I. How does the fashion industry look through Nora Renaud’s eyes?
There are so many ways in which we can create and communicate but people tend to rush and respond to immediate requirements – and I have nothing against immediacy – but I think one needs more time for adaption. As for where I am standing, I feel a bit distant and very patient, I am now aware that I need my own special way to be distributed and I am working on it at the moment.
II. Born in Geneva, now based in Paris. How did this transition happened and how did that determined your path?
It was a natural transition, the great density of Paris always felt closer to my real nature than that of Geneva, which is quite contrary. I do not believe in small, quiet cities, I would rather choose a pretty big, chaotic village. Paris is a place that leads you… I did not come here only for fashion and culture but for that feeling of constant vibration and I wanted to see what could happen if I would measure myself among these elements. I tried to escape at one point (New York-London) but it always felt like home, like a source of my inspirations. I do not travel so much, so Paris determines a sense of freedom for me, a utopia somehow… an engine that feeds my vision.
III. Which are the things that have influenced your design approach so far and gave you this particular aesthetic direction?
This is either too early to say or is almost impossible to know, the aesthetics direction is given by the fact of not thinking about aesthetics – which is a kind of aesthetic in itself. I try to let it go as purely as I can and then I have to accept the result as it is. I like this constraint a lot, that your creation and the medium is somehow decided for you and not the opposite.
IV. In an interview to NJAL you said you like making things with your own hands. “My hands always looked old, even when I was a child. They are my only reliable tools.” Out of all possible options why did you choose jewelry when you chose to follow an independent path?
That happened almost randomly, out of personal expression I sculpted some undefined objects that I was wearing as talismans. Just that more and more people encouraged me to develop something further, so I started with launching metal pieces as a trial. Today I finally feel confident to say that I am ready to make proper jewelry as a freelancer, for other designers or brands. Yet those three years before were a great way to learn, by experimenting.
Jewelry in my case is a way to interact in fashion, but with a sort of distance, always. I still want to stick to my real nature of an “almost” free beholder, a creative hand-crafter.
V. How would you describe the meaning of jewelry / accessories in the consciousness of people these days? And in which way they shift from ornamental, mere decorations, to elements that define the essence of the wearer?
I am as well wondering about their statement and meaning. For accessories there might be the clear explanation of functionality, as for jewelry, the decision falls more within the field of emotions rather than on the actual psychology created by the object, the need to own and keep. By wearing it, you are experimenting something with your body, with your appearance, emphasizing its expressions. My pieces are mostly seen as wearable objects, but they are also “functional” at a different level, when lying on a table, hanging on a wall, or when hidden between books or under a pillow. This is how it all started in the first place: small scale, in-house intimate sculptures parasitizing a space.