There’s something ethereal about Jasmine Noir. Despite having never met before, when I arrived for our interview at the Under The Wing PR showroom, I could tell exactly who she was amidst a bevy of PR beauties. Founder and designer of jewellery label GALA Curios, Jasmine is decorated in her own pieces, and I’m very aware of my black emo-inspired Melbourne uniform in comparison to her own bright ensemble, set off by striking red hair that makes her a dead ringer for Florence Welch. Funnily enough, Jasmine quotes an old proverb also borrowed by Florence and the Machine, “It’s always darkest before the dawn”, as significant inspiration for her recent campaign imagery.
While Jasmine is incredibly eloquent and intelligent, GALA Curios speaks for itself. Each piece is intricate and ornate; the kind of jewellery you want to drape yourself in and adorn every finger with. One of the things that make her work so special is its relationship with art, taking on an almost sculptural element.
“I studied art history for a while, and always thought I would be an art critic”, Jasmine says of her university education, “but I got to the point where I wanted a creative outlet; I needed something physical”.
After taking a design subject during her degree at Sydney’s esteemed College of Fine Arts, Noir took a chance and changed the direction of her studies. Her practise is still very much influenced by those art school roots, with a focus on “concept as the basis of [her] work”. This sense of conceptual significance is very much present throughout her decadent, thoughtful pieces, as is the “balance between artistry and practicality,” that makes GALA Curios commercially viable and accessible.
Even the name of her label pays homage to an obsession with art. ‘Gala’ after surrealist master Salvador Dali’s wife, and ‘Curios’ in reference to treasures found within a Cabinet of Curiosities.
“I always wanted a name that encompassed a range of different objects, not necessarily just located in fashion. The idea of calling them curios is that they each have a life of their own as an object”.