Noor Fares
Interview by Jenny Bahn

As a child, Noor Fares carried certain stones with her wherever she went, convinced they would bring her luck. Whether they did or not isn’t something one can measure with scientific precision, but that early attachment to talismans would lead Fares to her career as a jewelry designer, subsequently placing her in the pages of Elle, Vogue, Grazia, Dazed, Wonderland, Vanity Fair, and Harper’s Bazaar. A bit of luck, indeed.

Fares grew up surrounded by the magic of Paris, its architecture and elegance informing her love for design from an early age. She cultivated an interest in gemstones and crystals during visits to the local Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, wandering through the Gallery of Mineralogy and Geology, admiring colorful organic structures trapped behind glass. This affinity for beauty continued at home. “I would spend hours looking through my mother’s jewelry box and dressing up in all her costume jewelry,” Fares tells me. She honed her artistic skills, drawing scenes from the many books she read, creating alternative characters and endings.

The designer’s Lebanese heritage was an influential part of her Parisian upbringing. Her family spoke Arabic at home, ate traditional Lebanese food, visited family in Beirut. She absorbed a cultural appreciation for symbolism and for superstition. She learned of the protective qualities of the hand and the evil eye. Jewelry, she came to discover, was not simply an object worn about the body, but an extension of one’s self. After high school, she moved to Boston for college, where she studied the History of Art. She returned to Europe in 2006, this time to London, and began to pursue her ever-growing interest in jewelry.

The pieces Fares creates today for her eponymous line appear to sit perfectly at the crux of her life experience. Hers are talisman for modern women, pieces infused with meaning through the thoughtful selection of every shape and stone. She continues to broaden her catalogue of symbolism through frequent travel to other countries — India being of particular interest. Fares’s latest collection, Prana, Sanskrit for “life force,” takes its inspiration from the seven chakras. Here, her long-held interests in both spiritual and physical beauty align seamlessly, creating jewelry imbued with a kind of intangible energy — a gift, really, to its wearer.

Below, Fares shares a bit of her process and ideology with Latest Revival.

How do you insert meaning into your pieces?

I think that having a strong narrative in fine jewelry is really important. Each of my collections has been born from meaning, such as sacred geometry, talismans, ancient cultures, sacred symbols and the chakras.

Do you think where you source your metals and stones lends its own energy to a piece?

Yes, the origins of a stone do affect its vibrational energy. Although it is not always possible to entirely trace a stone’s roots, I try to source from reliable dealers. I also believe in cleansing stones to ensure their energy is vibrant and clear.

In the research of your craft, have you come across any uses for amulets or talisman that struck you as particularly interesting?

I love the belief behind the Navratna, an ancient symbol from India. According to Vedic scriptures, each of the nine stones represents a planet and, when worn all together, it represents unity in the universe. I discovered the Navratna on my first trip to India and it has now become the inspiration behind one of my collections.

India has been very influential in your work. Can you describe your first trip there and what your impression of the country was?

My first trip to India is something I will never forget, as your senses are much more heightened through the explosion of colour, smell, and sounds. I fell in love with the country and the people straight away. It felt so much like home for some reason. Ever since, I have endeavoured to travel there at least once a year. Having moved my production to Jaipur means I get to visit twice a year, which is a dream come true.

How did you come across the inspiration for your Prana collection?

I had been wanting to create a collection inspired by the chakras for a few years. Prana came as a natural transition from my previous work, where I had touched upon the importance of the seven chakras.

What or who first introduced you to chakras?

My yoga teacher, when I first started Kundalini yoga six years ago. They were something I had heard of before, but my deeper understanding of them came through yoga.

Beyond this collection, are chakras something you pay attention to in your own life?

I do a lot of healing work to keep my chakras balanced and aligned through yoga, crystal healing, and breath work. It is something I have become more conscious of over the years and really notice the difference when I am not balanced.

In the Prana collection, there’s an intentional use of certain stones to align with certain chakras. Did you find this collection more research-intensive than others?

With each of the collections I have tried to stay true to the ancient principles surrounding there inspiration. Prana took the same amount of research but we were limited to the stones we could use.

Describe your energy right at this moment:

Content. Energetic. At peace.

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