"Do any of us really get the juggle right?” says Heidi Moore-Gill, the artistic Sydney founder of new jewellery line The L’Estrange...
“I’m happiest and my family is certainly happier when I try to let the small stuff slide… when I’m not so compulsive about everything having to be just right,” she says. For the inventive Moore-Gill, her work fulfils her creative mind. “Work is sometimes a bit of an escape,” she says. Having watched her inventive mother over the years, it’s no surprise that her teenage daughter Jemima has inherited her arty nature. “I’m nostalgic for the years when Jemima was around seven-years-old, the sweetest time, she was becoming very creative and resourceful,” she reflects. It’s clear Moore-Gill’s mind doesn’t stop: she has the ability to transform a room into a balloon filled wonderland (her other business The Bespokery is behind the most fantastical balloon installations you’ll ever see), paint the most dreamy watercolour paintings or craft the most exquisite new jewellery. It was earlier this year, when Moore-Gill was travelling through India, that The L’Estrange came to life. “It was during a serendipitous painting trip to India where I discovered the resources in Jaipur to begin the range. Creating The L’Estrange fulfils my lifelong obsession with embellishment. It allows me to engage in my first real passion of individual expression through new jewellery pieces.” The range, naturally, is gorgeous. From the prettiest musk pink pearl drop earrings to a striking hand-carved sea blue Chalcedony shell, set with a tiny faceted apatite charm – every single piece “celebrates individuality and expression through embellishment”. Moore-Gill’s philosophy? “Bespoke at heart, created for a lifetime.” Indeed, these are the kind of pieces you’ll treasure forever. We caught up with the gorgeous Moore-Gill to find out more. Photography: Julie Adams | Hair and makeup: Sarina Zoe | Go to www.thelestrange.com
How would you describe your daughter?
What makes you smile?
When my husband and daughter laugh together.
Talk to us about colour – how do you approach it? What are your favourite colour combos?
For interiors, I love emerald green, with ivory and black. I still love “millennium pink” despite its overuse, and the pale green greys of the Farrow & Ball paint palettes. In clothing, I love navy. And in gems, the pale translucent green of phrenite and green beryl. I also absolutely love morganite in all its pink tones.
Tell us about your love of jewellery and where it all began?
My grandmother was a collector. She was fortunate to have a husband who gave her pieces every birthday and Christmas and she’d buy antique pieces herself. She had many books on jewels and we used to try all her rings on when we were little… jewellery became part of my life then.
Can you tell us about the launch of your new fine jewellery line The L’Estrange?
Earlier this year, during a serendipitous painting trip to India I discovered the resources in Jaipur to begin the range. Creating The L’Estrange fulfils my lifelong obsession with embellishment. It allows me to engage in my first real passion for individual expression through fine jewellery pieces.
What is the process behind each piece?
Each piece of jewellery is designed by me and then created piece-by-piece in a small artisan workshop in Jaipur. Run by talented Bengali and Rajhastani craftspeople, the expertise of the goldsmith craft has been passed down through generations. The particular skills and handling creates warmth and softness in the finish of ‘perfect imperfections’. Gemstones are all assiduously selected. They are chosen for each stone’s individual appeal and beauty. Some are hand carved by master artisans in India, others cut by hand to specific figurative and geometric designs. Recycling precious metals, using conflict–free, ethically sourced gems and supporting traditional artistry is paramount to The L’Estrange.
Describe the kind of woman you imagine wearing L’Estrange?
Warm and intelligent. A woman who wants to personalise the way that their own jewellery is worn; buying single earrings, adornments and charms over time, to make their own individual ensembles.
Does travel inspire you – where do you love to travel to?
Travel inflames my creativity and keeps my heart open. I love India for so many reasons, the South of France for the way of life and culture. The outdoors is very important to me, so travelling to New Zealand is always wonderful. London is also fabulous and exciting.
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever been given?
Invest in your people and be good to them. Reward and respect them.
What is your approach to health and wellbeing?
I love to run and I also ride a mountain bike – I’ll often go out to ride trails with friends. Being in nature for me is the best therapy, but I do go to the gym too for strength work. I don’t do yoga… I think I’m on the only one on the planet who doesn’t!
What is your definition of success?
Success is doing something you love, that can sustain you financially. If my clever friends think it’s beautiful, then that’s a great endorsement of design success and makes me very happy.
What did your own mother teach you about life?
She demonstrates how to be a wonderful partner every day and has been a very good example to me. She is a great support to my father and they have a very happy relationship, which has lasted forever. She also put sunscreen on her children in the 70’s which was quite rare and told me to use face cream very early… funny small habits, which are actually quite important now.
What are your fashion essentials – the items on high rotation in your closet?
Acne leather perfecto jacket, Ellery tops in black, always a ‘symphony’ of fine earrings in my multiple piercings. I wear a lot of Gucci accessories particularly the D-ring belt and a red mid-heel loafer, and lots of the scarves. I do love an Hermes Twilly, worn as a headband or to tie my hair back. I have finally worked out that at a certain age, the scarf ‘lifts’ the face and that pearls ‘illuminate’. I need tricks like those now.
Gold or silver?
Yellow gold, but I also love it engraved with a little silver.
Pearls or diamonds?
Both and together. I have made some south sea pearl earrings with diamonds and orange garnets and they’re fabulous.
Rubies or emeralds?
Both but never together.