While many designers profess to be inspired by their travels, Noor Fares is the real deal. Born in Paris, brought up between Europe and the United States, and now based in London, globetrotting Lebanese designer Noor Fares is a true international, and has been making jewelry for as long as she can remember. A fascination with gemstones and jewelry from an early age, she began creating pieces for herself and for friends, which eventually led to the launch of her own line in 2009.
Noor gained a degree in art history at Boston’s Tuft University before moving to the UK to study gemology at the Gemological Institute of America’s London campus. Then just last year, she completed an MA in fine jewelry design at London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design.
Her sculptural pieces, which are all handmade in Italy, Hong Kong, and Germany, often reference the talismans and charms from her Middle Eastern heritage, but they have a fresh, fashion sensibility. Longevity is also an important aspect of her work, which is both contemporary and timeless.
Her degree collection for her St Martins MA was entitled Tilsam, the Arabic word for 'talisman', and was based around the sphere or orb as a symbol of unity. The acclaimed Fly Me to the Moon collection takes the wearer on an imaginary exotic journey. Inspired by pieces the designer could carve, it features wings in ethically sourced ivory. And Krystallos was borne out of the belief held by the Ancient Greeks that crystals were shards of eternal ice. Each piece is an exploration of the relationship between sacred geometrical shapes and the infinite power of healing crystals that are sculpted as portals of energy.
Noor’s latest collection, Geometry 101, is inspired by the mathematical precision and simplicity of geometric forms. Delicate diamonds cover the edges of cubes and hexagons, and colored sapphires have been used to give each facet of her Icosagon pendant a different hue - the collection originally featured only white and brown diamonds, but the designer introduced color following a trip to India for Holi, the festival of colors.
Geometry 101 also references the sacred meaning behind geometry’s different shapes and numbers. The Merkaba, a very complex shape formed by interlocking tetrahedrons, features in the collection, and the Merkaba star was originally an ancient motif symbolizing harmony between mind, body and spirit.
The Noor Fares woman has been described by the designer herself as “…eclectic, daring, elegant, eccentric and adventurous”, and her designs have a particular appeal for those with a strong identity and a sense of their own style - her pieces are famously worn by architect Zaha Hadid, actress Kate Winslet and model Suki Waterhouse.