I came across Louve a couple years ago when I was visiting Montreal. Her work was in this little shop that had a collection of locally crafted jewelry and clothing. I wish I could be more specific about the shop, because I just described pretty much every store in Montreal, but truthfully all I did was walk around and eat and shop, eat and shop, so have I zero recollection. Regardless, I was completely taken by the modern minimalist approach of such a traditional material, being wood, and the integration of highly crafted leatherwork. I particularly appreciate this approach because wood is my favourite building material (I’m an architect, cover blown!) and I love to see it expressed in its purest form without additional decoration. In other words, the nature of the material is the decoration in itself.

As I watched Louve’s collections come out over the years I knew when I saw her most recent one, Marche Lunaire, that now was the time to collaborate. Marche Lunaire, translating to Moon Walk, speaks for itself.  Designer Virginie Turcot-Lamarre talks to NEAT about her creative process, her background and what we can expect to see from Louve in the future!

N: How did you get into the artistic business of jewelry design? In other words, what path has lead you to where you are today?

L: Jewelry has kind of always been to me, a universe in which I felt comfortable experimenting. I grew up surrounded by very creative wood-lovers and got seduced by the amazing richness of wood. I started my own experimentations around 3 years ago and developing a series that would became Louve!

N: What kind of woman do you have in mind when you are designing pieces for Louve?

L: I don’t really have a particular type in mind while designing my pieces. I think my jewelry can relate to a very wide variety of persons and personalities. Even though I can’t detach completely from my personal feminine point of view, I like the idea of creating a line that is mostly unisex, and that can be appreciated by very different types of people. What they might all have in common, may be a love for bold minimalistic handmade jewelry pieces!

N: What is the artistic process for designing your jewelry?

L: I am very much inspired by the material itself, and by the natural warmth of wood and leather. I have a very minimalistic aesthetic. I like to play with the geometry of forms and create simple but singular compositions. My jewelry line has a very large range of sizes, from smaller delicate to very bold pieces. I personally have always had a little something for very statement pieces! They also are my favourite pieces to design and create. My designing process often starts with drawings and sketches, but sometimes it also starts directly in the woodshop, experimenting based on what the material has to offer.

N: Is jewelry design and making your only creative outlet or do you like to pursue other artistic endeavors?  (Like streaking on full moons or dressing up hamsters to reenact famous movies scenes perhaps?)

L: I would say jewelry design definitely constitutes my most concrete artistic activity! But I do have interests in other artistic fields including drawing, woodworking, and a wide range of DIYs …nothing like hamster reenactment though.

N: Are any particular ladies or men in pop-culture inspiring you these days? And are there any particular ladies or men from history that inspire you?

L: I could say I do feel inspired by the boldness of talented and such strong and fierce women of today like Sia, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Rihanna.

I did study Art History, and I think Louve is inspired by many of what I have seen. I would say my jewelry is the result of a combination of very eclectic inspirations; I couldn’t name all. I think I have been particularly influenced by the Arte Povera movement, and by the grandiose and refined aesthetic behind minimalism and American Land Art, by relational art practices by local artists Sylvie Cotton and Raphaëlle de Groot and Kiki Smith’s drawings and engravings!

N: Who are a few of your favorite designers?

L: Paco Rabanne is definitely one of my most favourites! As for crazy designers such as Issey Miyake and Alexander McQueen, and MARNI, and CÉLINE.

On a more local scale, I would name Pedram Karimi, Jennifer Glasgow, Maram, LLY, Camille Côté, YYY, Pillar, Sunja Link amongst my most favourites!

N: Do you have any advice, on life, business and or personal style, for our readers?

L: This one might be one of the best pieces of advices I’ve heard (coming from a 93-year-old):

Don’t listen to anybody… nobody knows what they’re doing anyway!

N: What is the least glamorous part of your job?

L: When I get a wood chip in my eye!

N: What do you do when something/one irritates you, aka your anger outlet?

L: Eat chocolate!

N: What is something very small, and arguably insignificant, yet brings you immeasurable joy?

L: Seeing a random passerby wearing my jewelry always feels very special to me.

N: What can we expect to see next from Louve?

L: I don’t want to reveal too much, but I have been thinking of expanding my line beyond jewelry…

Forward written by Kayla Browne from the NEAT blog: @theneatblog

Creative direction by Kayla Browne and Suzanne Stewart from the NEAT blog: @theneatblog

Jewelry designer and interview feature Louve Montreal: @louvemontreal

Photos taken by Michelle Johnson from MJay Photography: