Striking a balance between beauty and bite, Parisian designer Annelise Michelson leads the new wave of designers redefining what it means to power dress.
‘It is not a question of age or style. It is a state of mind.’
Power dressing was once synonymous with shoulder pads, two piece suits and the structured silhouettes that dominated corporate boardrooms in the eighties. Today, as the topic of women and female empowerment has evolved in the public arena, so has the notion of power dressing. Within the corridors of fashion, a new style has emerged that has embraces a more complex expression of feminine identity; where strength and beauty, power and vulnerability sit comfortably in the expression of the new, empowered woman. At the fore of this new style revolution is Parisian based jewellery designer Annelise Michelson whose line of jewellery can best be described as delicate pieces of armoury for the modern woman. Ornamenting the necklines of notable women such as Kristin Scott Thomas and Adwoa Aboah, her range of designs are at once hardware and objet d’art. In a candid conversation with the designer, we speak to the Parisian designer about power, style and the infinite complexity of the modern woman.
When I started out, I realised that there was so much that didn’t exist in the world of costume jewellery. I wanted to make pieces that looked different from all that existed. At the time, it was all about hearts and butterflies, all these very naive and romantic things about what a woman should wear. I thought “let’s make something actually like women…more complex”. So I mixed a little bit of masculine, rock’n’roll and punk influence, but still kept it refined and elegant.
Most of the time, people believe that femininity can only present itself in one way.
I always like to mix something organic with something refined. Something very raw with something very glamorous and feminine. I like to create things that people don’t associate with femininity. Most of the time, people believe that femininity can only present itself in one way. I think that as women, we are more complex than that. On a Monday, I may want to be a little bit boyish and on Tuesday, want to be a femme fatale; so why can’t we find all of this in one piece?
All of my pieces are versatile so that any woman can wear them. It is not a matter of age or style. It is a state of mind. My pieces are for when you want to wear something that will dress you up and make you feel great in a second. They’re not something that you can be discrete about, they’re a statement. Jewellery fills up a space, and if beautifully designed, it can come alive simply sitting on a table. Usually, a piece of clothing needs to be worn by someone in order to be alive. However, for me, it is much more enjoyable to see a piece of design that is already living and already saying something without a person even wearing it.
Jewellery really fills up a space. If it is beautifully designed, it can come alive simply by sitting on a table.
The women I design for all want to show something about their personality. They want to look different and original and want to rebel in their own way. Right now, I am looking for a French artist to wear my pieces and represent my latest collection. It’s a way of looking at my line in a different way; less fashionista and more about the person who is wearing it. I want my line to be shown on regular women who are actually interesting and changing the world in their own way. Women who are in command of their own selves, and taking responsibility for their actions and whatever they do in life.
SONGS TO PARTY TO
by ANNELISE MICHELSON
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Annelise Michelson is a Paris based jewellery designer whose work is celebrated internationally. Following training at the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, Annelise unexpectedly found herself in the world of jewellery design when a friend requested that she design some accessories for a shoot that was under the direction of Carine Roitfeld. Upon receiving an impressively positive reception to her work, she launched her namesake brand. Six years on, Annelise’s work has continued to feature in the world’s leading fashion magazines and has a star-studded clientele that includes Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Solange and Lady Gaga.
Shop Annelise Michelson here.