A crowned can be defined as a circular ornamental headdress worn by a queen as a symbol of authority, beauty and grace, made of precious metals and jewels.
As beautiful as that definition is, I would like to think that any crown, especially the Miss Namibia Crown is the celebration of the wearer’s unique personality, radiant beauty and warm heart. It is no wonder why so many women strive to be the one that can wear such a unique piece that carries such representation. With so much exemplification in one piece, it is always interesting to know what role the design elements played in creating the Miss Namibia Crown. Jewellery Designer, Attila Giersch explains the elements and inspiration behind the Miss Namibia Crown.
- What was your inspiration behind the design of the crown?
As an artist or designer you get these questions on a regular basis and the funny thing is, most of the time, the inspiration is not actually the starting point. You have an idea and you fixate on it while you make the piece, and usually upon completion, you realize, ‘Ah this resembles this or it looks like that’, and that is what happened with the crown. All I knew was what I wanted in the final product. The first Miss Namibia crown that I designed in 2007 was a little too weighty; it had the tremendous beading, different shapes of dunes and features, which lead to the piece being too heavy for the winner to wear.
With that in mind, I drew one or two sketches of something that I always wanted to do, with the main aim to make the new crown lighter. When you look at the crown, you will notice three design elements. First, you have the centrepiece that has a oval seed-like shape placed on the top, which is my definition of a typical African Element, followed by the flowing lines underneath the seed, which represents ripples of sand dunes and our unique shoreline; finished off by the rest of the crown’s shape of starting tall and gradually declining in height of thin sticks. My inspiration of the sticks comes from the Ovambo homestead in the north that use these sticks to build their homes or walls, which sometimes varies in length.
I have regularly travelled to the north and I have seen these homesteads. The memory I have is something of true African Beauty creating beautiful scenery during sunset, which makes it memorable – and with that in mind I created a crown that represented timeless Namibian Beauty.
- Tell us a bit about yourself, who is Attila the jewelry designer?
I studied locally for a vocational training diploma with one of the biggest jewelers in Windhoek, Adrian and Meyer, from 1996 to 1998. When I graduated, I still worked as an intern for Adrian and Meyer until 2002, working closely with the master Gold’s Smith to learn every thing that you needed to know. In 2003 I started my own business and from 2007; I joined forces with Pambili Young Designers. It was there that I became involved with the element of incorporating my work with fashion design.
As a Gold’s Smith, you have to be practical, technical and figure out problems, ensuring the product is user friendly. However with fashion design, it differs in style and functionality, meaning it can be bold and big and it does not have to wearable, just something that is suitable and attractive on stage. This encouraged me to think outside of the box and lead me to start designing my range Tameka Jewelry, where I experimented around with aluminum, leather and other organic materials to create affordable fashion savvy products available today, which are still being manufactured in my studio.
- How long have you been involved with the Miss Namibia Pageant?
I have been involved with Miss Namibia since 2007, having designed two crowns and also offering a prize to the winner. Every 3 years the crown changes, so this is my final year as sponsor of the crown. I feel it is time to give another Namibian Designer the chance to showcase their work. It is a great opportunity to work with other fashion designers and to see your work up on that stage and being broadcasted countrywide is very rewarding.
Blog post by Odile Müller