Sculptural lines, eco-conscious materials and a unique blend between fashion and functionality: YMSF is the creation of Yvonne Mouser and Stella Fluorescent (Tiersa Nureyev/Erik Hilburn), artists and designers collaborating together to create a jewellery collection in the city of San Francisco. Yvonne and Tiersa both began independently as designers, then decided to join forces to explore their expertise in sustainable materials, fashion design and furniture craftsmanship. The new YMSF collection captures and develops a unique idea where fashion and furniture merge together in a stylish and sustainable way.
Describe how the process of YMSF blossomed into a collection?
We first met in a textile class at California College of the Arts while Tiersa was studying fashion and Yvonne, furniture. Years later, Tiersa had a concept for a jewelry collection that featured wooden elements, and contacted Yvonne to collaborate. The visual direction, color palate, and inspirations Tiersa introduced, were responded to by Yvonne, with approaches for pattern making, ideas for utilizing the natural characteristics of wood, and methods of construction. From these early exchanges, a collection took off in a shared direction and an ongoing exploration of ideas was initiated.
What is the vision behind this collaboration?
Our mission is to create an evolving body of work that explores the scale, sculpture, and utility of objects through experimentations in material and functionality. We want to produce pieces that are unique, expertly crafted, and that play at the intersections of fashion and furniture and speak with our collaborative voice.
What can you tell me about you latest collection and what do you hope to accomplish with that collection?
Our latest collection is actually our debut and was born out of pushing the styles we thought were the most successful from our initial collaboration for Stella Fluorescent. COLLECTION 1: HERRINGBONE PERILUNE features jewellery and hair accessories crafted from brass and quarter sawn white oak. Shimmers of brass are used to highlight the wood’s natural, gold-like flecking, and to create a subtle patterning effect inspired by herringbone textile motifs. Our intention was to offer a sculptural collection of jewelry and accessories that ranged from minimal everyday wear to bolder statement pieces.
We believe that this inaugural collection lays the foundation for a deep and fruitful conversation about what it means to collaborate. We seek to discover the overlaps in our industries, to nurture curiosity about combining our expertise in a way that allows us to be playful, and to take full advantage of the beginner’s mind that is inevitable when approaching each other’s very different crafts and points of view.
What is your biggest lesson and triumph you’ve had when creating your collection?
The real triumph of the collection is the development of our collaboration. We’re pleased by the way we’ve learned to work with each other, the evolution of our creative process together, how we can play off of each other’s ideas, communicate, problem solve, and execute a shared vision. It’s through that process we have accumulated a wide and varied list of projects that we’re very excited about bringing to fruition. Our biggest lesson so far, is that because we’re experimenting with marrying materials in new ways the window for R&D, and prototyping needs to be expanded to in order to allow for lots of problem solving and design evolution.
Will collections range beyond accessories or, if the focus is jewellery, what is it that you want your clients to experience with YMSF?
Coming from our two distinct backgrounds it’s natural that our partnership will evolve beyond jewellery and into a lifestyle brand that includes home accessories and fashion. We’ve already begun design on this expansion that we imagine including houseware, furniture and textiles. We will continue to offer accessories because we love the scale and because there are so many opportunities for building off the work we’ve started with.
We see our clients as both the buyers in the boutiques that sell our product and as the end consumer who finally wear our pieces. In regards to the former, our goal is to continue filling their customers needs by providing high quality, unique pieces that highlight the store as purveyors/connoisseurs of great design. For the latter our hope is that the wearer of our pieces experiences the pleasure that comes from feeling like what they put on their body is commensurate with their own individuality.
What is your source of inspiration?
Yvonne: I find inspiration everywhere, from seemingly mundane details in daily life, to the beauty in nature, insights of science, history, and fiction. In addition, my hands-on process is an endless wealth of inspiration where I am motivated by materials. I love the process of experimentation, and the discovery of new techniques or methods of making.
Tiersa: My inspiration comes from a curiosity about materials, their functionality and potential, nature’s always abundant virtuosity, and a constant ever evolving fascination with different formal elements, such as the color palette of an admired painting, or the line quality of a compelling illustration.
Who is your client?
We imagine our clients are anyone that values unique and well-made objects. They are design savvy, smart, fashion forward people who appreciate art and believe in supporting independent artisans and designers.
Where can your clients find you in 2016/2017?
All of our work can be found through our website as well as brick and mortar boutiques in SF, Seattle, and New York and we do a handful of fairs a year mainly in the Bay Area but will be extending further afield in the new year.