Isolation Insights: Q&A with American designer Leigh Miller
We caught up with cult jewellery designer Leigh Miller to talk about how life over in LA has changed since lockdown...
Couverture: What was the concept behind Leigh Miller when you first started the brand?
Leigh Miller: I wanted to make small, wearable sculptures. I had always been attracted to sculpture and felt jewelry was a great avenue to make my pieces more accessible to a larger audience than stand-alone sculptures. I also love that jewelry is more intimate and something that one carries with them throughout the day, often most of the time, and that my work could be such a part of someone's life felt very special.
C: What are the new big trends you’re seeing for next season?
LM: In general I have seen pieces getting a little closer to the body. Earrings are a less statement, a bit shorter, closer to the earlobe. Chokers and necklaces that sit a bit higher on the neck seem to be more where the trend is going as well.
C: How are you adapting to now working from home?
LM: I am actually still working between home and my studio as I can work alone in my studio now that my staff are at home. But the days I have been working from home it has been nice. I have a home office I am finally getting to make use of. And I have been enjoying spending more time here, cooking more considered lunches and making chai lattes for a midday treat!
C: How are you maintaining a positive headspace throughout everything going on?
LM: We started meditating daily. I was pretty good about it before, but now, everyday at 6:30 we put down whatever we are doing and mediate. I've also been doing a short home workout regime which has helped reduce stress levels as well.
C: What is your go-to outfit to work in around the house?
LM: I have a wonderful airy linen tank dress from the Northern California brand First Rite that I love to wear around the house with a vintage oversized men's shirt and some socks. I recently found this sock line that I love - Maggie's Organics. They are not fancy but are so well made, they feel like a hug for my feet. (My feet are always cold on our hardwood floors!)
C: What are you listening to whilst working through the lockdown?
LM: Reggae to keep my spirits up! And some Bill Withers, RIP. I also tend to listen to a lot of podcasts (mostly cooking) while working. I'm very excited about Samin Nosrat's new podcast- Home Cooking. Love that woman.
C: More time at home means more cooking - which recipes have you been trying out?
LM: I have been baking sourdough (along with about half of the country) once a week which has been very fulfilling! I've been cooking a lot from the NYT Cooking Site. I basically cook a new recipe from them every night. If anyone has not made the Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut and Turmeric, it is about the most comforting and delicious quarantine food out there. That is a bold statement, I know, but it really is that good.
C: What tv / films have you been enjoying whilst at home?
LM: I finally got around to Parasite (woah!), we also watched Moonstruck, The Big Sick, as well as Trains, Planes and Automobiles which was fun.
C: How have things changed in your local area since the lockdown came into place?
LM: Most people wear face masks, most of the time. Even just walking the dog around the block. We have security guards at the doors of the supermarkets to ensure you are wearing PPE. There are rubber gloves strewn on the sidewalk everywhere. There is no traffic, anywhere, at any time, all over LA. That is maybe the spookiest thing of all (LA is infamous for traffic). And the air pollution is practically all gone. If anything I see that as the silver lining.
C: Who do you share your home with?
LM: I share my home with my partner of several years, Joe. Though we are having a good time (as much as one can right now) I must say, this quarantine has gotten me day dreaming about adding a dog to the household too.
Known for its charmingly abstract designs, Los Angeles-based jewellery label CLED is on a mission to shake up the industry by championing upcycled materials and ethical manufacturing.