Posted 3rd April 2017
Talking a break from his studio, which happens to overlook the beautiful beaches of Brighton – not jealous at all – jewellery designer Scott Millar, the founder of Millar Jewellery, allows WNDRLND to have a peak into his jewellery designer looking glass.
From the necessity of taking another path in life which lead to his true calling combined with diverse influences, exploring the boundaries between fashion and jewellery and his love of stories, I’m sure you will gain a small insight into how Millar Jewellery evolved into the brand it is today.
1. Where did you grow up and do you feel this influence your design?
I grew up in Perth, Scotland – an amazing place as it is so close to so many different areas. I have childhood memories of picnics in the sunshine on St Andrews beach, getting the bus with my brother for days in Edinburgh when we were old enough to go ourselves and walking home from school through the woods.
Growing up somewhere that is a city but also is so rural gave me a lot of freedom. I guess this has influenced me and my designs by really focusing on what I want to do rather than get boxed into a commercial end of the market.
Aesthetically I am always attracted to an imperfect perfection. This has to be influenced by the rural aspect of my upbringing, although I have never linked it until now!
2. Where you always interested in jewellery design?
No, not always. I actually got rejected from art school and ended up in a course that blended architecture with interiors. I lasted one year as I was always skipping class to go to the jewellery department. I was fascinated how you could actually make what you designed and the thought of only designing on paper to then get teams of people to bring it to life horrified me. Luckily one day the head tutor asked me if I wanted to join the course as I was in the workshop hanging with friends so often. I said yes!
3. Have you always been interested in mythology and symbolism?
Not always. This came more from a love of stories – I was always reading legends and fairy tales when I was younger. Again, as with the imperfect perfection, I was drawn to how they were on the surface beautiful stories with a dark core. The mythology and symbolism came from this. I always feel what I design needs to have some form of story to it, that’s how we all connect to objects – whether it is sentiment or history, everything we do or are attracted to has some form of meaning, no matter how personal. And jewellery is such a personal thing.
4. If you had a super power what would it be?
If only I could go back in time! I would take advantage of all the opportunities I didn’t even realise were there at the time.
5. Who is the Millar Jeweller customer?
I would never say I have a single customer profile as my customers are men and women of all ages. The business head says I should, but as my designs progress they are becoming more unisex and less trend driven with much more subtlety. I would say they are for someone who has an eye for detail, confident to wear something different but not necessarily someone who wants to show it off.
6. If you could collaborate with any other jewellery designer who would it be and why?
I’m less interested in collaborating with another jewellery designer, and more passionate about wider collaboration. My last collection was working with a phtographer friend of mine who lives in Australia, taking documentary photos of mountain climbing. Just now I am working with a menswear designer on a joint jewellery and clothing collection that is all about breaking away from trend driven seasons and getting a focus on technique lead design and making. Its been a year in the making, and the clothes are starting to be made.
I think as people become more aware of how clothing and jewellery is made and produced, the slow fashion revolution that I remember being talked about when I first trained ten years ago is now finally happening. It is an opportunity for people to pair up and take the time to collaborate fully to really say something about how we want the world that we live in to be.
7. What would you say was the highlight of your jewellery career so far?
The day I launched my website has to be the most memorable so far. Leading up to that I felt trapped in a career I didn’t want and, although successful, took myself out of London, quit the job and took time out to get everything set up. Whilst there is still work to be done, hitting that button and putting myself out there really signified a huge change for me.
Other than that, showing at International Jewellery London last year and gaining a number of stockists off the back of it really signified that I was doing something right.
8. Which piece from your latest collection is your favourite and why?
It has to be the rose gold hoop pendant. I have never worn that much jewellery until now (it always gets in the way when in my studio) but this is never off my neck. It is my favorite as it’s the piece that really signifies my direction as a designer and is possibly the first piece that Ive really been happy with.
9. Which Alice in Wonderland character would suit your style of jewellery and why?
Has to be the White Rabbit. Not just as I’m always late, but also as I was obssessed with the animated film as a child and remember his waistcoat and pocket watch. I’m moving towards exclusively men’s jewellery and accessories and want to get away from the tie pin & cufflink cliche. Maybe an Albert Chain and fob watch may be in the workings…
10. What does the future hold for Millar Jewellery ?
This is always difficult to answer as there are so many plans and ideas. If anything the next year or two is all about slowing down; as a brand I won’t be doing two collections a year and will also be focussing more on the traditional goldsmithing technique in my work. I am busy collection gemstones to design mens’ pieces around and the idea is to make single pieces that will be released as they emerge.
The clothing and jewellery range will be quietly launched later this year, and that will also take shape in a full styled editorial shoot with models, which will be a first for me.
Thank you Scott for allowing WNDRLND to step inside your very interesting personal jewellery looking glass and sharing your story. Really excited to see the new evolving Millar Jewellery collection. To discover the full collection click HERE