Elke Kramer's Miracles & Wonder

Jewellery and accessories designer Elke Kramer creates a delectable fantasy world with her digital prints and found items.

Text by Kat George

Jewellery designer Elke Kramer has extended her myriad talents to embrace the gambit of feminine accessories. From her early geometric, resin and wood bangles, Kramer has grown into a maestro of a plethora of materials and techniques. Still producing her signature pin-wheel-esque necklaces and her intergalacticaly tribal bracelets, Kramer has extended her repertoire to include luxury scarves, reversible belts and leather goods including architectural totes. Speaking candidly to Kat about her new collection, Miracles and Wonder, Elke tells of the thrall of flamboyance, her sartorially ostentatious childhood and the joy of wearing feathers in one’s hair…

When and why did you get into jewellery design?
Elke Kramer: I studied BA design at university, majoring in jewellery, ceramics and textiles, but after graduating I worked for years as a freelance graphic designer designing branding, websites & yardage's for fashion clients. A friend invited me to design a range of jewellery for her debut fashion show and it felt so satisfying to be designing for myself. After that, stores started placing orders the brand grew organically.

What is the inspiration behind Miracles and Wonder?
EK: I was inspired by the colours and patterns you see when you close your eyes. I tried to express the abstract concept of 'creativity', the development of creative ideas and the unconscious mind. I looked at notions of dreams, the motifs and art of black magik and esoteric religions. Barbiturates and absinthe were thrown into the mix. It was a very slippery concept that I was playing with, but I love starting somewhere very conceptual.

Tell us about your first foray with belts and scarves.
EK: The digitally printed silk scarves were so satisfying to design. As an illustrator and graphic artist I got a chance to apply my ideas directly onto the fabric and see them come alive. The belts were a great opportunity to customize all elements. They feature laser cut patent leather piping, Custom cast and inlayed copper buckles and lining was digital printed with the same psychedelic artwork. Even the packaging was completely over-designed and custom produced, with full colour gloss artwork and copper foil printing. Designing whole package to support my creative vision is very important to me.

Who is the ideal Elke Kramer customer?
EK: Adventurous, independent, confident, creative, and mysterious. Someone who has a completely unique personal style that is both elegant and avante-garde.

What is the most common misconception you've found about Australia?
EK: That we actually ride around in the pouches of kangaroos.

Describe your personal style.
EK: Maximal, eclectic and flamboyant. I aim for carefully balanced, complete disharmony, a symphonic explosion of clashing patterns, styles and eras.

What designers inspire you and why?
EK: I am more drawn to musicians and identities for inspiration. I am inspired by Marchesa Luisa Casati, the Italian heiress. She'd walk her leopards around the the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni in nothing but a floor length fur coat. She died a penniless tramp, but even then, she still wore feathers in her hair.

What is your earliest fashion memory?
EK: At the naive age of 10 I turned up to my conservative school wearing a tie-dyed dress, tie-dyed stockings and multicoloured, sequined converse for a 'plain clothes day'. It wasn't a very 'plain' clothed day for me and my schoolmates were equally puzzled and mortified. I was magnetized to fashion lavishness, boundlessness and excess from a very early age

Where can we purchase Elke Kramer?
EK: I am available at Colette (Paris), Liberty (London), Trieze (Brussels), Twins Shopp (Moscow), Banner (Milan) and Strawberries & Cream (online)

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