Most designers use symbolism or abstract references to convey their artistic sensibilites - not Valentine Franc, whose ever-evolving collection of jewellery tags is anything but subtle. In fact, the engraved silver and gold tags literally spell things out.
Working from the comfortable confines of her garage, also known as her studio, Franc favours the idea of word-led tags because, she explains 'people like the idea of something special made for them'.
A creative born and bred, she lived in Paris where her past undertakings included that of dresser to the stars in French theatre, costume designer and stylist. Having moved to London, she realised she had a lot to say, and wanted to give others a chance to speak out to each other too.
With messages like 'Karma Takes Time' and 'Stay Calm / I Am Here' to wear on one's chest, or 'Hut' attached to a keyring, the possiblities are endless.
We quizzed Franc on her life, design process and most important influences:
What inspires your work?
Giving and receiving
Who are your main influences?
Friends, songs, and sunshine
Best part of being a jewellery designer?
Doing everything myself in my workshop whilst listening to music
You mention that the most important thing in your jewellery is not the pieces themselves, but the words within them. Where do you find constant inspiration for the words ?
By imagining the secret words people don't dare to say to each other
What made you decide to make the move from costume design and styling, to jewellery design?
It wasn't a decision - it started as a thank you note after a dinner party that I wrote on a silver strip. I then worked and improved on it and decided to carry on. I sure had things to say.
What are you working on right now?
Increasing the range with bracelets
How has the move from France back to London affected your creative sensibility?
It allowed me to play with English words. Also, London is sunny and I enjoy spending my afternoons by the sea-side
Who are the designers, stylists or artist that you rate?
Louise Bourgeois, Line Vautrin, Ed Ruscha, Douglas Gordon
What is your favourite tag-line in the collection?
It's always the last one, which for today is : C'EST LA VIE / PANIC NOT