Cassandra's Interview with Plan South America

Recently, Cassandra was interviewed by the awarding winning travel company, Plan South America, where they discussed her love for travel, and the flora and fauna which inspired her latest 'Ola Mexicana' collection. Have a look at the full interview below.

Your most recent collection was inspired by the flora, food and fiesta of Mexico, what first drew you to the country?

For me, the colour, vibrancy, history, folklore and nature were Mexico's greatest lures.

When you're not designing jewellery where are you most likely to be found?

If I'm not travelling, I can normally be found outside in my garden or on a hillside out in the open air and countryside. To me, there is nothing nicer than strolling along with armfuls of beautiful flowers that I have collected. I surround myself with flowers, and they go everywhere with me, in their glorious varieties. I am renowned amongst my good friends for posting flowers through their letterboxes if I am passing by their door. I even take them when I'm travelling on planes!

You've designed jewellery for some very famous names, could you share a few of them with us?

I design jewellery for royalty, divas, bishops, explorers, writers, friends and anyone who has a love for beautiful things! It's a great honour that such a wonderful selection of people, from all generations, wear my pieces.

Tell us about a favourite piece of jewellery you've been gifted.

My Venezuelan mother-in-law gave her gold wedding bracelet to me, which has tiny gold coins hanging from the links. I love the tinkling sounds of the coins as I move my wrist.

You previously lived in Brazil, how did the experience influence your designs?

Yes, travelling to Brazil was a wonderful experience for me and had a huge influence on one of my collections. Indeed, for every collection that I create, I make that country my home for the two years of research and transport my Sloane Street store to the destination for two years, filling the store with the collection and all kinds of inspiration. I live and breathe the delicious food, the colours of the landscapes, the stories of the country's people. I immerse myself into its literature and history. My sketchbook is full of ideas that might become jewels, ideas that might evolve into window displays, or might be transformed into details on an invitation to one of our parties, or even our annual advent calendar for that year. My address book is always swelling with new friends and contacts - I take great pleasure in putting like-minded people in touch. Looking back over the years, my home has journeyed across continents, with dynamic places such as India, China, Egypt, Turkey, Bulgaria, Sicily, Mexico, and Brazil all influencing my designs over the last few decades!

What do you never travel without?

I never travel without my Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream, a bunch of flowers, a Diptyque candle, a handbag made by my friend Anya Hindmarch, and my Cocoa pod necklace from the Ola Mexicana collection.

Where were the last two holidays you took?

The last two holidays I took were to Sri Lanka and then to Botswana. I am off to Chile and Bolivia soon - and I can't wait! I am endlessly exploring.

Where's your all-time favourite hotel?

My all-time favourite hotel of the moment has to be Chablé in the Yucatán, Mexico. It has such beautiful rooms, with hammocks stretching out across the pool.

Dead or alive who would you most like to have dinner with?

I have always wanted to have dinner with Maria Callas and T. S. Eliot. After seeing Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper in Milan, I've also decided that I would have liked to have been there - perhaps just helping in the background at the table! Most of all, however, I would like to have tea with the Queen when she is having a spring clean of her jewellery. I would so enjoy going through her wonderful collection with her, listening to the story of each piece and hearing when and how she has worn it over the years.

What are your favourite restaurants worldwide?

My favourite restaurants have to be Dulce Patria in Mexico City (and its sister restaurant here in London, Ella Canta) for the inventive theatricality of the food created there by Martha Ortiz. I also adore Osteria dei Vespri in Palermo, which has the view up to the ballroom in the film of the Leopard by Giuseppe Tomaso di Lampedusa. I would also pick Fogo de Chaoin Botafogo, Rio do Janeiro, for their delicious meat, and Lima in London for their divine colourful dishes, created by my friend Jose Luis Gonzalez.

Could you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind your next collection?

The next collection is a celebration of 35 years of jewellery design at Cassandra Goad. It will be a journey across continents, showcasing incredible jewels and some extraordinary stones from my travels over these 35 years.

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