Meet Alex, the beauty and the brains behind the exciting new jewellery label, Vera Xane. Having trained to be a silver and goldsmith whilst still in high school (my most important decision back in year 10 was what ice cream to get for lunch), it would almost seem that she was destined to become a jeweller - and an incredibly successful one at that. Alex kindly agreed to answer five quick questions for us, so make sure you check out her responses and a sneak preview of her collection below!
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Photographs and graphics by Nicole Cooper.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background. I grew up in a very creative household. My grandmother on my Mum’s side was a seamstress in Egypt before they migrated to Australia, and I was brought up spending the weekends sewing with my Mum and grandmother from a very young age. My dad created and edited a cult rock n’ roll magazine called ‘Drift’, while at university in the late 1960’s. He started it when he was about my age, and it’s on record in the State Library. We still have all the original copies of the magazines in my house, and I love looking back at the interviews he did with so many incredible musicians of the time. So there was a strong creative influence in my life from both sides, and I always knew I wanted to do something of my own. I have a background in fashion and textile design. I studied (most) of a Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Textiles from the University of Technology Sydney, during which I really focused on textile design and silk screen printing in particular. While I was studying Fashion I worked in-house designing pieces for a well known Australian fine jewellery label, which definitely taught me a lot. I am also trained as a silver and goldsmith. I actually did that while I was still in high school under the guidance of a master jeweller, and specialised in lost wax casting.
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Have you always wanted to be a jewellery designer? Pretty much! When I was little I used to spend all my time making pieces of jewellery by hand, and I always dreamt of one day becoming a designer. I even started my first jewellery label when I was 17 for my Design & Technology major work in the HSC. After high school I defected for a few years with the whole fashion design path, but it wasn’t for me. Describe the typical Vera Xane girl. The Vera Xane girl is someone who knows her own style, is adventurous with accessories, loves fashion, but certainly isn’t a slave to trends. She likes to mix high and low and has an appreciation for design, not just brands. I also like to assume she’s smoking hot…
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What was the inspiration behind your debut collection? There were quite a few different sources of inspiration that went into the first collection. There’s some obvious aesthetic references- I definitely looked at architectural structures. I love geometric lines and have always had a fascination with ways of creating illusions of size (for example the cages evolved from the idea of hollowing a large piece of jewellery and introducing empty space so it essentially becomes much more wearable). I’m also obsessed with the whole 1960’s and 70’s rock n’roll scene, so there was a strong influence from there too. I listened to music that I loved from that era and even used the women presented in the lyrics of some of my favourite songs, designing pieces that I imagined they would wear if they were around today. The collection is very much a modern representation of that all the things I loved about that time. And finally, what's your favourite piece in the collection and why? I’d say the Sunray bangle, mostly because it was just such a difficult piece to get right. I must have re-designed it about 10 times. But I’m very happy with the finished product. It’s entirely hand made and from the feedback I’ve received, people can really appreciate the intricacy and work involved in it, which is a great feeling too.
© By Nicole Cooper

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