appearance. Depending on what jewelry you choose it can shift your look to glamorous, avant-garde or chic.

Jewelry has many social aspects. It could be a gift from a family member, it could be a status symbol or it could make you feel more confident. What do you think of these social aspects?
I am not interested in jewelry as a status symbol. I’m pretty sure that the people who buy my pieces don’t buy them for reasons of status because they are price-wise too accessible. People who look for status will choose the big brands. I think jewelry is like a container that keeps situations, happenings, stories, moods, love. This social aspect is a big part of jewelry. I have never met people who couldn’t tell me how they got the jewelry they are wearing, when they got and why.

Your website states that you design for a woman like you. What kind of person are you?
What I mean is that I design for someone who has the same values and same views on how to wear jewelry. When I started in the jewelry business there were only a few categories. There was the expensive fine jewelry that people bought because it was a status symbol. There was the gallery jewelry that was hard to wear and was more of an object. And of course there was custom jewelry. I wasn’t interested in any of these categories. I wanted to make pieces that make you feel stronger, prouder and more aware. I am originally a goldsmith and started to work for a jewelry workshop that made high quality, expensive jewelry. I didn’t want to wear any of the pieces I made there myself. They were all unique pieces, very artistic, very elaborate. If I wore something like that I would disappear behind it. I wanted the pieces to emphasize me, and not make me disappear.

What does your creation process look like? How do you start?
I make drawings to get the ideas I have in my head onto paper. Then I quickly start mocking things up to test how something shows on the skin, how it moves and whether the length is good. I believe in a quick and dirty way of making mock-ups, using cheap materials like paper, dough, beads, threats or aluminum foil. Working with precious materials for the mock-ups makes me feel intimidated and less free because I want to do it right and don’t want to waste material. I try to be open-minded when I work with these mock-ups. Gradually, the process of leaving out starts until I have the feeling that the idea I wanted to work on is clearly visible.

Where do you find the inspiration that triggers your creative process?
I like to have a starting point, which could be anything: an idea, a song, a movie or a friend. It could be a certain feeling I want the wearer to have, to make something that shows happiness or makes you feel secure.

How do feelings influence your designs?
When the Covid pandemic was over I worked on a series based on the feeling: Ok, let’s go out and party. The pieces are sparkling but in a gunmetal colour. It has this feeling of going out at night, something we hadn’t done for quite a while. And one of our best-selling series was inspired by an armchair with a very thick backrest. When I saw this chair I wanted to do a collection of jewelry pieces based on the feeling this chair and its thickness evoked in me. When I launched the series, customers were a bit hesitant. It took two or three seasons before people started to buy this collection and it is a collection that still sells very well.

When it comes to craftsmanship, do you like to work with your hands?
Totally, because I think your mind and your imagination can cheat you. I could have the most fantastic idea that I would love to translate into a piece of jewelry. But then I start working with my hands and at some point I think: yuck, actually no it’s not such a fantastic idea! Then one thing leads to another. A mistake in the design or something that went wrong during the creation process, will lead to the final design. It is very important to stay open to what is happening during the creative process. When I worked on a series where I used leather, I had this idea of fancy weaving. It turned out to be very complicated and the pieces wouldn’t really connect with your body. I got frustrated and thought maybe I need to add this or that. But it only got more complicated. Then I cut fringes into a piece of leather and the final version was ready! It didn’t need anything anymore. It was a very long and complicated design process that resulted in a very simple design.

What type of materials appeal to you?
Obviously I like gold and silver. I also use plated material if the pieces are bolder. It doesn’t make sense to have a bold piece made of gold if it means that you have to spend a lot of money on it and only few people could buy it. But for delicate pieces I will use gold. At the moment I am very much in love with silver. Silver is the whitest metal there is because it reflects the biggest spectrum of light. I like stones, pearls and beads, but I don’t work a lot with precious stones. I work more with semi-precious stones.

How do you source these materials?
I work with precious metal suppliers who provide gold and silver. We mainly work with recycled metal. I work with a couple of stone dealers I have worked with for a long time, and who I trust. We also do reworking of old jewelry. A lot of people have rings, necklaces or earrings that they inherited from family members. Quite often they are not worn because they are outdated, out of fashion or may not be the person’s style. These pieces often have stones of a quality and size that you don’t come across these days. They came from a certain mine and at a certain point that mine is exhausted. I love taking stones from these existing pieces and rework them together with the metal, into something modern. You get a unique piece that you would never find anywhere else and that retains its emotional value to the wearer, even though it’s a new design. I love making these unique pieces.

website Saskia Diez

Dutch Fashion Design- Moofers Clothing

For Dutch fashion designer, Jennifer van Haastert, quality and craftsmanship are key to her label, Moofers Clothing. Her designs are contemporary and are always with a small twist. Fashion lovers can see her designs in Moofers & Art Salon, housed in a beautiful 19th century building, on the Toussaintkade in The Hague. For POM Magazine, Anke Verbeek paid a visit to the salon to meet the friendly Jennifer for an interview.

