breaking bread

Olivia Cheng Finds Inspiration in Her Dreams

Breaking bread with Olivia Cheng, the designer behind Dauphinette in NYC. Take a look at where she finds design inspiration and how she unwinds.

Olivia Cheng Finds Inspiration in Her Dreams
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Welcome back to Breaking Bread, Brightland's editorial series that fosters dialogues with creatives, makers and artists who inspire us. Our latest installment following the launch of DIGESTIF, our new candle, features designer Olivia Cheng, founder and owner of Dauphinette, a sustainable fashion shop based in New York City. Her whimsical, one-of-a-kind designs are made with recycled and byproduct fur and leather, vintage, and artisanal components such as real botanicals.

How do you describe what you do?
I own a design company that retools the way we incorporate nature and art into our lives. We make things ranging from earrings, to womenswear, to tables, and we make it all out of real botanicals. Most of all, I hope we make people’s lives richer and more joyful.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Buried between dreams, hanging on trees, growing from the forest floor, looking behind pages of this big book of life.

What is your creative process like when creating a new piece for Dauphinette?
It changes constantly, but recently I have been seeing a lot of color pairings in my sleep. I look at a lot of furniture and fine art as well.

What design / fashion trends are you excited about for spring?
I’m excited to watch nature do her thing and unfold a million colors around us.

What do you like to do while burning a candle?
I always light a candle after dinner— it helps my mind ease into the evening and it’s a very simple act of care. I also love to light candles when I have friends over and we play music.

What dishes currently nourish you?
Chocolate chip cookies with walnuts and lots of flaky sea salt, olive oil cakes, and grilled cheese on Portuguese muffins.

Where do you get cooking inspiration (certain cookbooks, sites, etc)?
My close friends are all talented home cooks, so we like to play off of each other’s fervent passions for food. We spend a lot of time discussing food and drink, and our combined excitement results in some pretty delightful weekend meals. Whenever I go to Paris I try to fit in some books shopping and bring back at least one cookbook. It will be a beautiful day when I have the option to do that again!

What does “living in a golden state” mean to you?
Optimism and preservation of the mind. I would say we live in more of a chaotic state than a golden state right now, and the golden state is what we create for ourselves.