Elisabetta sat down with Noor Fares to discuss her career as a contemporary jewellery designer and the launch of her new Prana collection.
EC: Throughout history, humans have attached great emotional and symbolic significance to jewellery. Why do you think jewellery has so much meaning?
NF: Jewellery has so much meaning because it is a reflection of our culture, our tribe, and an expression of our personality which can be passed on through generations. Narrative is very important with fine jewellery, its story allows the wearer to connect with the piece and from this the story continues with them.
EC: Your pieces are like modern day colourful talismans, inspired by ancient beliefs in the mystical healing properties of stones. Is protection an important component to your jewellery designs?
NF: I have always believed in the healing properties of stones and I think that often the stone chooses the wearer by fulfilling something that might be lacking. That said, this is not something I like to enforce but rather subtly touch on in my collections.
EC: Your new Prana collection explores the ancient seven Chakra system, namely Muladhara (Root), Svadhishthana (Sacral), Manipura (Solar Plexus), Anahata (Heart), Vishuddha (Throat), Ajna (Third Eye), and Sahasrara (Crown). Could you talk to us about your new collection and the inspiration behind it?
NF: Derived from the Sanskrit word for “Life Force,” Prana works in harmony with the seven Chakras to provide balance –allowing vital energy to flow. The collection draws inspiration from each of the energy centres, where each piece tells a different story through their associated shape, symbols and gemstones. Those precious stones are linked to their respective chakra by the colour their aura emits and individual healing properties.
Left: Noor Fares, Bespoke Muladahara Earrings (2019), 18kt yellow gold carved rosewood earrings with amaranth garnet, amethyst, coloured sapphire pave, and white diamonds
Left: Noor Fares, Muladahara Bespoke Ring (2019), 18kt yellow gold carved rosewood ring with amaranth garnet, amethyst, coloured sapphire pave, and white diamonds. Front and side view.
Right: Noor Fares, Bespoke Anahata Earrings (2019), 18kt grey gold hexagonal rock crystal earrings with amethyst, coloured sapphire pave, white diamonds, and an inlay of stones
Noor Fares, Muladahara Bespoke Pendant (2019), 18kt yellow gold carved smokey quartz and rosewood pendant with black mother of pearl, coloured sapphire pave, and white diamonds, 60cm long (chain). Front and back view.
EC: One might say that your pieces provide wearers with protection and bring positive energy. How do you see the wearers of your jewellery?
NF: I make jewellery for fabulous women who are daring with their style and creative about the way they wear jewellery, which shows their own identity: Women that have character, elegant adventurers.
EC: From pre-historic religious symbols to hearts and crescent moons, your timeless designs combine ancient symbolism with contemporary iconography. Why is it important to you that your pieces are able to stand the test of time?
NF: Jewellery that stands the test of time carries its own story. [It] has been on a journey with the owner, or with many owners. I want my designs to be cherished and passed down from generation to generation and still be relevant and wearable.
Left: Noor Fares, Bespoke Anahata Emerald Necklace (2019), 18kt grey gold hexagonal muzo emerald pendant with coloured sapphire paves, white diamonds, and an inlay of stones
Right: Noor Fares, Bespoke Anahata Emerald Earrings (2019), 18kt grey gold hexagonal muzo emerald earrings with amethyst, coloured sapphire pave, white diamonds, and an inlay of stones
EC: You also engage with both the old and new in your Superlunary collection, created in collaboration with Flavie Audi. The pieces combine digital technological methods and synthetic stones with natural gems and traditional hand carving craftmanship. Could you please tell us more about the inspiration behind this collection?
NF: Superlunary was designed to highlight the relationship between synthetic and natural material, which is key to Flavie Audi’s designs. The journey and connection between man made and natural materials is explored within the collection, resulting in a powerful synergy between them. We infused signature Noor Fares designs with Flavie Audi’s cloud sculptures using traditional jewellery techniques, such as hand carving the clouds out of rock crystal.
Left: Noor Fares + Flavie Audi, Superlunary, 18kt white gold, dichroic glass, pave amethysts, and diamonds, unique.
Right: Noor Fares + Flavie Audi, Superlunary Cloud Cuff, 18kt white gold cuff with carved rock crystal, pave sapphire, amethyst, and diamonds, unique.
Noor Fares + Flavie Audi, Superlunary Divina Cloud Pendant, 18kt white gold pendant with carved rock crystal, sapphire pave, amethyst, and diamonds, unique
Left: Noor Fares, Superlunary Cloud Drop Earrings, 18kt white gold earrings with carved rock crystal, pave sapphire, amethyst and diamonds, unique
Right: Noor Fares + Flavie Audi, Superlunary Cloud Rhombus Ring, 18kt white gold ring with natural rock crystal, mother of pearl, synthetic opal, coloured sapphires, and diamonds, unique
EC: It is evident that your jewellery fuses your multicultural upbringing. Your unapologetic use of vibrant colour, geometric experimentation, and emphasis on spirituality reveals your Lebanese roots. How do you think your Lebanese heritage and global experience of living in Paris, London, and the United States have shaped your creations?
NF: Traveling and living abroad have very much shaped my creative vision and design practice. It has allowed me to witness a wide array of different cultures, architecture, and religions. I am a treasure hunter, a seeker, and I love to seek the unknown – creating a little mystery and mysticism within my collections. If we don’t have culture [then] what do we have? It makes us who we are. I am so grateful that I’ve been able to experience such wonders of the world.
EC: You have said that you love collecting modern and antique jewellery. If we were to take a look inside your jewellery box, what might we find?
NF: You would find some crystals to keep my chakras balanced and aligned along with some of my creations and much treasured inherited pieces.
EC: Like many great designers, such as Alexander McQueen, Paul Smith, and Stella McCartney, you studied at Central Saint Martin’s School of Art, prior to which you studied History of Art at Tufts University in the United States. How has your formal education shaped your creative practice?
NF: Studying fine art gave me discipline and a strong foundation to build upon, but my first love was jewellery, which is why I then went on to study my GIA in London before moving on to Central St Martins for my masters.
EC: Your jewellery designs blur the line between jewellery and fine art. How do you view your jewellery in relation to art?
NF: I view my one of a kind jewellery pieces as art that can be worn, they are exceptional pieces. In the same way an artist would, I have taken the time to look carefully at materials, to use innovative techniques, and to produce something unique and collectable.
Noor Fares, Bespoke Vishuddha Choker (2019), 18kt grey gold paraiba tourmaline choker with coloured sapphire baguettes, pearl, and white diamonds
Noor Fares, Sahasrara Pendant (2019), 18kt grey gold carved amethyst pendant with a dark purple amethyst, coloured sapphire pave, mother of pearl, and an array of enamel, 36cm long (chain).
Winner of the 2019 Couture Design Award ‘Coloured Gemstones Below $20k’ category. Front and back view.
As a contemporary Lebanese jewellery designer, Noor Fares creates jewellery with vibrant colour, positive energy, and, ultimately, soul. Her new Prana collection is no different.
Noor Fares’ beautiful wearable sculptures will be on show at Elisabetta Cipriani’s booth at PAD London (booth no. C11) from the 1st–6th October. To view Noor Fares’ pieces and more, please visit Elisabetta Cipriani Gallery, 23 Heddon Street, London, W1B 4BQ. For more information please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0) 207 287 5675.