oung, stylish and unconventional, Belgium designer, Dries Criel, draws upon his background in modern dance and his enduring love for travel, antique jewelry, architecture and ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics to gain inspiration for his boldly defiant designs. His work is handcrafted in Antwerp by the world’s most sought-after artisans, and incorporates only the finest materials, which the designer himself hand-selects. With forms that are both masculine and feminine, Dries redefines classic silhouettes, blending the timeless with the contemporary.
With forms that are both masculine and feminine, Dries redefines classic silhouettes, blending the timeless with the contemporary.
In our most recent installment of “Day in the Life,” Dries takes us on an exploration of a recent average day, sharing how he keeps himself balanced, his devotion to the quality of the materials and craftsmanship of his work, and his penchant for fine dining, artistic expression and shopping.
6 :30am yoga
I always wake up early and start my day with a yoga session. Over the years it has become part of my routine and it is the perfect way to clear my mind and reset, as well as give me the strength and sometimes the inspiration to create and craft.Apart from that I do really need the work out as well. Laugh*
8 :00am coffee
With my morning coffee I take the time to read the newspaper or continue reading/looking in one of my new books. I have an absolute obsession with coffee table books, ranging from (vintage) jewelry to interior to Egyptian History books to everything – literally everything – Yves Saint Laurent. 100% me-time.
09:00am Office and Atelier
I arrive at my Antwerp office and atelier, where I have a meeting planned with the head of the atelier to discuss the ongoing new creations. I find a lot of energy in the discussions about and around the new creations as I constantly try to do new things and push forms into another direction without compromising on wearability. The craftsmanship and the know-how within the jewelry and gemstone world is something very dear to me and I found it mine (and our) duty to keep the handmade crafts alive and at the same time infuse them with new, contemporary techniques and ideas.
After my meeting I pull back into my office and take the time to work on new pieces. The key is, in my case, to not to think about it too much – it has to come naturally – and also not to create in ‘collections’ but in great ‘stand-alone pieces.’
11:30 Meeting gemstone dealer
One of the wonderful aspects of my profession is to be able to create unique pieces, that often hold many personal emotions, and to work towards that together with the client.
Today, I am meeting with several gemstone dealers to find the perfect gemstone to create a one-of-a-kind piece.
13:00 Lunch Client
I am meeting a client and friend for lunch at Graanmark 13, a wonderful spot in the center of Antwerp – designed by the Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen.
15:00 Diamond Bourse
Since we are an Antwerp-based brand, and diamonds are an essential part of our design aesthetic, I have a meeting with one of the diamond dealers to select specific diamonds for a new style that I am working on. A completely different aspect of the profession but an essential one since I find it very important to select the perfect, certified stones.
16 :00 Store meeting Team
Time for a Zoom meeting with the team to discuss the upcoming opportunities, and challenges, within our existing and potential new stores. I am always very excited and honored when a new store is interested in the collection and I look forward to building a future with them.
17 :00 Shopping
20.00 Dance Performance
Tonight I have the absolute pleasure of seeing our National Ballet Company performing their new production called ‘Creature.’ Star choreographer Akram Khan created an impressive ballet about loneliness and isolation, and the longing for connection. I have been looking forward to this, an absolute beauty to enjoy.
22 :30 Drinks
I am finishing the day with a drink at Roji, a French Japanese restaurant housed at basement level within a cosy Axel Vervoordt interior.
After that I am ready for bed and for the challenges of the next day.