Slovenian-born Lara Bohinc is best known for her work with jewellery, having studied Industrial Design at Ljubliana Academy of Fine Arts and then completing an MA in Jewellery and Metalwork at the Royal College of Art in London.
She began designing from a young age and learnt how to knit, crochet, sew, cut, weld, spin and operate machinery of all sorts. Along with her civil engineer younger brother, she’s been influenced by the capital city she grew up in and its architectural features. She now lives in London and has a great list of collaborators that she’s worked with including Lanvin, Guy Laroche and stone specialists Lapicida.
Your background is in jewellery design, how did you start working in this area?
I started working with jewellery after Royal College as I got commissions from brands, including Gucci, to design jewellery for their fashion shows. After that I got a workshop, a Crafts Council Grant and a New Generation Award from the Fashion Council. Before I even knew it, I was in business. After a few years, I started consulting for Cartier, which lasted for over a decade.
What sparked your decision to move into the world of interiors?
It was a very natural progression, not such a conscious decision. I was asked to design some objects for private clients and that’s when I realised how much, after years of working on such a small scale, I now wanted to make bigger pieces.
What are the similarities and differences between the fashion and interiors industries?
Fashion is very much about trends and not always about design. It has a much faster cycle and more of a throw-away mentality. However, both industries are about the simple appreciation of beautiful things in life.
Who or what inspires your design style?
Nature, art, architecture, mathematics and geometry, industrial processes and the planets and their movements, but it really depends on the collection.
What was the last design piece you bought for your home?
Iittala Ultima Thule glasses, they are my favourite!
How do you work with precious metals and do you follow particular trends?
As I’ve always worked with metals this is not a trend for me. It is something that I always used in my designs. I work with metal in many different techniques; photo etching, electro forming, casting, machining and 3D printing. It is a very versatile material that can last almost forever…and when you are bored of it, it can be melted down and used again.
Tell us about your collaboration with Lapicida?
It was amazing to work with such a beautiful material as marble and Lapicida showed me all its constraints and advantages, weight being one of both the plus and minus points. It’s rewarding seeing designs as you never know what kind of slab you will get – nature never creates the same veining twice!
Can you tell us about your newest launch at Maison & Objet – the Lunar console and mirror – and how this fits nicely into the current collection?
The console and the mirror are playing with the same language as the other tables in the Lunar Collection; it is all about geometric shapes and intersecting discs, inspired by the planets and its orbital movements.
What would your advice be for someone looking to invest in a design piece?
Buy something that you really like and save up for it, as it will last a lifetime. And if on a budget, buy candle holders as they light up any room.
Words by Emma Foale