The joy of dressing simply—little black dress, tailored white shirt and black trousers combo, denim and tee-shirt—is that you can really go to town on your jewelry. It’s a blank canvas for jeweling up as lavishly as you please. This is where Izabela Felinski’s pieces are pure genius. Recently selected as a Crystals from Swarovski partner for her jaw-dropping, opulent jewelry, Polish-born, Australia-based designer Izabela Felinski recently launched her eponymous brand to an immediate clamor of demand. Her life-affirming color palettes and extravagant use of crystals bid adieu to discreet decoration and bonjour to baroque.
What’s your background?
I was born in Poland and grew up on the Baltic Coast. After I married, we packed our bags (and our son!) and started a nomadic lifestyle. We lived in the Czech Republic and England before finally settling in Perth, Australia.
Who first noticed your talent?
My parents are both artists and teachers, so painting, drawing and experimenting was so natural it was like breathing. They noticed I had a passion for it, and they nurtured me along the way.
Have you had formal training in fashion design?
No, I obtained a Masters degree in architecture and urban planning, but I was never in love with it as I am with fashion design. Nonetheless, my background in architecture forms the basis of my creations, because it’s all about colors, texture, harmony and usability.
Do you have a team around you?
When I started my brand, I finally felt the freedom to do what I wanted. I plan and design every detail from start to finish. My husband Jakub has helped hugely with the business side of things and we run it together—after all, the brand carries our family name.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
I like to create designs that make women feel glamorous, chic, and surrounded by luxury. It’s the balance between soft and feminine versus bold and playful.
Where do you find creative inspiration?
My creations are driven by a deep urge to create something beautiful. It may sound like a cliché, but I find inspiration everywhere. I first I connect with colors, then shapes. From there, I visualize the first iteration of design in my mind’s eye. These ideas live and grow in my mind until they are ready to be represented in physical form, and then the final step is to put ideas on paper.
Do you deliberately stay ahead of the fashion curve, or do you ignore it?
Fashion is my passion, and sure, I like to keep up to date, but I’m not a trend follower. I believe in timeless designs, rather than short-lived passing trends. After all, as we grow older, our style matures with us.
Do you have favorite materials?
I love working with top quality, luxurious materials. I fell in love with Swarovski crystals at the start, and knew I needed to find the right designs to complement their femininity. I do this by combining them with natural linens, soft velvets, and suede. In this context, crystals are delicate, seductive, sensual and simply beautiful.
Tell us about the partnership with Swarovski.
Getting a deep understanding of the business, the marketing and manufacturing processes was invaluable. I’m very proud to be able to use the Swarovski logo in my pieces. I see my creations as crystal embroidery—everything is built around them. My mantra is to empower women to live their dreams in crystal and color. The biggest complement to me as a designer is to hear how my creations help women to build self-esteem and feel good about themselves.