The jewellery designer who collects dolls
She was born in Lebanon and has lived in Paris, Boston and elsewhere in the world but we met up with Noor Fares in London where she happens to be studying for an MA in Jewellery Design at St. Martins School.
With an international lifestyle and friends scattered over different continents, her world is certainly global but, more than anything else, it is steeped in esotericism.
Noor Fares designs Platonic Solids, in other words cubes and dodecahedrons, Merkaba stars and hexagons, alternated with wings, which encapsulate her philosophy: “I am not interested in beauty or decoration as such, but in symbolic meanings”. Jewels studded with diamonds or consisting in hollow shapes whose perimeter is traced by a fine gold line; her home is showered with books about Metal Magic, Astrology and Numerology, Amulets and Talismans: “I do a lot of research in various cultures on ideology, formal properties and stones”.
We are shown around her London home, punctuated with brightly coloured, deceivably childish objects, which inhabit the house with their expressions: “I love faces, and the look in their eyes. Actually, what I really collect is eyes”. There is a tiny eye in many of her jewels – to guard against evil – some of which change shape and colour; you just have to pull the chain that activates the mechanical magic of the Japanese dolls known as Life Dolls. Lifelike, they stare at us from their high shelf and are part of a numerous gathering comprising traditional Russian dolls and Indian varieties with tattooed hands, which collectively represent Noor’s second obsession:
“My mother used to collect them and I have cohabited with dolls and soft toys since I was a child, so I went on doing it.
Wherever I go on my travels, I hunt them out”. The best dolls’ shops are in Amsterdam, Tokyo and Zurich; the best by-product of this hobby is Noor herself, who dresses up as a doll in the evening: “That’s what my friends tell me”. Her face helps her in this game, and so does her style.
Daytime a casual look in which pyjama trousers and shorts emerge unexpectedly but, above all, the tailored cut of men’s jackets.
Evening impacting dresses or skirts, mingled in a couture potpourri with ethnic or ostentatiously vintage garments. A lot of black in winter, plenty of colour in the summer.
Closet It looks like a miniature house in which steel garment rails partition off imaginary little rooms. On entering, there are shoes: either flats or vertiginous high heels “No half measures”. Then, a succession of rooms, organized by theme. Shorts and pants/evening gowns/daytime dresses, each category arranged by colour and graduated shades, like a box of coloured pencils.
Suitcase Travelling “light” was not her strong point in the past but today she is proud of her capacity for synthesis. This is how she does it: “I prepare a certain number of outfits, one for daytime and one for evening wear. I pack them separately, each one in a zippered bag. If possible, I just take one coat with me and wear it for travelling”.