Our today’s Q&A is with Vera Rossini the founder of the jewellery brand Cakes and Troubles Home Baked. As she likes to describe herself, she is first of all globally infused but also a couture jewellery designer, a fashion consultant and a maker.
Q.: How and when did you start get involved in the fashion industry? A.: I was always surrounded by fashion and art, but I started to work in the industry after my fashion design degree in Florence, and then after my master degree in Milan…the first of many unpaid internships that a fashion student has to go through (at least now the internships are paid, pennies… but at least something!!)
Q.: What’s your background? A.: My Russian grandmother was a jewellery researcher and goldsmith, she was going across (back then USSR) to discover traditional jewellery for the museums…and my mother is a fashion designer and an amazing tailor so I guess my background is infused with jewellery and fashion and that’s why I feel it was easy for me to combine both in my personal project.
Q.: How did you come up with the name “ Cakes and Troubles Home Baked”? A.: I lived and worked in London for few years, it was 12/15 years ago with a friend we started to create our collection (we both came from a fashion background) while discussing about every day struggles (especially related with love life…it is not something only linked with the recent chapter of dating apps, unfortunately 🤣)
With the days passing we build the very first jewellery collection (all in fabric and beads) we both were big fan of sweet and the collection was inspired by vintage cakes, we made extraordinary donuts bracelets/bangles with vinyl colorful icings and the name was the perfect mix with the sweets we loved and the every day Troubles we discussed about.
Q.: I know you lived and worked abroad for many years, would you tell us more about these experiences? A.: I lived in London for few years and I always worked in fashion (specialized in embroideries), I first collaborated with a London designer and then worked with several Italian fashion houses -in the embroidery department- until one day I decided to accept the offer and work directly for one of the Indian suppliers (since all the best couture embroideries are done in India) I thought of specializing even more in the field and I accepted.
I lived and worked in India for several years, between Delhi and Mumbai and worked with all the fashion top brands like Marni, Fendi Valentino, Dior, Dolce and Gabbana .
Q.: What does couture jewellery mean? A.: It is the tailor made and unique feeling of a couture garment but made as a necklace, I work mainly assembling and embroidering vintage details and unique materials, together with the client we decide the direction, the style and the colours of a special creation they want, it Is an extraordinary journey of expressing someone’s style and create something unique, to wear on a special occasion or everyday.
Q.: What’s the most representative piece of your couture jewellery? A.: I love the big (one of a kind) statement necklaces, the Fabergé collection (inspired by Russian Zar’s eggs) is one of my favourite, an unexpected honour when the collection was selected for a Vogue editorial worn by Virna Toppi (Scala’s etoile) and matched with other designers dresses to create a mix of strength and elegance – shooted by Luca Vantusso.
Over the years I worked with earrings, shoulder pieces, bracelets ..it’s great to raise the bar and create every time something different.
Q.: If you could collaborate with an important brand, who would you choose and why? A.: I collected every single article of Anna Piaggi in Vogue, I loved MC Queen, Walter van Birendock, Vivienne and Galliano as a student … right now I would probably choose to collaborate with Schiaparelli (Elsa was an icon) and now the brand still has a great way to express surrealism in their eye jewellery and embroidery…
Q.: What inspires you? Where do you look for new ideas? what drives you? A.: Inspiration comes from everywhere, my Russian roots my travels and life abroad, on social media, from exhibitions, flea markets, I love to be surprised by glimpses of beauty that I find everywhere, from the dusty corners of Indian streets to the marble of Europe, from the silence of Gothic churches to the noises and colours of a bazaar, that contrast and the mix you can find in my creations… The attention to even the smallest detail or colour shade.
Q.: How did you come across the inspiration for some of your favourite designs? A.: With embroideries I draw, and I have to research something that inspires me, with the necklaces I jump directly into the making, so most of the time is a combination of different materials or an amazing vintage ribbon that can be the first step of the next collection.
Q.: What’s your mantra? A.: I had different mantras for different phases in my life, recently I saw an art photography that was having the words “what doesn’t kill me better run” and I find it suitable as a mantra those days!!
Q.: What are your future projects? A.: I want to create more occasion to meet people and show my jewellery in real life, pop ups into selected and special boutique’s or galleries in Italy and why not Europe.
Q.: What’s your point of view about sustainability? A.: I think my whole approach to fashion is sustainable, from what I wear to what I create, my collections are made with vintage and selected end of production materials, I use knitwear threads and ribbons as embroidery threads, to give them a second life. I am fascinated by the fact of using materials that used to be something else, for pieces that cannot be replicated, in this disposable universe saving elements by giving them a new connotation is magic and we all need some magic in our lifes.