Unapologetically, jewellery is one of my weaknesses – and it’s not just all about diamonds. Items with meaning and sentiment behind them is far more beautiful and holds that bit more substance. Always on the look out for jewellers that can offer exactly this, I came across mimi g at the recent Kaftan Festival at Westfield London.
Owned my Mariam Mahir, mimi g combines contemporary designs with an Eastern allure. Consisting of full sets, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings and charms, each piece is either sterling silver-plated or gold–plated, and uses the finest cultured pearl, semi-precious stones, crystals and beading.
I too made a purchase and absolutely adore my bracelet. There’s something very warm and appealing about Mariam’s use of Arabic calligraphy within her designs. Maybe it’s the elegance in which it is presented or perhaps when translated, it’s the message you’re left with. Either way, I’m besotted with my multi-coloured gold plated chained bracelet. It is so feminine yet boasts colours that make it an item that you easily include in countless outfits.
The selling point for me is the way Mariam has included poetry. In addition to the variety she offers, there is also the option for bespoke pieces, which I adore. It means you can truly have a one of a kind item, packed with sentiment and designed as you see fit.
I caught up with Mariam to find out more about the lady behind mimi g and what the future holds for this exciting and fresh jewellery brand.
S: I love that you include verses/phrases from poems. What prompted you to include this within your work?
M: I have always loved all aspects of language (my background is linguistics), especially literature, be it prose or verse. Coming from a family of poets, artists, critics and historians, poetry has played an influential role in my life since early childhood.
From an aesthetic aspect, Arabic calligraphy is beautiful; it can be romantic and ethereal, as well as bold, geometric and minimal. So, by playing around with the meaning, form, texture and colour, each mimi g adornment comes to life.
S: Do you have a favourite poem or verse and if so, what is it and why is it your favourite?
M: It is difficult to choose only 1 verse, as each one used in my pieces holds a nostalgic memory. I use mostly Arabic verses, but translate some Khalil Gibran, Rumi and Hafez quotes as they are so spiritual, romantic and motivational. Many verses resonate on many levels; some can capture romance, divine love as well as inspiration. So, each piece can bring out various emotions and memories in different individuals.
My favourite quotes that I’ve used are:
- ‘Let the winds of heaven dance between you’ – Khalil Gibran Early 20th century American Lebanese poet)
- ‘Love led me and I submitted willingly, when I have never allowed anyone else to control me.’ – Ibn Zaydun (11th century Arab Andalucian poet)
- ‘Whatever you order, the heart will obey’ – Imru’ Al Qais (6th century Arab poet)
S: Muslims will resonate a lot with your work, but what has the feedback been from others who may not be that familiar with Islam or the poets you draw inspiration from?
M: mimi g pieces are not Islamic–inspired per say; they are pieces with Arabic poetry, so it caters for everyone, especially those with a love for Arabic calligraphy, Islamic art, and contemporary Arab art.
The spiritual verses used resonate across all religions and ideologies. That is what makes mimi g unique, everyone can identify with the concept: the universal search for inner peace, love, inspiration and the aesthetic.
Each mimi g piece is a mix of East meets West, so our clientele are from all over the world. We cater for all tastes, ages, ethnicities. We have delivered to countries such as the USA, Canada, Brazil, the Middle East and the Netherlands.
S: What has been the most challenging item you’ve had to make?
M: I would say creating the ‘Homage to Baghdad’ collection a few years ago. I had just started and was commissioned to create a number of regal and opulent necklace sets for an exhibition. It is always fun and interesting to research the poetry and ensure it is suitable with various designs, but the experimental process can take time to ensure each piece is perfect. Creating individually handmade trinkets is a labour of love, but as an artist, I adore the process from start to finish, and the complete product is very rewarding, especially when it is a bespoke personalised piece. My clients are always exciting when they engage in the design process and participate in the various stages, until they collect the final piece, which is unique to their taste, and it usually holds a significance, be it in the verse or names they pick or the colour or gemstones.
S: Can you tell us about any future projects or collections coming up?
M: Actually, it’s mimi g’s third year anniversary this month, so I have re-designed a bracelet with poetry motif from our first collection. It will be unique, exclusive piece with different finishing and semi precious stones. We will be carrying out a competition on our Instagram page for a chance to win it, so keep an eye out for that!
I also have a couple of collaborations with calligraphers and fashion designers that I am working on. I am also in the process of designing the high season SS 2015 collection.
In the future, I would like to work on a collection inspired by Iraqi art and heritage, as well as experimenting with new textures, forms and gemstones.