I was recently introduced to up and coming Australian jewellery label Vera Xane. Designed by Alex Smyth-Kirk, the Vera Xane aesthetic draws inspiration from popular culture, particularly that of 1960s and 70s rock n’ roll. The jewellery is directly influenced by the women of that era and aims to encapsulate the “raw and wild spirit of this moment in time”. Many of the designs combine this idea of a rawness with the use of clean geometric lines, resulting in a collection of fine jewellery that traverses between bohemia and modern minimalism. I was able ask Alex a few questions on her latest collection, Dichotomies, and the inspiration behind her work.
You say that your jewellery is influenced by 1960s and 70s rock n’ roll and the women of that era. Did you have any specific muses in mind for this collection?
Yes and no. I had a few songs that I listened to and imagined women from the lyrics as muses. It’s a little bit Edie Sedgwick and a little bit Talitha Getty, but I wouldn’t say that I really nominated any specific muse.
Music and fashion seem to go hand in hand, and it’s a well documented relationship. Why do you think both genres complement each other so well?
Well it’s no coincidence that rock n’ roll’s most successful alumni tend to surround themselves the world’s most beautiful and fashionable. If I’m getting technical I’d say I think it’s a cyclical relationship where each derive inspiration off one another. But at the end of the day both are expressions of creativity.
If you could get anyone (present or past, real or lyrical) to model your jewellery who would it be?
If it were anyone living I’d have to say Kate Moss. She’s the original street style supermodel, very London rock n’ roll and always looks immaculate (even in Ugg boots).
But since I get the Lyrical option too I’d also say whoever Billy Joel was singing about in ‘Always a Woman to Me’: “She is frequently kind, and she’s suddenly cruel. She can do as she pleases she’s nobody’s fool. And she can’t be convicted; she’s earned her degree. And the most she will do is throw shadows at you, but she’s always a woman to me”.
She sounds like a flippant, demanding woman, but I’m sure she must have been beautiful!
What is inspiring you right now?
It is always a bit of mix. I’ve just recently decorated my first house so there’s been a lot of industrial design references going on. I’ve fallen back in love with Bianca Jagger and Studio 54 – think frivolous, glamorous bohemia with plenty of lamé. I’m also listening to a lot of early Rod Stewart.
Since we seem to be touching on music a fair bit, what five songs would you choose to soundtrack this collection?
1. Big Love – Fleetwood Mac
2. 19th Nervous Breakdown – The Rolling Stones
3. French Navy – Camera Obscura
4. White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane
5. True Faith – New Order
You can see more of the collection at: veraxane.com, with an online store to open soon.
[Images: supplied, pinterest; collage: my own]