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The Look – Meri Milash: The best thing in my work is to help people see themselves in a new light

I would describe my style as bold and I often stand out from the crowd with my attire.

My style choices often vary and I get inspired by other people. However, the most important factor guiding my choices is always how I feel about the clothes and accessories – it does not matter a lot to me what others think about it. My style icon since childhood must definitely be Grace Jones.

I’m not particularly interested in talking about fashion, I prefer to talk about styles. Talking about fashion often focuses on trends and what is something new and coming and I don’t want to think about dressing so narrowly.

For me, the clothes I wear signify, above all, self-expression, which is a much more personal matter than time-bound trends. I’m thankful for the many great fashion designers I’ve gotten the opportunity to work with. More than the actual fashion I’m inspired by the creativity, expressiveness, and passion of designers. I have learned a lot from many of the designers I meet, perhaps most of all, their ability to read the needs of their customers and their ability to serve their customers without compromising their own vision.

I draw my inspiration from my work above all from other people. The opportunity to help people see themselves differently is dear to me. Often people may see themselves in a certain way throughout their lives. When a stylist looks at his/her client, he/she can at best challenge that and awaken the customer to see their own splendour in a whole new light. Such awakening can happen to anyone – for example, to a model who is always dressed in a certain way.

People can often be stuck with a certain perception of themselves and what kind of clothes and accessories are right for them. Then new and inspiring things might be disregarded, thinking that they do not fit. To anyone who would like to develop an individual style, I would encourage you to try different combinations of the safe and familiar style.  You can start, for example, from your own wardrobe and combine as many different clothes and accessories as possible.

I love jewelry! It plays a big role in my style. My boxes have different types of jewelry: some jewelry I wear every day, on other days, I love to combine my style with spectacular jewelry. One of the pieces of jewelry that appeals to me the most is the Kalevala jewelry of Finland female lion pendant. The female lion has strong symbolism – it restores the importance of the lion to what it is meant to be. My favorite jewelry from Luv North is Maryam Razavi’s The Sun Necklace. The jewelry is beautiful and delicate and carries with it some kind of force that is hard for me to name.

As much as I love makeup, I’m the laziest person to make up. This is why I usually invest in two kinds of beauty care: good skincare products and lipstick. With good lipstick, in particular, the look is always well-groomed. On the other hand, wearing no makeup is also important to me because it is important to like one’s own face without makeup. At its best, makeup is wonderful to play with. However, that play should always be built on the foundation that you really like yourself as is.

The Look interview with Meri Milash – a Helsinki-based stylist and hairstylist.
Text: Suvi Annola, Photos: Laura Paananen

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Pure recycled materials, Finnish design and handicraft: this is how our jewels are made

There is a focused but warm atmosphere at the factory. Sudden knocks of the hammer interrupted by a whirr of the drill. Blue sunlight flickering through the window. Pieces of noble metal on the strong dark wooden table. Laura is working on a new jewel with her dad in Suonenjoki. A couple of questions with their answers. Every now and then burst of laughter. This is the kind of precious father-daughter time many people can only dream of. And this is the kind of atmosphere in which every Luv North jewel starts to take shape.

The path of a jewel from an idea to you is special and so, we want to share it with you. We also want to be open about how we in Luv North value high-quality materials and a transparent sustainable manufacturing process.

Thus, the story of every jewel ever made starts from the materials. In Luv North we use only pure 14k gold which is 100% recycled., Also, our silver is 92,5% pure and 80% recycled. 92,5% silver is commonly used in jewels because 100% silver would be too soft. The 7,5% of silver jewels are made of copper, which is stronger than silver. We use gold and silver because they are some of the most sustainable materials in the world and, thus, most suitable for recycling. Besides, they are beautiful. We don’t use any other metals in our jewelry to make them last time and be safe for users with nickel or other allergies. This way you can be sure your Luv North jewel is environmentally friendly, safe, pure, and no kind of gilded bauble.

The first phase of bringing the medals to life is to cut them. At this point, Laura takes the materials to her hometown to her dad, who has a carpenter background and who has all the skills to treat the metal as strongly but gently and carefully as it has to be treated. After cutting the plates, Laura’s dad stamps the jewel and then punches them if needed. Every jewel that weighs over 15 grams has to be stamped and this you can see in your jewel in for of the letters LUV. After the letters, the numbers tell you what is the percentage of gold or silver in the jewel.

To Laura, the founder of Luv North, it is really important, that her father works with her with the jewels. It makes the process special when it is not just anybody producing the jewelry. It is also important, that everything is 100% handmade.

The last phase in the process is to polish the jewel, perfect the surface, take out all the edges or other marks the cutting has caused. This is done either with sandpaper or a fine. Then the jewel is connected to a chain with handmade links between the chain and the jewel and the chain and the lock.

Now the jewel is ready and shining bright. To finish the process, the jewel is packed in a beautiful box to protect it on its journey to you before your shared story begins. The box itself is a masterpiece and works brilliantly to decorating your room or keeping your Luv North or other jewelry in one place or safe during the night.

Good luck and happiness with your work and all other activities too!

Did you find this information of your jewel delighting?

Photos: Bettina Lamspringe