By Anke Verbeek

You started your Moofers Clothing label in 2017. Did you know how the concept of Moofers should be from the start?
No, I just wanted to create fashion. My feelings about fashion transformed gradually into a vision. Moofers stands for sustainability. Our clothes are designed to last because they are well-made and the materials are so beautiful. At Moofers, there is the time and space to share with customers the story behind my designs.

What role does sustainability play in the Moofers collection?
It takes a lot of craftsmanship, before a collection is available in a store. That’s why I think fast fashion, so silly. You can enjoy a beautiful design for years, as long as it is made well with a quality fabric. With every collection we try to become more sustainable.

How would you describe the style of Moofers Clothing?
The designs are contemporary with an edge and with the focus on quality and details. It’s a cool, feminine look that you can wear every day. Please wear it a lot. That is what I am designing for. Don’t leave it in your closet.

How do you create your collections?
Seasons became less important for my collections. Each collection matches with the previous one. I just add new designs to existing ones to create a capsule collection. On Moofers’ Instagram there is a picture in which the model wears a leather skirt. It is a design from two years ago. I combined that skirt with a new knitwear design. I want to show that this sweater fits beautifully with the skirt that some clients have had for a while.

What is Moofers’ target group?
I design for people aged 30 years old and above, yet my customers are women aged between 17 and 80. When I just started Moofers, I had many international customers. People who have recently moved to The Hague or who are on holiday here, wander around and discover shops that recently opened. Now, people from The Hague and the rest of the Netherlands have also discovered Moofers.

Do you involve your target audience in the design process?
I like it when people take the time to try on the clothes so I can see how they fit, and which model suits a customer best. The reactions of customers inspire me. A few months ago a customer asked me whether I had something in pinstripe. That immediately gave me the idea to design something in pinstripe, but only with a perfect pinstripe flannel. If I don’t find the right material, the deal is off.

What makes a fabric the perfect pinstripe flannel for example?
The story behind the textiles makes the difference. I received samples from a British cloth manufacturer and they radiate craftsmanship. These fabrics have been produced in the UK for decades. I am fascinated by textiles.That’s where the inspiration often starts for me.

Moofers is fashion but also a salon. What’s the role of art in Moofers Fashion & Art Salon?
I think it is important that different disciplines strengthen each other. Behind a painting or a piece of jewellery, is a person who created it with passion and vision. Like fashion, it takes a lot of craftsmanship. I found a location where there is enough space to bring everything together. In this beautiful salon, fashion and art strengthen each other.

How did you let all those voices speak in one space?
The building in which Moofers is housed is a national monument. Therefore we are not allowed to change the colours or decorations in the house. They are not easy to combine. We looked for curtains and furniture that match those colours and the atmosphere of the space. We have jewellery by Moniek Postma and they are large and extravagant. The paintings by Moos Willemsen are quieter. That combination works well. In my fashion designs, there is also a lot of contrast. It shouldn’t be boring.

What makes Moofers a salon?
Of course, Moofers is still a shop, but we thought the label “salon” fits with the historic building and what we want to achieve with Moofers. It emphasizes taking the time to experience the things we show in the salon. We hope to inspire our customers with the fashion and art we present here.




Can you tell a little bit about the next collection?
For the upcoming collection we use pinstripe flannel from England and fabrics woven in the Netherlands by Enschede Textielstad. There will be coats of recycled denim and high-waist jeans of organic cotton. In pinstripe there will be jackets that can be combined with a straight leg trouser. Also in pinstripe are the baggy shorts. You can wear them with high heels but also with boots if you want a more casual look. The knitwear is made of organic cotton or alpaca. The tank tops and T-shirts can be excellently combined with the high-waist jeans and pinstripe designs. In the salon, we want to organise small events like little music concerts, collection launches, lectures and workshops. So a calendar full of creation and craftsmanship. www.moofersclothing.nl

Photography: Merel Oenema
Fashion photography: Annick Meijer

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