"Listening to others and giving a helping hand when able. Not act but do" is what it means to be a Gentlewoman. Jewelry designer, mother, wife, equestrian enthusiast and Gentlewoman — Imelda Liem.
Imelda is one of many women that embodies the Marie De La Roche's Gentlewoman spirit. Through these difficult times, she chooses to cherish time with her kids and nature. Having an open mind and always seeing the positive side, she tries to be her own role model by becoming a good parent to her kids and her team.
Riding horses is her way to tune in with herself which allows her to appreciate what she has accomplished, remaining humble and gentle. Just like what she infused in her high-end jewelry line, BAROQCO.
BAROQCO jewelry is designed by Imelda and Eduardo Liem, reminiscent of luscious Baroque and intimate Rococo Art. With the vision to portray the deepest essence of female beauty to the world, BAROQCO provides the essentials for women all over the world to indulge in high end, exclusive joy by the name of art jewelry. BAROQCO jewelry stands for limitless and conscious luxury, carefully sourcing the best of its precious stones by adhering to strict labor and environmental standards. Each piece is handcrafted utilizing radiant colors from genuine SWAROVSKI CRYSTALS, some with semi-precious stones and freshwater pearls.
It all began with an intimate love story between Imelda and her husband, Eduardo who only wanted to find the most beautiful jewelry for their wedding day back in 2002. Fast forward to today, BAROQCO is now available from Amsterdam to Shanghai and has created crowns for Miss Universe Netherlands, Germany and Singapore. The jewelry brand have had previous collaborations with L’Oreal Paris Professional starting at the Cannes 2015 and is currently part of Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture since 2018.
You were inspired to launch BAROQCO when creating your very own wedding masterpiece, were you both jewelers before starting the brand?
Wedding masterpiece to tell you the truth, perhaps is a love story too romanticized. But, we were looking for a wedding tiara and we ended up creating our own instead of buying. Fast forward to now, that was the beginning of our brand BAROQCO. The birth of the brand was at the Place Vendôme in Paris where we decided, let’s to do this. Yes, Paris the romantic city of the universe, thus creating this a love story.
We have no background or track in jewelry making, but were always attracted to fashion and the fashion industry. We have now created crowns for several pageants around the world, notably Miss Universe Netherlands, Germany, Singapore, as well as for other pageants such as Miss Grand International, Miss Eco International and we are still creating for more!
Who do you envision as the woman who wears BAROQCO jewelry?
I see all women wearing BAROQCO jewelry, we are a bit different than fine jewelry as we do not use diamonds or zircons. We are using fashion crystals from SWAROVSKI as we are a brand member of SWAROVSKI PRO, so we strictly use their crystals. We also strive not to use any synthetic stones and other materials.
At first, women find our jewelry quite big or chunky and they even start to buy the smallest BAROQCO piece, but now, they prefer to buy the bigger sophisticated ones because BAROQCO is unique and they all want to be the center point in any occasion.
Can you tell us a little bit more about each of the high jewelry collection?
We always try to achieve the extraordinary in our masterpieces and that is the core of high jewelry designs, the uniqueness in design and color, the story behind each design and collection. We as a brand BAROQCO have and are still doing our shows during the PARIS FASHION WEEK HAUTE COUTURE, frequently published in Harper's BAZAAR, VOGUE, L'Officiel, Madame Figaro, ELLE and many more.
As HAUTE COUTURE, it is a restricted and patented name, not every designer can be HAUTE COUTURE and not allowed to use this wording if one has never done a show in Paris. We have been nominated as an off labelled brand in PARIS during the official HAUTE COUTURE FASHION WEEK. Therefore, we use the term high jewelry in our vocabulary.
BAROQCO is the creation of high jewelry, special for clients who love the extraordinary, directly deriving from our shows in PARIS HAUTE COUTURE.
We recently launched a new website to celebrate changing times as well as our newest addition to the BAROQCO family; a ready-to-wear collection named GENESIS. These beautiful new pieces are made for a unique woman who wants to stand from the crowd.
We noticed you always show in black and white clothing to match with the jewelry design, would you consider in working with other colors? If so, which ones?
I just love the drama in the color black and from darkness comes the light. A light in the darkness is a guide to see. This is why I love to wear dark colours which contrasts with our BAROQCO jewelry, vivid in colors. As we are impressionists, we use colors as a pallet of inspiration to show the ultimate sense of beauty.
How does one remain inspired?
Appreciate the small and never be satisfied while you reach your desired level of achievement. But along the way always appreciating what you have accomplished. Perhaps it is in the blood of BAROQCO; to seek to create the extra ordinary, yet remaining humble and gentle.
Imelda as The Gentlewoman
What does being a gentlewoman mean to you?
Listening to others, and giving a helping hand when able. Not act but do.
What have you learned about yourself during this pandemic?
That we have to be flexible and creative to be able to survive business-wise. The nature of business is changing drastically so we must be openminded.
What is life like for you right now?
We are staying in one country instead of traveling the world. One of the benefits is that you see the children more often and appreciate nature more. You have to come to your senses and acknowledge you are part of it.
We, humans, are neglecting nature and the world we are living. We only have one planet to live, we should love it.
Who is your role model? Why?
Role model, no I do not have a role model. Perhaps it is that I prefer to be my own role model, instead of looking at others. And that is not being arrogant at all. When you get older, you should become a role model instead of looking at others. Being a role model is being a good parent, not only to my children but to my team at BAROQCO.
Can you tell us more about your passion for horses and equestrian?
I always loved to see this sport but was not able to ride in my home country [Indonesia]. Since we moved to Europe, through friends I became motivated to get more involved with horse riding as they told me I had talent. I started to ride first as a hobby, and later more eager to learn new skills I became a more mature rider. Nowadays it is more to let off some steam after a hectic week.
I always loved to see this sport but was not able to ride in my home country. Since we moved to Europe, through friends I became motivated to get more involved with horse riding as they told me I had talent. I started to ride first as a hobby, and later more eager to learn new skills I became a more mature rider. Nowadays it is more to let off some steam after a hectic week.
How would you describe your own personal style?
My personal style is feminine, elegant and sophisticated. I love equestrian style clothing; jackets, pants, boots, and matching accessories. As a designer, I am always looking for the elegance of a dress to highlight the beauty of a woman from the inside, giving her that confidence of her inner-beauty and elevating it with the jewelry I make.
What is your ideal “me time” session? How do you unwind after a hectic day?
Get a bottle of wine, is one thing. But mostly is to ride my horse. You can see me frequently at the stable or ranch. In the current situation, it is sometimes restricted, but I still can manage to ride.
Pay it forward: can you recommend us Instagram accounts and people who have inspired you?
My personal Instagram account is Imelda Halim Liem my business account is BAROQCO jewelry. As for inspiration, my husband is one as he is such a non-giving-up kind of guy.
*This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
As part of The Gentlewomen Series launch, we have a special gift for you. Use our code MARIE10 for a special discount at checkout to purchase your very first BAROQCO jewelry from their latest ready-to-wear Genesis collection.