If Noor Fares’ jewelry is a lesson in geometry, there is no doubt Anna Dello Russo is a straight ‘A’ student. The 51-year-old Vogue Nippon editor was snapped wearing a handful of delicate pieces from Noor’s latest collection, Geometry 101, during London Fashion Week and it certainly doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out why. Putting sex appeal into circles and allure into angles is no small feat for any jewelry designer, let alone one who launched her namesake label only four years ago.
When it comes to her customer, the 27-year-old, who is currently enrolled as a post-graduate at the Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design in London, doesn’t discriminate. She designs for women for all ages and styles, because ‘it is as much about the jewelry as the way they wear it,’ she says. But that doesn’t mean they’re allowed to be wallflowers, either. (James Bond’s Naomie Harris and Italy’s favorite fashionista, Giovanna Battaglia are also big fans.) ‘I make jewelry for fabulous women that are daring with their style, creative about the way they wear jewelry, which shows their own identity: Women that have character.’
Character is certainly something her jewelry, which often references the talismans and charms from cultures close to her, is full of. Bronze, exotic woods from ebony to jet, diamonds and colorful gemstones are just some of the materials she experiments with, creating complex shapes that contain hidden meanings and protection in the form of lucky motifs. For example, the evil eye, which holds great significance in her Lebanese heritage, is always engraved on the inside of most of her pieces.
As an authority on all things style and spirituality – Noor, the current ambassador for Tod’s, studies reiki and crystal healing, while practicing meditation to keep her grounded – Latest Revival was delighted to have the opportunity to catch up with the woman behind the magic that is N.oor.
Tell me about your latest collection. . .
There are actually two collections that are presented side by side – Geometry 101 and Fly Me to the Moon. Geometry 101 is inspired by geometric shapes – I’m particularly interested in the outlines of shapes, like cubes and hexagons with just the outline of the shape covered in delicate diamonds. There is also a combination of earrings in the collection, and the whole idea is to create your own look – buying individual earrings and combining them the way you want. Adapting jewelry to your own personal style, so your identity comes out.
The Fly Me to the Moon collection is made of wings carved in ivory and different stones. It’s that idea of a tribal feeling presented in a very contemporary way of layering and wearing pieces together. It is inspired by material that I could carve, like ivory from extinct species such as the mammoth, so it is ethical. The ivory is sourced in different places and the pieces are made in Florence.
What attracts you to such geometric shapes in particular?
The simplicity of the shapes. And the fact of ideal geometry in general that can be found in every aspect of our lives, from nature to everyday objects we encounter constantly. Also, I am very attracted to the sacred meaning behind geometry’s different shapes and numbers. For example, one of the shapes in the Geometry 101 collection is a very complex shape, the merkaba star. It is inspired by old the ancient symbol, which symbolizes mind, body and spirit.
Your pieces often hold symbolic hidden protections, why do you think women are drawn to lucky motifs in jewelry?
Because of an emotional connection. It’s a story. Women and people in general tend to become attached to an object because it reminds them of a special moment, a person that gave it to them. Jewelry in general has a quality that survives the test of time really well. And they are attracted to the idea that an object can bring them a feeling of wellbeing.
I saw some adorable pictures on your Instagram account — you as a child wearing layered jewels in the Eighties. Do you think you were born to be a jewelry designer?
I’ve always been attracted to jewelry and accessories; I was definitely born to be creative. I’ve always been around jewelry, had an attraction to it. My mom’s costume jewelry, fine jewelry, my grandmothers and my aunts: the women in my family were all creative and eccentric with interesting style; they were definitely an inspiration for me. Even now I’m still so passionate about jewelry I don’t just wear my own label, I mix it with costume, vintage and fine jewelry. It’s more interesting when you mix.
What is the highlight of your career so far?
Making the decision to go back to school after four years of designing. The day I got accepted I was extremely happy. I finish in June next year.
Do you find it harder or easier to design smaller, unassuming pieces?
I do both, my Classic Masters collection consisted of big pendants and rings, made of hand painted miniature oil paintings set in bronze and gold, on a think chain. But in general I’m more drawn to intricate, fine, delicate and smaller pieces, which is more in tune with my personal style. Also, as a fine jeweler working with 18K gold, you can’t really use as much gold as you could 15 years ago, and so that comes into consideration.
Who would you love to see wearing your jewelry?
I would love a lot of women from the past to wear my jewelry, but if I had to pick a contemporary personality it would be Rihanna. She has such a great style, I love the way she wears jewelry in general.