February 4, 2015


Holly Ryan is more than a jewellery designer, she is a silversmith creating her own works of art made to adorn the body. The campaign for her collection for FW15, pOla II, is captivating, mesmerising and completely draws you in - dark and sultry offset by her sculptural pieces. Holly shared her story with me, her creative inspirations and her life as a designer...

Age: 26
Starsign: Scorpio
Hometown: Coolum Beach, QLD
Current location: Paddington, Brisbane

Talk us through how you started your label…

I completed a bachelor degree in fashion design at QUT in 2010. In my final year I designed a range of accessories to compliment my graduate clothing collection, which Thea Basiliou of Blonde Venus asked to stock in her boutique. It has all naturally evolved from that point. My parents are both jewellers having studied silver smithing in Mexico in the 80’s before I was born, so I have learnt most of what I know about making jewellery from them.

Your Squiggle series is set to drop in March, can you share more about what inspired that collection? 

The Squiggle series is part of my AW15 collection ‘pOla II’. The Squiggles were primarily inspired by the work of contemporary artist and minimalist sculptor, Richard Serra. The remainder of the collection is inspired by Brutalist architecture.

Why jewellery? 

I love shiny things! I love that making jewellery is like creating mini sculptures with your hands.

Did you wear a lot of jewellery growing up? 

Yes, I was very lucky because my mum and dad would make me new things all of the time.

Most exciting achievement to date? 

My jewellery is now stocked in the Camilla and Marc boutiques, features in their campaigns and featured on the runway for their MBFF show last year. Also, being asked to speak at GOMA late last year was a very humbling experience.

Currently coveting? 

My new Dieppa Restrepo loafers from My Chameleon.

Any words you live by? 

‘Less but better’ – Dieter Rams.

Where has been your favourite place you’ve travelled to? 

Mexico in early 2014 with my boyfriend, I visited the town where my parents studied and where I was conceived. We spent weeks in the jungle and laying on beaches surrounded by palm trees, sipping on fresh coconuts!

If you had the opportunity to pick the brains of and work on a collection with anyone, alive or dead, who would you choose? 

Eileen Gray, Carl Aubock or or Constantin Brâncuși.

What/who have you been listening to lately? 

Caribou, Flight Facilities, Blood Orange, Shigeto and Chet Faker.

Guilty pleasure? 

A fruit & cheese platter with champagne!

Drink of choice? 

Gin & soda with fresh cucumber in summer or Pinot Noir in winter. Champagne anytime!

Signature scent? 

Jasmin Noir by Bvlgari.

How are you spending the rest of your summer? 

With my new puppy Hugo at the beach, playing tennis and creating my SS15 collection.

What are you looking forward to in 2015? 

Hopefully having the time to read a book and a trip to Japan.

pOla II drops in March, all images courtesy of Holly Ryan

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