Complex Geometries: Vera Xane
Meet Alex Smyth-Kirk, the creative force behind Sydney based jewelry label Vera Xane. In search of the perfect statement accessory, we came across the labels’ latest collection titled ‘Modern Love’. Featuring strong graphic lines and statement geometrics, the collection takes inspiration from Barbarella and 1960’s sci fi. We caught up with Alex to find out more about drawing the connections between design and architecture, a serious case of wanderlust and her favourite spaces and places both at home and abroad.
Tell us how the brand began?
I come from a really creative family, and always knew I would do something like this, but the road to Vera Xane wasn’t always clear.
I started Vera Xane about 3 and a half years ago now, I was in the 3rd year of a Fashion Design degree at UTS and not loving what I was doing. I had trained as a silver smith when I was I was younger and always had an affinity to accessories. My Dad founded and edited an incredible Rock n’ Roll magazine called DRIFT in the 1960’s, that was also a really large source of inspiration for me, both aesthetically and in propelling me to start something myself.
Where did you develop the name Vera Xane?
Vera is my middle name and the letters XANE were taken from my first name, Alexandra.
Who is the Vera Xane woman?
I think she is a strong, intelligent. self-assured woman who follows design not labels.
What constant visual elements make up the signature of Vera Xane?
Always lines and architecture. Lots of layered steps and caged shapes.
What are your recent sources of inspiration?
I am obsessed with monochrome, everything is black and white and matching.
Do you have a muse for the brand or collection who are they and why?
I don’t really have a designated muse for Vera Xane, but if I had to choose someone it would be Leigh Lezark.
You have strong architectural elements in your collections tell us about your process and how this develops?
I’ve always loved travel and spent much of my adult life traveling the world (the last 3 years I haven’t stayed in Australia for more than 3 months at any time). So it’s fairly organic. I am always looking at the built environment, but I don’t like to force the architectural element to my designs. If I see something that inspires me I run with it, and I happen to love man-made angular shapes.
Where do you see the brand expanding?
I definitely see myself taking the label overseas, that is the next phase for Vera Xane and one that we have started to execute.
What is the most unusual material you have worked with to date?
Do you have a favourite piece?
It changes constantly. I’m fairly bipolar when it comes to my own accessories. The small cage bangle is a staple though, it’s my signature piece.
Tell us about your universe?
It’s pretty simple really, I work 7 days a week, eat quinoa with most meals, and consider leopard print clothing a basic.
When you aren’t designing where would we find you?
Maccallum pool, at Cremorne Point talking to someone over 85 about the weather. Or Il Baretto in Surry Hills eating lasagna with my boyfriend.
I’m going through a big “obscure travel” phase. The blog ‘Messy Nessy Chic’ is fantastic, they post these incredible images inside a varied array of abandoned homes and hotels. My favourites are Mike Tyson’s abandoned 1980’s mansion, and the deserted holiday villas off the coast of Cartagena of Pablo Escobar and his family. I love the idea of things being frozen in time.
Where can we find your pieces?
All over Australia in more than 25 boutiques and online! www.veraxane.com/shop/
By Maria Maung
*Check out our latest editorial featuring Vera Xane, produced exclusively for online Fashion publication Eternal Optimist here