Written by Charlytte Morrone
Photography by Carrie Sullivan
Styling by Anthony O’Baner and Victoria Quinn
Models: Veronica Zak and Tobi Ajiboye
Kristina Collins-Watts is a senior Jewelry major from Denver, CO. She is about to graduate and enter the big world, but not without a mystical photo shoot with The Manor.
Pulling inspiration for her senior collection “from traveling through France,” Kristina used the “beauty, charm, and history found within the city of lights” that gave her a desire “to create a collection that celebrates femininity.” She used references from “the roaring 1920s," an homage of the glamorous flappers. Using fringe to signify femininity and elegance she incorporates techniques called granulation, the ancient technique of fusing fine silver together with the addition of lost wax casting, pearl knotting, stone setting, scoring and bending, and hydraulic press forming. “The romantic appeal of the 20s made designing the collection for the modern woman appealing, because women deserve to be empowered and admired.”
The advice she gives to incoming students is “to stay focused on their passion,” because “hard work will pay off.” She encourages students to interact with different disciplines because she has seen the creative growth of a well rounded team. The product is one that is “unique and meaningful.”
If Alexander McQueen were still alive, Collins-Watts said that he would be her dream collaboration. She believes, “he was not afraid to go against the grain and be controversial. He made people think, while never failing to top himself again and again with his latest collection.” She admires his desire to compete with himself, which she remarks “always yields better design then competing with others.” The collaborating with McQueen would allow Collins-Watts to experience “the creation of truly innovative design that would be timeless.”
Collins-Watts’ dream is to find a profession where she can combine her passion for classical design with wearable technology and 3D printing. Passionate about travel, her dream is to experience an “array of different cultures.” She wants to open her own line of jewelry that influences and empowers the wearer, while making a memorable contribution to the design world.
Her unique collection “fuses ancient techniques with modern design” to create a collection that “celebrates the femininity of the 1920s in Paris, while “honoring the roots of jewelry fabrication.” She says her collection can be thought of as “armor for the wearer, while it emphasizes the wearer’s style.” We wish Collins-Watts the best of luck as she enters the real world, but we have no doubt that she will continue to do what she loves and impact the world around her.