Interview with Simone
With a background in architecture, Simone Brewster creates bold furniture, pieces of art and jewellery. Her approach is an infusion of culture and experiences, focusing on blending natural materials and mixing handcraft with new technologies. The same influences permeate from her style. With her natural grace, we are charmed by how she wears sculptural jewellery to define her silhouette. This curation reveals a selection of statement pieces.
Tell us about a woman who you find beautiful and inspiring? The world is full of beautiful women. The ones I have been lucky enough to be inspired by are often those closest to me. My mum is the woman who has influenced and inspired me most. She is a warm and welcoming person whilst retaining her sense of individuality and self-respect. She isn’t afraid of change, and has shown her ability to learn and adapt to life.
Which accessory do you like to wear to complete your silhouette? I am drawn to simple, architectural silhouettes and often pull on statement jewellery to complete my look. I use jewellery as a way of defining my outfits as well as my individuality so I’m interested in making, finding and wearing memorable pieces of statement adornment. I would usually pull on a statement necklace as they are easiest to wear and add immediate character. If it’s an evening event, I’ll most likely put on a statement ring, something substantial in size to catch people’s eye as I speak and gesticulate.
I use scarves in a similar way as I do jewellery. A good scarf can add a bit of colour to an outfit. I’m just as comfortable wrapping one round my neck in winter as I am tying it round my hair in summer.
What do you collect? I collect books! I wouldn’t call myself a traditional book collector by any means. I don’t care about editions, I’m actually collecting information and inspiration, beautiful images, colours and ideas. The books I have in my personal library are on art, culture, adornment, design and anything that I believe can feed and grow my own take on creativity and the world we live in.
There is so much information available to us on the internet that it could seem pointless to buy books, but the books I have in my collection remind me that my own work has a home and a foundation.
What object do you cherish most? I try not to get too attached to objects. I cherish memories. I try and capture them in my diary. So maybe my diaries would be my most cherished objects. They are the record of my life, my thoughts and my growth as a person.
If you were a colour, what colour would you be? I’m a gemini so I’m going to pick two colours. Mustard yellow and deep blue. They also work pretty well together.
What’s your favourite smell? I live in a home where food and cooking are central to life. I couldn’t pick a favorite smell, but I do get pretty excited when I catch a whiff of chocolate cake in the oven.
What’s your favourite dish? I’m not sure you would have heard of it, it’s called Buss Up Shut, or translated from its native Trinidadian, Busted up Shirt. I ate it during my first trip to Trinidad & Tobago as a child and it was immediately a favorite. It is a flat bread, much like roti, but whilst it is being fried on a tawah (a flat metal plate pan) you beat it to break up its surface into delicate flakes. I would eat this with either chickpeas and a rich salad or curry mutton with the same.
As a close second I would say British fish and chips with lots of salt and vinegar.
Recommend us a book that changed your life? There are far too many books that have impacted me to just mention one. Different books affected me at different ages. As a young teenager, I loved The Once and Future King, but within a few years I had read The Autobiography of Malcolm X, which totally opened up a different world to me, one where social inequality and the possibility of change were real. I read In The Meantime by Iyanla Vanzant, after going through a pretty heavy breakup, which changed my opinion on the role relationships can play in helping us grow and evolve regardless of their ultimate success or failure. If I’m looking for a bit of poetic wisdom, I’ll pick up The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, which draws from eastern philosophy.
I’m currently reading How To Change The World: The School of Life, I’m hoping this will have some insight into how to share some of the ideas I find important with others.
Recommend us a film that has stayed with you? I love film, and have watched far too many amazing pieces to truly answer this question, but one of many films which has stayed with me is Once Upon A Time In America by Sergio Leone. It’s about memory, friendship, loss and the passage of time, set in prohibition America. The costumes capture the era, it’s beautifully shot and acted and is full of saudade.
What piece of music defines you? Anything that Hauschka plays live. Random, unexpected, beautiful. It captures life.
Tell us about the most amazing place you have travelled to? Lagos Nigeria. At first it reminded me of the places I had visited in the caribbean, but it was larger, dynamic, messy, dangerous, energetic. It was familiar but different. On an trip whilst there, we visited a metal market, it was one of the most bizarre places I’ve ever been to. The ground was paved with slabs of randomly sized metal. Individual metal merchants were set up next to each other, where men were welding and bending and selling metal. Metal was moving all around us. I’ve literally never seen anything like it before and I doubt I ever will again.