MY WORLD: NOOR FARES

WE EX­PLORE THE LIFE and STYLE of CEL­E­BRATED JEW­ELLERY DE­SIGNER NOOR FARES at HOME IN LON­DON. By EMILY CRONIN

ELLE (UK) - - Contents - PHO­TO­GRAPHS OLIVIA DA COSTA

Dis­cover the life and home of the cel­e­brated jew­ellery de­signer

Any­one who has had their fill of greige should take a dip into jew­ellery de­signer Noor Fares’ world. The eight-bed­room mews house she shares with her hus­band Alexan­dre Al Khawam in Bel­gravia is a walk-in rain­bow. ‘I’m def­i­nitely a hoarder,’ she laughs, ‘but I do my best to keep it rel­a­tively or­gan­ised.’ It’s dif­fi­cult to know where to look first: the shelf of crys­tals, the twinned rust-red vel­vet so­fas, the patch­work-wood din­ing ta­ble, the wall of moon prints, the em­broi­dered chairs, the framed Lebanese record sleeves, the… Wait a minute, up there on that stack of books – are those… Could they be… Gin­ger Spice’s Union Jack plat­form boots? ‘They are! I was given them as a birth­day gift when I was a teenager,’ she says. ‘My hus­band just doesn’t un­der­stand – he al­ways asks, “Why do those have to be on the book­shelf?”’

Fares comes from a prom­i­nent Lebanese fam­ily in Paris (her father is a for­mer deputy prime min­is­ter of Le­banon). ‘I grew up sur­rounded by these amaz­ing, ec­cen­tric, fun women,’ she says – namely Hala, her mother, an artist known for her pen­chant for wear­ing mis­matched shoes; her creative poly­math grand­mother and fash­ion-de­signer aunt So­nia Fares (a for­mer Miss Le­banon). One of Fares’ ear­li­est mem­o­ries is of mak­ing rag dolls from off-cuts of fab­ric in her aunt’s stu­dio.

Through­out her child­hood, she was ‘ob­sessed’ with gem­stones. ‘There’s some­thing about them that’s so mag­i­cal. They look like they have spe­cial pow­ers,’ she says – an idea that she works into her col­lec­tions (her lat­est, named Prana, is all about synch­ing the chakras). ‘The whole idea of their pro­tec­tive, mag­i­cal, heal­ing prop­er­ties re­ally got me in­ter­ested in de­sign and jew­ellery. It all comes from the stones.’ Not that Fares’ in­ter­est is con­fined to jew­ellery-grade gem­stones: she also col le Pc tE sR c Sr OysNt aA ls L( start­ing long be­fore their cur­rent fash­ion mT OomU CenHt). ‘I be­lieve they re­ally bring pos­i­tive en­ergTy­hein­hto uthse hi­some.’ Ev­ery now and then filled with she bathes them in salt­wa­ter and ‘pu­ri­fies’ them un­der snap­shots of the light of a full moon. Claire’s two

After study in­cghihld is rt eonry of art at univer­sity in Mas­sachusetts, Fares moved her­self to Lon­don, where she went to ‘Gem School’ (the world-renowned Hat­ton Gar­den-based GIA School, as it’s oth­er­wise known). It was after this, and a mas­ters de­gree in jew­ellery de­sign at Cen­tral Saint Martins, that she launched

“THE IDEA of CRYS­TALS’ PRO­TEC­TIVE, HEAL­ING PROP­ER­TIES got ME IN­TER­ESTED in DE­SIGN ”

her own line. To­day, her winged ear­rings and tal­is­man-like pen­dants drop from the lobes and line the dé­col­letages of high-so­ci­ety doyennes (women such as Gio­vanna Battaglia En­gel­bert and Eu­ge­nie Niar­chos). Think that’s all a bit haughty? Fares know­ingly side-eyes her shelves of Troll dolls and lets out a laugh. The hu­mour of those pink and turquoise tufts, XL soft-toy leop­ards and other trin­kets is ev­i­dent in her work. She’s her own best model. ‘I wear quite a few pieces at the same time. I’ll keep them on for a few months, and one day I’ll change it up.’ Right now, she can’t go without her Div­ina crys­tal ball pen­dant, Oc­ta­he­dron ear­rings and stacked rings.

She wears them all with the bright and bold dresses that line the rails of her wardrobe, from the likes of Valentino (‘I wear a lot of polka dots’), Mary Ka­trant­zou (who de­signed the rain­bow skirt she is wear­ing for one of her ELLE por­traits, be­low) and Gucci. ‘I love what Gucci is do­ing. It’s fun, colour­ful and full of prints.’ She adores jumpers by The Elder States­man and lay­er­ing pieces from The Row dur­ing the colder months; com­fort is a pri­or­ity (the plush ochre sofa and Man­ish Arora cush­ions at­test to that). Fares also wore a beaded two-piece Man­ish Arora look at her wed­ding in 2016. That and a Gi­ambat­tista Valli cou­ture lace gown. And a be­spoke white Alaïa dress.

Pho­to­graphs from the wed­ding party hang on the wall by the stairs. They set the tone for a cou­ple that loves to en­ter­tain. Din­ners with friends around their Piet Hein Eek din­ing ta­ble of­ten turn into dance par­ties that go on into the early hours. ‘Ac­tu­ally, I need to plan an­other one,’ Fares says, and you can tell she’s al­ready work­ing through the theme, guest list, menu and mu­sic in her mind. What­ever she de­cides, it’s cer­tain she’ll have plenty of ‘friends’ watch­ing over the revelry, from the crys­tal-headed troll dolls to an alien toy (pur­chased at a gift shop near Area 51) and her spaniel pup, Char­lie. There’s a lot of life in Fares’ home – and it’s re­flected in her jew­ellery.

HID­DEN GEMS Fares’ in­ter­est in crys­tals is re­flected through­outher home

RAIN­BOW PALETTEIn­side her Bel­gravia home is a kalei­do­scopeof colour

PER­SONALTOUCH Fares likes to mix her own de­signs, wear­ing a com­bi­na­tion for months at a time GIRL POWER The book­shelves arepop­u­lated with play­ful de­tails, from Troll dolls to Geri Hal­li­well’s boots

ECLEC­TIC DE­SIGN Fares’ home is a thought­ful mix ofmod­ern de­sign with Asi­atic and Mid­dle Easterntouches

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