Lorette Colé Duprat, the Designer Making Sensual, Utilitarian Jewellery

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Lorette Colé Duprat
Lorette Colé DupratPhotography by Roos Van Rij. Courtesy of the designer

Alongside a namesake label, Duprat creates pieces for Mugler – here’s what you need to know about her

  1. Who is it? Lorette Colé Duprat is a French artist and jewellery designer based in Paris
  2. Why do I want it? Merging sex appeal with a utilitarian aesthetic, each multipurpose piece is created by hand in her atelier
  3. Where can I find it? Online at Auné Store and APOC (with custom commissions available on request)

Who is it? “I love to touch, to bend, to heat,” says French artist and jewellery designer Lorette Colé Duprat. “I really like to feel my work.” And you can certainly sense this physicality in her designs, which range from inserts formed from pieces of curved perspex – that cleverly alter the way clothes can be worn – to multifunctional body harnesses and chokers woven together from metal ball bearings. Having studied at Design Academy Eindhoven, graduating two years ago, Duprat fell into the world of jewellery entirely by chance. “When studying I learned to experiment with different materials, particularly metals, ceramics and plastics,” she explains. “For my final diploma, we had two projects to develop, and one of mine focussed on accessories and how you can use them to change existing items in your wardrobe to make something new out of a single garment.” After graduating, she further honed her craft by working for fashion designer Esteban Cortázar, while simultaneously developing her own practice – which eventually caught the attention of Mugler’s creative director, Casey Cadwallader.

Fast forward a year and a half, and Duprat is still collaborating with Mugler, alongside concentrating on her namesake label. Her work has a utilitarian aesthetic, but also exudes an undeniable sensuality. Think: part hardware store, part BDSM dungeon. “Actually, my number one place of inspiration is hardware stores – I spend my life there!” she says, laughing. “It is my passion. I’m so inspired by screws and bolts; shapes that are functional and non-decorative.” Alongside frequent visits to DIY shops, Duprat often makes research trips to Bibliothèque Forney, near where she lives in Paris. “It has so many amazing books on industrial design, architecture, and costume,” she says. “I love to go there because I like to create my own moodboard, rather than looking at images online. It allows me to come up with super original ideas.”

Why do I want it? Innovation is front and centre of the Lorette Colé Duprat label, and each piece is crafted by hand in her studio in Paris with multifunctionality in mind. The tubular perspex inserts that Duprat first developed as an undergraduate can be worn in at least five different combinations: in tops, skirts, shirts, on bags, or on their own. “I’m working with a graphic designer to show people the different ways to wear them,” she explains. “But also I encourage people to find their own way – I love giving the power to the consumer to play around and be creative.”

The same rule applies for the necklaces and body pieces that she makes from copper-plated beading, which are then woven together with a cable coated in a silicone-like material. “The idea is that you can wear an item as a necklace, but also as a waist belt; or you can wrap them in multiples around your leg, or put them on your bag. It’s not meant to be jewellery that only exists as one thing. I think it’s nice to have a piece that you pay a certain amount for, but then this object can be worn in many different ways. Today it’s super important to think this way in design.” She also adds that her work can be bought as sculpture to adorn the home, not just the body. “I like every object to have a purpose – so even if it’s not on the human body, it can look just as great on your chimney breast.”

In fact, Duprat is planning on expanding her brand into interiors, and has also experimented with creating custom false nails in recent months. Working outside of a seasonal calendar allows for the hands-on approach she so loves, and the designer says it important for her to maintain this way of production moving forward. “I know that whatever I’ll be doing in however many years time, no matter how much the brand grows, I’ll be working with my hands in the studio.” With a few surprises up her sleeve in the immediate future, including several collaborations, Lorette Colé Duprat is certainly one to watch.

Where can I find it? Online at Auné Store and APOC (with custom commissions available on request).