I'm inspired by the beauty of nature, curios from yesteryear, curios from nowayear, fairy tales my Mum used to read me when I was little, my grandparents antique collection, photographer Tim Walker, Alexander McQueen, Richard Orjis, birds in flight, Kristine Crabb, Lilith Jeans, my antique doll collection, dried flowers, human and plant anatomy, Kate Moss, haute couture, Daphne Guiness, W magazine editorials, the Dalai Lama, beautiful glass, beehives, lovely unique scents, indoor plants, embossing on lovely stock, Laura Marling's voice, butterflies. Strangely enough, all these things are around my work space. All of the above are references to the pieces I create for Curio Noir in some way. I have always wanted to create truly unique, bespoke, yet practical objects of art for any surrounding that can also be beautiful treats for yourself or someone. I see each piece in the Curio Noir collection as a timeless gift from me to those who really appreciate craft and art.
For my wedding I spent months on making small skull candles for our guests. I wrapped them in tulle and ribbon and attached a hand written note to each and guests received them when they sat at their table at Clooney restaurant. Some were placed under large glass domes with large white lisianthus flowers entwined around them. Such interest generated from this I decide to make something I hadn't seen before that would also be a challenge. I first made The Doll and then with some refining made The Lilith Doll. I am still yet to see a moulded candle made from perfumed vegetable wax. That was nearly one and a half years ago. We released our debut collection 'Entwine' recently and have added table linen, a collaboration with artist Richard Orjis. Curio Noir is 'for those with a fascination for the interesting and uncommon'.
Which films, books, magazines and albums are your favourites?
Edward Scissorhands (and everything else by Tim Burton), Amelie (and everything else by Jean-Pierre Jeunet). They are the first two that come to mind. I recently watched Karl Lagerfeld Confidential again and loved it just as much as I did the first time. He's so amazing isn't he? I have bought W magazine and British Vogue every month for as long as I can remember. I love a whole bunch of mags but W magazine is definitely my favourite. On my playlist today I have Laura Marling, Bat For Lashes, Nirvana, Bach (Concerto in D minor for double violin is my fave!), Kanye West, Yann Tiersen, Alice In Chains, Radiohead, Snoop Dogg and Beyonce. I love music and the emotions it creates while I'm working. Next to my bed I always have Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha.
What do you like to wear?
When I'm not wearing my 'leisure wear' to teach yoga and pilates I usually only wear Miss Crabb or Penny Sage. Both these ladies have such a romantically glamourous yet relaxed take on fashion. I love the colours and fabrics they choose. Their clothes are so feminine and have such unique and strong design elements. As I'm relatively natural with my hair and makeup it's important for me to wear clothing that's beautiful and well crafted.
Five favourite pieces of the moment?
Miss Crabb Trenchdress
Penny Sage Sundust Dress
My Helmet Lang denim jacket I bought 12 years ago when I was 18! I rediscovered it in the back of my wardrobe and love it again. It's worn in all the right places. I hope (my daughter( Lilith will wear it in 9 years time when she is 18 too.
My Jessica McCormack key necklace with diamond. This was such a generous 30th birthday gift from my family and I wear it every day. Only problem is, now I want more.
Grey suede Costume National Boots. I bought these last year and maybe wore them twice but this winter I have thrashed them.
Tell us about your beauty regime and healthy habits.
I don't wear foundation so to me it is important to have healthy looking skin. I use only Dermalogica skin and body products and drink plenty of water and practise meditation, yoga or pilates for at least 20 minutes a day and up to an hour and a half. The most important healthy habits to me which I believe are the key to creating mindfulness are breathing and sleep. Proper breathing does such wonders for our mind and body and I'm always amazed at how many people don't do it correctly! And sleep...I don't think I ever get enough but I do try. Makeup and grooming wise I love eyelash curlers, YSL's fine black liquid liner and Mac's Zoomlash.
What sets Curio Noir apart?
It is important for me to continue to grow Curio Noir by creating timeless, bespoke curios for the home that are made to the highest of standards and finished locally. When people see a Curio Noir product or receive one as a gift I want them to be treated to a unique experience only Curio Noir can give. From the tangible aspects such as the packaging to the intangible feelings created by the perfumes from our candles. Every element is important to me. For example, the vegetable wax used for Curio Noir is sourced from a plantation that supports an Orangutan Sanctuary and is biodegradable and sustainable. The perfume is mixed by hand in Grasse, France with the highest quality ingredients. It takes up to three people to produce each piece of Curio Glass. These are hand blown locally in a design that has been inspired by apothecary jars of old and modified so they can be used as a vase once the candle is at its end. There is a story like this for each Curio Noir curio for the home. I believe this is what will continue to set us apart, locally and internationally....along with continuing to create pieces that are visually inviting and made 'for those with a fascination for the interesting and uncommon.'
Many thanks to Andy Morton for the photos.