Maria Lau is an independent designer who is carving out a niche for creating luxury concept jewellery that is wearable and covetable, yet non-conformist. Blurring the boundary between jewellery and clothing, Lau uses traditional and experimental handcraft techniques with a mix of new and unconventional materials.
Lau launched her eponymous label in 2008, which debuted at Treasure – London Jewellery Week. Susannah Lau of Stylebubble.com named Lau as one of her favourite up-and-coming designers, and the debut collection ‘A Skin Less Ordinary’ as well as consequent ranges were sold successfully by renowned fashion jewellery retailer Kabiri, both in their flagship stores and through Selfridges in London.
Originally trained in BA (Hons) Textile Crafts at The University of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire before graduating from The Royal College of Art in 2003 with a Masters in Media Textiles, Lau is drawn to the spectacular just as much as the banal, since her intuitive textile skills and magpie eye see the potential of ordinary things becoming extraordinary.
British-born and bilingual with Cantonese parentage, a strong fusion of cultures and mixed perceptions have always been present in Lau's life. Her choice of materials and play with irony and conventions reflect this dual heritage. Using music to fuel stories and characters, Lau blends this world with influences taken from tribal jewellery and world cultures, creating unique collections with depth and meaning.
Creating jewellery that extends beyond the norm, Lau’s collections include oversized collars and necklaces, African inspired cuffs and multi-functioning head and neckpieces as well as simple statements
that reflect a more conceptual approach. The dummy is an important tool in Lau’s creative process as she works with a more immediate approach to the body, allowing fabrics and beads to sculpt and fall to a
Lau transforms soft, familiar materials associated with clothing and apparel such as ordinary pairs of tights and shock-cord elastic, into unexpected and sculptural textile manipulations. Juxtaposed against the natural beauty of semi-precious stones and minerals, as well as quality plated metals - the resulting experience is a harmony between casual and luxury.
The elements that feature in Lau's work include her signature use of tights mixed with intricate beading, surface contrast as well as tactility and adjustable play to invite the wearer to interact and customise the jewellery from day into night.
Maria Lau jewellery is simple yet complex, elegant but casual, unconventional yet wearable. Those who value freedom of expression, individuality and artistic integrity will find a piece to treasure. Lau creates investment pieces with longevity, as they are like timeless sculptures, to adorn the body or space.
Lau has worked with new and established fashion houses and retailers, including Hussein Chalayan, Michiko Koshino, DKNY, as well as Harrods.
All Maria Lau jewellery is handmade and finished in the UK.