Anthony Harrington talks to Lilou ‘Water Jewels’ founder and designer Brenda Lois, about her astonishing transformation of even the most sumptuous bathroom on a business jet
Q: When I first heard about an Italian jewellery firm ‘prettying-up’ the humble bath tap, I had no conception of just how gorgeous your creations would turn out to be. Whatever inspired you to turn your design talents to taps?
A: Well, I am first and foremost a fine arts painter so I tend to have a good eye for colour, form and beauty. One day I was relaxing in my bathtub surrounded by my beautiful candles and oils and magic potions when I noticed the tips of my toes coming out of the water pointing to a very ugly tap and I thought, “You know, taps do not have to be ugly. There’s no rule that says that!”
So I decided to work with Guiseppe T., (he really does prefer just ‘T’), a master goldsmith from Valenza Po in Italy, and we went on a fanciful flight to transform taps into works of art. Guiseppe understands everything about jewellery crafting. What we have managed to produce, I believe, is some superb examples of Italian design featuring old world Roman craftsmanship in the finest tradition of Italian jewellery-makers. We were delighted that Lloyds of London has designated our ‘Water Jewels’ as instances of ‘fine art’, for insurance purposes.
Q: They look sumptuously made. On aircraft weight is a factor but I presume they can be plated as an option, instead of being solid gold or silver?
A: Absolutely. Our ‘Water Jewels’ are unique. They can be crafted from 23kt. Gold and platinum plating or be solid gold, whatever the VVIP aircraft owner wishes. They are each hand-set with genuine gemstones or Swarovski crystals, whichever is desired, according to the client’s taste and budget.
We are also able to take into account the various colours, textures and motifs of the aircraft’s master suite and can pick up themes and styles, as desired. Our aim at Lilou is to make our ‘Water Jewels’ the Piece de Resistance in any environment in which they are displayed. Each piece that is made with Noble materials is presented with an official Design Patent, and is registered in the name of our client with the Italian Patents Office, Ufficio Brevetti.
In addition to the taps, we also design a whole range of accessories, from the door handle and key hole to the master bathroom or suite, to jars and containers.
Q: What is next for Lilou?
A: We have had such interest shown for our ‘Water Jewels’ that we are now branching out to offer VVIP business jet owners custom crafted display objects for their jets. This really does open the way to designing and crafting the most eye-catching and gorgeous sculptures and objects d’art for our clients.