HBA: Can you tell us about your background and when you came to Dubai?
IP: I grew up in a small Italian coastal town on the Adriatic Sea and fashion has always been my biggest passion, ever since I was a child creating the perfect matching outfit for my Barbie. The lust for jewels was handed down by my mother who never left home without at least one diamond on her finger! At the age of 21 I opened my first fashion boutique and found I needed to create elegant and out-of-the-ordinary jewels following requests from my clients.
Four years ago I fell in love with Dubai during a trip here with friends; the energy of this place is unique compared to the many other cities I’ve visited. Without really thinking about it I decided to move here and create a new life in the Emirates.
C'est Moi! + Ilaria Paci Peacock blue earrings, Dhs 580
HBA: Why did you choose to collaborate with C’est Moi!?
IP: I met Rashmi Kumari two years ago for a coffee, as I wanted to ask her advice about my creations. Dubai was a whole new market and having the opinion of an influential woman like Rashmi was vital to me.
She immediately fell in love with my earrings and actually wore a pair to many different occasions, demonstrating that she really believed in my project. So a year later I knocked on her door and asked to collaborate, after which she became the brand ambassador for my bijoux line. This is a real example of women empowerment and I will always be thankful to her.
HBA: Why do you think women enjoy wearing your designs?
IP: I think there are three reasons why women love my jewellery:
Firstly it’s the mix between old and modern, such as the traditional lace effect that has been transformed into trendy accessories.
The second is the use of Swarovski precious crystals, as even women who don’t typically like the “bling” effect can’t get enough of my creations once they start wearing them!
Third is the lightness of the semi-precious metals. Each piece is made in Italy at the C’est Moi + Ilaria Paci laboratories with the utmost attention to detail, so despite the overall forms being quite large, the jewels feel simple and light to wear.
C'est Moi! + Ilaria Paci Desert Rose silver earrings, Dhs 490
HBA: What particular trends and tastes do you notice in Dubai and the Middle East compared to Italy?
IP: Fashion nowadays runs fast through social media and many trends in Italy are the same in Dubai. What is different, however, is the way of wearing some of these trends – in Italy everything is much more sober and practical, whilst in Dubai women love flashy accessories and never miss the occasion to shine. Another reason why I love this city!
Dubai is my second home and is therefore a great source of inspiration for me, from architectural forms to calligraphy and colours. These influences are found in every jewel.
C'est Moi + Ilaria Paci Desert Rose bracelet, Dhs 660
HBA: Do you have any particular favourite pieces for the upcoming festive season?
IP: Definitely the headpiece. It’s the perfect accessory to shine with during the festivities – it makes you look like a princess even when worn with just a simple pair of jeans!
C'est Moi! + Ilaria Paci antique gold headpiece, Dhs 1,100