Impressive contemporary designs and a fresh, exciting style made Le Ster the winner of the most recent The Jewellery Cut Live bursary.
The London-based jewellery brand was founded by Aishleen Lester, who has a background in sculpting. Le Ster jewellery takes inspiration from pop art and the explosive patterns fireworks make in the sky.
Join us in taking five minutes with Le Ster as we find out more about this exciting new designer.
Tell us about your brand.
“Le Ster is inspired by the power of objects, and the stories they tell, particularly as talismans. I like to think that my jewellery is providing power, energy and confidence – modern talismans for the modern woman. Le Ster is gaining a reputation for creating pieces that are both delicate and quiet, but can transform into something else entirely when layered or stacked, becoming a bold firework of colour and light. As a former sculptor, I love playing with scale like this. It’s exciting.”
What inspires your designs?
“I’m very inspired by the idea of the elegant rebel. It’s not the traditional type of rebel; this is more subtle. It’s a woman who stands out, not for what she wears, but for who she is. Passionate, determined and with character. Definitely a Joan Didion type of woman. When I’m designing, I start by asking myself: ‘How does she want to feel when she opens the door to a room full of people that both excite and terrify her? What does she want to say with her body language? With what she wears? With her aura? When she is silent? What thoughts and attitude does she want to unconsciously hold close, as she goes about her day to day?’ Specifically for the collection Light the Grey, I started with the idea of a confidence that lasts longer than lipstick. It inspired a train of thought that made me look at pop art, explosions, bangs, the way a firework leaves its trace in the sky. The collection became about bringing two different kinds of imagery together – one graphic, one much softer, more feminine, but the overall idea is to give a confidence and empowerment to the individual.”
What made you want to become a jewellery designer?
“Originally, I trained and worked as sculptor, making large scale sculptural installations and stage sets for galleries, theatres and commercial spaces. Over time, I decided I wanted to make work on a smaller scale, using different materials. I enrolled in an evening class, and slowly became hooked on the perfect miniature worlds within jewellery. I went on to intern for Shaun Leane and Paul Ravn, who trained me in traditional goldsmithing techniques, whilst I worked for smaller independent designers.”
How is your jewellery is made?
“I spend a lot of my time drawing and experimenting with paper and collage, trying to work quickly to get a sense of the design. In the early stages, the process is quite raw, but this allows me to make changes quickly. I am free to explore what a shape might be. When the idea is clearer, I move to metal, cardboard and plasticine, making the piece to scale, seeing how it works with the body and choosing the gems and colours that will complement the design. When I first started my business, I used then to make everything by hand – the collets for the stones, everything. Now, I combine technology with the handmade, and this has opened up a whole new world of design to me, which is exciting.”