Minimalissimo Meets Xenia Bous

Jana Ahrens of Minimalissimo meets jewellery designer Xenia Bous. Her designs seem to mimic the classical elements, while at the same time defying their own aggregate states. No wonder she herself describes her accessories less as jewellery and more as body hugging sculptures. In this interview, the Rome-based designer gives us a little insight into where she comes from and where her projects are headed next.

Keeping it simple is not my objective. I want my jewellery to be wearable and look great. I handcraft all pieces then sculpt them to hug the body.

Which circumstances or inspirations initially drew you to a career in accessory design?

After graduation, I had the wonderful opportunity to work for a couture house that gave me the freedom and space to really experiment. I was especially drawn to the research aspect and the creative hands-on work. Everything else just developed from there.

Which fashion designers did you work for?

I have worked and still work for various luxury labels. Parallel to that, I work on my own collection, adhering to my own flow and creative experimentation.

In 2013 you went public with your own line. Why this step?

It all started off with one-off experimental pieces. I so enjoyed the limitless creative space that an own collection of pieces developed organically from there and going public seemed the next logical step.

Tell us a bit about how you found craftspeople to realise your vision with.

Being a craftswoman and working in the industry for a long time I have pieced together a team that shares my vision. I make all the first prototypes myself and then we work together to transform my ideas into an aesthetic, wearable piece of jewellery.

From a minimalist perspective, it is amazing to see how you adhere to a very pure and clear aesthetic while mainly working with organic shapes. What is your objective in keeping it simple?

Keeping it simple is not my objective. Rather, I want my jewellery to be wearable and look great. The organic shapes are born from the creative hands-on process that is the foundation of my work. I handcraft all pieces and then sculpt them to hug the body. My current collection is more a reflection of my vision at this moment in time. My next collection may be similar or completely different.

Which is your favourite material in sculpturing and in creating jewellery?

For me it is more about the process than the material. I like to start with malleable materials that are easy to handle and sculpt–for example plasticine, clay, wax or even wood. The end product can then develop from there and can evolve into an endless array of combinations, materials and techniques. I love to play with contrasts and expectations.

Do you relate to art surrounding you? Are there specific artists who inspire your own work?

Art, architecture, sculpture, music… they all influence and inspire my work in various ways and at different moments in time. My pieces are my form of expression, rather than merely ends in themselves.

What are your plans for the future? What’s happening next at Xenia Bous?

I want to continue evolving organically and authentically. Currently I am featured as part of Vogue’s The Next Talents and my collection is available at yoox.com. The very next step is the launch of my online shop at xeniabous.com next month.